Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/661/11324
Lewisham: vote for a real fight against the cuts
On 24 March the voters in Bellingham ward in Lewisham, south east London will have a real choice in the council by-election. They can either vote for candidates who support cuts to public services or they can vote for Ian Page the No Cuts candidate standing as Socialist Party-Lewisham People before Profit. Ian is the only candidate who will vote and campaign against all cuts.
Campaigning in the ward is going really well. Most of the voters in Bellingham have now had our main election leaflet, mainly thanks to the efforts of the 23 campaigners from the Socialist Party and Lewisham People before Profit who came out on 6 March to leaflet and canvass.
Labour, who control the local council, are desperately trying to avoid any blame for the £88 million council cuts they recently voted through, by pushing the blame onto the Tory/Liberal coalition government. In their election leaflet, Labour mayor Steve Bullock says: "This government has just taken £88 million from Lewisham residents. This is your chance to send a message to them on March 24th."
What hypocrisy this is from the Labour Party. Rather than just voting through these cuts these councillors and the mayor should be making a stand in defence of public services. We say that it's not only a 'chance' to send a message to the Con-Dem government but also to Steve Bullock and the Labour councillors. We won't pay for a crisis we didn't cause.
People in Bellingham are very angry about the cuts. A lot of people agree with us that the council should be making a stand against these cuts rather than carrying out the coalition government's dirty work.
One woman we met works at a children's centre in Lewisham. She said she will definitely vote for Ian and took a poster, not only for her house but also for the noticeboard at work.
We also met a student at Greenwich university with a young child. She was shocked when we told her about the cuts that Lewisham council has voted through. She is already struggling with the current level of tuition fees and says that she will have to give up her course if they go up to £9,000 a year. She is one of several people in Bellingham who have shown an interest in finding out more about the Socialist Party.
Our campaign is clearly getting noticed. Posters are going up around the ward and, as well as the canvassing and leafleting, we are running regular campaign stalls.
If you are interested in getting involved in the campaign phone 07906 591794.
In The Socialist 9 March 2011:
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party feature