Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 February 2012

Why I'm standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the London Assembly election

Alex Gordon, RMT President (personal capacity)
Alex Gordon, RMT President and TUSC candidate, GLA elections 2012, photo by Paul Mattsson

Alex Gordon, photo by Paul Mattsson

I am pleased to be leading the excellent list of candidates standing as TUSC in elections for the Greater London Assembly (GLA) in May 2012.

It may not be an original observation, but nonetheless it's true - this election is an historic opportunity to gain a voice for ordinary working people fighting against the crisis of the capitalist system.

The most right-wing British government since the 1930s is punishing young people and pensioners, the unemployed and those in work, with a poisonous policy cocktail of job cuts, pay freezes and compulsory workfare schemes, while sharp-eyed lobbyists from private health companies and firms specialising in privatisation and 'out-sourcing' urge them to ramp up attacks on the NHS, the welfare state and public services - the great social achievements of the labour movement.

Labour Party leaders, scandalously, have chosen this precise moment to declare in Ed Balls' words, 'we are going to have to keep all these cuts'.

Local authorities of all political persuasions have not so much fallen into line, as fallen over each other in their eagerness to implement cuts and prove their fitness for office by attacking the workers and services that our communities rely on. And we have only just begun to feel the impact of the 81 billion of public spending cuts promised by chancellor George Osborne in October 2010. The full force of austerity will fall between now and the general election in 2015.

In every country in Europe attacks on workers' rights and the welfare state - policies enshrined in the European Union (EU) - are carried out by national governments. But in every country working people are rejecting these policies.

The dictatorship of bankers and finance capitalists, which the EU embodies, is nowhere more evident than in London, a city dominated by global financial institutions. The failed policies of global finance capitalism - austerity for us and bailouts for the bankers - demand a clear and uncompromising voice of opposition in the GLA.


One key voice challenging the race to the bottom has come from our trade union movement. On 26 March last year we took over the streets of London in the largest demonstration in living memory against spending cuts and austerity with the TUC's "March for the Alternative".

On 30 November we took part in the largest mass strike in Britain since 1926 in defence of public sector workers' pensions and for fair pensions for all. Huge marches and demonstrations took place in hundreds of towns and cities across Britain and Northern Ireland.

These were highlights of the fightback by ordinary people against government austerity policies, but we have also seen significant direct action by workers and local communities taking on greedy bosses and the destructive policies of local and national politicians.

The successful campaign waged by electricians against plans by the Electrical Contractors' Association to cut wages by 34% across the construction sector has shown there is a new mood of resistance among workers to 'almighty' bosses.

At the bottom end of the pay scale, sub-contracted cleaning workers at St Pancras railway station took 48-hours of strike action against the refusal of their skinflint employers to award them a pay rise for the last four years!

That hundreds turned out to support their picket lines is a sure sign that ordinary people have had enough of low pay, attacks on working conditions, increasing job insecurity, bullying bosses and the politicians who back them up.


There is a tangible sense of anger and a will for real change among working people in Britain. What there is not is an electoral platform to speak up unashamedly and unambiguously for the people who are fighting back against the waves of attacks on working class living standards and the welfare state.

Diligent and hard-working socialists remain in the Labour Party and a stalwart minority of Labour MPs continue to demonstrate solidarity with striking workers, claimants fighting attacks on benefits and communities and families fighting racism and injustice. However, the sneering and pompous condemnations by Labour leaders of public sector workers fighting to defend their hard-earned pensions undermine these efforts.

TUSC is a coalition of socialists (some in political organisations and others not) together with prominent trade union activists and elected officials who understand the need for a voice in the GLA to speak up for ordinary working people in their struggles.

TUSC is standing candidates in the London-wide list section of the GLA election. We need to reach the 5% threshold to be in with a chance of winning one seat. If we are able to achieve this, one added bonus will be that the party most likely to be bumped out of the GLA is the far-right BNP.

The next two months offer an opportunity for all socialists and trade unionists to put the socialist arguments for an alternative to cuts in pay and jobs, unemployment, privatisation and destruction of public services.

I hope that you will help us strike a blow for socialism by assisting TUSC's election campaign. See you on the doorstep.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 29 February 2012:

Fighting workfare

We won't work for free!

Working class needs real political opposition to Con-Dem millionaires

A4e: workfare vultures in crisis

'We want jobs - not slave labour!'

Interview with a jobcentre worker

Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the Health Bill

Solidarity with Occupy London protesters

Unison leadership found guilty of "unjustifiable discipline" against four Socialist Party activists

Sun launch can't hide corrupt practices

It's bonuses for bankers

Them & Us

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Why I'm standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the London Assembly election

Student walkout - build mass action

Kirklees Sure Start children centres

Voluntary sector cuts expose Big Society lies

Stop North East NHS childcare cuts

Sheffield housing - failed by privatisation

Campaign news in brief

The battle against internet censorship

May Day Greetings in the Socialist

International socialist news and analysis

Iran: Tensions with the US and its allies are ratcheted-up

Europe - Young people fight ACTA

Socialist Party workplace news

'Priceless victory' of sparks against the Dirty Seven

Continuing the pensions battle: PCS consultative ballot

Continuing the pensions battle - Universities

Three-year pay freeze hits hard

Workplace news in brief


Home   |   The Socialist 29 February 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleToo much to cross the Mersey

triangleSurveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

triangleLabour mayor needs to stop all cuts

triangleWhere is Scotland going?

triangleThe role of the RMT in changing Labour

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleReadmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleHow much reserves have councils got?

triangleLabour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project


triangleNasty party out the Tories

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

triangleGermany: Election results in political earthquake


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!


triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?


triangleYoung people being strangled by debts


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice