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Posted on 30 April 2012 at 17:53 GMT

Coventry rally: Campaigning against Labour's 'cuts-friendly bubble'

A fantastic Coventry election rally was held on Saturday 28 April when over 80 people came along to hear the case for a socialist alternative to the big-business parties.

Eileen Hunter, NUT member and Socialist Alternative candidate in Exhall ward, explained about the anger against the cuts that Socialist Party members are encountering on the doorsteps.

Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor for St Michael's ward, standing for re-election, highlighted just some of the campaigns he has supported as a councillor.

He explained that without the Socialist Party, campaigns over issues ranging from parking spaces and opposition to 'academy' schools, to fighting the cuts and challenging wars in the Middle East, would not have been heard in the same way.

Campaigners from the Save Foleshill Baths group presented Dave with an award as a show of thanks for his work in supporting their campaign.

Alex Gordon, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) lead candidate for the London-wide Assembly list election, spoke about the importance of building a working class alternative to the main parties' cuts agenda.

Dave Goodwin, a RMT transport union rep in Rugby and a TUSC candidate, called for others like him that are sick of the government's policies to stand up and do something about it.

From the floor a PCS civil service union rep explained that he used to vote Labour before moving to Coventry and realising that there was a viable alternative.

The Coventry Labour Party is so keen on maintaining a cosy cuts-friendly bubble that it is concentrating almost all its election resources on trying to get rid of Dave Nellist, despite there being several marginal Tory seats in the city.

Don't believe us? Ask the horse's mouth. George Duggins, the deputy leader of the Labour-led council, told the Coventry Observer that Labour 'pinpointed' St Michael's ward and 'put a lot of work into winning it.'

As Dave told the local paper: "The fact Labour are more interested in getting rid of a left-wing critic speaks volumes about their role on the council."

The meeting also heard from trade union reps campaigning for a successful pensions strike on 10 May alongside building a political alternative.

Unlike the main parties who turn up at election time, Coventry Socialist Party is active in fighting the cuts and representing working people all year round.

Ben Robinson

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