Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/750/16055
Hull councillors ready to vote No
Phil Culshaw, Hull Unison steward, personal capacity
Three Hull city Labour councillors - Gary Waring, Gill Kennett and Dean Kirk - have told the local press they will vote against cuts in jobs and services at the council budget setting meeting on 28 February.
Hull council faces losing a third of its funding over the next three years. Already, 55 people chase every job vacancy in the city.
The remaining Labour councillors are faced with a decision: do the Tories' dirty work or stand united with their workforce and the people of Hull to build a mass campaign to defend much-needed jobs and services.
But council leader Steve Brady has already distanced himself from the rebel councillors, and the militant traditions of the labour movement.
The east London Poplar councillors' motto in the 1920s was: "Better to break the law, than to break the poor!" They were jailed during their successful struggle where obeying the law would have meant cutting services, making the rates (equivalent to council tax) unaffordable, or reducing poor relief to a level that would not stop the unemployed and their families from starving.
The 1983-87 Liverpool city council adopted the same motto as Poplar in their struggle for the return of funding that was cut by Thatcher's Tory government.
Liverpool's militant stand won £60 million, resulted in the largest council home-building programme in the country at that time and created children's nurseries and apprenticeships for unemployed youth.
The council was never voted out of office. Instead it was undemocratically dismissed by the courts with the backing of both the Tory government and the national Labour leader, Neil Kinnock.
In the early 1990s, Militant (now the Socialist Party) led a mass campaign of 18 million poll tax non-payers which forced the Tories to ditch their hated tax along with their leader Margaret Thatcher. If people had followed the advice of the Labour leadership then no doubt we would still have that unjust tax!
Hull trade unions are organising a series of public and consultation meetings to build a strong anti-cuts campaign that follows the traditions of Poplar, Liverpool and the anti-poll tax movement.
In The Socialist 30 January 2013:
Socialist Party NHS news & campaigning
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fighting the cuts
Workplace news and events
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party reports and campaigns