Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/762/16571
Why we're standing against cuts
Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on 2 May
Central to TUSC's Mary for Mayor election campaign in Doncaster has been organising against the bedroom tax.
At a very good Mexborough Against the Bedroom Tax meeting on 18 April, around 25 Mexborough folk turned up.
Mary explained how a socialist Mayor could use the powers of office to end this onslaught on the poorest in society by setting a budget based on the needs of the people of Doncaster.
People spoke about how the bedroom tax was affecting them and their families. Many were suffering from long-term illness or caring for disabled partners and were struggling before this hated tax.
One older gentleman likened the Tory government's scapegoating of the disabled and benefit claimants to Nazi policies.
A retired TGWU steward said he would help the campaign and had a lot of experience of helping local people with industrial claims and appeals.
Most people took window posters to support Mary, some taking several, and one went up in the club where we were meeting straight away.
Then on 21 April 25 people attended the first Conisbrough Against the Bedroom Tax meeting. The anger felt towards the Con-Dem coalition was palpable.
More than one person spoke of how they were moved into larger accommodation by the council because they have disabled relatives, only to find that they are now being stung by this hated tax.
A consensus was reached. Both the bedroom tax and this government of the rich must go! Eight people stepped forward to form a steering committee that will lead the struggle forward.
From this meeting an acorn has been planted from which a mighty and defiant oak will grow!
John Gill and Steve Williams, Doncaster
I'm a PCS trade unionist and I've taken part in 12½ days of strike action in the last five years. We have never had a representative of the Labour Party even visit our picket line to show support, but we've heard regularly from Labour politicians telling us that our strikes are wrong.
Trade unionists need a political voice that will support workers in struggle and TUSC is a step in that direction.
Nick Parker, Lincoln East
This year's Cumbria county council budget has seen a further £24.5 million slashed from spending with 55 job losses, on top of the 720 already gone.
With no overall majority it is to the shame of our local councillors that they operate within a Tory-Labour coalition to steal away our services.
This can only continue as long as we allow it. Just one dissenting voice inside the council can be enough to draw others into the struggle, empowering working people and uniting our communities.
Pat Timson, Kendal Strickland and Fell
TUSC is the only alternative to the racist, anti-immigrant division peddled by the Tories, Lib Dems, Labour and Ukip.
TUSC seeks to build a united campaign for proper funding for jobs and services, and to unite communities against the racist division whipped up by those who seek to divide working people and distract us from the destructive effects of austerity.
Emma-Jayne Woodhall, Lincoln North
In Gravesend there are plans by developers Edinburgh House to 'develop' the town's Heritage Quarter. Gravesend needs this type of regeneration like a hole in the head.
There is certainly a housing crisis, but the council's response should be to build decent social housing in line with local wishes not hand responsibility to outside developers whose main interest is making a quick buck.
Local authorities have been starved of the necessary resources by central government and are reacting by passing on cuts to local residents. They should refuse to do this and set a budget based on the needs of the community.
Big business is sitting on £800 billion of un-invested capital and we have spent billions bailing out the banks.
It's about time we invoked the 'spirit of 45' and rebuilt our communities based on the values of collectivism and socialism.
Chas Berry, Gravesham East
I am motivated primarily by the appalling unemployment, neglect and lack of support for our young. The bedroom tax is another ruse to further decimate disabled people, the unemployed and the vulnerable.
So too the reduction in refuge centres for women who are increasingly more at risk as this depression intensifies.
Without urgent change we are facing levels of poverty not seen in 100 years.
Fiona Joyce, Laurence Hill Ward
I served as a councillor for the Labour Party in Islington for eight years. New Labour was invented in Richmond terrace, Islington, and over 15 councillors and/or officers of Islington Council served as yes women/men under Blair.
In opposition they have done nothing but harm by not defending the people against these draconian cuts. Enough is enough.
Robert Cossey-Mowle, Huntingdon East and Godmanchester
By encouraging people both locally and nationally to stand together against the cuts we can make our voices heard.
The main issues we are campaigning on in Exeter include NHS privatisation, the bedroom tax, and the council tax hikes. We have received a great amount of support.
Luke Pilling, Exeter St Davids & St James
I am a university student and am hoping to represent the students and the youth who are all too often ignored.
I will say no to increased tuition fees, bring back EMA and start a proper job programme for the youth of the city.
As president of the University of Winchester Socialist Students I have good contacts with other societies and the student union committee. My campaign will be joined by fellow Winchester candidate Dave Boyes.
Adam Freeman, Winchester Westgate
I am a Socialist Party member and a trade union representative in Unison, with strong connections to the NHS.
Local ambulance stations are now threatened with closure by the East Midlands Ambulances Service Trust, increasing the response time for South Normanton and Pinxton residents. As a councillor I would help build campaigns to oppose all cuts.
Brian Loader, South Normanton and Pinxton
Labour does not hide the fact that it would do much the same as the Con-Dems, only more slowly. I recently asked Ed Miliband, at a meeting in Stroud, when he was going to renounce New Labour. He replied that he had no intention of doing so.
I have been socialist-minded for most of my life and helped to vote in the 1945 Labour government, who, although not fully carrying out a truly socialist programme, at least created a welfare state.
I fully realise that in becoming a county councillor, should I be elected, I would not have direct access to government, but would seek to prevent the council obeying orders from government where they were not to the advantage of their electorate.
Claude Mickleson, Cinderford, Forest of Dean
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 121 candidates, in 20 of the 35 councils with elections this year.
TUSC candidates oppose all cuts and privatisation. TUSC involves the RMT transport workers' union, leading members of other trade unions including the PCS, NUT and POA, and socialist groups including the Socialist Party.
See www.tusc.org.uk for the full list of candidates
In The Socialist 24 April 2013:
Socialist Party NHS news and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist; readers' comments