Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/780/17432
TUSC campaigners look to shake Fleetwood
Ray Smith is the prospective candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the forthcoming Fleetwood town council byelection in Rossall Ward.
Ray is campaigning to save Fleetwood hospital from closure and oppose Tory-Liberal cuts, and is against the abhorrent bedroom tax.
Ray helped to set up Fleetwood Against the Cuts, which is supporting him in the election.
One of his supporters said: "There are many residents who are suffering greatly because of welfare cuts.
"I feel let down by the mainstream parties and feel it is time for a change. Ray is the only candidate that will give me and others in the area a voice." This was a sentiment echoed by many residents both young and old.
Many residents expressed their concerns at the savage attacks on people living in poverty and with disabilities, indeed all vulnerable people, by the Coalition government.
Many felt disillusioned by Ed Miliband's failure to challenge David Cameron on his so-called welfare 'reforms'.
GMB union member Ray is passionate about finding a voice for local democracy and if elected he intends to defend all services, lead a public campaign to keep the Lancashire town's hospital open and support local residents.
Ray used to be a Labour councillor but is standing for TUSC because Labour has changed. "It no longer represents vulnerable and ordinary working people."
Plymouth TUSC is seeking anti-cuts candidates to stand against Labour in next year's city council elections.
Ryan Aldred, secretary of the Socialist Party's Plymouth branch, said trade unionists fed up with the Labour Party need to "seize the time".
"In Plymouth we have a Labour administration which is implementing Tory austerity policies to the hilt, such as the bedroom tax, the abolition of council tax rebates and inviting businesses to set up schools.
"As we speak, it is seeking to make further cuts of £65 million while at the same time having the bare-faced cheek to call itself a 'brilliant co-operative council'."
Plymouth TUSC public meeting: 8 October, 7pm, at the Plymouth Social Club, Tavistock Place, PL4 8AX. Contact 07731 919245 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Over 100 years ago, my union and most unions supported the Liberal Party, and they were told: 'You've got to stay in the Liberal party and turn it around.' They broke with that and formed the Independent Labour Party, because the Liberals weren't representing people that were working, unemployed, and in social deprivation.
"They set up the Labour Party. And I think, 100 years later, what trade unions are realising is that the three main parties all support privatisation, all support anti-trade union laws, and all support, from time to time, illegal wars around the world...
People are saying to themselves, they're not getting value for money from the Labour Party... I think, eventually, people will turn around and say, 'Well hang on a minute - no one's representing our class of people.' And they'll come together and say, there ought to be a new political party - a new party of working people, unemployed, pensioners.
All the people not being represented, but the majority of people in this country. That's the significance of it.
They'll come together and form a political party that fights on behalf of working class people."
RMT union leader Bob Crow on why he supports TUSC, as quoted in the Guardian
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation.
It 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.
Southampton 'rebel councillors' Keith Morrell and Don Thomas join TUSC steering committee: see tusc.org.uk
In The Socialist 18 September 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth feature
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party comments and reviews