Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/790/17811
TUSC byelection candidates show cuts aren't necessary
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coaltion (TUSC) is standing in two 5 December Cardiff byelections, called following resignations.
The two wards, Riverside and Splott, are areas where TUSC supporters have already been involved in campaigning against cuts.
In Riverside our candidate Joel Beer has organised opposition to the bedroom tax as well as against £50 million cuts planned by Cardiff county council.
Last year community campaigns sprang up across the city to defend services from council cuts.
In Splott, TUSC supporters, including candidate Katrine Williams, have been involved in the community campaign to defend the swimming pool from closure.
Labour politicians were shocked at the scale of the opposition. They tried announcing that they could save the pool by knocking down the local Star leisure centre, a well-used sports and community centre, and using money from the sale of the land to redevelop and relocate some of the facilities on the Splott pool site.
Splott has some of the highest unemployment in the city and a real lack of facilities. Reducing these even further is not acceptable. TUSC opposes all cuts and will fight to save both Splott pool and the Star centre.
People elected a Labour council in the hope they'd oppose Tory cuts and stand up for local people. TUSC is getting good support in these two communities and raising confidence that we can campaign together to stop the cuts.
TUSC public meeting with rebel Southampton councillor Keith Morrel: 11.30am, Saturday 30 November, Star centre, 2 Splott Road, CF24 2BZ
Well over 10,000 glossy four-page TUSC leaflets have been delivered to the vast majority of homes in Glasgow city council's Shettleston ward, with thousands more still on their way. 10,000 post cards highlighting Unite member and Scottish TUSC candidate Jamie Cocozza's pledge to move a 'no cuts' budget for Glasgow have also been printed.
Jamie reported about the campaign so far: "Last Wednesday saw a hustings (debate) hosted by Save The Accord Centre campaigners. Only three of a potential 12 candidates turned up.
Labour, having already voted to shut down the centre to make way for a car park for the Commonwealth Games, sent their candidate to a meeting with local police instead!
"I made clear from the outset that I am standing on a socialist programme and called clearly for a 'needs budget'.
"Glasgow city council has huge reserves and borrowing powers and should use these to protect the services, jobs and pay of the people of Glasgow and Shettleston, while building a mass campaign to fight cuts.
"Regardless of the outcome of the election, I will still be campaigning in the area against the cuts, against the bedroom tax, supporting campaigns like Save The Accord Centre, and for the SNP to change Section 16 of the housing act to legislate against any evictions for bedroom tax."
Socialist Party member Steve Nally is standing for election as a TUSC candidate in Vassal, a ward in Lambeth, South West London, on 28 November.
The election was triggered by the resignation of Kingsley Abrams, after he was pushed out of the Labour group for his refusal to vote for cuts.
Unite union executive council member Abrams has since attempted to become the Labour parliamentary candidate for Brent central but he was not even allowed on to the shortlist.
TUSC confidently put forward the argument that trade unionists need a complete break with Labour to elect councillors who will oppose all cuts and fight for a budget that meets the needs of the community.
Thousands of leaflets have been distributed, reaching every property in the ward, with more than half of the ward canvassed.
Socialist Party members have run stalls in support of the campaign and received an enthusiastic response.
I am standing in the 5 December Arbury byelection in Nuneaton for TUSC as a sixth-form student.
The views recently expressed by Russell Brand have been echoed in the streets of Arbury as people have become alienated from the capitalist parties and with a local Labour councillor who couldn't be bothered to turn up to meetings.
Or as one person said: "I'll vote for you because you're actually getting off your arse and doing something about it!"
- PCS civil service union activist Alex Davidson is also standing for TUSC on 5 December in Manchester's Ancoats and Clayton ward byelection
See www.tusc.org.uk for more reports
In The Socialist 27 November 2013:
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party review