Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/809/18543
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Vote for a working class voice
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has announced that it will be fielding 561 candidates in the local elections on 22 May. This marks the biggest left-of-Labour challenge in 60 years.
Candidates are trade unionists, anti-cuts campaigners and young people. All pledge to oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions. TUSC was co-founded by the late Bob Crow (pictured, inset), when he was general secretary of the RMT transport union, along with socialist organisations.
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, addresses a Hackney TUSC meeting 18.2.13, photo Neil Cafferkey (Click to enlarge)
As Bob said: "The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition does what it says on the tin - without any of the baggage and big-business agenda of the main political parties. Who else you gonna vote for?"
Sadly, Bob passed away this year, prompting many RMT members to stand as candidates in his memory. Over 50 RMT members are standing across the country.
Dave Nellist, former Labour MP (1983-92) and now the national chair of TUSC said: "We are standing because the Labour Party has not provided an opposition in parliament, and where it is in power at a local level, it has carried out cuts to jobs and services. It does not matter to those people who have lost their jobs and services which party was responsible. What matters is having a choice to vote against the cuts on 22 May and now people do."
Here, Corrina Smith, an 18 year old who is standing for TUSC in Gateshead, explains why she decided to take part in the challenge.
"I've chosen to represent TUSC because they are willing to tackle the greed and inefficiency caused by privatisation.
Initially I had seen Nigel Farage as an alternative to the hypocrisy of the political class. However, I then realised that Ukip is just as corrupt and hypocritical as the three main parties.
I truly believe TUSC is a real alternative to the shameful and deceitful career politicians who are driven solely by greed.
Labour's support for Iain Duncan Smith's workfare policies, which attack unemployed people by forcing them to work for profiteers, was another big shift towards the right, in my view.
Also, I have seen the unemployment figures being massaged by the use of slave labour apprenticeships. Apprenticeships were once used to train people for jobs, but now companies use these schemes, not to train people, but to pay young workers less than £3 an hour instead of the full wage.
Labour has betrayed the working class. Both of my parents have worked in the public sector and I have seen first-hand the damage of privatisation. The NHS is being slowly dismantled. I worry for the future of this country.
If I am elected for TUSC it will give me the opportunity to voice the opinions of ordinary people and to help build a movement against austerity."
In The Socialist 30 April 2014:
Socialist Party election campaigning
International socialist news and analysis
International workers' day
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news