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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 March 2007

Tenants vote no to council housing sell-off

COUNCIL TENANTS in Brighton and Hove have dealt a blow to New Labour's privatisation agenda. As have tenants in many other local authorities, they have voted by a massive 80% to stay as council tenants and to reject a new private housing association as their landlords.

Andy Clarke Brighton

The council spent over £1 million on glossy propaganda but failed to obscure the blatant facts exposed by anti-privatisation campaigners, that privatisation means higher rents, loss of secure tenancies, no guarantee of repairs being carried out and loss of democracy in the way the council housing is managed.

Brighton Socialist Party members played a key role in persuading the occupants of the city's 13,500 council homes to vote 'no' in the council's ballot. The tenants' mood was clear once the propaganda was exposed.

People know privatisation means a worse deal for them but big rewards for the fat cats in charge of the privatised companies. They want public resources such as council housing to stay public with direct investment and democracy brought to it to support the rundown resources.

The campaign was fought on the doorsteps of Brighton, with our supporters visiting tenants to explain what a vote for privatisation would mean. Socialist Party members were welcomed by tenants sick of council propaganda and officials who didn't dare visit them for fear of the reception they would receive.

The council's cowardly and scaremongering tactics were in contrast to our clear, concise message. We gave tenants the facts about the con of privatisation and showed them that an alternative approach was possible. The response was overwhelming and the victory a landslide.

Tenants are disillusioned with the council as landlords, following systematic running down of the houses, with repairs not carried out and promises broken. However they are aware that social housing is a key asset won by the working class and will fight to maintain it.

This fight will go on as the Labour council, in alliance with the Tory councillors, tries to force through the privatisation. The result provides a platform for the anti-privatisation movement to go further and demand the fourth option - the direct funding of council housing by central government.

And with local elections on the horizon, it highlights the need for proper working class representation to oppose the pro-privatisation neo-liberal parties who have proved themselves unable to stand up for the working class of the city.

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In The Socialist 15 March 2007:

£billions for rich... Pennies for us!

Minimum wage insult


Socialist Party NHS campaign

UNISON Health group votes for summer demo

Hewitt's 'day of exchange'


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fighting the cuts in Camden

Lambeth council attacks services for vulnerable people

Barking BNP don't oppose council cuts

Lewisham council's outrageous attack

Kurdish asylum seekers living in fear


Northern Ireland and Scotland

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We Won't Pay Campaign conference success

Solidarity builds party profile ahead of elections


Marxist analysis: history

February revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?


International socialist news and analysis

US continues threats over Iran's nuclear ambitions

Iraq war: Convicted Bush official is 'fall guy' over WMD scandal


International Women's Day

Celebrating International Women's Day


Housing

Tenants vote no to council housing sell-off

Market-driven 'social housing' threatens tenants


Environment and socialism

Will government plans stop climate change?


Socialist Students

Build the campaign to defeat fees

International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Students conference


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Trade Unions and the Labour Party: CWU branch asks some awkward questions

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference


Workplace news and analysis

Reinstate Dave Condliffe now

UNISON leaders lead members into dead end

SOUTHAMPTON council strike

PCS prepares for more struggles

Right wins lecturers' union leadership - on a 14% turnout


 

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