Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/486/2395

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 May 2007

Strong support for the Socialist Party in Coventry

After another hard fought battle in Coventry's St Michael's ward, Socialists narrowly lost and now hold two seats on Coventry Council. The Socialist vote held up but, against the background of a significant swing to Labour, Labour's vote rose by 130 to give them a 84 vote majority.

Dave Griffiths, Coventry

Socialist support was very strong, Labour's support much harder to discern and working people remain angry but frustrated over the continuing decline of public services and of industry and jobs in Coventry.

Over the last year one of our last remaining major factories has gone, the main post sorting office with 600 jobs is threatened and, a week before the election, the closure of the main Post Office was announced.

Three years ago the Tories gained control of the council because of anger at Labour's cuts, the attempt to impose the single status deal on council workers and the failure of Blair's Iraq invasion.

This year Labour focused on the Tories' cuts. Hypocritical yes, following years of Labour cuts, but undoubtedly the Tories still hold little support amongst working people. Fear of a national Tory revival, whipped up by predictions of a major defeat for Labour in the council elections, helped Labour gain four seats in Coventry and saw their vote rise from 36% to 41.5% while the Tory share fell from 38% to 34%.

Labour claimed to be the 'only party who could beat the Tories'. This was ludicrous in St Michael's ward, but not to the more than 30% of brand new voters there. St Michael's has seen a consistent haemorrhaging of its long-term residents and their replacement by a growing population of students, temporary workers and residents of new city centre apartments.

It was a curious election in some ways. Upon the announcement of the central Post Office closure, Socialist Party members petitioning on the streets found themselves joined by local Tories! The same Tories who had planned to privatise the Post Office years ago, but backed off in the face of resistance. Labour also claimed to be petitioning, though nobody saw them, despite it being their own government who are 'stealth privatising' the Post Office!

It was even more curious when Labour's St Michael's candidate published leaflets condemning the rich (although only the 'Conservative rich'). We considered warning Gordon Brown about Bolsheviks in his party's ranks, but then realised that the leaflet was only put out in St Michael's, a ward Labour call the 'Socialist Republic'.

With only three Labour posters up in the ward and Socialist posters everywhere, many people cannot believe or understand why we did not win. The local Socialist Party has already drawn its own conclusions and is acting on them.

Many were furious that Labour's candidate who, as a leader of the TGWU, urged a boycott of Peugeot cars as a (failed) method of opposing the closure of the Ryton plant, was then found to have bought a new Peugeot! They will be even angrier that, despite denying any hypocrisy, he then announced in his victory speech that he would "celebrate by driving his new car around".

In a city with a proud industrial past, industrial decline and the preponderance of cheap labour jobs, together with deterioration of services, have led to resignation in many. They are unhappy but feel powerless to change things. That frustration fortunately did not spill over to support for the BNP who failed to make any progress despite standing in 16 of 18 seats.

Working people here remain worried about what a Tory government would mean but angry with a Labour Party that has failed them. Socialists will need to redouble their efforts to show that there is an alternative to the two Tory Party option.

We have already begun the fightback. The next election is only a year away and we expect Labour to move heaven and earth to unseat Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist to try to kill off the challenge from the Left. But we will defend our seat and continue to spread socialist support across Coventry.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 10 May 2007:

Conference for a working class alternative

Blair's departure: Curtain falls on disastrous reign

Workers need a political voice


Socialist Party election analysis

Time for a new workers' party


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference

How we can fight to build a new workers' party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Save Maudsley emergency clinic now!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Escaping Maggie Thatcher's glare

Salford: Tenants oppose stock transfer


International socialist news and analysis

France: preparing for a "third round" on the streets

Turkey: "No to coups, no to sharia"

Musharraf hangs on in Pakistan while poverty and oppression multiplies


Socialist Party election campaign

Strong support for the Socialist Party in Coventry

Huddersfield: Support for NHS campaign cuts across Labour lies

Wales: Labour's worst result

Scottish Elections: Labour rocked as SNP wins


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS: Unity against low pay

One big rail union?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 May 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

The Socialist:

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

Socialist Party:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

Coventry:

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

triangleCoventry: march following racist police killing

triangleHousing safety campaign kicks off in Coventry

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleTories torn - bin them now

Tories:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2