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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2017

Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance between the RMT union, Socialist Party and others to give an electoral alternative to cuts-making and pro-capitalist politicians, photo Socialist Party

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance between the RMT union, Socialist Party and others to give an electoral alternative to cuts-making and pro-capitalist politicians, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour conference speech was greeted with predictable hostility by big business representatives like the CBI. But also by many councillors from Labour's still powerful Blairite wing.

Councillors in Haringey, north London, for example, pushing through a 'social cleansing' redevelopment plan, immediately opposed the newly announced policy for tenants' and leaseholders' ballots before such schemes can go ahead.

So how many Labour councillors will back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies? The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has launched a survey to find out.

During the autumn councils start drawing up next year's spending plans, which are finally agreed at budget-setting meetings in February or March. This includes public consultation events and discussions with the council workers' trade unions.

This is certainly a time to bring into the debate the TUSC policy of 'no-cuts people's budgets' - of councils using their reserves and borrowing powers to set budgets that don't pass on Tory cuts and using the breathing space provided to demand that central government makes up future shortfalls.

There are 124 Labour-led councils and their combined spending power is greater than the state budgets of 16 EU countries! If they declared that they will set no-cuts budgets next year - in the expectation that they would be reimbursed by a future Labour government - what could the Tories do? Councillors could play their part in forcing May's government out of office - but will they?

The TUSC questionnaire asks local groups to find out the main outlines of their council Labour group's initial proposals for the 2018-19 budget and, if there are elections next year, when will the local party's council election manifesto be agreed? And where candidates have been selected, have right-wing Blairites been replaced?

Gathering this information will help TUSC decide how best it can act to build support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into the new year.

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In The Socialist 4 October 2017:


Catalonia

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Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events


What we think

The Tories must be driven out


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail workers set for national strike action

Unison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

RMT strikes against removal of train guards spreads

University of Leeds workers walk out

ThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger


Che Guevara

Revolutionary socialist Che Guevara 50 years on


Labour Party conference

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Socialist Party news and analysis

Capitalism and human progress

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

Bending the knee v Trump


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tories wreck our NHS

11,000 raised in three weeks for fighting fund

Why I joined: I wanted to change things

Chatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention

Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

Leeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'

Protest outside Ukip conference against German far-right speaker


 

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