Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/431/5066
Sticking to socialist principles, looking after the community
LOCAL STOKE-on-Trent councillors, Paul and Dave Sutton have opted out of the Labour Party and taken a socialist stance.
Sick of increasing cuts and privatisation, the brothers want to truly represent the needs of working-class people in the area.
Helen Blakeman spoke to Dave and Paul Sutton - Socialist Party councillors in Stoke
Paul and Dave feel that New Labour have sold out to right-wing values but they are not prepared to compromise their beliefs in looking after the community. They have recognised the need for a new party as there is no existing one that represents the everyday working-class men and women, and all other parties have become the same.
"The important factor about the Campaign for New Workers' Party is that it can unite all socialists together, that's what we need, we don't need a power struggle," Paul said.
"In effect we should all be singing from the same hymn sheet so there is a need to unite trade unions, community groups and others who want to fight back." He added that "industrial action would create solidarity. A three-day strike against the attacks on pensions, for example, would certainly put the frighteners on the Labour Party."
Paul is now standing as the Socialist Alternative candidate for Abbey Green Ward in Stoke-on-Trent in the local elections. He feels that one problem may be moving working-class people away from Labour. However, the current political climate is leaving many feeling let down and the ideas of socialism are becoming a viable option.
After years as councillors, the brothers have built up a rapport with the local community. They will continue keeping the community as central to their work by going out and talking to people about issues that are important to them.
Dave Sutton explained:
"MPs say we'll cut crime, we'll stop drug dealing, we'll get you better homes, but the money just isn't provided. They bought in this idea of bringing houses up to a decent standard of living. They conducted the 'better homes' survey and householders were told they needed this, this and this, but when it came to it the money just wasn't there.
"There are people in my ward who have been waiting for 15 months for radiators. People are sick and tired of the lies and empty promises. We as councillors are prepared to stand by our principles and look after the interests of our community."
In The Socialist 16 March 2006: