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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 May 2004

Coventry Local Elections

The Trouble With Socialist Councillors...

There Aren't Enough Of Them!

The Socialist Party is to stand up to 12 candidates in the local elections in Coventry on 10 June.

Rob Windsor, Coventry Socialist Party councillor

Three of these are the existing socialist councillors Dave Nellist, Karen McKay and Rob Windsor. These councillors are a beacon for socialist ideas in the city.

They show that there is an alternative to the 'free market' - a system that condemns 314 million people to live on less than one dollar a day while the Bush administration spent an astronomical $20 billion on waging its colonial war against the Iraqi people and many billions more on the occupation. 

The majority of the world's population face an increasingly unsafe and insecure future.

Whilst serving on Coventry council is a far cry from changing the world there has to be a start somewhere and in Coventry, Socialist Party councillors have led by example on the following issues, both as a minority of three on a council of 54 and as the biggest component of the smaller parties who hold the balance of power in the city:

Holding the balance of power we have:

We have held regular surgeries where the previous Labour councillors held none. In addition, we hold special surgeries based on groups of streets in specific areas within St Michaels Ward, which we represent.

In late 2000 a power surge knocked out electricity on four streets for two days and wrecked appliances. It was a prelude to the further problems experienced nationally due to the lack of investment and cuts caused by privatisation.

Socialist Party councillors campaigned for decent compensation including helping organise an angry meeting of over 60 local residents to face electricity chiefs. We produced at least three leaflets for every local household on the issue. As a result 220 local residents received an extra 100 just before Christmas.

We do not offer a magic wand, we are effective because we organise with local people. Across the city many people have said "I'd vote for you if you stood here" - we now want to give people the chance to do just that in areas where we have not previously stood. Where leaflets have gone out, people have immediately got back to us welcoming our stand and often offering to help.

As we say on our leaflets, "The trouble with socialist councillors is there aren't enough of them!"

Election Launch

Over 50 people at the West Midlands election launch meeting heard Tony Mulhearn's inspiring contribution on the struggle of Liverpool city council from 1983 to 1987.

Tony, one of the 'Liverpool 47' and a member of the Socialist Party, described how the Militant-led council [forerunner of the Socialist Party] connected with the working class in producing concrete and lasting gains to the conditions of working people in that city at a time of massive unemployment and the destruction of Liverpool's industry.

The council built over 5,000 houses, most with gardens front and back, as well as improving existing council homes. They set up nurseries that were commended by educational specialists and built schools, sports centres and a park as well as creating some 10,000 jobs on the council and in the construction industry.

Small wonder that a worker at one of the council's direct works depots thought Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky was "a brickie"!

The meeting commended the heroic stand of the 'Liverpool 47' councillors who were surcharged and removed from office for fighting for working class people.

Coventry Socialist Party councillors compared Liverpool in the 1980s as "a city that dared to fight" to "Coventry - a city that didn't try"! However, Dave Nellist described how, even with only three Socialist Party councillors, concrete gains for working people have been won, not least the extra 1 million put into the city's social services budget after the Socialist Party refused to accept the New Labour "revised" cuts budget.

"If aliens were to land here they would think this an outlandish way to run the planet.

We want a socialist world where the wealth and power in society is owned and controlled by the people who make it - the working class and where it is distributed for the benefit of all the world's peoples, not preserved for a minuscule minority of super rich companies and individuals shored up by puppet pro-free market governments".

Rob Windsor, speaking at the West Midlands election launch

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

In The Socialist 8 May 2004:

And They Call This Liberation

Socialist Party election campaign

New Labour's Education Crisis

Socialist Councillors: There Aren't Enough Of Them!

Fighting For Decent Homes

Socialist Party campaigns

Campaigning Against Low Pay In The Civil Service

Fighting Victimisation

FBU conference: Time To Break The Link With New Labour

The Winter of Discontent: When Workers Could Take No More

International socialist news and analysis

Strikes in Italy: Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

European Union Constitution - What's It All About?


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