Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/607/8673

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2010

Editorial

Launch of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

LAST WEEK saw the culmination of a series of discussions by participants in the 'No2EU-Yes to Democracy' European election coalition to see whether another alliance could be constructed for the forthcoming general election.
The result is that there will now be an election challenge, under the newly-registered electoral banner, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
No2EU on G20 protest in London, photo Paul Mattsson

No2EU on G20 protest in London, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

No2EU was an alliance for a specific election, registered as a party as required by electoral law, involving the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party of Britain, Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement, and others. This time the RMT is not formally backing the coalition. However, RMT branches and regional councils will be able to apply to the union's national executive to support, politically and financially, individual candidates in their area. And Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, is supporting TUSC in a personal capacity, and will serve on its steering committee.

Places have been reserved on the committee for the core organisations which participated in No2EU, who will now decide on their involvement in the new coalition. Also involved in a personal capacity are other prominent trade unionists, including Brian Caton, the general secretary of the Prison Officers Association (POA), and leading national officers of the PCS civil servants' union. While there is no formal involvement of a national trade union, this is still an important coalescing on the political plane of the most fighting trade union leaders in Britain today.

RMT

Bob Crow with Striking Newport RMT signals workers, photo Socialist Party Wales

Bob Crow with Striking Newport RMT signals workers, photo Socialist Party Wales   (Click to enlarge)

A number of local RMT branches, and other trade unionists too, have already declared that they intend to stand candidates in the general election but have not registered a 'party name'. Now, if they wish, such candidates will be able to appear on the ballot paper as Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition rather than as 'Independent'. Candidates from community campaigns, and other socialist organisations that have not been involved in the discussions to date, will also be able to stand under the TUSC banner.

The coalition has agreed a core policy statement which prospective candidates will be asked to endorse. As a federal 'umbrella' organisation, however, coalition candidates and participating organisations will also be able to produce their own supporting material. This was the approach successfully adopted by the No2EU campaign, which allowed the different organisations involved to collaborate under a common banner.

The core policy statement reflects the differing perspectives of those involved in the discussions leading to TUSC's formation. It recognises that amongst potential coalition supporters there will be "different strategic views about the way forward for the left in Britain, whether the Labour Party can be reclaimed by the labour movement, or whether a new workers' party needs to be established", the latter being the position of the Socialist Party.

But with the coming ferocious attacks on public spending, wages, living standards and workers' rights, regardless of which party (Tory or New Labour) forms the next government, the coalition aims to bring home the urgent need for "mass resistance to the ruling class offensive, and for an alternative programme of left-wing policies to help inspire and direct such resistance".

Core policies

Core policies include opposition to public spending cuts and privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

Core policies include opposition to public spending cuts and privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

The core policies include, amongst others, opposition to public spending cuts and privatisation, calls for investment in publicly owned and controlled renewable energy, the repeal of the anti-trade union laws, and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

The statement makes a clear socialist commitment to "bringing into democratic public ownership the major companies and banks that dominate the economy, so that production and services can be planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the environment".

Coalition candidates will offer a credible challenge to New Labour, for example, in the contest between Socialist Party councillor and former MP Dave Nellist and the defence secretary Bob Ainsworth in Coventry North East. But while in some cases its vote may be squeezed, in the context of a polarised election the coalition will still have a significant impact particularly inside the trade unions in forcing a debate on the crisis of working class political representation. This itself is important preparation for the events to come.

The lack of formal endorsement of the coalition from even left-wing trade unions like the RMT, the POA, the PCS or the Fire Brigades Union will be a disappointment for many workers.

The trade union leaders involved in the coalition, who enthusiastically back it in a personal capacity, felt that more time is needed to convince a broader layer of their memberships to take such an important step at this stage. This is a reflection of the ambivalent consciousness of many workers about the coming election, with a deep hatred of New Labour but also fear at the prospect of a Tory government. But we can be confident that big events, both before the election and after, will at some point compel the unions to move decisively onto the political arena.

What is clear is that without a qualitative change in the situation in Britain, through the development of independent working class political organisation to initially at least check the pro-capitalist parties, the ruling class will have a freer hand to impose their austerity policies. Many commentators have referred to the 2010 election as a 'turning point' contest and for the working class it will indeed herald the onset of a new age of 'savage cuts', whichever establishment party wins. The launch of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is a modest but important step in the development of a movement of resistance.

See also the Socialist Party statement, Action needed to bring election coalition into shape, in The Socialist, No.600, 4 November 2009.
To sign up as a launch sponsor of TUSC, in a personal capacity, send the necessary details (name, address, trade union/position, etc) to TUSC, 17 Colebert House, Colebert Avenue, London E1 4JP or e-mail the electioncoalition@btinternet.com

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


In The Socialist 12 January 2010:

Decent jobs - not slave labour

Protest against bankers' bonuses

Leeds City Council Future Jobs Fund is no solution


Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition

Launch of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition


Socialist Party news and analysis

Labour's leadership crisis - time for a new workers' party

Global warming chills the north

The real cost this winter

Iceland debt crisis: Make the 'dirt bags' pay!

No to County Council cuts in Warwickshire!

Fast news


Northern Ireland

Corruption scandal grips Northern Ireland


Socialist Party workplace news

Fujitsu workers say: "Enough is enough"

Signallers' strike spreads

Buses - privatisation means worse services

Teesside fight to save jobs

Twinings jobs meeting

Hospital workers battle on


Unison Witchhunt

Unison witch-hunt: Shock exposures at Employment Tribunal


Workplace Feature

Call centres: Union campaign makes important gains


Socialist Party international feature

Greece - on the edge of a volcano


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka presidential elections: No to the two warmongers!

Israel: Instability, class polarisation and socialism

Chile - Freedom for Elena Varela


Comment

Hard chimes for Pompey


 

Facebook   Twitter



Home   |   The Socialist 12 January 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleTUSC byelection reports

triangleProtest camp brings NHS activists together

triangleRe-house Charlie Wort!

triangleLabour policy forum: continuing Tory austerity

Socialist:

triangleScotland's referendum: A working-class revolt

triangleHarrogate Socialist Party: After the Scottish referendum - Where next for the UK?

triangleSocialist Party Scotland calls for new mass workers' party

Election:

triangleClacton Tory MP defects to Ukip

trianglePre-election Britain - crisis brewing on all fronts

triangleGovernment's economic mirage as election approaches

TUSC:

triangleTUSC councillors back taxi struggle

triangleGuardian story confirms councils can resist cuts

Democracy:

triangleOppose the TTIP agreement

No2EU:

triangleElection appeal - don't delay!

Socialist Party:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The significance of the Scottish referendum

Trade union:

triangleNSSN rally: Building pressure for the widest possible coordinated anti-austerity action

RMT:

triangleFighting for fair fares

Labour:

triangleAfter Scotland revolt: all capitalist parties in crisis

Dave Nellist:

triangleNew Tory attacks on trade union strikes

Brian Caton:

triangleJimmy Savile - a Tory union basher

Bob Crow:

triangleSupport London Taxi drivers' fight against deregulation

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

23/9/14

Scotland

Scotland's referendum: A working-class revolt

23/9/14

Working class

After Scotland revolt: all capitalist parties in crisis

19/9/14

Scotland

1.6 million vote Yes in a working class revolt against austerity

17/9/14

NHS

Keep hospital services in the NHS

17/9/14

Minimum wage

10 NOW!

17/9/14

Socialist Students

Students: fight to end austerity and capitalism

17/9/14

Scotland

Step up fight against Tories

17/9/14

Them & Us

Them & Us

16/9/14

Britain

"Britain will never be the same again"

12/9/14

Scotland

Scotland: Defeat Project Terror with socialist policies

10/9/14

Students

Students: Fight debt, poverty and capitalism

10/9/14

Bedroom tax

Bedroom Tax edges toward its doom

10/9/14

Prisons

Government spending cuts deepen prisons' crisis

10/9/14

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/9/14

Nato

British leaders back expansion of Nato war machine

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

triangle23 Sep Scotland's referendum: A working-class revolt

Scotland Referendum

triangle23 Sep After Scotland revolt: all capitalist parties in crisis

triangle22 Sep UCU joining 14 October strike

Scotland

triangle19 Sep 1.6 million vote Yes in a working class revolt against austerity

triangle18 Sep Scotland Poll: Electric mood among YES supporters

triangle18 Sep The struggle for decent social care - a personal account

Fast Food Rights campaigners in Leeds on 28 August 2014, photo Erika Sykes

triangle17 Sep 10 NOW!

More ...

triangle23 Sep Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Question and Answer - Find out what we stand for

triangle24 Sep Stoke Socialist Party: Where now after the Scottish referendum?

triangle24 Sep Coventry Socialist Party: Scotland in revolt against austerity

triangle24 Sep Salford Socialist Party: After the Scottish referendum - what now?

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice