Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

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


 

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

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleReadmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party

triangleWhere is Scotland going?

triangleThe role of the RMT in changing Labour

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleHow much reserves have councils got?

Socialist:

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: How can Corbyn win?

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: What is Socialism?

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Care under Capitalism

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Will nuclear weapons be deployed?

Election:

triangleMagic money tree

triangleRight wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn

triangleAbolish tuition fees and student debt!

TUSC:

triangleLabour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project

triangleThe left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

Democracy:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can socialism be achieved through parliamentary democracy?

No2EU:

triangleObituary: John Pickett - 1954-2017

Socialist Party:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The Rohingya refugee crisis

Trade union:

triangleTories weak: time for the TUC to act

RMT:

triangleNSSN lobby of the TUC 2017: rank-and-file solidarity to smash the pay cap

Labour:

triangleThousands march - mayor needs real anti-cuts strategy

Dave Nellist:

triangleCoventry Socialist Party: What will the new government mean for the 99%?

Brian Caton:

triangleTransgender woman locked up in male prison

Bob Crow:

triangleBob Crow's socialist legacy

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/9/17

Labour Party

Readmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party

13/9/17

Health

Tories 'flouting duty' on poison air, says UN

13/9/17

Racism

Rate of black imprisonment worse than US

13/9/17

Nurses

"I've been placed in charge of wards without defibrillators"

13/9/17

TUC

TUC congress 2017: time for action on pay

12/9/17

Pay

Tories retreat on pay cap

11/9/17

NSSN

NSSN lobby of the TUC 2017: rank-and-file solidarity to smash the pay cap

6/9/17

Bin workers

Back the Brum bin strikers!

6/9/17

Global warming

Extreme weather events and global warming

6/9/17

Education

Schools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

6/9/17

TUC

Tories weak: time for the TUC to act

6/9/17

Disabled

UN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

6/9/17

Culture

Problem gambling soars by 33%

6/9/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

31/8/17

Labour

How to help the struggle to change the Labour Party

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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

triangle19 Sep Deal concludes Barts health strike - 'We have raised our heads high'

triangle19 Sep Bin workers vote to continue action following rally

triangle13 Sep Thousands march - mayor needs real anti-cuts strategy

triangle13 Sep Readmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party

triangle13 Sep Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

triangle13 Sep Kick out the Tories, fight for free education!

triangle12 Sep Tories retreat on pay cap

More ...

triangle19 Sep Manchester Socialist Party: The Rohingya refugee crisis

triangle19 Sep Birmingham South East Socialist Party: What is socialism?

triangle20 Sep Salford Socialist Party: The 1871 Paris Commune

triangle20 Sep Cardiff West Socialist Party: The legacy of slavery

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

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