Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/619/9321
Socialist Campaign launched in Coventry
The Socialist Party in Coventry officially launched its election campaign on 21 March, with well over 100 people cramming in to a meeting. Though this was the 'official' launch, campaigning for both the local and parliamentary elections has been taking place over a number of months.
Many different workers and ages were represented in the audience - postal workers, workers from the council, members of the RMT railworkers' union, school and university students, pensioner activists, veterans of the anti-poll tax campaign, the unemployed, and many others.
Dave Nellist, who will be the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) parliamentary candidate for Coventry North East against defence minister Bob Ainsworth, gave a rousing speech. He explained how the three establishment parties disagree only on the detail of the timing of the huge cuts that will be taking place - the Tories want to take six years to make the cuts and Labour want to do it in seven!
This has been reflected in events on Coventry city council - the Tories proposed £72 million of cuts over the next three years. They were dutifully supported by the 'opposition' Labour group - every single Labour councillor voted for these cuts - with only the Socialists Dave Nellist and Rob Windsor voting against.
It is this sort of tweedle dum - tweedle dee situation which has led leading trade unionists to come together to form the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which we see as the beginning of a process that could lead to the formation of new independent party for working class people.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT was scheduled to speak, but due to the impending rail strike, he was unable to attend. However, the audience heard from Manjit, a member of the TSSA union, that will be striking alongside their brothers and sisters in the RMT just after Easter. He thanked the Socialist Party and Coventry TUC for their support in the recent dispute with Virgin Trains.
The meeting closed with Socialist Party regional secretary Dave Griffiths outlining our election plans - we are aiming to stand in all three parliamentary seats in Coventry as well as an extended challenge in the local elections - this includes defending Rob Windsor's seat in the St Michael's ward.
After the meeting, many attendees signed nomination forms for our candidates, volunteered for leafletting and canvassing and also applied to join the Socialist Party.
In The Socialist 7 April 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis