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6 December 2017

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is holding its 2018 national conference on 10 February.

The main session will be under the heading: 'Building support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018 local elections'.

This will include the controversial question of whether or not socialist anti-austerity candidates should stand next May.

The current position of TUSC remains as it has been since September 2015, when a new and welcome political situation was opened up by Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership election victory.

His defeat of the Blairites on an anti-austerity message completely changed things compared to the first five years of TUSC's existence, when Labour was essentially just a 'Tory-lite' party.

Responding to the new situation TUSC's policy since then has been to not field candidates in local elections against Labour councillors who are willing to vote against cuts in the council chamber.

Politicians of whatever party who support austerity, however, are another matter and TUSC has been prepared to contest local elections against right-wing Labour councillors carrying out Tory cuts. But should that be reviewed for next year's poll?

The conference will be an opportunity for all TUSC supporters to debate this matter out.

To inform the debate the TUSC steering committee is conducting a survey on how far local Labour councillors are preparing to back Jeremy's anti-cuts position in the 2018-19 council budget-setting process and, in those councils where they are taking place, next year's elections.

The survey covers questions on Labour councillors' budget proposals for 2018-19, what manifesto pledges local Labour parties will campaign on, and whether or not right-wing Blairite councillors are being replaced by Jeremy Corbyn supporters.

A full report will be published for the conference but some preliminary results are now available on the TUSC website.

The conference will close with an open forum session on 'TUSC and the Brexit negotiations', following the TUSC campaign in the EU referendum for a Leave vote, dealing with the issues that are posed.

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