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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 August 2010

Waltham Forest's Labour council faces opposition

On a lovely summer's evening a very dirty deed was done, and probably only the first of many. At a full council meeting in Waltham Forest town hall, all 31 Labour councillors present slavishly raised their hands to vote through the first round of cuts.

Unbelievably this was an overwhelming victory over the handful of Liberals and Tories in the council meeting who voted 'no'.

An initial 2.6 million was lopped off, mainly from social services. But a total of 37.2 million is likely to be cut over the next 2.5 years. Social services will be further underfunded, giving rise to fears of more 'baby P' tragedies. This was highlighted by Nancy Taaffe, Socialist Party member and trade unionist, who was allowed to address the councillors.

She appealed to Labour councillors to stand by workers and not to be the henchmen and women for the millionaire government.

Library workers watched the proceedings, outraged at the arrogance of some councillors. One young graduate, unable to find work, said he was almost embarrassed at the level of debate. It would have been sub-standard in a secondary school.

On election day Labour councillors couldn't believe their luck. Workers who lined up to vote in the general election had some inkling that they would need protection at local level if a Tory government was to get in, so they chose to vote Labour in the council elections.

Now Labour councillors are turning into axe-carriers for the coalition government. We lobbied these councillors as they went in. Not one had a decent argument to defend their position.

Most had absolutely nothing to say, apart from "blame the Tories and Liberals", even those from active trade union backgrounds.

But they haven't reckoned on us. Over 40 campaigners and leading local trade unionists have since met to found Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts Union as an inclusive network of activists.

We are determined not to let these cuts proceed without a fight.

Linda Taaffe

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

In The Socialist 4 August 2010:

We need 'biggest movement since poll tax'


Anti-cuts campaign

'Radical' cuts require serious action

Waltham Forest's Labour council faces opposition

Coventry campaigners fight cuts of 140 million

Swansea trades council leads battle for services

Campaigners answer Bristol's 'Big Conversation'

Cuts news: Mental health services facing the axe

NSSN pledged to fight cuts


War and occupation

Troops out now!

Afghanistan: US strategy in disarray


Accademies

Oppose divisive academies policy


Workplace news and analysis

Talks resume at British Airways

Angry workers strike over pay freeze and bosses' bonuses

Fighting fire service cuts

Witch-hunted Unison activist wins tribunal


Workplace Debate

Unite general secretary election


Youth fight for jobs

We won't be a lost generation, fight for jobs and education!

No to privatisation of our universities

For real jobs, not slave labour


Environment and socialism

Profiting from wrecking the environment

Stop the Cardiff incinerator

Save Wanstead Flats


Tamil Solidarity

Daily Mail admits guilt over smearing Tamil hunger striker


Socialist Party LGBT

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Socialist Party events

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Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate


International socialist news and analysis

Love Parade catastrophe was entirely preventable

Garment workers demand a living wage


Socialist Party news and analysis

Asda profiting from low pay

Tories put profits before patients

Rich just carry on getting richer

Fast news


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The howlers' world and ours

How the banks rip us off


 

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Related links:

Council:

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