Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10196

Posted on 9 September 2010 at 21:07 GMT

Bristol: Moles and rats in the council chamber

A mass lobby of Bristol councillors on 7 September heard several local authority trade unions warn of impending industrial action should the Liberal Democrat council administration try to carry through compulsory redundancies.

Robin Clapp, Bristol Socialist Party

The atmosphere was electric and protesters were treated to the unusual sight of New Labour councillors joining the protests.

It was like seeing a colony of moles removed from under the ground, as they blinked, looked uneasily at the banners, felt intimidated by the speeches and then quickly scampered back into the council chamber to the protection of their already very-dented shields.

Having squeaked that they have to obey the law, these Labour councillors then saw a petition from Unison, which highlighted the position apparently taken by councillors in Blackburn who have gone on record to state that they will not implement cuts which they believe will lead to financial destruction of their city.

The spokesperson from Unison received warm applause and cheers from a packed public gallery when he demanded that Bristol's elected representatives follow that lead and make a similar declaration.

This echoes the defiant note initially promised by many Labour local authorities in the 1980s when the grandmother of the present cuts package, Margaret Thatcher, attempted to take the axe to public spending.

Then, only Liverpool council, courageously led by supporters of the Socialist Party's predecessor, Militant, transformed words into deeds to become 'the city that dared to fight'.

The theme of opposition to Cameron's vandalism was taken up by National Union of Teachers (NUT) senior vice-president, Nina Franklin, who explicitly warned that teacher redundancies would be likely to lead to industrial action in Bristol schools: "We believe that the current recession was brought about by the actions of irresponsible bankers who were already very rich...Government decisions to bail out the banks are at the root of this crisis and we do not see why the people of Bristol should pay".

Just a few weeks ago the council cabinet dug into its reserves to bail out a local independent school to the tune of several million pounds, based on a secret report and no strategy for education in the local area.

If the council can afford 'impulse buying' on this scale it can afford to support local schools, teachers and pupils.

Councillors shifted uneasily in their seats when the GMB union attacked a 50% cutback in the city's 'rat catcher' provision.

Previously there has been a reduction in the rat population in Bristol, though curiously the speaker said that there appears at the current time to be an explosion of rats in the council chamber, a fact enthusiastically endorsed by anti-cuts protesters!

Tom Baldwin from 'Youth Fight for Jobs' was next on his feet presenting a petition against unemployment.

As soon as he mentioned the appointment of investment banker Bob Diamond to the post of Barclay's chief executive, he was heckled by the Labour Lord Mayor and told to shut up.

Nevertheless he received a big ovation from the public, in a further sign that as this phoney war comes to an end, the battle lines are being firmly drawn up for what will become a life or death struggle to protect public services here and everywhere else.

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






Related links:

Bristol:

triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: 'Bad Art' - socialist struggle in the arts

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: What is happening in Catalonia?

Council:

triangleSave Salford nurseries!

triangleVictory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

triangleLabour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

triangleNorthants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

Labour:

triangleBlairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

triangleBuilding the campaign against clearances of the working class

triangleNo fudge with the right wing

Cuts:

triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts

triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/2/18

UCU

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

21/2/18

Strike

German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

21/2/18

Cardiff

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

21/2/18

Nottingham

Nottingham hospital black alert

21/2/18

East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

21/2/18

West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

21/2/18

Wales

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

21/2/18

Bradford

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

21/2/18

May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

21/2/18

Kirklees

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

21/2/18

Salford

Save Salford nurseries!

21/2/18

Caerphilly

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

21/2/18

Council

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

21/2/18

Leicester

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!

21/2/18

UCU

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999