Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/11312

Posted on 7 March 2011 at 14:33 GMT

Labour and Green councillors in Brighton fail to stop Tory budget

"In the early 1980s there were 20 Labour councils that started a battle against Thatcher's public spending cuts. Two stuck it out to the end - Lambeth and Liverpool.

"Now we can't even find 20 Labour councillors prepared to seriously fight the Tories". These were the words of Coventry Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist on the night (Thursday 3 March) Labour disgracefully backstabbed a red-ribboned Tory knife into the working class of Brighton and Hove, condemning the city to £26 million of cuts with hundreds of preventable job losses.

Peter Knight, Brighton Socialist Party

Socialist Party members and others in the Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition witnessed a horrendous farce of a council budget meeting inside Brighton Town Hall that agonisingly swung an axe down upon our jobs, communities and services - its handle covered in the bloodied fingerprints of all the parties represented in the chamber.

At the last moment the 13 Labour councillors cowardly abstained from the final vote, allowing the 24 Tories to vote through their Labour and Green amended cuts budget.

The 13 Greens all voted against, thinking it could provide Labour with an opportunity to join them in out-voting the Tories and stopping the budget from being passed.

But it was a sham to think that this Labour Party, long-time bedfellows with the Tories in loyalty to the commands of bankers and the City, would attempt to prevent its own 'slightly less nasty' attack on our living conditions from taking place.

Labour leader Gill Mitchell tried to deny that Labour's previous administration had attempted to flog off all of Brighton's council homes. A magnificent 78% vote of tenants had defeated Labour's costly privatisation plans and many of those Defend Council Housing campaigners were present on Thursday evening in the council public gallery.

Labour's abandonment of working people could not be made any clearer after callously wasting this opportunity to prevent cuts. Labour-affiliated trade union members must be asking what there is to gain by clinging onto the dinner jacket coat tails of capitalism's 'second eleven' that attacks council members' jobs and conditions.

The amended cuts budget was drafted with Green Party assistance, hoping it was the best it could get. However this joint Labour and Green amendment to the Tory budget meant only a pitiful £2 million difference in cuts.

It signalled the Greens' willingness to work with Labour in an unholy alliance as an attempt at a united opposition. But in defeat, betrayed by Labour as though witnessing a Shakespeare tragedy, the Greens' vote against its own cuts budget melted into a mere gesture of opposition.

One pro-capitalist councillor after another lied and jeered at the public and their colleagues for most of the meeting. Tory councillor Linda Caulfield gestured in smug joy at protesters who had just witnessed losing their jobs in the backstabbing vote.

Police were earlier dragooned into clearing the public gallery at the Tories' behest when members of the public demanded an apology after being insulted by Caulfield.

A group of 20 campaigners refused to leave and sent out a call for others to join the protest. Trade union reps were threatened with arrest for no reason and members of the public were denied entry to the public gallery.

In one moment of ludicrousness, Tory council leader Mary Mears forced a security guard to remove a placard from the public gallery she had deemed threatening, which simply stated the word "Hope".

And no wonder she and her Tory and Labour cronies are scared. A hundreds-strong Unison, GMB and Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition-led march had come to the door of Brighton council chamber, calling for an end to being punished for a crisis caused by the rich.

Protesters chanted "shame on you" at the guilty Labour and Tory councillors scurrying home after the vote. Socialist Party member Shona McCulloch, proclaimed to the crowds outside: "We must reiterate that blunting the edge of the harshest cuts this country has seen for 80 years is not good enough".

Socialist Party members alongside other 'stop the cuts' campaigners are preparing to stand under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) banner in May's council elections to give working class communities the chance to defend themselves and build an alternative voice in the council chamber.

TUSC is calling for people to stand and sign up to its socialist 'no cuts' platform, to offer the opportunity to elect working class representatives - councillors who will follow in the footsteps of the Liverpool fighters of the 1980s, councillors who will vote no to all cuts, and for a socialist alternative that will make the rich pay.

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






Related links:

Brighton:

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network TUC rally

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: After the election, what next?

triangleBrighton anti-academy campaign steps up

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Tories out now!

triangleSocialist newspaper sales round-up

Budget:

triangleLondon: Stop council cuts - Budget Day protest

triangleSocialist Party calls anti-austerity protest on Budget Day

triangleMake a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

triangleCarmarthenshire union demands no-cuts budget

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/2/20

Unison

Big Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

12/2/20

Hackney

Hackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

12/2/20

Tamil

Building a working-class movement for Tamil rights

12/2/20

May Day

Build independent workers' media with May Day greetings

12/2/20

Birmingham

Support Clive Walder

12/2/20

Strike

Foreign Office workers' strike

12/2/20

East London

East London school strikes against academisation continue

12/2/20

Strike

Westex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

12/2/20

PCS

PCS union: Uniting the left around a leadership that can win for members

12/2/20

Children

Callous Tory cuts to children's speech therapy in Nottinghamshire

12/2/20

Climate change

Tackling climate change: Johnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

12/2/20

Nottingham

Nottingham: death of vulnerable claimant

12/2/20

DWP

UC stopped without warning

12/2/20

Housing

20 years of housing failure

12/2/20

Socialist

Socialist Sellers

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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999