Sheffield Socialist Party and TUSC at May Day 2023
Sheffield Socialist Party and TUSC at May Day 2023

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition – sixth-biggest stand

On 2 May, millions of people will have the chance to express their displeasure with the Tories by voting in the local elections. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), the electoral coalition that the Socialist Party is part of, will be standing 279 candidates – the sixth-biggest stand nationally.

Voting for a TUSC candidate sends a message, not just against the Tories, but in favour of fighting, working-class socialist political representatives – not something on offer from the Tories, Lib-Dems, Greens, Reform, or the rest.

There are at least 52 other anti-cuts, anti-war council candidates standing – from groups such as the Workers’ Party and Communist Party of Britain, as well as independents. If they had come together with us under the TUSC umbrella or with a joint description, it would have surpassed the number of candidates standing for Reform – the right-wing party that is splashed all over the capitalist press.

The Socialist Party is putting the call out to all who want to help build the widest possible workers’ stand at the general election, to come together under the TUSC umbrella.

Workers need our own voice. Vote for TUSC on 2 May.

You can fund a workers’ alternative at the general election

Callum Joyce, Oxford Socialist Party

“I’ve just registered to vote. I’ll definitely be voting for socialists”. That was one of many positive responses we have received recently while canvassing for the upcoming local elections in Oxford, one of 55 local authorities where the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing its 279 candidates.

This year’s local elections are likely to be another humiliating blow for the Tories. Some predictions say they could lose as many as 500 council seats. Many workers and young people will relish the chance to give the Tories a bloody nose, before we can finally send them packing in the general election. But will a new Keir Starmer-led government be any better?

Simply look at the record of Labour in power in Wales, and in more than 70 local authorities that they control around Britain. 14 years of Tory austerity has been meekly carried out by Labour local authorities, with little to no resistance, and no attempts to mobilise the trade union movement against cuts. Will it be any different on a national scale?

Starmer and his shadow cabinet have already pledged that they will not “turn on the spending taps” for public services, and will not restore the necessary funding for the growing number of councils that are faced with the possibility of running out of money in the next few years. They have signalled again and again that Labour will seek to defend the interests of big business, and not carry out any spending plans that might upset ‘the markets’.

We desperately need a working-class alternative to properly fund our local services, and to fight for the socialist change needed to end war, poverty, and exploitation. We are aiming to fund 30 to 40 Socialist Party candidates to stand in the general election, alongside other socialist and anti-war activists under the TUSC umbrella.

Can you help?

We are appealing for anyone who wants to help build a socialist voice for the working class to donate to our special general election fund. Paying the deposit for standing a candidate will cost us £500; to produce leaflets delivering our socialist message to every address in a single constituency will cost at least another £700 as well. Our target is to raise £50,000.

This year’s local elections are an important opportunity to plant a marker for the ideas of genuine socialism, in preparation for the battles that are to come under a Labour government. During and after these elections, many will ask: what next?

Preparing for a socialist general election challenge will be the best way to answer that. Everyone we meet, who will be voting for a socialist candidate in the local elections, should be given the opportunity to do so in the general election as well.

If you’re standing as a TUSC candidate this year, or you’ve helped us campaign, or you’re just planning on voting for us, then can you help us fund the next step in the fight for working-class political representation? Can you think of anyone in your community, workplace, or trade union branch that would consider donating as well?

The strike wave and huge anti-war movement have rocked this increasingly moribund capitalist government. Now let’s fight to give a political voice to those movements, and build the next step in the struggle for socialism.

Help us raise £50,000 to stand 30-40 Socialist Party candidates in the general election

Email [email protected] with your pledge

Donate now – click ‘Election Appeal’ on the menu

The Socialist Party, part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), says:

  • Councils must refuse to pass on Tory cuts, instead set no-cuts budgets, based on the needs of the 99% not the 1% – no to increases in council tax and local charges
  • End low pay. Support striking workers! End the cost-of-living squeeze!
  • Renationalise energy companies and the other privatised utilities
  • Restore youth services, jobs, reopen libraries, and reverse social care cuts
  • We need a future for young people – free education and training, well-paid jobs for all
  • A mass council house building programme to solve the crisis – reject rent and service charge increases
  • Fully fund the NHS – stop and reverse privatisation
  • Combat climate change, which should include a free-to-use, expanded, renationalised public transport system. Don’t make workers’ pay for the bosses’ climate crisis
  • Fight for united, working-class struggle against racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression
  • Take the wealth off the 1%. We need socialist change!

Croydon and Sutton – let down on cuts, let down on Gaza

April Ashley, Croydon and Sutton Socialist Party

I am standing to fight against council cuts, and to fight for the millions stolen from local government by the Tories.

Croydon Council has been effectively ‘bankrupt’ three times – serving section 114 notices that limit spending to statutory services only. That has meant savage cuts to community services, and a 21% council tax hike.

Well over 30 councils say that they are close to declaring effective bankruptcy in the next couple of years. The Tory government has cut millions from council grants, leading to a £3.5 billion funding gap.

Shamefully, Labour councils have passed on the cuts to local communities, leading to the loss of libraries, nurseries, youth centres, tens of thousands of jobs, and a crisis in social care.

Labour councils should set no-cuts budgets, and lead the community and trade unions in a mass campaign against the Tories to fight for the funding we need. There must be no cuts to services or council tax rises to fill the black hole in council budgets.

The local community also need homes, as well as jobs and services. So, I am standing for the mass building of council homes and rent controls.

End the war on Gaza

Like the majority of workers, I am completely opposed to the bombing of Gaza, and the slaughter of Palestinian workers and children. Like hundreds of thousands of people, I have been on the mass demonstrations in London.

Many people are shocked by the stance of Labour, tail-ending Tory warmongers supporting Israeli state terror. Labour, still following the Tories, are only now calling for a ceasefire after 32,000 deaths.

I stand for the withdrawal of the Israeli army from all the occupied territories, including the West Bank. Only a mass democratic struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and socialism can liberate the Palestinian people.

Unfortunately, as we can see from the actions of Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, they are not standing up for workers in the UK or internationally. That is why I am standing, to help build a new mass workers’ party against the pro-cuts and pro-war agenda of the Tories and Labour.

April Ashley is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for the Greater London Assembly (GLA) in the Croydon & Sutton constituency. She is an elected member (personal capacity) of the National Executive Council of public service union Unison.

Croydon – developers paid public money to profit from overpriced flats

Socialist Party member Ben Goldstone is the TUSC candidate for the Park Hill and Whitgift council ward by-election in Croydon on 2 May. He said:

If you need social housing in Croydon, many people are waiting over ten years. Brick by Brick, the council-owned housing company, was funded by a £200 million loan from Croydon Council – Labour at the time – to build on council-owned sites. It only managed to deliver 751 residential units, of which 385 were supposedly ‘affordable’, and the rest private.

The council is expected to write off around £68 million from this unpaid debt from the now-defunct Brick by Brick, which will no doubt be passed on to residents in further cuts to services. All the while, Croydon Council is allowing high-rise eyesores to pop up across the town, built by private developers, with minimal affordable flats for residents, and instead overpriced apartments being the norm.

Local councillors have made the working class of Croydon pay for the council’s mistakes, especially with the 21% council tax hike. The Tories voted it through, whilst Labour abstained.

What we need in Croydon is councillors and GLA candidates who are going to stand up for the working class. That means fighting for affordable housing, well-paid secure jobs, and properly funded accessible services.

Southampton Labour – silent on Gaza, doing Tory dirty work on cuts

Vote for TUSC candidate Nadia Ditta in Bevois

Nick Chaffey, Southampton Socialist Party

Labour councillors have represented the Bevois ward for decades. But what have they done for us?

Carried out cuts to our local services, closed our youth centres in Graham Road, and the Venny, cut funding for Sure Start, while putting up council tax, rents and charges.

They have failed to fight Tory cuts. They are trying to make us pay for a crisis we didn’t cause.

Families are choosing between feeding their children or paying the council tax, for fear of the bailiffs being sent from the council, by a Labour council.

Bevois is the poorest ward in the city. Life expectancy here is ten years lower than in the richest areas.

While we watch in horror at the massacres in Gaza, and join anti-war protests in Southampton, Bevois councillors remain silent. The community has had enough.

We have knocked many doors in the last few weeks to build support for an anti-cuts, anti-war alternative to Labour. Many want to protest in this election, and are enthused to hear they have a candidate.

We think it is possible we could win. But to do that we have to convince many who don’t usually vote to seize the time and make a difference.

We have already shown that when we stand together and oppose the cuts, we can win. We led the campaign to save our local community’s St Mary’s Leisure Centre. That campaign mobilised hundreds to protest against the then Tory-led council.

Labour accepted the closure. But we fought on.

The Tories lost power locally, and we demanded that the new Labour council reopen the centre. And they were forced to. If you fight, you can win.

Our candidate, Socialist Party member Nadia Ditta, is a fighter. She helped to organise the successful campaign to save the Venny playground.

Send a message

We appeal to every voter in Bevois to use your vote to send a message to the council. We will not accept more cuts.

We want investment to get our streets clean, to reopen youth services, and restore support for families in our community. We say no to increased council tax, rent, and charges.

We say fight for the £510 million cut from the city by the Tory government, so we can restore jobs and services, and undo the damage of austerity.

Read Nadia in her own words ‘Southampton – Bevois socialist campaign going down a storm’

Including Nadia, TUSC is standing 17 candidates across Southampton