Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/790/17826
Councillors: Say no to Tory cuts!
The Tories, Lib Dems, Labour and Ukip all agree that the decimation and privatisation of public services has to continue to keep their big business backers happy.
But the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) says there is a choice - we, the 99%, don't have to pay for the failure of a system that mainly benefits the 1%.
On 5 December, TUSC is standing in six council byelections to show there is an alternative to cuts, cuts and more cuts.
Tony Mulhearn, one of the Liverpool 47 councillors who, from 1983 to 87, refused to carry out Tory cuts and won £60 million of extra funding from central government, reports on the byelection campaign in Liverpool.
Taking inspiration from socialist Kshama Sawant's magnificent victory in Seattle, USA, TUSC candidate John Marston, a veteran socialist, life-long trade unionist and seasoned campaigner, is fighting for the Liverpool Riverside council seat vacated by Paul Brant.
Brant, who resigned for personal reasons, was the financial lieutenant of king cutter Labour Mayor Joe Anderson.
For TUSC, stalls, leafleting and media releases are part of an energetic campaign which involves community organisations, the RMT and FBU unions, and local authority workers.
Unlike Paul Brant, John calls for an end to all cuts, and for the immediate end to the evil bedroom tax. He demands the council declares it will not penalise tenants due to the bedroom tax.
John is implacably opposed to Mayor Anderson's proposal for further cuts of £150 million which would savage the city's remaining services bringing further hardship to the neediest in Liverpool.
In a cynical ploy, these cuts are being front-loaded so they are implemented before the 2015 general election, so that a future Labour government avoids the blame.
Anderson himself revealed, under pressure from local authority unions, that national Labour Party figures told him not to expect any financial relief from Labour.
Anderson has used the city's reserves to bankroll a questionable company to convert the ex-Tax Building on the Queens Dock into upmarket flats; he's funded Everton FC to purchase land for training facilities; he boasts of the restoration of Cunard buildings as a cruise terminal and offices.
None of these enterprises, funded from the council's reserves, will benefit those who rely on services in the city.
In a grotesque display of hubris, a grinning Anderson was pictured in the Liverpool Echo proudly holding up two bags full of food, fulsomely praising Tesco's generosity to Liverpool's food banks.
He seems completely oblivious that Labour council's subservient compliance to Con-Dem cuts has led to a mushrooming of foodbanks throughout the city.
Anderson and Brant declare that while it breaks their hearts, there is no choice but to implement the cuts.
Riverside's unemployment stands at 25%, and nearly half the ward's children live in poverty - almost twice the national average.
John Marston said: "There is a choice. The 47 councillors in the 1980s refused to implement Thatcher's cuts. Anderson and his cohorts should do the same.
"If the city's financial reserves can be used to finance private well-heeled interests, they can be used to set a needs budget to restore the cuts in services on which our people rely."
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation.
It involves the RMT transport workers' union, leading members of other trade unions including the PCS, NUT and POA, and socialist groups including the Socialist Party.
In May's council elections, TUSC aims to stand 625 anti-cuts candidates. Could you be one of them?
In The Socialist 27 November 2013:
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party review