Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/810/18584
Join the TUSC Thunderclap
Dave Nellist, National chair, TUSC
Standing 560 TUSC candidates for the local elections is a magnificent achievement; but unfortunately it is short of the too-high requirement for a national election broadcast.
TUSC is holding a national press launch on 9 May in London, and press releases and letters to local papers can still produce results. And while there is no substitute for direct campaigning, leafleting and canvassing, one avenue which the TUSC steering committee believes may allow us to reach a wider audience is a more organised use of social media, for example by using a tool called 'Thunderclap'.
A Thunderclap asks people with Twitter and Facebook accounts to sign up to allow their accounts to be used to simultaneously broadcast a message to potentially hundreds of thousands of people. On the first evening our Thunderclap was launched, 97 people signed up with a 'social reach' of 56,687. This could rise quite quickly with a sustained and methodical approach.
We are asking every TUSC supporter with a Twitter or Facebook account to visit http://thndr.it/1neKLAO and sign up to our Thunderclap.
If you sign up please also click to re-broadcast your support to encourage others, and repeat the request to your own networks (especially Twitter) once a day to catch more people.
This needs to be started straight away as the planned 'broadcast', using material from the national press launch, will be on 12 May at 1pm.
West London hustings- only TUSC candidate in touch
Tony Gill, West London
I attended the hustings meeting for Elthorne ward on 29 April. The only candidate that impressed me was the local TUSC candidate Mark Benjamin. He seemed to be in touch with real issues that are adversely affecting our community.
Whereas the representatives of the three mainstream parties stood up and identified themselves by their educational achievements. What has one's educational background got to do with standing as a local election candidate? Does this mean that those who never had a chance to pursue further studies or gain a university degree are inferior to those that have?
Education or not, they failed to deal with the real issues, such as the bedroom tax, the Con-Dem austerity cuts, food banks, the housing crisis and high unemployment among many young residents.
The Labour and Conservative candidates tried to show off to impress the crowd, criticising each other over the council's budgeting and spending. I asked my Labour representatives why Labour councils across Britain are implementing Con-Dem cuts. And why none of the three main parties are prepared to tackle the issue of the £120 billion in taxes avoided by the super-rich - most of which ends up in offshore accounts or tax havens.
The chair told me I must not question them over national issues!
Will the real Ukip stand up
TUSC supporters East Hull
According to interviews with Nigel Farage: "The Tories have failed, only Ukip dares cut spending on the NHS and pensions". So you can imagine TUSC canvassers' surprise when we read the Ukip leaflet in Southcoates West ward in East Hull. In it, the local candidate puts the "campaign against cuts to public services" and a "campaign against the bedroom tax" as two of his priorities. The local candidate appears to be at odds with his party leader.
Ukip tries to portray itself as anti-establishment but in reality it is another pro-cuts party of the 1%. Ukip supporters attempting to organise a pro-cuts march in 2011 was a bit of a giveaway! And just like other pro-capitalist parties it gets caught saying different things to different audiences.
To a working class inner city audience like those in East Hull, fighting the cuts in public services is a priority. I suspect in the Tory heartlands Ukip's propaganda will be for more cuts with promises for lower taxes for the middle classes.
Ukip is a party of business, TUSC is the only electoral force that ordinary people can trust to fight the cuts.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation. It involves the RMT transport union, leading members of other unions and socialists including the Socialist Party. This May TUSC is standing hundreds of no-cuts candidates in the council elections against all the austerity parties voting through the destruction of jobs and services.
Can you get involved? See tusc.org.uk
No 2 EU - Yes to workers' rights
While TUSC is standing in the local elections, for the European elections the Socialist Party is supporting No2EU - Yes To Workers' Rights, which is led by the RMT union. As Bob Crow, No2EU and TUSC co-founder said: "Ukip is neither in favour of workers' rights, public services or welfare. If people are looking for an alternative, Ukip isn't it."
In The Socialist 7 May 2014:
Socialist Party election campaigning
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns