TUSC PPC launches Operation Black Vote

From a Socialist Party press release, 26.2.15

Ex-Labour councillor to launch Operation Black Vote and stand as MP for TUSC to give voice to Black workers

Today Kingsley Abrams is participating in the launch of the Operation Black Vote nationwide tour, in Brixton, to target more than a million people to engage in the 2015 elections.

Kingsley has left the Labour party after 30 years of membership because Labour is now another austerity party. He is the prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC)for Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency, for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) as part of the biggest left-of-Labour stand in 60 years.

Kingsley says: “I was a Labour councillor because I wanted to give my community a voice like I do in the union – but Labour wanted me to make Tory cuts and keep my mouth shut. Today I am helping to campaign for Black voters to register and have their say but I am also standing as a candidate for the anti-cuts alternative, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, so that all working class people have a real choice once they get to the polling booth.

“Black workers and young people need a political voice that will stand up for us and Labour doesn’t do that. Our communities are suffering under austerity and what does Labour do? They vote for Osborne’s austerity budget, they pledge to keep the pay freeze in the public sector that is financially crippling our families and they say they’ll carry on making cuts at council level.”

Kingsley explains “there are so many issues where Black workers and youth are suffering and need a fightback against austerity. For example, the unions have found that 41% of Black people who are employed in the homecare sector are believed to be affected by zero-hour contracts. And Black women are over-represented in temporary jobs which are mostly low-paid.

“Young Black people between 16 and 24 are twice as likely to be unemployed as young white people in the same age bracket. No young people should have their future taken away like that.

“The reduction of housing benefit will be felt most acutely amongst Black communities as many live in inner city areas where rent is above the national average. TUSC stands for capping rents not benefits and for a mass programme of council home building and renovation. Give our youth a home and a job.

“The Labour party today has nothing to offer these sections of our population. TUSC stands for scrapping zero-hour contracts and introducing a £10 an hour minimum wage now – not by 2020 as Labour says, when it would represent an increase of pennies. With Operation Black Vote I aim to involve Black voters in the democratic process and with TUSC I want to link up with Black voters to fight for an independent working class voice to fight austerity.”