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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2015

Cutting Cameron complains to local council

We can defeat the Tory cuts!

TUSC placards being distributed as the People's Assembly anti-austerity demonstration gathers in the City of London on 20th June., photo Sabah

TUSC placards being distributed as the People's Assembly anti-austerity demonstration gathers in the City of London on 20th June., photo Sabah   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Socialist Party Southern region secretary

It's only five months since the general election, when champagne corks popped in the mansions of Tory MPs and boardrooms of their corporate sidekicks. But jubilation among the establishment is giving way to a dawning reality that austerity - planned poverty - is not so popular.

The first doubters were the 70 Tory MPs in the most marginal seats who realised that by cutting tax credits to low-income families they would be hit hard by angry electors.

Now, as council budget proposals for next year see the light of day, opposition to further cuts is shaking the ground beneath the sheltered gardens of West Oxfordshire MP, David Cameron.

On 14 November, 500 campaigners organised a 'baby-blockade' in Oxford. Protests across Oxfordshire at the planned closure of 36 of 44 children's centres by the Tory-led council have pushed a "disappointed" Cameron to write to the council leader, urging him to think again.

What pitiful hypocrisy from the architect of austerity, whose militant mantra of the super-rich '1%', is 'cut the deficit to create prosperity for all'. Yet funding for children's centres across England has been cut by 28% in just three years.

Letter

Cameron complained in his letter that Oxfordshire council could avoid service cuts because the reduction in government financial support to the council was only a "slight fall". And, anyway, couldn't backroom staff be cut instead?

A less than happy Tory council leader replied that the "slight fall" amounted to 72 million or 37%, and that 40% of its most senior staff and 2,800 jobs in total have been cut. Since 2010, 626 million 'savings' had been made by the council!

The Socialist Party warned that these austerity policies would fail to revive the economy and instead would simply line the pockets of the mega-rich - who are now twice as rich as they were in 2009.

As the mighty tremble, the potential exists for a knock-out blow to be delivered. Jeremy Corbyn's welcome anti-austerity stand must be matched by Labour councillors.

If allied to anti-cuts campaigners and council trade unions, this could lead to a national revolt against council cuts (see editorial pages 6&7). Oxford City Labour council could put itself at the forefront of this battle.

At a recent meeting in Oxford, young Socialist Student activists backed the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC - an electoral coalition involving the RMT transport union, the Socialist Party and others) letter to Labour councillors appealing for them to vote against cuts.

If the House of Lords can vote against cuts, why not Labour councils?

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 18 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

How to defend Corbyn and defeat austerity

We can defeat the Tory cuts!

Tories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers

Athletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

Councils won't spend a penny

Them & Us


Socialist Party features

The end of social housing? How can we solve the housing crisis?

How can young people organise to support Jeremy Corbyn?


International socialist news and analysis

Paris terror attacks


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors: first strikes in 40 years

Trade union action needed to fight for steel jobs

Historic London bus drivers' agreement

Reinstate sacked CWU reps

Pro-Corbyn mood among Usdaw members

Support for Roger Bannister in Unison election

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments and reviews

All NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike

A day in the life of a Game retail worker

Why I joined: "I already feel as if I am finally home"

Robert Tressell's characters are all too real to me

My struggle for an income I can live on


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour bans union activist

Thousands march against India premier's bloody sectarianism

Strike to save Lambeth libraries

Gaining momentum in Lewisham

Anger at care home closure


 

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Related links:

Cuts:

triangleLeeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

triangleNews in brief

triangleCome to the NSSN conference

triangleWorkers need a new mass party to defend their interests

triangleFight back to stop Tories scrapping protections for children in care

Tory:

triangleCapitalism and corruption go hand in hand

triangleTory full return to school plans gamble with lives

triangleBoris's new big deal

triangleTest-and-trace fiasco - the ringing of the cash till

Council:

triangleCardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

triangleTower Hamlets council strike

triangleEquity union president elections: re-elect Maureen

Socialist:

triangleBLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

triangleRed flags line road for Ken

Austerity:

triangleNews in brief

Rich:

triangleRich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

Oxfordshire:

triangleFresh round of strikes against fresh round of cuts

Oxford:

triangleEnthusiastic Southern region socialists plan for the struggles ahead

Councillors:

triangleCumbria: Teachers, parents and socialists fight reckless school reopening

Budget:

triangleInternational aid: Johnson's pie in the sky

David Cameron:

triangleThe Cameron Tory legacy

Anti-cuts:

triangleSouth Devon Socialist Party: End of the Corbyn era - What next for socialism?

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