Right-wing Labour councillor smears TUSC policy as ‘BNP’

A right-wing Labour councillor in Tower Hamlets, east London, has accused anti-austerity activists of emulating the far-right, racist British National Party (BNP).

Councillor John Pierce attacked supporters of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) after they attended a council oversight and scrutiny committee meeting.

TUSC includes transport union RMT and the Socialist Party.

Activists were making the case for a legal no-cuts budget. They referred to Stoke’s Tory-Independent council, which is using reserves to delay cuts. Unrelated to this, one of Stoke’s independent councillors is apparently a former BNP member.

Right-wing Labour councillor smears TUSC, pic Naomi Byron

Right-wing Labour councillor smears TUSC, pic Naomi Byron   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

I am disappointed Cllr Pierce attempted to smear TUSC as “advocating the policies of the BNP”.

This was in response to TUSC arguing for Tower Hamlets Council to use some of its £71 million general reserves to temporarily stop cutbacks, in order to launch a mass campaign to win the money back from central government.

To say this is supporting BNP policies is ignorant in the extreme. BNP councillors have voted for cuts time after time. One BNP councillor in Kirklees boasted: “You get rid of 25% of council staff and no-one would notice.”

The cuts Tower Hamlets Labour is proposing attack the most vulnerable. Worst of all, they are not necessary. The council has the money to protect jobs and services, buying time to coordinate trade unions and the community to fight for more funds.

Naomi Byron, Tower Hamlets Socialist Party