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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 March 2018

Hated Blairite mayor ousted: now fight for a no-cuts Newham!

The single mums Wales evicted from the Carpenters Estate in E15 celebrated his deselection by chartering an open-top bus around Newham, photo James Ivens

The single mums Wales evicted from the Carpenters Estate in E15 celebrated his deselection by chartering an open-top bus around Newham, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Lois Austin, TUSC mayoral candidate in 2014

Hated Blairite mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales has lost the Labour candidacy. We congratulate Councillor Rokhsana Fiaz on being selected as the candidate for the upcoming May elections.

Wales has presided over decades of cuts to services and council jobs, the eviction of the E15 single mums, and massive privatisations. He led the east London borough's council for 23 years.

Before that, in the 1970s and 1980s, Wales played a major role in expelling Militant - forerunner of the Socialist Party - from Labour. He once took part in the 'Icepick Express' contingent of right-wingers to Labour student conference.

We believe Rokhsana represents a break from this. We look forward to working with her and any Labour Party members who want to use this as an opportunity to fight cuts and sell-offs in Newham.

We support Rokhsana's policies of building 1,000 council homes and supporting striking teachers and parents opposing schools being turned into privatised 'academies'.

Newham council recently voted to reverse its long-held position of support for academisation. We believe Rokhsana and other anti-academies councillors should commit to calling a referendum on academies in Newham. At Avenue School, a survey of parents returned a resounding no to academies with 132 votes to four.

It's also vital that an anti-austerity mayor use council reserves and borrowing powers to end the cuts now. By mobilising the local workforce and community, we can fight for more funding from central government.

The removal of Robin Wales shows ordinary Labour members are willing to campaign against Blairite policies at a council level in Newham.

I stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate contesting the mayor's pro-austerity position in 2014. Then and now, TUSC's policies are much closer to Jeremy Corbyn than the vast majority of Newham Labour councillors.

TUSC will not be standing for mayor against Rokhsana in May as her selection is a positive step towards a fightback in Newham. We hope to work with her in fighting cuts and privatisation.

But we are planning to stand against the worst and most vicious Blairite and pro-academies councillors in Newham. These councillors have nothing in common with Jeremy Corbyn or those who have been inspired by his leadership.

The transformation of Newham Labour has just begun. Now we need 100% anti-austerity, anti-academisation, pro-union, anti-big landlords councillors.

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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.

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In The Socialist 21 March 2018:


What we think

Russia, spies and nerve agents


Socialist Party news and analysis

Hands off free school meals!

The Blairites are NHS privatisers - to save it means sacking them

Cuts harm kids' health

Hated Blairite mayor ousted: now fight for a no-cuts Newham!

Them & us


International socialist news and analysis

West Virginia teachers' strike victory

US school shootings: student walkouts challenge establishment

Brazil: Psol councillor Marielle Franco murdered


Workplace news and analysis

UCU strike: staff and students unite to continue pensions fight after magnificent 14 days of action

Hinkley workers win back unpaid wages after sit-in protest

Strikers and parents rally again in Newham against academies

Hull college workers ballot for action against mass redundancies

Unions condemn 'culture of bullying' at Merseyside hospital

NSSN conference moves


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Refugees march against racism and to demand rights

Ideas matter: help us fight to win with May Day greetings

Past fund-raising campaigns show dedication to the fight for socialism

Why I joined: 'The Socialist Party is at the forefront of defending Corbyn's anti-austerity leadership'

Hands Off HRI campaign granted judicial review

Over 1,000 on Newcastle NHS march

Refugee Rights to be launched in Manchester


Opinion

Revolutionary physicist and champion of social causes

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Newham:

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triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why are coronavirus deaths higher in working-class areas?

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Academies:

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TUSC:

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