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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 April 2019

Austerity must go! Kick out the Tories - we need a Socialist Alternative

Trade union and Socialist Party members protesting for a no-cuts budget in Swansea, 28.2.19, photo Socialist Party Wales

Trade union and Socialist Party members protesting for a no-cuts budget in Swansea, 28.2.19, photo Socialist Party Wales   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Socialist Alternative candidate for Gipton and Harehills ward, Leeds

Theresa May's zombie government is still in place, lurching from one crisis to the next but looking increasingly likely to be consigned to the grave.

Talk continues of local Tory party branches calling emergency general meetings at which they'd pass a no confidence motion in order to heap pressure on May to go.

But if May is replaced by another Tory, that will do nothing about the ongoing austerity that is blighting the lives of working-class communities up and down the country. We need a general election.

This week, newspapers gave us yet another example of the misery austerity entails. Reports show that around half of all teachers are dipping into their own pockets to provide basic materials such as paper and pens!

The local elections on 2 May provide an opportunity to strike against the Tories' austerity agenda. But despite Corbyn's anti-austerity programme, Labour councillors up and down the country have been doing the Tories' dirty work.

In my ward of Gipton and Harehills in Leeds, the leaflet for the sitting Labour councillor doesn't even mention the words 'cuts' or 'austerity'.

Leeds City Council (whose budget this year added 4.5 million to its reserves) has already been forced to u-turn on one of its cuts implemented in the latest budget - passed only seven weeks ago.

Concession prices for a number of council-run attractions went up at the start of the Easter holiday, prompting a backlash on social media from hard-pressed parents.

This joins the u-turns the council made last year on cuts to transport for special needs students and on building a free school academy on Fearnville playing fields, both of which campaigns Socialist Party members were active in.

Imagine if instead of fighting against parents, local communities and trade unionists to implement these cuts, local councillors were working together with them to fight the Tories for the funding our towns and cities need.

On the doorstep we've had a warm response to our petition for the alternative 'no-cuts' budget for the city drawn up by Leeds Trade Union Council earlier this year.

We're finding increasing numbers telling us they're no longer prepared to vote for politicians who fail to stand up for working-class communities.

This is why I'll be joining Socialist Party members up and down the country in standing to provide a socialist alternative to cuts this May.

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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 24 April 2019:


What we think

How to save the planet? End capitalism; Socialist change


Socialist Party news and analysis

Northern Ireland: killing of Lyra McKee

Sri Lanka: No to terrorist bombing - united workers' struggle can cut off growth of racism and division


Socialist Party feature

The striking relevance of Leon Trotsky's Theory of Permanent Revolution


Workplace news and analysis

PCS union: strikes against poverty pay and job losses - vote Yes in national pay ballot

Doncaster NHS strike to stop terms and conditions attack


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Austerity must go! Kick out the Tories - we need a Socialist Alternative

Leicester mayoral husting: only two choices - stop the cuts or make the cuts

Housing associations - stop the segregation

Shac to name and shame housing bosses


May Day greetings

Socialist May Day greetings 2019


 

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