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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2020

Cuts councillors are the real problem

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)

Elaine Brunskill, secretary Socialist Party northern region

The attention-seeking, right-wing Labour leader of Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes, described by the Guardian as "the leader of Labour's 6,600-strong army of councillors", has attacked Corbyn for being out of touch with Labour voters and disregarding local councillors' experiences.

So, what is this council army leader doing to defend working-class people against the next round of Tory cuts? Is Forbes going to lead a fightback against this onslaught? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding 'no'!

Instead, Forbes is at the cutting edge of yet more vicious austerity - prepared to wield the Tory axe. In Newcastle, council tax charges are set to increase, alongside a further 20 million of cuts - part of a three-year package which will decimate services by a total of 60 million.

This will include even more attacks on services for the disabled, additional cuts in library and museum services, alongside further job losses.

Forbes also displayed his anti-working class agenda by attacking drivers on Tyne & Wear Metro when they took strike action in December to increase their pay and defend their working conditions

From the outset, Nick Forbes and his ilk were a thorn in the side of Corbyn, determined to scupper any hint of a socialist programme.

Of course, Forbes omits to mention that in Newcastle back in 2004 (while Blair was still PM), the Labour Party lost control of the city council after 30 years in power. Even at that stage, before the economic crash of 2008, there was anger brewing against cuts being made by Labour councils.

If there is a move away from Corbynism, towards the politics put forward by the likes of Nick Forbes and his army of service-cutting Labour councillors, then more and more workers will be asking - what is the point of the Labour Party?

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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.

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In The Socialist 12 February 2020:


News

Tackling climate change: Johnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

Windrush deportations: end the hostile environment

Streatham attack: Johnson's bill can't stop terror

Them & Us

What We Heard


NHS

NHS: Fight for full funding!

Unnecessary surgery scandal shows need for democratic control of NHS

NHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

Callous Tory cuts to children's speech therapy in Nottinghamshire


Trade unions

Trade unions - new decade, new challenges


Workplace news

Big Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

PCS union: Uniting the left around a leadership that can win for members

Westex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

University strikers walk out for better pay and pensions

East London school strikes against academisation continue

Foreign Office workers' strike

Solidarity with Turkish workers

Lambeth Unison letter

London NSSN meeting

Solidarity with victimised bus rep Moe

Support Clive Walder


Cuts

How to resist tory attacks on local communities

Cuts councillors are the real problem

Council houses - not private property developers


International

Sinn Fein harnesses working-class anger to top poll

Lebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division


Campaigns

Build independent workers' media with May Day greetings

Building a working-class movement for Tamil rights

Hackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

20 years of housing failure

Socialist Sellers


Universal Credit

New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

Nottingham: death of vulnerable claimant

UC stopped without warning


 

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Related links:

Councillors:

triangleCouncillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently

triangleNottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

triangleTUSC relaunch in the north west

triangleHealth before profit - Work or full pay

triangleCumbria: Teachers, parents and socialists fight reckless school reopening

Cuts:

triangleTories tout toilet tensions

triangleSave John Carroll Leisure Centre

triangleLiverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

triangleW. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block

Labour:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleStarmer's speech a return to New Labour

triangleThe struggle needs an electoral arm

Council:

triangleTories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

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