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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 August 2020

Kent County Council spending 'consultation'

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

Unite the Union, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

Unite the Union, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Eric Segal, chair, Unite union SE/6305 services branch

The response by Tory Kent County Council to Covid-19 is to launch a public consultation entitled: "Have your say on Kent County Council's spending priorities and approach following the Covid-19 pandemic". The consultation closes on 9 August. Kent council said: "This means we now need to relook at our budget and make some changes."

This consultation document formed the background to a Unite union SE/6305 Services branch meeting, held recently on Zoom. The reality of this 'consultation' is that the council wants to get rid of services that our members and working-class families depend upon at the moment, and are most desperately needed.

The branch discussed how we can fight the proposed cuts to services, looking at the various options. This included the position of the Labour Party, because we are aware that elections will be held in 2021. The branch is concerned that if Labour is not prepared to fight all cuts, then members' hard-earned union subscriptions will go to fund Labour candidates who support cuts to services.

Significantly, the branch agreed to circulate a proposition to all members across Kent which states: "SE/3605 Services branch calls on Unite the Union to fight all austerity cuts. We do not believe that merely putting the blame of mismanagement over the Covid-19 pandemic on the government as the cause of cuts in local services is the way forward.

"We therefore call on Unite the Union to build a campaign of opposition to all cuts in local services in Kent. This branch states that as a part of this campaign, candidates supported by this branch must be prepared to defend our local services from all cuts. This union branch will therefore support socialist candidates standing in opposition to Labour candidates who will not oppose all cuts."

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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 5 August 2020:


News

NHS pay: 15% for all now

From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system


What we think

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation


Workplace news

Wales: GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

PCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

'First you clap us then you slap us': hundreds march for NHS pay rise

Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

Workplace news in brief


No going back

What would socialist universities look like?


International

Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally


Campaigns

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

Young Socialist day of action

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

The Socialist summer schedule


 

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