Roger Bannister, Liverpool Socialist Party
Socialists, community activists and trade unionists were all represented at an online meeting held on 12 December to relaunch the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in north west England. The main speaker was Chris Williamson, former Labour Party MP and now a member of the TUSC national steering committee, whose contribution was well received by the audience.
The meeting had an open discussion, during which the depth of experience of those attending was revealed. The discussion included a councillor from Copeland in West Cumbria who has been thrown out of the Labour Party, former Labour Party activists from South Cumbria, and two members of the Liverpool 47 councillors, who led the heroic struggle against Thatcher’s Tory government in the 1980s.
It was made clear that Starmer’s leadership of the Labour Party, and its sharp turn to the right, is alienating many Labour members who are now looking for a proper, socialist electoral alternative. After a full discussion, there was a general acceptance that the next step would be for local TUSC groups to be set up in the new year, to start to plan and organise for the local elections in May.
Voting Labour in May would be voting for a continuation, rather than an end, to austerity. It is crucial that as many workers and young people as possible have the opportunity to vote against cuts in these elections.