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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 January 2021

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently

Two Spelthorne Borough councillors; Veena Siva, Jenny Vinson, and CLP chair Sue Bryer, have resigned from the Labour party ahead of May's local council elections. They have entered into discussions with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition about standing as part of the coalition. They have issued a statement explaining their decision and we print extracts from that statement.

Fighting against austerity in Surrey in 2018

Fighting against austerity in Surrey in 2018   (Click to enlarge)

After a great deal of agonising and soul-searching, we have been left with no option but to resign from the Labour Party.

For some months now we have been concerned about the direction the party has taken, as we see Keir Starmer and other members of the shadow cabinet row back on a number of policies in the Labour manifesto. This includes pledges Keir Starmer himself made in his leadership campaign with respect to social and economic justice, human rights, and uniting the party, to name but a few.

We were horrified by Starmer's failure to oppose the so-called 'Spycops' bill, which threatens human rights by allowing state agents to commit crimes in order to stay undercover; as well as the Tories' Overseas Operation Bill, which implements a 'triple lock' of measures designed to make it close to impossible to prosecute British troops five years after crimes.

Starmer then sacked three members of the shadow cabinet for voting against the bill.

Labour's 2019 manifesto stated that "Labour will end and reverse privatisation in the NHS in the next parliament", and yet Keir Starmer felt it was appropriate to appoint a lobbyist for the private health sector as his director of communications.

Furthermore, instead of uniting the party, Keir Starmer has endorsed the decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn. As a result, a number of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) have passed motions of no confidence in Keir Starmer and David Evans, general secretary of the Labour Party.

The final straw, which led us to leave the Labour Party, has been the suppression of free speech, debate and democracy in the party. Evans issued emails preventing CLPs from tabling motions showing solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn or calling for the restoration of the whip. CLPs and members have been threatened with suspension if they exercise their democratic right to table these 'forbidden' motions or even discuss the topics concerning them.

Cllr Veena Siva says: "We were elected by voters who support the policies in Labour's manifesto, and we cannot in good conscience remain in the party when these policies are not being honoured. We believe in these policies and will be carrying out our term following through on the principles of social and economic justice, human rights and working in the best interests of residents."

Cllr Jenny Vinson believes "Keir Starmer does not want the party to be an opposition to the Tories, in fact he comes across as their cheerleader. We consider that we can no longer remain as representatives of the Labour Party as it does not represent the best interests of the vast majority of people in this country."

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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.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 27 January 2021:


News

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


What we think

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Workplace news

Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Arab Spring

Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC

TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Campaigns

Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


International socialist news and analysis

Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


Review

TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain


 

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