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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 March 2021

Why I'm standing for TUSC

We need councillors to prioritise housing need, not super-rich developers

Mira

Mira   (Click to enlarge)

Mira Glavardanov, North London Socialist Party

Enfield council is Labour-led. Labour councillors shed crocodile tears while implementing Tory cuts, with the excuse that 'there is nothing we can do'. They hide behind the 'illegality' of no-cuts budgets. In fact they are not illegal. But I'd like to ask, is it legal to kill people through austerity?

At the same time, Enfield council is borrowing hundreds of millions of pounds for the biggest housing development in London, Meridian Water - built on public land, but unaffordable for most Enfield residents. I have been active in the local campaign 'Meridian 4 Council Homes' which demands 100% council housing. There are 5,000 households on the council house waiting list in Enfield, but none will be housed in Meridian Water. The council is getting into debt to satisfy rich developers and investors, not the people in housing need.

Next door to Meridian Water, in a working-class, predominantly black and Asian area, is an old and polluting incinerator which the council plans to expand rather than turn into a recycling plant. The council wants to save money - burning is cheaper than recycling - sacrificing our health and lives. We support campaigners' call to "Stop the incinerator".

I was a member of the Enfield North Constituency Labour Party during Corbyn's leadership. We passed a motion that instructed the council to set a no-cuts budget. It hit a brick wall. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to fight against austerity is outside the Labour Party, more so after the takeover of the party by the Blairites.

We desperately need a voice that stands for the working class, in Enfield and the whole country. That's why I am standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the Chase ward by-election in Enfield this May. We need an alternative to austerity, poverty and capitalism.


We need anti-cuts councillors, not private cuts consultants!

Luke Johnson, Rotherham Socialist Party

Labour-controlled Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) has declared that it has another 18 million 'savings' to make in the 2021-22 financial year to 'balance the budget'. This is in addition to 16 million in the last two years.

These cuts are already known to include the closure of vital public services, such as Addison House in Maltby, an adult learning disability centre. This is due to close at the end of June despite a high profile union and carers' campaign of 90,000 petition signatures, several big protests, and a judicial review.

Labour councillors justify further austerity measures by declaring that they have 'no alternative' but to pursue them. A job listing has appeared on the council website for a 'Head of Change and Innovation'. It seems RMBC are to pay a private consultant 550 a day to "achieve sustainable financial savings whilst ensuring services continue to meet the required outcomes of the council".

What this really means is probable job cuts, and further assaults on terms and conditions. It means council workers, including many of those who have been on the frontline during the pandemic, receiving less pay or pension.

Unfortunately, paying consultants to advise on public services is widespread. In 2019, a freedom of information request revealed that local councils across the UK had spent around 400 million on consulting firms in the preceding year alone.

In Rotherham, councillors are willing to make working-class people pay the price of the pandemic. The Socialist Party will fight these cuts. We will continue to put pressure on local authorities and councillors to use reserves and borrowing powers to set no-cuts budgets and, along with other local authorities, demand the funds from central government.

We need councillors prepared to vote against the cuts and put a fight up against the Tories. That is why I will be standing for election to Rotherham Borough Council for the Bramley and Ravenfield ward on 6 May, as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

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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.
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In The Socialist 10 March 2021:


NHS pay

NHS pay - 15% now

NHS workers say: We are ready to fight Tory pay insult

Police disgracefully stop NHS pay protest


News

Super-deduction will help big business pay less tax

The 'old normal' meant poverty for young people


What we think

Tories keep bailing out bosses, while piling pain on workers and public services


Schools

Workers respond to 'back to school'


Workplace news

British Gas strikers reject deal and carry on fighting

Goodlord striker speaks out: 'workers have to fight for our skills to be appreciated'

Stop union busting on the buses: Reinstate Declan Clune and Moe Muhsin Manir

Sparks deskilling protests

Leicester university workers ballot for action against redundancies

Sainsbury's pay offer shows future will only be 'great pay' if we fight

PCS leadership failures lead to concession bargaining on pay

Manchester bus drivers' indefinite strikers fight on

London bus drivers continue walkout


Rosa Luxemburg

150th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's birth


Wealth Tax

Would a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?


Campaigns news

Socialist women speak at inspirational International Women's Day online rally

Why I joined the Socialist Party - to fight for the future of the working class

Why I'm standing for TUSC

Build subscriptions to the Socialist

Fighting fund target achieved - keep up the momentum


International news

Historic union battle at Alabama warehouse

10 years ago - the Fukushima nuclear disaster: "We came close to losing northern Japan"


Letters

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

TUSC:

triangleEnfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

triangleWaltham Forest byelections: Council homes not unaffordable flats

triangleTUSC is back

triangleScotland: Pro-independence majority in highly polarised election

triangleWelsh Labour holds on to government but new crises loom

Councillors:

triangleCouncillors have a choice - don't vote for cuts

triangleSave John Carroll - fight is far from over!

triangleWhy I am standing for TUSC

triangleBattle for a fighting, anti-austerity mayor

Cuts:

triangleSocialist Party to the fore at Unison LG conference

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can a party for the working class be built?

triangleLondon workers prepare to fight Khan's transport cuts

Housing:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Housing is a right - Stop the evictions!

triangle"Rights are won not given" - London refugee wins housing debt campaign

Rich:

triangleJohnson's G7 hypocrisy

Super-rich:

triangleNo trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game

Council:

triangleBirmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

Enfield:

trianglePreparing to organise workers in Enfield

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleEaling parking wardens strike against Serco over absence policy

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