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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 March 2021

Standing for TUSC in Worcester

As a step towards building a mass party of the working class

TUSC campaigners in Worcester 2015, photo Mark Davies

TUSC campaigners in Worcester 2015, photo Mark Davies   (Click to enlarge)

Calvin Fowler, Worcester Socialist Party

Worcester council is Tory run, and its underfunding of services has been appalling. Also, over the last few years we have seen our hospital, The Worcestershire, in the headlines. It has not been reaching acceptable levels of care, not due to the hard-working NHS staff, but the crippling PFI debt and underfunding. This in turn has led to low staff morale, ward closures, and outpatient services being stopped.

In 2019, the Tory council proposed to shut two community libraries due to lack of funds. So a 'Save Our Libraries' group was set up with local residents and members of the Worcestershire Socialist Party. We organised public meetings, a rally and a protest. It was well-publicised and well-attended. This mobilisation of the working class led to the money suddenly being found by the council, and the libraries staying open.

In Worcester, like in other towns and cities, the pandemic has seen shops closing and smaller shops being unable to pay the super-high rents and business rates.

Where I work there are five of us. Three of us, myself included, have been furloughed since last March. 80% of your wages isn't a government hand out - it's a pay cut!

Austerity

The austerity following the 2007-08 banking crash, where the establishment politicians showed that they would rather bail out their mates in the banks than help the working class, has meant poorer living conditions for all workers and has snowballed ever since.

The mood in Worcester is one of anger at the injustice. The Labour Party at local and national level is not a party for the working class, but merely a second eleven for capitalism. We need a new mass workers' party. I am standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Worcester as a step towards building one.

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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 17 March 2021:


End violence against women

Violence against women - we will not be silenced


NHS

Rich pickings for private companies - peanuts for health workers

NHS workers map out strategy to win 15% pay rise


Review

Judas and the Black Messiah - taste of Fred Hampton's politics, with lessons for fighting oppression today


Media

Can the capitalist media prevent socialist change?


Workplace news

British Gas strike at crucial stage

Electricians protest against deskilling and lower wages

Goodlord workers continue strike against 'fire and rehire'

Thousands of BT workers to ballot for strike action

Government's bus plans fall short of making up for the cuts

Reinstate Moe - stop trade union-busting at Abellio!

PCS members at Swansea DVLA to strike for safety


Elections

Council funding crisis - We need a workers' programme to restore the stolen millions

We need a fighting strategy to win funding from the government - why I'm standing for TUSC

Standing for TUSC in Worcester

Help fund the Socialist Party's election campaign as part of TUSC


Campaigns news

Build for the Socialist Students day of action on 21 April

I couldn't just stand and watch! - Why I joined the Socialist Party

Socialist Party LGBTQ+ members meeting

Selling the Socialist


International news

Myanmar: workers brave brutal military crackdown


 

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