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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 April 2021

TUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

  (Click to enlarge)

Berkay Kartav, South West London Socialist Party

On Friday 9 April, over 70 attended the online campaign launch rally organised by the London Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), gearing up for the London elections on 6 May.

The rally was chaired by James Ivens, a London Socialist Party organiser. He opened the rally by reiterating the point that "TUSC candidates standing for the Greater London Authority (GLA) are standing to be the hot breath on the back of the necks of cutter-Khan, Starmer the abstainer, and their resurrected New Labour project".

We heard from a wide range of speakers who are standing as TUSC candidates in London, including a school worker, a college student and a Black Lives Matter activist.

The first speaker was Lewis Peacock, an RMT member who is standing as a TUSC candidate in the Jubilee ward council by-election in Enfield. He spoke about the crisis in Transport for London funding which has been exacerbated during the pandemic, and the attacks on the militant workforce from both the Tories and Sadiq Khan.

Nancy Taaffe, Socialist Party member and chair of the Save Our Square campaign, was the second speaker. She explained why she is standing for the GLA seat covering the London boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest. She said: "There is a layer of people who will be reflecting on what we have just lived through. And TUSC is standing in an attempt to reach those people and offer a socialist solution, particularly in the absence of other forces standing."

There were also speakers from other constituent parts of TUSC. Andy Walker, an independent member, is standing as a TUSC candidate for the Redbridge and Havering constituency seat for the London Assembly.

He spoke about how Redbridge has given too much ground to big developers: "Every vote for TUSC is challenging the status quo of the three main parties who want to give in to big business". We also heard from Jonathan Cooper, an organiser for Resist in London.

Other TUSC candidates spoke brilliantly about why they are standing. Naomi Byron, NHS shop steward and a Socialist Party member, said that the 1% pay rise is a kick in the teeth for NHS workers.

Lewis Baker, a member of the bakers' union BFAWU, who took part in the 2017 McDonald's strike, is standing on the TUSC GLA list.

He said that under the current leadership the Labour Party is failing to connect with working-class communities. He concluded by saying workers need an alternative, and that TUSC is the only organisation that offers a real political alternative.

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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.

  • 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 14 April 2021:


Covid-19

'Covid passports' discriminatory and questionable - fight for workplace safety

Covid inquiry? Workers must decide


News

Tensions escalate in Northern Ireland

How to deal with the tax-dodging mega-rich? Nationalise!

NHS pay: reject Tories' miserly 1% 'offer' - Fight for full 15% rise

Amazon - union vote lost

Tory hypocrisy over housing benefit cut

US cops shoot dead another black man


Elections

Every voter in Wales has the opportunity to vote for TUSC

TUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

London housing crisis: vote TUSC to fight back


Workplace news

PCS elections: Support the Broad Left Network for a democratic, fighting union leadership

St Mungo's maintenance workers on indefinite strike

Thousands of London bus workers strike across multiple companies

Rally for sacked RMT rep Declan

East London cleaners fight outsourcing and redundancies

Bristol Water workers walk out

SPS Technologies workers end strike after management backs down

Thurrock Council workers strike against pay cuts

Deliveroo workers strike and protest


Lessons from history

1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism


Campaigns news

Youth under attack

Students in action: Protest on 21 April

Why you should join the Socialist Party

Cardiff: Hundreds protest to free Siyanda

Worcester: Kill the Bill

Fighting fund target smashed. Can we do it again?


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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