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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2021

Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

TUSC Liverpool mayor campaign, April 2021

TUSC Liverpool mayor campaign, April 2021   (Click to enlarge)

Neill Dunne, Liverpool Socialist Party

Liverpool mayoral candidate Roger Bannister for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) took part in the first online hustings of the election campaign on Tuesday 13 April.

Six out of the seven candidates showed up, only the Tory candidate did not make an appearance. The gulf between the five other candidates, united in their acceptance of Tory austerity, and the only real socialist candidate - was clear to see.

In his opening statement Roger outlined the need for an anti-austerity challenge to Liverpool Labour council "which has passed on Tory cuts virtually without protest, and certainly without action to oppose them." This has meant 420 million of cuts in the last decade, including to vital services for children, disabled people, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

Other candidates used the recent arrests of Labour politicians as a stick to beat the Labour council with. But only Roger put forward a strategy to fight back: "I want to use council reserves to produce a balanced budget, in order to buy time to build a campaign amongst trade unions and the working-class people of Liverpool, to fight for more resources from the Tory government for this city."

It was clear from Joanne Anderson, the Labour candidate, that a vote for the right-wing led Labour Party in this election would be a vote for more of the same cuts, privatisation and managed decline that has already taken place in Liverpool.

Stephen Yip, the well-resourced independent candidate who has marketed himself as an alternative to the politics of the council, came unstuck when questioned on how he would stand up for the people of Liverpool. His only answer was that he would employ (likely highly paid) experts and advisers, a clear indication of appeasement with the impending Tory commissioners entering the city, who are likely to advocate privatising and stripping bare anything they can get hold of. Only TUSC has a clear position of no trust in the right -wing Labour councillors, or unelected commissioners, to run the city in the interests of the working class.

The comments section of the online stream was a battleground of policies and conjecture about other candidates. But even many supporters of other candidates couldn't argue with Roger's points, backed up by Socialist Party members engaging in the debate, some opponents even admitting to agree with him.

As Roger said in his closing remarks, after clearly outlining the anti-austerity strategy we need: "If elected I would use the office of the mayor to fight for the working people of Liverpool." A vote for Roger Bannister and all TUSC candidates is a vote for the working class to fight back against the cuts, in Liverpool and everywhere else we are standing on 6 May.

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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.

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In The Socialist 21 April 2021:


What we think

Build a Socialist alternative

Capitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights


Football

Football: no trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game


International

Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections

USA: cop killings and the anti-racist movement

Superpowers' tensions continue to ratchet up


Elections

Don't trust the Labour right's empty promises

Fight to stop cuts

Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open

Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

Essex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

Carlisle campaign day success

Socialist Party northern region meeting

With public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund


Workplace

Socialist Party members - part of a left challenge for Unison's leadership

Fight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

Retail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union

CWU BT ballot - time for action now!

Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

Bus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry

PCS leadership ballot underway


News

Long Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

News in brief


Campaigns

Housing activists storm rental firm's offices

Protests continue against proposed anti-protest laws


 

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Related links:

Liverpool:

triangleTUSC is back

trianglePlaque dedicated to Tony Mulhearn

triangleSocialist Party members campaigning for TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) election candidates in Liverpool, 24.4.21

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triangleHartlepool sums up Labour crisis

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