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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2021

Why I'm standing for TUSC - cuts to vital services have to stop

Ian Pattison

Ian Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

Ian Pattison, TUSC candidate for Waltham Abbey

The Tories in Essex County Council want to cut 46 million from public services. There's nothing left to cut!

It wouldn't be any different if Labour got in. Labour control three district councils in Essex - Basildon, Colchester, and Harlow. And they have been passing on Tory cuts for a decade. Waltham Abbey library could be next on the chopping block.

Labour refused to oppose the Tories' 1.5% council tax hike. We can't afford that! Meanwhile the Tories are pretending this council tax rise isn't happening.

The bus services in Waltham Abbey are too expensive, and Sunday services are run by a different company that won't accept our weekly ticket, forcing us to pay again. Why do we have to fork out again for an unreliable service?

Who does this hit the most? Key workers who work at the weekend and people who want to see their families, just so private companies can make more profit. The councils in Essex and Epping Forest should step in to stop this happening, or run the service themselves.

And like many parents, I'm struggling to find a nursery place for my child. The cuts to vital services have to stop. That's why we're standing Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates in the Essex County Council elections. Socialist Party members Scott Jones, Paul Lenihan and Dave Murray are standing in Buckhurst Hill and Loughton South, Harlow South, and Basildon Westleigh Heights respectively, and I'm standing in Waltham Abbey. If elected, we will vote against all cuts and council tax rises.

The Tory government has spent 280 billion during the Covid pandemic. It shows the money is there. But we have to stand up to the Tories and Labour to fight for the funding our local community needs.

The far-right 'For Britain' party is also standing against us. Some would say TUSC shouldn't stand, in case we split the vote and let the far right in. But this racist group already occupies a seat in the poorest part of Waltham Abbey.

This area would have traditionally been Labour, but working-class people no longer trust it. Only our message of working-class unity for jobs, homes and services for all can undermine the far right's support.

There's another very local issue on my street. A landowner has blocked off the public footpath to the woods behind our houses. We're demanding the council reopen it. Working-class residents should democratically make decisions on issues like this, including saying 'no more cuts'.

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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 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:

TUSC:

triangleWe need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

triangleTUSC calls for local 'People's Budget' campaigns

triangleEnfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

triangleWaltham Forest byelections: Council homes not unaffordable flats

triangleTUSC is back

Cuts:

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed

triangleDagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

triangleDerby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

triangleSocialist Party to the fore at Unison LG conference

Council:

triangleStop Pimlico gentrification

triangleWorkplace round-up

triangleTV - Statue wars: one summer in Bristol

Labour:

trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

Essex:

triangleThurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

Basildon:

triangleTV: Ross Kemp - Living with Forced Out Families

Harlow:

triangleCouncil Tax: Con-Dems turn screw on poorest

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleEaling parking wardens strike against Serco over absence policy

Elections:

triangleBatley & Spen byelection: Another condemnation of Starmer's New Labour

Council elections:

trianglePre-election and post-election meetings

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