330 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates, of which the Socialist Party is a part, are standing in the elections on 6 May. 307 candidates will contest seats in 95 different local authorities. TUSC is also standing candidates for the Welsh Senedd, Scottish Parliament, Greater London Assembly and city mayor in Bristol and Liverpool.
To fight for a socialist NHS
Maggie Fricker NHS worker and TUSC candidate for Coxford ward, Southampton City Council
To be honest, us health workers are all pretty pissed off – the feeling of ‘they’re all the same’ is more heartfelt than ever before. Health workers’ anger against the Tories is a given, but people are also demanding to know why no alternative is being put to the wrecking of our NHS by underfunding and greedy profiteers milking the service for all they can get!
As for the pay claim – write to your MP, we are told by our unions’ leaderships – but MPs all have their noses in the trough – we have no confidence in those currently elected to represent us in parliament or locally.
There is a burning need for us to have leaders who mean what they say, who raise peoples’ sights, who see what we see. Imagine if we had socialist class fighters as councillors, who are nurses, care workers and transport workers, who live in our communities and who don’t give up on us and play the bosses game of ‘trying to balance the books with too little money from central government’.
We have struggled to keep things going through the pandemic, we deserve better, we deserve class fighters who will struggle with us to defend our services and the jobs in our communities, and refuse to make us pay for the economic crisis that has come in the wake of Covid. We need a working-class, socialist alternative. Vote for TUSC on 6 May.
For a future for young people
Tom Gibson TUSC candidate for Bolton and Undercliffe ward, Bradford district council
Youth unemployment is an issue that Conservative and Labour parties seem unwilling to tackle – nationally 582,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed between December and February. In the Bradford region alone, which is controlled by a Labour council, 9.8% of the working age population is unemployed, and 6,995 of those are aged between 18 and 24.
We need investment for jobs in sectors like green energy. We need a fairer unemployment system; the pandemic has put so many people out of work and yet the capitalist parties continue to demonise unemployed workers.
Free bus passes for anyone under 25 is a key policy I am campaigning for. This is something Labour supported under Corbyn but has now dropped. In Bradford, under-19-year-olds get reduced prices, but in my opinion this isn’t good enough, a single ticket costs £2 and an all-day ticket is £4. A free bus pass would take financial strain off young people and would help environmentally too. We need bus services to be nationalised so they can be run for peoples’ needs rather than profit.
Over 600 libraries have been closed since the Tory-Liberal government was elected in 2010. Many of these libraries were in the more deprived areas showing a callous and careless disregard for the education of young people and the working class. In Bradford before the pandemic, museum workers went on strike against cuts imposed by the Labour council. We need councillors who are on the side of workers fighting for fully funded public services.
I am honoured to be able to stand on a platform alongside many other hard-working candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. To fight against the interests of the bosses and for ordinary people, including young people, who have been utterly let down by all the establishment parties.
TUSC is fighting for a socialist future, and part of that future is giving young people the equality and quality of life they deserve. Vote for TUSC on 6 May
To defend the right to protest
Amy Sage TUSC candidate for Henbury and Brentry ward, Bristol City Council
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, is currently paused on its route through parliament. If enacted it would severely undermine the right to protest. It is a clear attempt by the Tories to quash movements that are very likely to erupt over the coming months in reaction to their disastrous response to the Covid pandemic and its economic consequences.
The Tory government fully intends for us to pay for the Covid crisis, with further austerity, job losses and misery on the horizon. But we must not allow this to happen; we must be able to strike and protest on a mass scale, in order to make it clear that the working class will not pay for this crisis in the same way we did the last one. The police bill would severely undermine our ability to do this.
That is why the Socialist Party, including candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) standing in the Bristol City Council and mayoral elections, oppose the bill and have attended the ‘Kill the Bill’ protests.
Tom Baldwin, TUSC candidate for Bristol mayor, is the only one of the nine candidates to put forward this position. Current mayor, Labour’s Marvin Rees, while claiming to oppose the bill, simply condemned the protestors and, even after evidence clearly showed that the police violently attacked protesters, failed to call for the police to be held accountable for their actions. It is blatantly clear that the big political parties are both unwilling and incapable of standing up for the working class and our most fundamental democratic rights. TUSC candidates are the only ones willing to take the fight to the streets, our workplaces and our communities in order to defend our rights. Vote for TUSC on 6 May.
Fighting climate change
Adam Harmsworth TUSC candidate for Earlsdon ward, Coventry City Council
The local elections are an important chance to put climate change back on the agenda, with the time to prevent irreversible damage slipping away fast.
The Greens and Labour are vying to present themselves as the environmental vote. Many activists were rightly inspired by Corbyn’s policies to address climate change; Labour’s 2019 manifesto pledges would have transformed Britain’s contribution to the fight to save the planet.
But we must be clear that none of that is present in Labour’s local election plans, nor unfortunately with the Green’s (see page 10). Many councils have declared a ‘climate emergency’ but have done nothing to follow it up. Starmer’s Labour promises 400,000 green jobs; but where Labour is in power they have cut tens of thousands of council jobs to obey Tory funding cuts!
Meanwhile, Greens in power frequently push for ‘clean air zones’, which punish less well-off workers for having older cars that pollute more. This bluntly fines workers for not being able to afford to be green enough.
Without serious links to the working class, or an understanding of the role of capitalism, both parties’ representatives turn to antagonistic and unhelpful politics.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is rooted in the working class and is composed of real socialist campaigners. Every TUSC council candidate supports a mass building programme of eco-friendly affordable council homes. TUSC knows that councils can and must do far more. Crucially, TUSC councillors would fight for funding for green policies, and oppose the Tory austerity that is holding back the fight for a sustainable future.
Oppose capitalism’s destruction, help to save the planet – vote TUSC!
For safety and accountable police
Ben Goldstone, West London Socialist Party
The murder of Sarah Everard, and the subsequent vigil which took place on Clapham Common on 13 March, showed clearly there is a definite need for socialist change, and politicians that will fight for it.
The implementation of crippling austerity measures imposed by the current Tory government, and dutifully carried out by Labour councils, has created a more unsafe environment for everyone, especially women. Cuts to public transport mean less frequent trains and buses, and fewer attendants at stations. Coupled with the increasing cost of fares, this has meant that public transport is becoming something that working-class people are unable to utilise or afford.
Street and park lighting is also being switched off earlier or altogether. The underfunding of essential public services for women who experience violence, harassment, and abuse has meant that it has become harder for them to have anywhere to turn when they need assistance. We are led to believe that these cuts are unavoidable – but this is not the case – councillors have a choice not to vote for cuts!
The fact that the police attended the socially distanced vigil and acted with such force, dragging women from the bandstand and arresting them, shows that there needs to be a shift in policing in this country. The police and government exist to maintain the status quo and keep power at the top. The Socialist Party puts forward the need to bring the police force under democratic community control. Our members are standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in May’s elections, including standing for the Greater London Assembly.
Vote for TUSC to fight dangerous austerity and for a socialist alternative.
Fed up with crony politicians in it for themselves and their rich mates
Clare Wilkins, TUSC candidate for Nuthall and Kimberley ward, Nottinghamshire County Council
On the streets people are fed up with Tories and Labour. They are fed up with politicians in it for their own business interests, or career prospects, and all the while making cuts.
They want a politics that is not done to them, but that is theirs. They want councils and councillors that provide services, represent them, and are accountable to them.
63% of voters did not vote in the last local elections in 2017. People we have spoken to campaigning in Nuthall and Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, have said that this was because there was nothing to vote for. Both Tories and Labour have carried out austerity policies and cuts.
The Covid crisis has exacerbated the effect of these cuts. The Tories have given billions to their friends while giving the working class nothing but harder lives.
Workers need an alternative to the Tories and Labour. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is gate-crashing a cosy, exclusive Tory/Labour club in South Nottinghamshire. We need councillors with a political programme and policies to improve the lives of working-class people. Vote for TUSC on 6 May.
End racist policing
Mariam Kamish, TUSC candidate in the Senedd elections
Two young men have died at the hands of police in South Wales since 1 January. The killings of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan in Cardiff and Mouayed Bashir in Newport have brought out big crowds to demand justice.
Despite Covid restrictions, hundreds of brave, mainly young people have closed the streets in front of police stations, and led marches through the city centre determined to make their voices heard.
They rightly say these terrible injustices deserve as much attention as deaths across the Atlantic. Fifteen Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests have taken place in South East Wales so far this year. In Cardiff and Newport, the local community is demanding answers.
From the start, the Socialist Party has demanded the immediate suspension of all the officers involved in the deaths. We call for independent inquiries to include representatives of the families, the local community and the trade unions, whose only interest is to secure justice. But we also call for democratic community control of the police, to stop these terrible miscarriages of justice happening in the first place.
In April, the Young Socialists organised a protest in Cardiff to build support for Siyanda Mngaza, jailed for trying to defend herself from a brutal, racist attack. There is also the case of 13-year-old Christopher Kapessa whose death in the River Cynon in 2019 was never properly investigated.
The Socialist Party has played a prominent role speaking at BLM protests and in securing support for Siyanda, Mohamud, Mouayied, and the wider BLM movement from trades councils, trade unions and the Wales Trades Union Congress.
The trade unions are where millions of workers are organised. We call on the trade unions to make their opposition to institutional racism visible by bringing trade union banners out on BLM protests. But also to play their part in fighting to create a new party for workers that has a political programme to end racism and inequality. Socialist Party members are standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) as part of that process. If you have been fighting for justice in the BLM protests, vote for TUSC on 6 May.