Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 December 2009

Politics 'illegal' in Lewisham council

THE GLOVES are off for next year's Lewisham council elections. The Socialist Party, the only party prepared to fight against cuts, faces all the other parties including the Greens prepared to implement cuts.

Chris Newby

Lewisham's Labour councillors are running scared of a real debate about how they could prevent cuts to jobs and services. At the 25 November council meeting, the Labour Mayor of Lewisham, Steve Bullock, moved an interim budget of over 4 million of cuts rising to 8 million. Incredibly he called these cuts 'uncontroversial'.

Will it be uncontroversial to those workers who would lose their jobs or those people whose services will be cut? This will mean the loss of the equivalent of over 50 fulltime posts and the privatisation of the systems and support service in the Revenues and benefits service.

This will no doubt be on top of further central government attacks to local government funding, which nationally will mean hundreds of thousands of public sector workers losing their jobs.

Opposing these cuts, Socialist Party councillor Ian Page said that billions of pounds have been used to bail out the banks. These cuts will mean real hardship to people in Lewisham so why couldn't extra funding be found from central government to prevent these cuts? The debate on this budget made it clear that the Socialist Party is the only party opposed to cuts. All the other parties, including the Green Party argued that savings (i.e. cuts) have to be made.

Replying to the debate, Steve Bullock said he was thinking of applying to English Heritage to have the Socialist Party arguments listed as 'historical arguments'. But for the millions of people across Britain, already suffering as a result of this economic crisis and set to suffer further as a result of government cutbacks whichever party is in power, these arguments are not historical.

The Socialist Party is the only one offering a coherent alternative to the strategy of cuts proposed by all the other parties. The Socialist Party was the only party to vote against these cuts with the Liberal Democrats and Greens abstaining.

A follow up motion moved by the Labour Party called for cross-party support for the Mayor's budget cuts and his plan to freeze council tax. Incredibly an amendment from the Socialist Party calling "on the mayor and council to launch a campaign to demand the necessary extra funding from the government to prevent any cuts to the council's budget" was ruled out of order by the council's Head of Law.

She claimed that the council cannot support motions which call for a political campaign and that calling for extra government funds is a political campaign.

It was her ruling, however, that was 'political'. The meeting, for example, also had tabled two Labour motions, one condemning Boris Johnson's recent London Transport fare rises and another sponsoring the Mayors for Peace movement promoting 'the total abolition of nuclear weapons'.

Aren't these 'political campaigns'? Yet it was only the Socialist Party motion that was ruled out of order! The Socialist Party will not be silenced by these bureaucratic manoeuvres and will do all it can to build a campaign against cuts in the borough.

Motion to Lewisham council from Labour councillors:

"This council recognises the importance of helping residents through these difficult economic times. It therefore welcomes the Mayor's statement of intent to pursue a freeze in council tax and set a balanced budget next year and calls upon all parties in this chamber to make the same commitment."

Amendment from Socialist party councillors:

"Delete everything after 'set a balanced budget' and add 'calls on the mayor and council to launch a campaign to demand the necessary extra funding from the government to prevent any cuts to the council's budget.'"

The South London Press asked for quotes about next year's elections. Lewisham's Socialist Party councillors said: "After the election, whoever wins, we will face an onslaught of cuts. Socialist Party councillors will fight to defend every job and every service - we do not accept that ordinary working people should have to pay the price of an economic crisis which was not of our making."

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 2 December 2009:

Climate change 'gigantic market failure'

Copenhagen climate change talks

Socialist Party NHS campaign

National Health Service: Patient safety not private profit

Youth fight for jobs

Youth march for jobs: "A fantastic experience"

Credit crunch

Dubai's house of sand crumbles

War and occupation

Chilcot inquiry: Put the warmongers on trial!

Socialist Party news and analysis

Fast news

Yorkshire strikes - the lessons

BA management get tough

Fighting university cuts

Fighting council cuts in Greenwich

Stoke Axiom action continues

Defend the Four!

NUS plans mean students pay


Rally to oppose racist EDL

How mass campaigning closed BNP HQ

International socialist news and analysis

Irish Republic: Huge public sector workers' strike against cutbacks

Indonesia: Eyewitness report from Tamil refugee boat

Socialist Party election campaign

Politics 'illegal' in Lewisham council

Help give a socialist answer to cuts and privatisation

Marxist analysis: history

Liverpool council's budget 'black hole': Establishment parties only offer swingeing cuts


Home   |   The Socialist 2 December 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: USA - Resisting Trump and fighting for socialism

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleLabour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project


triangleBuilding the campaign against clearances of the working class

triangleNo fudge with the right wing

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: When Liverpool council defied the Tories

triangleIn Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street

Socialist Party:

triangleUsdaw victory - Socialist Party member Amy Murphy wins presidential election

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: 100 years of votes for women

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: 100 years since women won the right to vote


triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Organising tenants in the private rented sector

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: How long can May cling on for?

The Socialist:

triangleDonate to the Socialist Party

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Building the campaign against clearances of the working class



No fudge with the right wing



TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent



Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely



Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback



Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig



Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?



Staines fire services saved



Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council



Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses



Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough



Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward



Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts



Unison national women's conference


Royal Mail

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

February 2018

January 2018