Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 April 2010

New Labour meltdown in Stoke

Magnificent NHS demonstration through Stoke-on-Trent on 29 April 2006, photo Stoke Socialist Party

Magnificent NHS demonstration through Stoke-on-Trent on 29 April 2006, photo Stoke Socialist Party

MP MARK Fisher's decision not to stand for re-election intensified the already well developed process of meltdown of New Labour in Stoke Central.

Andy Bentley

This process is of course a national development and is fundamentally a result of New Labour's transformation into a party that fully embraces the neoliberal agenda of big business. But the process of disintegration has gone further across Stoke-on-Trent and in Stoke Central in particular than in many other parts of the country.

quote opening

There is, however, a candidate who will be standing in Stoke Central who is backed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
quote closing

Matt Wright, a Socialist Party member and active trade unionist, is proud to stand under the banner of TUSC and has pledged to only take the average wage of workers in the area if elected.

Like New Labour nationally, the party in Stoke-on-Trent is now just a shell of what it once was and no longer represents the interests of ordinary working class people.

By slavishly implementing Blair and now Brown's anti-working class policies, New Labour in Stoke-on-Trent has gone from holding all 60 council seats in 1997 to just 14 today. There are now ten different groups and grouplets on the city council none of which put forward a clear programme to represent the interests of working class people in the city.

The vast majority of Labour voters in the city feel betrayed by the New Labour government and councillors who have cut jobs, closed or privatised much needed services and massively increased council tax. This has allowed the racist BNP to pose as 'defenders' of the white working class and win, at its height, nine council seats.

Further disarray

THREE STALWARTS of Labour in the Central constituency are suing the party national leadership because of their undemocratic removal from a candidates' shortlist for council seats. One was previously a Labour councillor for many years, another was the Labour leader of the city council and the third is the current secretary of the Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency Labour Party. All three have been barred from speaking to the press.

The Labour Party national executive committee (NEC) has stopped the constituency from holding meetings until after the general election, but allowed a parliamentary candidate selection meeting after imposing its own shortlist of three people.

This process of diktat from above served to make worse what had already become an unprincipled scramble for a very attractive job opportunity in their eyes - Mark Fisher's safe seat with a 10,000 majority at the last general election and a basic annual salary of 65,000.


The selection meeting chose historian Tristram Hunt, from the limited choice on the imposed list. Since then, constituency party secretary Gary Elsby has announced that he will stand as an independent candidate against Hunt.

There has been no serious debate about policies or programme and at times the process has had elements of a Monty Python sketch. Some New Labour party members locally protested that the contenders for the seat from 'outside' included people who would not be trusted by working class people in Stoke-on-Trent because of having names like Tristram and Byron!

It's true that having been born, raised and lived all my life in the city I've never met anyone named Tristram or Byron but if they had policies which benefited the working class of the city then many would willingly name their children after them!

New Labour's main strategic aim is to retain power at the general election and continue their pro-big business policies. They've long since ditched the idea of carrying out any socialist change which would benefit ordinary working class people.

Tristam Hunt is a friend of New Labour policy-driver Peter Mandelson, who is said to have intervened to make sure Hunt can stand as a Labour candidate. Hunt, like most Labour candidates, will be promoting a party that plans to unload the economic crisis created by big business and the capitalist system onto the backs of ordinary working and middle class people.

There is, however, a candidate who will be standing in Stoke Central who is backed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

TUSC has been set up to provide a serious trade union and working-class based opposition to the orgy of job cuts, attacks on pay, conditions and pensions, privatisation, etc, planned by the next government whether New Labour, Tory or Lib Dem.

Matt Wright, a Socialist Party member and active trade unionist, is proud to stand under the banner of TUSC and has pledged to only take the average wage of workers in the area if elected.

But many will ask, what's the point of voting for TUSC if it is too new to win?

The answer is simple. When all those who have voted for Labour in the past vote for TUSC candidate Matt Wright then he will win and so will ordinary working class people across Stoke-on-Trent.

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

In The Socialist 7 April 2010:

Defend jobs and services - Fight for a workers' alternative - Vote TUSC

General Election 6 May: A Socialist Challenge

Socialist Party editorial

Mobilise to defend the right to strike

London Underground workers balloting

Socialist Party election campaign

Stand up for the millions, not the millionaires!

Reject the parties of cuts and privatisation

Socialist Campaign launched in Coventry

New Labour meltdown in Stoke

Making an impact in Huddersfield

Hazel Must Go! opposes cuts to Salford NHS

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Socialist Party campaigns

Cuts bite in north west

March to defend the welfare state

Tories reveal yet more anti-gay bias

'Free schools' or free-for-all?

News in brief

Socialist Party workplace news

NUT conference again calls for action on workload

Ex-Visteon workers continue fight for pensions

Industrial news in brief

Socialist Students

Mobilise students and workers to defeat cuts and tuition fees

International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan: "change the politicians - or they will change you!"

Mass protests and strikes continue to shake Algeria

Tekel workers brutally attacked by police


The real lessons of the poll tax


Home   |   The Socialist 7 April 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleNorth Shields: second march and rally to #SaveOurBridge

triangleOppose big business's sphere of influence!

triangleFord Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant

triangleUnite must be at the head of fighting for a general election and against council cuts

triangleCouncil cuts continue while reserves rise


triangleSelling the Socialist in Stoke

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

triangleVictory against 'the biggest single NHS privatisation'

triangleStoke Socialist Party: Kick the Tories out in the General Election!

Working class:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Corbyn and the working class

triangleSudan: The revolution under threat

triangleBosses fear revolt against capitalism


triangleHarrogate academy workers strike against closure

triangleEast London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades


triangleNew twist in Derby TUSC election agent case

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleTUSC suspends electoral activity

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


South Western Railway

South Western Railway staff strike for safety



Angry residents' meeting demands answers and action following fire



Ford Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant



Bluestar bus drivers' strike over pay



East London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades



Swansea Parcelforce workers picket depot in support of victimised rep



Harrogate academy workers strike against closure



Orgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally



Oppose big business's sphere of influence!



Young Socialists - re-establishing Rhondda's fighting traditions


North Shields

North Shields: second march and rally to #SaveOurBridge



Newton Abbot says no to Tory privatisation of the NHS!



Worcester: Building on our successful library campaign


Low pay

Trade union action can end low pay


Climate change

What way forward to tackle climate change?

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: 0784 114 4890

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

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019