Royal London Hospital Unite workers strike picket
Unite trade union Serco outsourced workers employed by Barts Health NHS Trust strike at Royal London Hospital Whitechapel East London

Vote TUSC on 5 May

James Collett, Gloucestershire Socialist Party

Robbing the working class and poor to pay for the crisis of profit-driven capitalism, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak both deserve the title: ‘Robin Hood of the rich’.

This month, many workers will be taking a hit to their pay packets due to millionaire chancellor Sunak’s decision to raise National Insurance in the midst of a spiralling cost-of-living crisis.

This is the fifth-richest country in the world and children are going to school hungry. Child poverty in the UK now affects one in four children – and that figure rises to 46% for children from black and minority ethnic groups. Supermarket Iceland has started offering loans to its customers because, in the words of CEO Richard Walker: “We’re losing customers to food banks or, not being overly dramatic, to hunger”.

Working-class voice

It was workers who kept the country running through the pandemic, many losing their lives, losing family members, losing the opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones dying in hospitals and care homes. Meanwhile, Johnson and Co were partying on Downing Street. During the parliamentary debate on Johnson’s rule-breaking, the gang of professional liars in Westminster studiously avoided using the word ‘liar’ and sang hymns to “our great democracy” – a ‘democracy’ in which the working class has no voice.

The trade unions formed the Labour Party to be a political voice for the working class. Today it is anything but that. Keir Starmer has shown himself to be an obedient servant of the bosses, and Labour councils have made it their business to pioneer ‘fire and rehire’ tactics, break strikes, fine the homeless, and implement Tory cuts.

The Socialist Party is standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the local elections on 5 May because workers need a party of our own to stand up for our interests. Workers, trade unionists, socialists and community campaigners are standing as candidates ourselves, to fight for socialist policies. If elected, TUSC candidates pledge to oppose cuts to jobs and services in deeds, not just in words. Fighting for socialist councillors is a step forward in the process towards a new mass workers’ party that can take the enormous wealth in society out of the hands of the super-rich and use it to provide decent homes, jobs and services for all. Vote for TUSC on 5 May.