TUSC stands 100% against cuts and council tax increases. Photo: Paul Mattsson (uploaded 15/12/2021)
TUSC stands 100% against cuts and council tax increases. Photo: Paul Mattsson (uploaded 15/12/2021)

‘We’re trade unionists and socialists, because there’s enough for everybody’

Lynne Cooney was a Labour town councillor for Louth in Lincolnshire until she resigned from the Labour Party in March, and declared as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) councillor, and then joined the Socialist Party. TUSC is the electoral coalition in which the Socialist Party participates, alongside transport union RMT and others. In a leaflet to residents, Lynne explained:

I joined Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership because I identified with the need for compassion and empathy, and to support those who needed someone to hear them and help them. As a town councillor for Trinity ward, I spoke at the council precept meeting in favour of keeping the council tax down.

I campaigned against the stealth tax for recycling bins. I’ve also written to the MP regarding do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders for disabled patients during Covid, sexual assaults in educational settings, housing standards for homes owned by housing associations, and rent rises.

I am very visible and vocal in my community, and passionate about disability rights. I’ve also written two reports on access around the town for people with mobility issues, speaking out on the latest active travel plan in Louth, which disadvantages disabled and vulnerable groups.

Keir Starmer has betrayed the fundamental principles of Labour, and failed to hold the Tories to account. Increasingly, I found it harder and harder to hold on in the faint hope that the socialists within Labour would find a way back.

As a Send (special educational needs and disability) parent, I’ve seen funding for social care, NHS paediatrics and assessments fall. I’ve seen children failed by an education system unable to support their needs. People have been plunged into poverty, and zero-hour contracts have thrown workers into uncertain futures.

It’s them and us. Prices and profits rocketing, but wages, pensions and benefits held down.

There’s never been so much inequality. Yet there’s hardly any difference between the three main parties.

Boris Johnson and the Tories are always for the super-rich. ‘Sir’ Keir “I agree with the government” Starmer is no opposition.

Under Labour I had no voice, which is why I chose to resign, and align myself to TUSC. I can now raise my voice. I can, with others, take the fight to the council and Westminster, and start trying to change austerity and privatisation made by both Tories and Labour. TUSC gives a voice to working-class people. We’re trade unionists because we fight for workers’ rights, against low pay and zero-hour contracts. We’re socialists because there’s enough wealth and resources for everybody to enjoy a decent standard of living.