The Socialist 19 March 2005 |
Join the Socialist
Fight for a better future
NANCY TAAFFE is a part-time library assistant and member of UNISON.
She campaigned in favour of strike action against New Labour's attacks
She is also the Socialist Party's general election candidate in
Waltham Forest, northeast London.
A penny off the pay, not a minute on the day'. That was the slogan used
by the pioneers of the labour and trade union movement in their fight
against the greedy bosses at the turn of the last century. And it
accurately explains the attacks on our pensions at the start of the 21st
On first hearing about the proposed changes to our pensions, many
workers were unclear about precisely how their immediate circumstances
Pension law is a myriad of different schemes, rules and calculations.
I have had to try and understand the detail of these laws very quickly
in the past few weeks whilst trying to explain to people these proposed
Socialist Party members have explained that pensions are deferred
wages and by attacking our pensions the government hope to defer the
fight till we are too old and too weak to realise that we have been
swindled. These changes are essentially a wage cut and an extension in
our working life.
We have argued in the trade unions and more widely that capitalism is
an inefficient system that protects the profits of a tiny elite at the
top of the system rather than efficiently running society in the
interests of the many. These pensions changes show that in an attempt to
keep profits in the hands of a few they are prepared to turn the clock
back and have the working classes literally working from the cradle to
The Socialist Party in UNISON and right across the trade union
movement has been arguing that we need to build a new workers' party
organised around the ideas of socialism to defeat these attacks.
If for instance the profits of HSBC, Shell and other multinationals
were ploughed back into the infrastructure of society then we would have
more money to spend on pensions and the welfare state in general.
Socialism is the only alternative to this profit driven system - a
system which attacks our wages and working conditions and creates war
and environmental destruction. Join us and fight for a future worth
Vote socialist and build the alternative
I HAVE been doing meetings up and down the country and have probably
spoken to more than 6,000 PCS members.
Marion Lloyd, PCS NEC, personal capacity
All of them, without exception, are very angry about the Labour
government's threats to cut 120,000 jobs, attack our terms and
conditions and now our pensions. And they are keen to stand up united
and do something about it.
But they are also asking questions about the general election. At
each meeting I've spoken at, without fail, at least one or two members
have asked me who they can vote for.
The need for a clear alternative, based on defending the public
sector, properly funding public services and allowing us to do our jobs
and deliver them is uppermost in members' minds. New Labour, Tories,
Liberal Democrats - they're all competing to see who can attack us the
In some areas of the country the Socialist Party will be standing
candidates in the election, on a platform of investing in public
services. I would encourage members to vote socialist in those areas.
But don't stop there, join the Socialist Party and help build a
campaigning alternative to the main political parties.
Standing for socialism
THE SOCIALIST Party is standing in the following seats in the
Bristol North West
Cardiff South and Penarth
Coventry North East
Newcastle East and Wallsend
Wythenshawe and Sale East
If you would like to help our campaigns in any of these seats,
'phone Hannah on 020 8988 8767
Manifesto for socialism
for the millions, not the millionaires
no cuts! no
£1.50 including postage
Available from Socialist Books, PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD