Sunday, 8 December 2013


A former Coventry Labour MP who gave away more than half of his salary says it is a scandal that MPs could be given a pay rise.










 











DAVE NELLIST IS THE NATIONAL CHAIR OF THE TRADE UNIONIST AND SOCIALIST COALITION (TUSC)

HERE HIM SPEAK AT THE TUSC PUBLIC MEETING IN THE BOROUGH ARMS HOTEL, KING STREET, NEWCASTLE ST5 1HX at 7pmLIC MEETING

DAVE WILL BE LAUNCHING THE TUSC 2014 LOCAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACROSS NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE

ALL WELCOME

Tuesday, 19 November 2013



VIDEO – TUSC chair Dave Nellist appeals for candidates to fight next year’s local elections

Baddeley, Milton & Norton by-election – another shattering blow to Labour, another small step forward for TUSC        

Other cuts parties also suffered as the Lib Dem’s share of the vote was down by 4% and the Tory vote down by 11%. However, in a further humiliation for Labour, the Tory candidate pushed them into third place! As expected UKIP’s vote increased by 8%.
 
The result was also a condemnation of Labour’s decision to continue plans, despite massive opposition, to borrow a minimum of £59 million to build a new City Council HQ. Their recent decision to keep the current Civic Centre in Stoke for ‘some’ council workers but still build the new HQ in Hanley as well has only increased that anger.
 
The by election was triggered because the ex Labour incumbent, Andy Lilley, has been jailed for 16 months for fraud despite Labour trying to sweep it under the carpet – at least while he was still a member of the Labour Party. Of course this didn’t help Labour much either!
 
If local elections took place now across the city Labour would face a wipe out. This after three years of the Con-Dem’s savage austerity measures. If they had at least tried to fight against the government’s cuts instead of carrying them out then they would have won this and previous by elections. But anyone still waiting for Ed Miliband or any other Labour leader to come charging over the hill on a white horse to push Labour back into a party that represents ordinary working class people might as well ‘urinate’ in the wind. This applies as much in Stoke-on-Trent as it does nationwide.
 
The City Independents are now the second biggest party with 10 seats on the city council and pose a serious threat to Labour’s domination at the next full local elections in 2015. Although, if those elections coincide with a general election on the same day it will provide Labour with a better chance of hanging on to power.
 
The City Independents have achieved this position by providing an ‘opposition’ in words to some cuts. But as yet that opposition has not included a clear commitment to oppose all cuts or a serious alternative which could protect jobs and services.
 
Importance of this by election
As local elections across Stoke-on-Trent won’t take place again until 2015 this by-election was a rare opportunity for various parties and others to stand as candidates. This led to a large field of 10 in the largest ward in the city which made it more difficult for the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and other smaller parties to make a significant impact at this stage in terms of the votes received.
 
There was only a 19% turnout but that takes nothing away from it’s importance. Under Labour’s control the city council has already carried out £77 million worth of cuts over recent years. This has resulted in thousands of council workers jobs going and the closure of swimming pools, care homes, children’s centre’s libraries etc. Now they are planning a further eye watering £100 million worth of cuts over the next fours years which would all but decimate what services remain.
 
All the other candidates in this by election seem oblivious that this is the key question facing the 250,000 people who live in the city. Most of their leaflets did not even mention cuts whilst a few did so only in passing with no mention of actually fighting against them or any idea how they could be stopped. This inevitably means that the newly elected City Independent councillor will join the others carrying out these hated austerity measures.
 
TUSC strengthened by this by election
Only TUSC candidate Liat Norris stood on the basis of a fight against cuts. We had a great response from people we spoke to. Two fellas in their forties who had never voted before voted for TUSC. A firefighter who we first met three days ago voted for TUSC. Three women who are active in community based groups voted for TUSC. At a public meeting we organised in the ward two local activists said they would stand as TUSC candidates in 2015.
 
PICT0097
 
This by election represents an important step forward for TUSC in Stoke-on-Trent. It represents an important step forward in the building of a new party that we so desperately need to fight for ordinary working class people and it represents one more step towards our aim to stand working class fighters in every ward in the city in 2015.
 
Liat Norris says,

“I would like to thank all those who voted for TUSC’s fight against cuts. One of the most important parts of this election is that TUSC have now stood in 8 wards in the city on a clear platform of fighting against all cuts; we are and we will continue to build our profile as the only alternative to the pro-cuts parties.

For a new developing party fighting against the mainstream consensus that there is no alternative but to carry out these brutal cuts, this important groundwork of building a base of support across the city is key, as is giving people the option to vote against these cuts that would have been otherwise lacking.

This is not the last people in Milton, Norton or Baddeley Green will see of us, or indeed the last anyone else in the city will see of us. We will continue to fight against the council’s plan to carry out another £100 million of cuts, and will be looking to stand in every single ward in the city in 2015.”

By Election result:

City Independent – Mundy -861 – 32%
Tory – Richardson -504 – 18%
Labour – Chetwynd – 444 – 16.5%
UKIP – Harold -333 – 12.4%
Independent – Gary Elsby -313 – 11.7%
BNP – White -79 – 2.9%
Green Party Colclough -50 – 1.8%
Lib – Dem Grocock -32 – 1.1%
Independent – Davis -27 – 1%
TUSC Norris -25 – 0.9%
 
  • Total votes: 2674 = 19.18% turnout

  • UPDATE: Since this article was written Stoke North Labour MP Joan Whalley has announced she won't be standing at the next general election and Stoke South Constituency Labour Party Secretary Tony Whalley has resigned.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

An open letter to all trade unionists and and anti-cuts campaigners




The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Newcastle-Under-Lyme is appealing to trade union members, anti-cuts campaigners, young people – everyone in fact who opposes the Con- Dems’ austerity agenda. Are you prepared to support local councillors who will refuse to vote for cuts? Or even be a council candidate yourself?

Con-Dem austerity is affecting every part of our lives. From pensions to tuition fees; the bedroom tax and low wages; our NHS and libraries; Sure Start centres and support for people with disabilities. A fight back is needed but not a single council – Tory, Lib Dem and Labour alike – has said no to the cuts.

It is not true that councils have ‘no option’ but to pass on the Con-Dems’ cuts. If just a handful of councils defied the Con-Dems and refused to vote for cuts the government could be made to back down and fund public services properly.

Individual councillors have a choice. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has a policy platform for local council elections which could make a difference. Even one councillor taking a stand, if they used their position in the council chamber to appeal to those outside, could give confidence to trade unionists and community campaigners to fight.

This platform is the basis on which any prospective council candidate can stand under the TUSC name in local council elections. We encourage every trade unionist, anti-cuts campaigner, community activist and all those who want to see an alternative to the establishment parties to become a TUSC candidate.

We intend to stand as many candidates as possible in Newcastle next year, but to do that we need your help. To this end, we have organised a public meeting at the Borough Arms Hotel in Newcastle on the 12tf of December at 7pm with TUSC national chair Dave Nellist (ex 'Militant' Labour MP for 9 years) as a guest speaker.

I hope you will join us.

In solidarity,

Matt Wright
on behalf of the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition in North Staffordshire



Tuesday, 12 November 2013

TUSC’s LIAT NORRIS SUPPORTS FIREFIGHTERS ACTION

TUSC candidate Liat Norris in the Baddeley, Milton and Norton by election sends a message of support to firefighters who have been forced to take strike action tomorrow. Liat says,

“I fully support the action being taken by members of the fire service. The disgusting attacks by this government on pay, conditions and pensions of firefighters deserves to be met by the full force of the organised trade union movement. Myself, TUSC and the Socialist Party are fully behind you in this and any future action”

Saturday, 9 November 2013

TUSC Baddeley, Milton and Norton by election update: ONLY FIVE DAYS TO GO!

Much has been done through the hard work of a small number of TUSC supporters so far in our election campaign. This includes;
  • John travelling straight from his workplace at Stafford Hospital to leaflet in Baddeley Green and Norton 
  • Matt leafleting before going to work and after finishing work whilst helping to look after a new baby just weeks old.
  • Our candidate Liat is using his holidays to campaign most days this and next week
  • Stuart has travelled from Crewe to help and Jim from Stafford
  • Tony after his shift working in Crewe
  • Ex postal worker Jane who is now retired through ill health has leafleted all the streets around where she lives in the ward and will be doing so again with our second leaflet
  • Ritchie, who works and has four children, has done a campaigning stall in Milton and has promised to do some leafleting next week
We have received a very good response on our campaign stalls and our second leaflet is now being delivered to homes across the ward.

As we predicted most of the other nine candidates have not even mentioned the council's planned £100 million cuts over the next four years and those that have make no mention of fighting to stop them!
Only TUSC is putting forward a fighting programme based around a Needs Budget to save much needed jobs and services from cuts, closure or privatisation.

We want to get as many votes as possible to send a clear message to the Labour controlled council that enough is enough. With £77 million worth of cuts already carried out another £100 million will devastate what council jobs and services remain.
The most important thing we need now is others to help out with leafleting, campaigning stalls etc in the last 5 days up to and including election day next Thursday 14 November.
So, if you haven't been able to help so far can you commit an hour or two over the next week? YOUR help could potentially make a big difference.
Please get in touch asap by calling or texting TUSC Election Agent Andy on 07845893607

TUSC’s Liat Norris says No to massive fees hike at Keele Uni!

Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in the Baddeley, Milton and Norton by election condemns Keele University’s massive hike in fees for postgraduates.

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TUSC candidate, Liat Norris, had this to say after standing shoulder to shoulder with Keele students campaigning against this backward step.

Young people currently face a barrage of attacks from this government and this system – shutting down any path to a decent future. From the path of work where the lack of decent jobs has resulted in a million unemployed youth, whilst those working get lumbered with exploitative zero-hour contracts – to the path of education, where the increase in fees and cutting of EMA has resulted in an education system many young people simply cannot afford to access.
Today, Keele University decided to further shut down access to education for working class youth by deciding to increase fees for their postgraduate courses by up to a massive 54%. This further reinforces the idea peddled by the government that university should be the playground of the elite – a place working class youth don’t belong. This includes many young people in Baddeley Green, Milton, Norton and across Stoke-on-Trent. This is why I joined the protest of Keele students today, and will continue to vigorously oppose his measure.  
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This represents just one of the many attacks on working class youth supported by the Labour, Tory, LibDem mainstream. That’s why I’m standing as a TUSC candidate in the upcoming Baddeley, Milton and Norton by-election, and why we will be standing widely across Newcastle in the 2014 local elections – to build an alternative political party that will not pander to the rich and big business but that will fight for working class people and our interests!”
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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition - PRESS RELEASE


Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in the Baddeley, Milton and Norton by election condemns Keele University's massive hike in fees for postgraduates.


TUSC candidate, Liat Norris, had this to say after standing shoulder to shoulder with Keele students campaigning against this backward step.


Young people are currently face a barrage of attacks from this government and this system - shutting down any path to a decent future. From the path of work where the lack of decent jobs has resulted in a million unemployed youth, whilst those working get lumbered with exploitative zero-hour contracts – to the path of education, where the increase in fees and cutting of EMA has resulted in an education system many young people simply cannot afford to access.


Today, Keele University decided to further shut down access to education for working class youth by deciding to increase fees for their postgraduate courses by up to a massive 54%. This further reinforces the idea peddled by the government that university should be the playground of the elite – a place working class youth don't belong. This includes many young people in Baddeley Green, Milton, Norton and across Stoke-on-Trent. This is why I joined the protest of Keele students today, and will continue to vigorously oppose this measure.
This represents just one of the many attacks on working class youth supported by the Labour, Tory, LibDem mainstream. That's why I'm standing as a TUSC candidate in the upcoming Baddeley, Milton and Norton by-election, and why we will be standing widely across Newcastle in the 2014 local elections – to build an alternative political party that will not pander to the rich and big business but that will fight for working class people and our interests!”


Contact:

Liat Norris – 07900880146

Andy Bentley TUSC Election Agent - 07845893607

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

TUSC BY ELECTION CAMPAIGN GETS GOOD RESPONSE!

 

TUSC supporters and TUSC candidate Liat Norris have done three very successful campaign stalls in Norton including outside the Co-op on Knypersley Road. This has led to us being invited by a local residents association to attend one of their meetings. And when Stuart went across the road to get some coffees from the Methodist Church drop in centre he was asked to explain to many people in there what our campaign was all about. And many of them were sympathetic!

One fella told us, “The trouble with this country is that we have too many riots when what we really need is a revolution!”

PICT0097
Campaigning stall outside Co-Op in Knypersley Road

Our first TUSC stall in Milton again outside the Co-op was also well recieved by the people we spoke to. In fact, the brother of one of independent election candidates signed our petition and agreed that we need someone in the council ,”Who will fight to stop the cuts”. A woman told us, “It’s about time somebody stood up against this council’s cuts, thanks for what you are doing.

PICT0095
Campaigning stall in Milton

Our message is quite simple; Over the last few years this Labour run council has carried out £77 million worth of cuts. As a result swimming pools, care homes, children’s centres , libraries and many other vital services have been closed and thousands of council workers jobs have gone.

But the most worrying thing is that the council plans to cut another massive £100 million from our services over the next four years. If they are allowed to get away with this then there will be no services left. Therfore we have to get rid of the nodding dogs on the council who are dutifully carrying out the Con Dem government’s cuts. We need councillors who will FIGHT AGAINST ALL CUTS.

This is the reason why we, TUSC, are standing anti cuts candidate Liat Norris who will do just that – FIGHT AGAINST ALL CUTS. This is why we need you to vote for us.
In response many are saying they will vote for us and some say they will think about it.

PICT0098
Even young lads in Norton and their bonfire night guy support TUSC! Can you spot where the TUSC stickers are?

Our leaflet is also being well recieved. Last Monday evening Andy and John braved the heavy rain to do over an hour leafleting homes with our new leaflet. On Tuesday morning we recieved a text from a fella who was extremely impressed with what we had to say in the leaflet.

So impressed in fact he said, “How do I vote and where do I vote!”. We have now got him on the electoral register so he can vote for TUSC! He also said he was going to take the message of TUSC to his friends to tell them that “they now had an alternative to vote for.” We have since got another man added to the electoral register so that he can vote for us as well.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP OUR CAMPAIGN TO GET A TUSC CANDIDATE ELECTED WHO WILL VOTE AGAINST AND CAMPAIGN AGAINST CUTS, CLOSURES AND PRIVATISATION THEN PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.
EVEN DELIVERING LEAFLETS TO HOMES IN YOUR AREA OR ELSEWHERE IS A BIG HELP
OR IF THERE ARE OTHER WAYS YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP THEN PLEASE GET IN TOUCH BY PHONE OR TEXT TO ANDY ON 07845893607

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

VOTE NO TO JOB LOSSES, CUTS, CLOSURES & PRIVATISATION!

The Baddeley, Milton & Norton by election is about fighting cuts!

You can read and dowload our TUSC by election leaflet here TUSC B,M & N by election leaflet


TUSC banner pic

The Con Dem’s savage cuts implemented by Stoke-on-Trent’s City Council are not necessary. If they want to save money then instead of forcing long term unemployed people to work for nothing they could employ and train them to collect the £120 billion worth of Corporation Tax that big business refuse to pay every year. If this money was collected then there is no need for any cuts!

Our Labour council has already carried out the government’s dirty work by passing on £77 million worth of cuts decimating much needed jobs and local services in Baddeley Green, Milton, Norton and across the city. Council leader Mohammed Pervez has now announced further eye watering cuts of £100 million over the next four years. What will remain of local services if these slash and burn policies continue?

There is a seething anger against the council’s savage cuts while at the same time they plan to blow a mimimum of £59 million on a new and unnecessary council HQ! But anger alone will not stop this cuts juggernaut. Ordinary working class people across the city need to get organized and fight back.

The Trade Union & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was set up three years ago to fight against cuts and privatization. If elected on 14 November TUSC’s Liat Norris will do exactly that!

TUSC’s Liat Norris says,
  • SCRAP BEDROOM TAX – NO EVICTIONS!

  • NO TO ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS

  • NO TO ANOTHER NEW COUNCIL HQ - SAVE OUR JOBS AND SERVICES INSTEAD

  • SET A NEEDS BUDGET TO STOP CUTS  

  •  

LIAT NORRIS – TUSC ANTI-CUTS CANDIDATE

One of the youngest candidates in this by election Liat already has an excellent record of fighting against cuts. See www.stokesocialistparty.org.uk

SONY DSC
Liat speaking at North Staffs Against Cuts Hanley Rally 2010

Liat is a life-long Stokie, who until moving to study at Staffordshire University, has lived in the north of the city all his life. Liat says,

“Growing up during New Labour’s government I’ve seen the Labour Party completely throw away it’s principles to become another party of big business. This is why I am standing as a TUSC candidate – to fight back against these endless cuts and help build a new party that will fight for ordinary working class people.”

Liat works in Hanley and is the local organiser for YOUTH FIGHT FOR JOBS – www.youthfightforjobs.com

IT’S TIME TO FIGHT AGAINST ENDLESS CUTS!

SCRAP BEDROOM TAX – NO EVICTIONS!
Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pledge to scrap the hated bedroom tax means nothing if Labour councils like Stoke-on-Trent continue to force people to pay what they can’t afford or face eviction. If elected, Liat will call on the council to agree a no evictions policy for arrears.
NO TO ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS

As local organiser of Youth Fight for Jobs, Liat campaigns against exploitative employment practises like Zero-hour contacts and for decent, well paid jobs for all – especially young people. He says, “If elected I will also fight to ensure the council does not employ on a zero-hours basis, and will support Unison’s campaign locally against zero-hour contracts in the NHS.
NO TO ANOTHER NEW COUNCIL HQ – SAVE OUR JOBS & SERVICES INSTEAD!
Liat continues to campaign against the city council’s madcap idea of wasting a minimum of £59 million on a new HQ whilst at the same time carrying out savage cuts to services.
Liat says, “I will use all the powers available as a councillor to stop this waste of money and call for it to be used instead to prevent cuts, closures or privatisation and to build affordable council houses to provide much needed jobs”
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Liat Norris campaigning way back in July 2012 in Stoke against a new council HQ

SET A NEEDS BUDGET TO STOP CUTS
Liat explains, ”a NEEDS BUDGET would be based on what Stoke-on-Trent people actually need to maintain adequate services not what the government tells us we need! This could not only keep Norton Community Centre open but also keep or reopen all such centres.
A NEEDS BUDGET could give all Children’s Centres enough money to stay open and continue to provide an excellent service that our city’s kids deserve.
A NEEDS BUDGET means demanding ALL services people need in the city are kept open – rather than playing the council’s game of pitting one campaign against another as to what stays open!
As a councillor I would call for such a budget linked to the building of a campaign across the city to demand that the government provide enough money to save these services.”

SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST CUTS!

VOTE LIAT NORRIS YOUR ANTI-CUTS CANDIDATE


CAN YOU HELP?
Local Socialist Party members and TUSC supporters will work hard to campaign for the TUSC anti-cuts candidate Liat Norris but we will also need the help of other anti cuts campaigners old and new.

From now up to the day of the by election on the 14 November we will need as many people as possible to help with leafleting, campaign stalls, knocking on doors etc. This can be done at any time of the day or evening to suit your own schedule or together with others. Can you find an hour or two sometime over the next five weeks to help?

If you are a trade union member you could get your local branch to invite a TUSC campaingner to a meeting to explain about TUSC’s anti cuts campaign. Anyone involved with a local residents association or other community groups could do the same.

We have TUSC stickers and posters that you could use to publicise TUSC’s anti cuts campaign.
  • If you can help with any of the above, if you have other campaigning ideas or if you just want to find out more about TUSC please text or call Andy on 07845893607
We don’t have the millions of pounds donated to the establishment parties. We rely on the donations made by working class people. A financial donation from you or your trade union branch would greatly help us to pay for leaflets and other campaigning materials we so desperately need

Please make cheques payable to TUSC and send them to the TUSC national office address, TUSC, 17 Colebert House, Colebert Avenue, LondonE1 4JP, with a note saying this is a donation to the Baddeley, Milton and Norton by-election campaign. Alternatively, you can make an online donation through the TUSC website, at http://www.tusc.org.uk/donate.php again indicating that this is for Liat’s campaign.

For more info about the fight against austerity check out www.tusc.org.uk 
www.socialistparty.org.uk
www.shopstewards.net

 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

14 NOVEMBER BY ELECTION TO HAVE REAL ANTI-CUTS CANDIDATE!

Unite and Socialist Party member Liat Norris has been selected to stand as the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition anti cuts candidate in the by election taking place on 14 November in the Baddeley, Milton and Norton ward.
image (3)

Liat was chosen following a public meeting that took place in the ward  at Norton WMC after thousands of leaflets had previously been given out across the ward advertising the event. In order to ensure that the best possible anti-cuts candidate was selected the TUSC leaflets also stated,

We already have people with an excellent record of campaigning against cuts locally who want to stand as the TUSC candidate on 14 November. But we want to ensure we have the best possible anti-cuts candidate to represent people who live across the ward. So if you are a local trade unionist, socialist or community campaigner and would like to be considered as the TUSC anti-cuts candidate in this by election then please call or text 07845893607.”

Importantly, as well as Liat being chosen as the best possible TUSC anti-cuts candidate to fight this by election, two other local campaigners also declared that they would stand as TUSC anti cuts candidates at local elections in 2015.

This means that TUSC will provide a serious anti cuts alternative in the 14 November by election and is also a step closer to achieving its aim to stand across the city in 2015. 

Despite the likelihood of a large number of candidates standing in the by election, TUSC will be the only party that is prepared to make a stand against all cuts and has a fighting programme to stop them. See TUSC policy platform here:
http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy.php

The Labour run city council has already carried out £77 million worth of cuts which has decimated much needed jobs and local services in Baddeley Green, Milton, Norton and across the city. Council leader Mohammed Pervez has now announced further eye watering cuts of £100 million over the next four years. What will remain of the local services we have paid for if this organized carnage continues?

It’s not surprising therefore that locally there is a seething anger against the plans to carry out these further savage cuts while at the same time blowing a minimum of £50 million on a new and unnecessary council HQ!

No wonder more and more people locally and nationally are supporting the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition and pledging to stand as TUSC anti-cuts candidates.

For more info about TUSC checkout www.tusc.org.uk

Local Socialist Party members and TUSC supporters will work hard to campaign for the TUSC anti-cuts candidate Liat Norris but we will also need the help of other anti cuts campaigners old and new.

Can YOU help?

From now up to the day of the by election on the 14 November we will need as many people as possible to help with leafleting, campaign stalls, knocking on doors etc. This can be done at any time of the day or evening to suit your own schedule or together with others. Can you find an hour or two sometime over the next five weeks to help?

If you are a trade union member you could get your local branch to invite a TUSC campaigner to a meeting to explain about TUSC’s anti cuts campaign. Anyone involved with a local residents association or other community groups could do the same.

We have TUSC stickers and posters that you could use to publicise the anti cuts campaign

• If you can help with any of the above, if you have other campaigning ideas or if you just want to find out more about TUSC please text or call 07845893607

Thursday, 3 October 2013

STOKE-ON-TRENT - BADDELEY, MILTON & NORTON WARD BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN BEGINS


 
TUSC STANDING AGAINST CUTS & PRIVATISATION!


GETTING OUR ANTI-CUTS MESSAGE OUT WITH LEAFLETING IN NORTON;

SATURDAY 5 OCT  -  MEET AT 10am OUTSIDE NORTON WMC, KNYPERSLEY RD, NORTON ST6 8HZ

  • MONDAY 7 OCT - MEET 6pm OUTSIDE NORTON WMC
  • THURSDAY 10 OCT - TUSC PUBLIC MEETING AT NORTON WMC AT 7.30pm

IF YOU WANT TO HELP WITH LEAFLETING BUT CAN’T MAKE EITHER OF THE ABOVE TIMES THEN CALL OR TEXT THE NUMBER BELOW

IF YOU NEED A LIFT, DIRECTIONS ETC OR MORE INFO PLEASE CALL OR TEXT 07845893607

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition launch by election campaign!

By election in Baddeley, Milton and Norton ward in Stoke-on-Trent to take place on 14 November!


Trade Unionsist & Socialist Coalition
Election Campaign Launch
PUBLIC MEETING
Invited speaker – Dave Nellist – former Socialist MP and councillor
Thursday 10 October – 7.30pm
Norton WMC, Knypersley Road, Norton ST6 8HZ
All Welcome
REMEMBER – IF THERE IS NO TUSC CANDIDATE STANDING AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE AUSTERITY PARTIES, A CUTS CANDIDATE WILL WIN UNCHALLENGED!
 
At last weeks Labour conference there was an overwhelming vote to renationalise the railways and Royal Mail but ‘senior figures’ in the Labour leadership have already said this won’t be in their manifesto! See Guardian article on link below. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/25/labour-conference-renationalise-railways-royal-mail
 
Miliband and the rest of the right wing leadership also plan to further distance their party from millions in the trade unions at a special conference early in 2014.
 
Locally there is a seething anger to the Labour dominated city council’s plans to carry out another £100 million cuts while at the same time blowing £50 million on a new and unnecessary council HQ!
 
No wonder more and more people are recognising the need for a new workers party to represent them. It’s vital therefore that TUSC provides a serious anti cuts alternative by standing in this by election. Despite the likelihood of a large number of candidates standing, TUSC will be the only party that is against all cuts and has a fighting programme to stop them.
 
You can check out what TUSC stands for at www.tusc.org.uk
  • Would you like to be considered as the TUSC candidate to stand in this by election? If yes please text or call 07845893607 before 12 noon on Wednesday 9 October
Local Socialist Party members will work hard to campaign for TUSC’s anti-cuts candidate. But we will also need the help of our supporters old and new. Can YOU help?
 
The first thing that we need to do is leaflet as much of the ward as possible to advertise this public meeting and we only have 7 days to do it!
 
So we need as many people as possible to help with the leafleting. This can be done at any time of the day or evening to suit your own schedule or together with others. Can you find an hour or two sometime over the next week to help?
 
• If yes, can you please text or call 07845893607 to let us know when you could help or where we could drop you some leaflets.
 
TUSC banner pic

Fleetwood TUSC candidate gets 27 percent in town council by-election

THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Ray Smith won 27% of the vote in last Thursday’s by-election for the Rossall ward of FleetwoodTown council in Lancashire.

 
GMB union member Ray stood to oppose the Tory-Liberal government destroying public services and led a campaign to keep the local hospital open. Ray used to be a Labour councillor (from 1995-1999) but joined TUSC because Labour was not defending working and vulnerable people.

As one of Ray’s supporters said to TUSC election campaigners: “There’s a lot of anxiety at the savage attack on people living in poverty, with disabilities, in fact all vulnerable people, by the Coalition government. I feel so disillusioned that Ed Miliband is not standing up for us or challenging David Cameron on his attack on the poor. Amnesty have condemned the Coalition for their attack on the disabled. Why can’t Ed Miliband?”
 
The election result was close, with the Conservatives getting 330 votes, the independent candidate 287, and TUSC 235. Ray was just 95 votes short of winning.

Ray said: "This is a good and positive result. It is very encouraging for TUSC and something for members to work on for future elections, when TUSC should field as many candidates as possible". Plans are now being made to raise the profile of TUSC in Fleetwood by building a local group and producing a local newsletter.

Ray added: "The people of Fleetwood have really given the mainstream parties something to think about and we intend to build on this".



September 26 - Fleetwood Town council, Rossall ward:


Conservative 330; Independent 287; TUSC 235 (27.6%)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Durham Miners' Gala hears Bob Crow's call for a new party for workers

SATURDAY'S Durham Miners' Gala (13th July) was the first time in 115 years there hadn't been a Labour MP speaking from the platform said Davie Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners' Association.
Huge applause followed when he went on to say it was probably just as well considering recent events.
But the massive crowd gave warm support to TUSC national steering committee member Bob Crow, RMT transport union general secretary, who called for the trade union movement to work for the creation of 'a new party of labour' to challenge head on the pro-business, anti-worker agenda of the three main political parties, Tory, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking in advance of the Gala, Bob Crow said: "Over the past week we have seen Ed Miliband dancing to the tune of Tony Blair and the rest of the New Labour conspirators as he seeks to hack away at the last remaining shreds of influence held by those who created the party that he leads, the trade unions.
"If others want to stick around and be insulted by those whose only interest is our money and not our ideas then that's a matter for them, for the rest, there is a whole world of opportunity outside the constraints of the Labour Party and the RMT would urge them to embrace it and join us in this new political project.
"RMT was expelled from the Labour Party almost a decade ago and in that time we have actually increased our political influence as we have had the freedom to back candidates and parties who demonstrate clear support for this trade union and its policies.
"If others now join us after the contempt that they have been shown by Ed Miliband then together we have a world to win.
"This is a moment of huge opportunity for all those sick and tired of Labour's embrace of pro-business, pro-EU, neo-liberal policies and we should seize it with both hands.
"While this rotten Con-Dem government seeks to impose punitive charges on anyone seeking justice at an Employment Tribunal from this summer the Labour Party have said nothing.
"The whole programme of Labour now is to try and sneak into government by default on the basis of a manifesto that could trade under the title 'Carry on Cutting'.
"Our job is not to prop up the political class behind this racket, our job is to sweep it away.
"With the latest assault by Labour on the unions the time is right to start building an alternative political party that speaks for working people and the working class communities that find themselves under the most brutal attack from cuts and austerity in a generation.
"Clinging to the wreckage of a Labour Party that didn't lift a finger to repeal the anti-union laws despite thirteen years in power is a complete waste of time. The time for an alternative party of labour is now".
Bob's call follows the recent decision of the RMT's annual conference to re-affirm the union's participation in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16803/06-07-2013/rmt-conference-re-affirms-union-support-for-tusc ) as the first step in the long-term task of building independent working class political representation.

Checkout TUSC at www.tusc.org.uk

Friday, 17 May 2013

Support Carling workers at Burton-on-Trent

Our strike ballot has now started as members at Burton Brewery face what can only be described as a vicious assault.


Molson Coors are proposing :

Pay for 184 of our 284 Technicians cut by £9000 per year, with the remaining 100 becoming "A" grade Technicians on the same salary

Pay for FLT cut by £8000 per year

Site agreement book to be destroyed and re-written by the employer

Abolition of site agreement that protects pay for two years when shift changes result in loss of pay

49.5% of our 455 members facing an extreme pay cut

Forced introduction of extreme shift working that would leave members on call or working at least 95% of the time

Threat to sack us all if we don't agree to the proposals by June 14th


This attack has cast a shadow across the town, as other workers and employers watch carefully how this will end. The branch believes that employers through out the Midlands andthe FDT sector nationally will also be monitoring this dispute closely.

We are a well organised site with over 90% membership. We believe that if we allow this to happen, employers will believe they can do anything, anywhere.

Our fight is every workers fight. If successful, this proposal will depress the local economy. We are told we are paid "upper tier" pay rates. Bring those rates down, and the averages come down for everybody else. Most employers now use local "market rates", and if this attack succeeds, local rates will be coming down for everybody else - in our minds there is no doubt about that.

Our members face losing their homes. That's how extreme these proposals are.

A ballot for strike action is underway, and we expect a resounding YES vote. The ballot closes on May 28th.

Messages of support may be sent to Burton.Brewery@unitetheunion.org or via #burtonbrewery on Twitter.

A fighting fund has been established. Cheques should be made payable to 'Unite' with 'Burton Brewery' written on the back and sent to Unite the Union, Finance Department, Transport House,9-17 Victoria Street, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 8HX

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information regarding the

dispute.

In solidarity,

Phil Salt

Branch Secretary

Labour waste opportunity to regain Staffordshire – TUSC expands it’s base!

Labour made significant gains in Staffordshire but not enough to regain control from the Tories. This partly summed up the mood across the country – the desire by millions to punish the Con Dem government for their programme of savage cuts, closures and privatisation leading to an increase in votes for Labour. But with that shift towards Labour tempered by the recognition that they do not fundamentally offer anything significantly different.

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TUSC supporters campaigning outside the Co-op on Stone Rd, Stafford on election day
 
The fight to save Stafford hospital has been an important factor in these elections rippling out from Stafford across the whole county. Now under administration, the hospital is facing severe cutbacks in it’s facilities. A march of 50,000 during the election campaign demonstrated graphically the anger and opposition which exists but Labour refused to clearly oppose the threat posed by privatisation.
 
Instead Labour were happy to participate in an ‘apolitical’ campaign to save the hospital thereby not having to explain their continued support for NHS cuts and privatisation when in government and now. The brutal truth is that even if the campaign to save all the hospital’s services is successful it still faces the threat of being handed over to big business vultures already circling overhead.
 
If Labour had clearly fought against any cuts, closures or privatisation of Stafford hospital or at least pledged to reverse them when in power they would have won control of the county council by a mile. This abject failure just reconfirms that Labour is fundamentally no different than either the Tories or Lib Dems.
 
So it was left to the small forces of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and Socialist Party members to raise the need for the fight to defend Stafford hospital to include opposition to privatisation.
 
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TUSC candidates on the march in Stafford
 
Given the strong mood to punish the government by voting Labour and to a certain extent for UKIP it was inevitable that the votes of small parties would be squeezed. The Lib Dems lost all their four seats. The Green Party, who have a history of standing in Stafford borough since 2005, saw their vote halved from an average of 9% to 4.5% compared to 2009.
 
Unlike TUSC, the Greens had also been aided by one of Staffordshire’s main local papers, the Sentinel, whose headline at the beginning of the campaign was, “The Green Party bids for power”. TUSC has not once been mentioned by this paper despite the fact that TUSC was standing more candidates than the Greens!
 
Under these difficult circumstances TUSC made a small but creditable start on the urgent task of laying the foundations for a new party to represent working class people across Staffordshire. TUSC candidates have stood in Newcastle-under-Lyme once before but nowhere else in the rest of the county. This was the first time ever that TUSC candidates have stood in Rugeley, Leek, Stafford, and Burton-on-Trent. We stood a total of 11 candidates gaining 2% of the vote in some divisions of Newcastle, Rugeley, Burton and Stafford.
 
Almost 500 people voted for TUSC’s Socialist candidates across the county which is a good start on which to build. We spoke to thousands of people and gave out over ten thousand leaflets. Many supported what we had to say but at this stage were not prepared to vote for us but that will change.
 
We are confident that the TUSC campaign in Stafford borough also helped to limit the gains made by the current far right ‘pin up politicians’ of UKIP. UKIP’s share of the vote nationally and across the whole of Staffordshire was 24%. In the outlying areas of Stafford borough and nearby Newcastle it was 28% but in the four divisions of Stafford borough where TUSC stood UKIP’s average vote was limited to 19.5%.
 
Across these four divisions we gave out over 4 thousand leaflets which highlighted UKIP’s plans for further privatisation of the NHS. Our leaflet pointed out that UKIP policy is to “require the NHS to use people with commercial experience to negotiate with the private sector" and that they "want to increase the number of companies who can have a share of NHS business". This leaflet, along with discussions with potential UKIP voters appears to have helped cut across their support.
 
What was crystal clear, was that those who were voting Labour were not doing so with any enthusiasm. In many cases it was a protest against what the government and local councils were doing but with the knowledge that Labour would not be any different. TUSC candidate in Stafford North, Josie Shelley, told us, “North Avenue normally has loads of Labour window posters. This year only TUSC posters can be seen”. Thirty four year old Simon had never voted before, but did this time for TUSC.
 
TUSC banner in Simon Emery's garden
TUSC banner in garden of house in North Street, Stafford
 
TUSC supporters and Socialist Party members across Staffordshire will continue our fight against the savage cuts, closures and privatisation programme supported by the three main parties and UKIP.