University of Manchester Freshers Fair Report

We started off what was to be both a busy and successful week with a stall on the Monday, the day before fresher’s fair opened. This day spent on campus allowed us to test the water in order to see whether our proposed leading topic, zero hours contracts, would resonate with Manchester students. Immediate positive reactions confirmed that zero hours contracts was the issue through which we could best reach those with a class basis to their politics.

Emboldened by our initial success it was decided that we would keep the stall running outside the student’s union building as well as another stall inside the fresher fair its self. It was this pincer approach along with solid work from all comrades involved  that allowed us to build on the previous day , selling a total of 24 megaphones/newspapers.

With an expected lull of human traffic on the second day of the fresher’s fair we had the slowest day of the week. Despite this we were able to increase the number of signatures of the petition and sign-up sheets further bringing us to the grand total of 98 sign ups and 132 petition signatures over the three days.

On Friday we rounded off a successful week of recruitment with a well-attended meeting in a pub across the road from the Students’ Union. National student organiser Ian Pattison led an informal discussion on the nature of Socialism and what we stand for, which even experienced comrades commented was enlightening. All present expressed their intent to attend regular meetings on campus,  join the S29 march, and some even volunteered to support the Hovis and FBU pickets—not your average Freshers’ Week activity!

Of course, Manchester is home to two universities, so this is only the halfway point. If we can repeat this week’s performance, we will have a strong basis on which to build a fighting student organisation spanning the two institutions.

T.Simpson/J.McFarlane

Miliband’s ‘Clause Four moment’

Blue Labour

Ed Miliband’s decision to rush through the end of trade union bloc affiliation to the Labour Party at a special conference next spring has all the symbolism of Tony Blair’s ‘Clause Four moment’ in 1995.

That was when Blair organised a special conference to abolish Labour‘s historic commitment, in Clause Four, Part 1V of the party’s rules, to “the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange”.

It is not only symbolism that is involved in Miliband’s move, however, but the content that is also the same; to continue (in fact, to complete) the process of transforming Labour into just another capitalist party.

Clause Four summarised the collective interest of the working class in fighting for a new form of society, socialism, in opposition to the capitalist market system.

Trade union affiliation (when democratically exercised by union members) enshrined the ability of the working class through the unions to control its political representatives.

It was these characteristics that defined the Labour Party in the past as a ‘capitalist workers party’, with a leadership at the top which invariably reflected the policy of the capitalist class, but with a socialistic ideological basis to the party and a structure through which workers could move to challenge the leadership and threaten the capitalists’ interests.

Details have yet to emerge of the proposals being considered by a review led by former Labour Party general secretary Lord Collins to go to the special conference.

But the central idea, to replace bloc affiliation in favour of trade unionists joining Labour as ‘affiliated’ or ‘associate’ individual members, would finally end the remnants of the affiliated trade unions‘ collective political voice within the party.

The Falkirk affair, the ostensible reason for the changes, shows how far in fact this process has already gone.

What happened in Falkirk – with Unite officials recruiting union members to become individual members of the constituency Labour Party (CLP) – actually had no connection with the union’s affiliated status.

In the past trade union branches would send delegates to constituency Labour parties (CLPs), alongside ward party representatives, to select a parliamentary candidate.

This was the way, for example, that the Militant MPs Dave Nellist (now chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition – TUSC), and the late Terry Fields and Pat Wall, won their selection as Labour candidates in the 1980s.

Democratic structure

That democratic structure, which meant that healthy mass participation Labour parties like in Liverpool and Coventry were effectively local ‘parliaments of the labour movement’, was overturned in 1994 by the introduction of ‘one member, one vote’ (OMOV) rules for selecting candidates.

Those changes, promoting passive membership over representative democracy (some OMOV selections have been decided by postal ballots, with prospective candidates having no chance to speak to members) were accurately described by John Prescott as being more important in changing Labour than the abolition of Clause Four.

In Falkirk Unite members were being recruited as individuals to take part in a future OMOV ballot with no certainty, of course, as to how they would vote.

But even that pale reflection of ‘union influence’ has been seized by Miliband as a chance to complete the job of effectively ending the union link.

The Socialist Party believes that the Labour Party has already been qualitatively transformed from its roots as a capitalist workers’ party, which is why we argue that a new workers’ party is necessary.

We support TUSC as a precursor of a new mass party that could unite together trade unionists, unorganised workers, socialists, young people, oppressed groups and community campaigners, as the only way to ensure that the working class today can achieve an independent political voice.

But social formations can retain many of their old forms – even as their new content predominates – and residues of the past position of the unions in the Labour Party still remain.

Affiliated unions have 30 votes out of 144 in Labour’s National Policy Forum (NPF) for example (which will now be examined by the Collins review), and are directly represented on the national executive committee.

And while the affiliated unions’ 49% share of conference votes has been reduced from the 90% share in the past, if they rejected Miliband’s proposals, which they should, it is not guaranteed that he could push them through the special conference.

But unfortunately the Unite leadership in particular are not signalling opposition to Miliband’s plans and in doing so are using arguments that are undermining the very idea of independent working class political representation.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, for example, has argued that he could not go “in front of TV cameras and pretend to speak on behalf of a million Unite members” since many of them do not vote Labour.

That’s true, they don’t; but when Len speaks he is representing Unite’s democratically agreed policies against cuts and privatisation, for repeal of the anti-union laws etc.

In negotiating with employers, union representatives speak for the decision reached collectively by the union members, even though a minority may not have supported the finally agreed position. So why shouldn’t the union be represented collectively in the political arena too?

More power?

Len McCluskey has also suggested that Unite could actually have more power by making its donations conditional on Labour’s support for specific policies.

But how would this be different to the position of the US unions, reduced to being just another lobbying group alongside corporate donors, giving millions of dollars to buy some alleged ‘friends of labour’ in the Democratic Party? Or for that matter the 19th century ‘Lib-Labism’ of unions before the formation of the Labour Party, seeking support for particular policies and parliamentary representatives within a capitalist party?

Not the least danger of such an approach is that it reinforces the idea that the attacks of capitalism on workers’ living conditions, jobs etc could be met by a few policy changes or reforms rather than an alternative programme for government – which requires an alternative party.

Ultimately the only effective control over workers’ political representatives is that exercised by workers’ organisations through their collective decision-making structures.

In Britain today that means the trade unions drawing the lessons of Miliband’s ‘Clause Four moment’ and taking the necessary steps to set up a new workers’ party.

Thatcher Is Dead – Now Bury Her Policies!

Peter Taaffe Socialist Party general secretary said:

“It is a human response to be sad when somebody dies. But many working class people will be celebrating her death because of the absolutely destructive and long lasting effect she had on the lives of millions of working class and poor people. She is seen by many as a kind of modern day Genghis Khan. Elected into office in 1979 she unleashed a ferocious assault on the living standards and democratic rights of working class people. Trade unions were attacked in order to clear the way for the destruction of publically owned industries and the driving down of wages and conditions.

The Socialist Party’s forerunner the Militant Tendency was at the forefront of fighting her rotten policies. We led the famous struggle in Liverpool from 1983-87 as part of the labour council that refused to implement cuts. That council mobilised a mass campaign of trade unionists and working class people in support of the council’s needs budget. That campaign won £60million from the government which was spent on building thousands of new council homes and new facilities for working class communities. One commentator lamented that Militant had given Thatcher a “bloody nose”.

In the late 80s and 90s early we led the struggle against the hated poll tax. This tax would have seen a duke paying the same as a dustman. We initiated the All Britain Anti-Poll Tax Union which led the campaign that led to 18 million people not paying the tax. As a result the tax was revoked. Thatcher made it clear that she resigned as a result of the huge anti-poll tax demonstration on 31st March 1990, which was attended by 250,000.

Thatcher created a number of “mini Thatchers” not just in the Tory party but also in New Labour as well. Tony Blair was her heir just as Cameron and Clegg are now. They are carrying in her work and are in fact going even further than even she dared to go in the savaging of public sector jobs and services.”

Her true legacy is clear to see today in the policies of the ConDem government. They are today’s standard bearers of her neo-liberal ideas. On the day Thatcher has died the rich are about to receive a tax cut and working class people face a new assault in the form of the bedroom tax. At the same time we are seeing an unprecedented assault on jobs and services.”

Dave Nellist, Labour Party MP for Coventry South-West 1983-1992 and Socialist Party spokesperson said:

“The people I have sympathy for today are those working class people who’s lives have been blighted by her policies. The real tragedy is that while she may be dead herself her ideas are still alive and well in the form of the ConDem coalition and New Labour.

She was a determined fighter for her class, the 1% of very wealthy people at the top of society. The Socialist Party wants to build a movement that does the same for the 99%, working class people. We want to build a mass movement that will take the wealth from the super-rich and that dismantles the project she embarked upon. We want to use that wealth to provide jobs, services and a future for working class people.”

The Socialist Party of England and Wales (formerly known as Militant Tendency) is a campaigning, democratic organisation. We played a leading role on Liverpool Labour council in the 1980’s when it defied Thatcher and refused to implement cuts winning £60 million to spend on jobs and services in the city. We also led the struggle in the late 80’s and early 90s when 18 million people nationwide refused to pay the hated Poll Tax. We fight against all attacks on the rights and living standards of working class people.


Socialist Students – A Growing Movement and a World To Win!

The past year has seen a big increase in our youth section in Greater Manchester. The freshers’ week stalls in September resulted in an explosion of membership of Socialist Students, from which developed a core of dedicated members who have campaigned and organised to further build the youth section.

Socialist Students in Manchester meets every week on a Friday (we’re not big clubbers, who knew?) and have hosted film screenings and public discussions, as well as lead-offs on such topics as the history of socialism in Manchester, fascism, and Bolivarian socialism in Venezuela to name a few. We have also recently been running a regular stall on both campuses, campaigning for the scrapping of tuition fees and the writing off of student debt.

In November members attended the NUS Demo2012 in London, despite a lack of support or mobilisation from both student unions and their last-minute cancellation of our transport – massive thanks to Christina Kennedy at Salford Students Union for finding room on their coach for the Manchester contingent! We hosted the first North West Regional Youth Conference in February, where links across the region were strengthened and plans made for building in the future.

Recently, we have hosted guest speakers Becci Heagney as part of the Rape Is No Joke campaign and Katerina Kleitsa, our comrade in Xekinima in Greece, who spoke on the real effects of EU-imposed austerity, the role of the left and the rise of the far right there. We also took part in the Reclaim the Night march organised by various feminist and LGBT groups across Manchester – a really vibrant and energetic night thatall but shut down the main road into the city for a couple of hours!

In the year ahead we plan to register the section at MMU, something we had previously been unable to do as a small society, and work as a lever on the unions at both campuses, as well as a big push for membership as part of freshers’ week 2013. Both unions seem to see their function as some sort of party planner. Our goal is to build the section so we can run for election to our respective unions in 2014 and put pressure on them from within to work with students and trade unions and build a solid, cross-class front. Onward!

Manchester MoJ Walkout

PCS members at the Ministry of Justice in Manchester staged a well supported two hour walkout last week. The action was taken in response to the plans of the condem government to privatise the court fines collection service. The go meant s attempting to dress up it’s plans as “mutualisation” given the negative way in which the majority of the public view anything with the word “privatisation” attached to it. Members in the MoJ have seen through this though and recognise that the governments plans are an attempt to hand over a vital and sensitive service to the notorious private bailiff operations. Research done by PCS shows that there were over 25,000 complaints made against such firms in the last year. The idea that replacing a publicly accountable service with an unaccountable private one will offer “value for money” is viewed as a sick joke by most MoJ PCS members. The camapign against the privatisation measures within the crime and courts bill will continue and judging from the determined mood of the members on the Manchester picket line the government is In for one hell of a fight.

Leese Unveils Yet More Cuts

In a press conference held today council leader Richard Leese announced yet more cuts on top of the devastation wrought by his last cuts package. The proposals include plans to cut over 800 jobs and close down several libraries and community libraries. Leese and his fellow new labour councillors are wringing their hands over the cuts and blaming the government for the cuts that they making. Of course the government deserves a huge amount of the blame but there are many things that councillors can do to protect our services which Leese and his gang are not doing.

At his press conference today Leese claimed that they could not use the council’s reserve funds to protect services. According the the councils own figures they have just over 21 million pounds in reserves that are currently unallocated, on top of this they have over 5 million pounds set aside to cover PFI debts as well. In fact the total reserves that the city council has stand at just over 238 million pounds. Of course not all of this can be spent and any a council will need to keep a certain amount in reserve, but are really doing all they can to defend our services?

All labour councils are carrying out huge cuts to services and jobs whilst trying to evade responsibility for doing so. It is of course true that the Tory- lib dem gang in government is slashing the local government budget, bukills our councils are often going further than even the Tories are asking for. One example of this is labour run Knowsley council which is planning to privatise or outsource all it’s services. It’s wasn’t something that Eric Pickles asked for but something that the council chose to do.

So what should councillors from a party that is (supposedly) based on the working class and trade union movement be doing in this situation? There are examples of Labour councils who have refused to pass on government cuts tcrop provide inspiration for those looking to resist today. Poplar council in the early 1920′s, Clay Cross in the early 1970′s, Lambeth and Liverpool in the 1980′s all refused to bow to pressure from central government and the Labour Party leadership. Liverpool and Clay Cross actually invested money, built houses and created jobs at a time of austerity. They left a legacy in the thorn of bricks and mortar that positively improved the lives of the working class’s communities they served. If several major local authorities were to defy the government and refuse to make cuts it would not only destabilise what is a very unpopular and weak government but inspire millions of working class people with renewed belief in the labour movement. Sadly it does not like many labour councillors will be following in the heroic footsteps of George Lansbury, Davd Skinner, Tony Mulhearn and Ted Knight. Despite the stands taken by the some labour councillors in Hull and Southampton the majority are completely in bed with the government. Therefore an alternative has to be found that will represent working class people and fight for our communities. That is why the Trad Union and Socialist Coalition was formed. TUSC intends to stand as widely a possible next year In the county council elections on a programme that rejects all cuts.

You can view the city councils budget cuts proposals on the council website – www.manchester.gov.uk

Commentary On The Manchester Central Campaign

by TUSC candidate Alex Davidson

The main losers in the Manchester Central by-election were the establishment parties. New Labour lost 10,000 votes and the Lib-Dems and Tories lost about 90% of their 2010 election vote. The collapsing turnout, the worst in any by-election since World War Two, also squeezed our TUSC campaigns in Manchester Central for MP and Ardwick ward for council. Nonetheless, by polling 220 votes in Manchester Central and 52 votes for Ardwick we believe we made important gains and laid down the basis for TUSC to win much higher votes at future elections in Manchester.

The TUSC by-election campaign in Manchester Central clearly revealed the huge need that exists for a new working class party.  Over the last three weeks comrades from the Socialist Party, the RMT, Socialist Students, the SWP and other socialists have campaigned ceaselessly around the constituency.  During that time all have observed first hand the severe social problems facing the working class of the city.  

After thirteen years of a new labour government and two years of con-dem attacks there is a glaring divide that exists in Manchester.  Between the glitzy city centre and the poverty stricken estates of Ardwick, Beswick and Gorton there is only a mile.  Yet as far as the residents are concerned it might as well be another world.  The world that the new labour council has created in the service of the developers is a tiny one that excludes the majority of the city that has never truly recovered from the devastation wrought by Tory deindustrialisation.  

The constituency has the second highest unemployment rate in England and Wales and 20,000 people on the waiting list for council housing.  Yet we observed first hand a whole estate that could house one hundred families boarded up and standing empty as the council had handed it over to developers who then left it standing empty as there was not enough profit to be made in developing the area.  The true story of this constituency is one of Tory attacks leaving multiple generations without a future and of new labours failure to do anything meaningful to address this.  Our campaign, focused on workplaces and communities of the city attracted widespread interest and support from wider areas than the constituency.  Trade unionists from across the city were drawn to supporting the TUSC campaign, an important marker for the future development of TUSC and steps towards working-class political representation. In the only hustings event held, we also comprehensively defeated the mainstream parties including the greens in the only debate with most of other candidates supporters applauding our policies rather than the insipid positions put forward by the main parties.  

Our result was better that any left party has achieved over the last decade in the Manchester Central constituency.  The decimated turnout of 18% reflected widespread rejection of the Tory idea of police comissioners and the failure of the mainstream media to cover the by election in any depth. We suffered a total blackout from the establishment media despite running one of the most visible campaigns of any party. Unfortunately we also faced competition from Respect and the Communist League, who both polled well below us and achieved only a split in the Left vote. We urge them to step aside at the next election and allow TUSC to get on with the job. The combined Left vote at this election nearly out-polled the BNP. TUSC beat the BNP in the Ardwick ward election and in most other wards within the Manchester Central constituency for the parliamentary seat.  This shows the potential for class politics as advocated by TUSC to drive back the far right.

Despite these barriers we achieved a creditable result and clearly signaled that TUSC is a force that is here to stay in Manchester. TUSC supporters in our city will be discussing what steps to take next, during the next few days and weeks.  

TUSC Campaign Update

The TUSC campaign for Manchester Central officially starts next Wednesday evening. Already we’ve got support from across the Left, and from unions/trade unionists including RMT, PCS, POA, CWU, NUT, Unison, Unite and FBU.

Our first organising meeting last night made plans for the campaign as follows.

Finance

This remains very urgent – we have received over £700 in donations already but need to raise another £1300. We have just paid out £1100 to send a leaflet to every registered voter/household in the Manchester Central constituency! So please help us raise the money

  • donate online at the TUSC website: http://www.tusc.org.uk/donate.php (please email me if you donate online to ensure the donation is allocated to Manchester Central)
  • make cheques payable to “TUSC” and post to my election agent Hugh Caffrey, Flat 2, 55 Hathersage Road, Manchester, M13 0EW
  • contact us to make a cash donation

All donations are gratefully received and will be receipted.

Use the attached spreadsheet to build support and raise funds. One supporter has raised £25 in a few days using this. Bring completed forms and cash/cheques to our weekly organising meetings.

About Manchester Central

This huge constituency has over 92,000 registered voters across 8 council wards. The attached map shows which wards are in the constituency. 

If you, or people you know, want to check whether they are in the constituency and/or able to vote for TUSC, email me their names and addresses.

Organising meetings

Every Tuesday (except the 13th Nov) until 20 November (the Tuesday after polling day).

All meetings are 7.30pm, upstairs at the Town Hall Tavern in the city centre. Meetings will take reports of activities done, plans for forthcoming activity, and be a pick-up point for election campaign material.


Ardwick council by-election

There is a by-election in Ardwick ward on the 15th November, we’re standing Unite assistant branch secretary Shari Holden. You can download the ward map here. Leaflets for Shari’s campaign are available from mid-day tomorrow and we need volunteers to put them through doors in the ward.

Shari has a day-glo window poster available, the file for that and her leaflet are attached.


Bundling leaflets – can you help?

We need to bundle the posted election leaflet into bundles of 100. 

We need volunteers to help with this daytime next Thursday (1st November).

 

Rally for TUSC with Dave Nellist 13th November

Our election campaign will rally all supporters on 13th November for a major pre-poll rally, with speakers including former Militant Labour MP Dave Nellist, a senior national leading member of PCS union, and Alex Davidson. Put it in your diary now! A specific leaflet will be available from next week.

  • Tuesday 13th November, 7.30pm, The Methodist Central Hall , 1 Central Buildings, Oldham Street, M1 1JQ.

 

Campaign diary so far…

Please RSVP with which events or part thereof you’d like to help with.


Thurs 25 October

Collecting nominations. Meet 6pm Oxford pub on Oxford Road outside Manchester Royal Infirmary

Tues 30 October

Organising meeting 7.30pm Town Hall Tavern

Weds 31 October

First evening canvass, (canvassing in Ardwick ward unless otherwise indicated)

Thurs 1 November

8-9am leafleting city centre

daytime bundling election leaflets

5pm Alex speaking at meeting at Manchester Uni

7pm canvass

Fri 2 November

7.30-9am leafleting Manchester Royal Infirmary,

3-6pm leafleting rail stations

Sat 3 November

12-2pm city centre campaign stall

and leafleting at two city centre union meetings

Sun 4th November

1-5pm canvassing

Mon 5th – Fri 9th Nov

8-9am leafleting city centre

Tues 6th November

6pm hustings Friends Meeting House;

also organising meeting 7.30pm

Weds 7th and Thurs 8th November

Evening canvassing

Sat 10th November

12-2pm campaign stall city centre

Sun 11th November

1-5pm canvassing. Any volunteers to leaflet the City home game (1.30pm KO Eastlands)?

Mon 12th – Thurs 15th November

8-9am leafleting city centre

Tues 13th November

7.30pm rally for TUSC Methodist Central Hall Oldham Street

Weds 14th November

evening canvassing

Thurs 15th November

POLLING DAY – ALL DAY LEAFLETING, CANVASSING ETC

TUSC Campaign Update

The TUSC campaign in Manchester really kicks off this week.  Following the large TUC demonstration on Saturday where Ed Miliband made abundantly clear (again) that he will not reverse the Con-Dem cuts.  Having been applauded when he attacked the government he was roundly booed by the vast majority of the crowd when he reiterated his commitment to the very policies that we were all there to march against.  The mood from Manchester trade unionists on the march was one of increased militancy and there was real enthusiasm amongst all the different unions present for the idea of a 24 hour general strike.  It is this mood that we will be expressing as part of the TUSC campaign in Manchester central.  We will be holding weekly planning meetings to bring together trade unionists, anti cuts campaigners and other parties represented in TUSC and through these we will be planning our campaign.  We see this as an opportunity to focus attention on issues such as the McNulty review, NHS privatisation, the total lack of opportunity for young people in the city and the ongoing scandal of the massive unemployment rate in the constituency.  On all of these questions new labour has (in the words of Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis) “built the bridge” for the Tories to roll over.  The new labour candidate Lucy Powell is yet another Blairite who offers nothing on any of these questions.  The TUSC campaign will be focused on workplaces and working class communities across the constituency which the pro-capitalist parties have no interest in representing and have little to offer to them.  We will be the voice of the real opposition to this vicious Tory led government and show that working class people do not have to put up with the politics of “lesser evilism” by voting for new labour.

TUSC 4 Manchester!

Working, young and working-class people face a huge offensive which has already cost over 400,000 public sector jobs, massive cuts to millions of people’s incomes and an erosion of workers’ rights. Now even retired people’s free bus passes are under threat! These attacks will get worse and worse until we make them stop.

The Tory-Liberal ‘Con-Dem’ coalition government has accelerated privatisation of the National Health Service through the hated Health & Social Care Act. It has forced privatisation of our school system through the academies programme. Now they’re even attempting to privatise the prisons and police!

The Con-Dems have declared war on public services, incomes, living standards and trade union rights in order to make us pay for the bankers’ crisis. The Tories’ big business ‘1%’ chums are demanding ever-more massive cuts to the services and incomes of the 99%. Yet bankers’ bonuses are soaring, and £750bn profits sit idle in the bank accounts of Britain’s biggest companies.

One of the few times George Osbourne isn’t lying is when he says New Labour thought of most of his policies first! Blair & Brown built the austerity bridge and now the Con-Dems are rolling over it. How can New Labour’s hapless frontman Ed Miliband criticise the government effectively, when he thinks Thatcher had the right idea? Locally, Manchester’s Labour council is carrying out the cuts to services and benefits at the behest of the Tory-driven government, despite £millions in reserves!

These are the reasons I am contesting this by-election on behalf of TUSC. There is a clear left-wing, working class alternative to the policies of falling incomes, public sector cuts, privatisation, more wars and environmental degradation.

We need mass resistance to the ruling class offensive, and for an alternative programme of left-wing policies to help inspire and organise working class resistance. That is why I support the trade unions’ organising a one-day general strike, and as north-west vice-chair of the PCS union I am urging the unions to swiftly name a date for this general strike.

Rip-off Britain – enough’s enough!

Over the last thirty years many essential public services have been privatised by both Tory and New Labour governments.  Energy bills are spiralling as a result of the privatisation of the utilities (water, gas and electric companies). Selling-off the railways means a huge increase in transport costs. TUSC stands for an end to all privatisation and steps towards it. Everything privatised in the past should be renationalised now.

Save our Health Service!

Now we have the obscene spectacle of the wholesale sell off of the National Health Service.  Yet again this was begun by New Labour and has been completed by the Condems.  TUSC is committed to fight to bring privatised public services and utilities back into public ownership under democratic control.

Public ownership, not profiteers

We want the renationalisation of the railways, to kick the profiteers out of the NHS and end the academies programme that is selling off our schools to profit-driven or religious outfits. Instead of privatising or ‘transferring’ council housing, what we need and what TUSC is standing for is to build affordable secure and eco-friendly public housing.

No more bankers’ bailouts & bonuses!

Five years after the economic collapse began and the banks were bailed out, the costs to working-class communities have been huge.  Despite getting over £1trillion in tax-payers’ money, the banks are sitting on it and refusing to lend. TUSC says the banks and financial institutions should be brought into genuine public ownership under democratic control. No more bailouts or bonuses for fat-cat bankers!

Creating jobs & a future for young people

The huge amount of money sitting idle in corporate bank vaults could be used to fund a massive programme of public investment and a genuine job creation programme.  Such a programme would create real skilled work for the million young people out of work.  We would also restore EMA in full, abolish student fees and introduce a living university grant.  The money is there to give young people the decent education that they are entitled to and by nationalising the banks and their assets we would have the money to do so.  Young people want skilled work with a decent wage and secure contracts, not the McJobs, temporary placements or workfare schemes offered by this government and New Labour before them.

Defending rights at work & the trade unions

As an active trade unionist I know that the unions are how working class people can organise and defend their rights.  I’ve been proud to take strike action called by my own union PCS, and to support the action taken by others such as the construction electricians. Now we face new threats to tribunal rights and our already limited scope for legal industrial action. The Tories’ past anti-union laws, maintained by New Labour, are designed to ham-string effective trade unionism. We stand unequivocally for the repeal of all anti trade union laws and unlike Ed ‘Thatcher’ Miliband are proud to support all workers who take industrial action against the government or the private sector employers.

Thank you for reading this. Now please show your support for the stand I and TUSC are taking, by donating some of your time or your cash and ensuring the strongest possible challenge to the parties of lies and cuts!

By Alex Davidson – TUSC Candidate – Manchester Central