pag es 5, 6
www.socialistparty.org.uk 29 March - 4 April 2012 Issue 711 Price: 70p (Solidarity: £2)
WE nEEd a
Only one week after the government’s budget of new, swingeing cuts in jobs and services,
accompanied by huge tax breaks for the rich and big business, it’s been revealed that super- He who pays the piper...
rich Tory party donors had earlier wined and dined with the prime minister, David Cameron.
This ‘cash for access’ expose is just another example of the rottenness of the capitalist political
system and how the establishment parties are completely intertwined with big business, as
A handful of the guests at four dinner parties at Number 10 had given
£18 million to the Tory party - and also, apparently, money to climate
change deniers and eurosceptics. They included hedge fund traders, oil
Coventry Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist explains. traders and the odd billionaire city businessman.
According to Tory MP Andrew Tyrie: “Prior to 1997 about 6% of public
am dine with me’ is se- and done at the expense of the 99%. of the country - at the expense of companies made donations to the Conservative party, but 50% of knight-
cret influence. Millions But four dinners in Downing poverty and insecurity for millions. hoods and peerages went to the directors of companies who made such
of pounds change hands Street, or even one at Chequers, isn’t That’s what needs challenging. donations. A coincidence? I doubt it.”
and, I have no doubt, only what is really rotten in politics. And Labour, with its ties to But was it much different under Labour? As the party progressively
favours for millionaires ensue. Just There’s a thousand more ties business interests, involving so embraced Tory and big business policies, particularly in the 1990s, so
look at the cut in the top rate of in- from the playing fields of Eton, via many ex-Cabinet ministers in did it ape their fundraising methods.
come tax and the cut in corporation Oxbridge, to the Bar and the board- directorships and lobbying firms, is Labour Party conference stopped being ‘a parliament for the labour
tax for example. room, where the tiny minority who little different. and trade union movement’ and filled up with corporate sponsors pay-
I’m not surprised it still goes on rule the country mix and form alle- Trade unions should break with ing thousands of pounds for seats at dinner tables with Labour leaders
- capitalist politics is not about or- giances. As David Cameron said: “I Labour and instead discuss funding in what used to be called “a specially designed commercial package for
ganising society and its resources to have known most of those attending a radical socialist alternative - business visitors to conference”.
benefit the majority; it’s about a thin for many years” . the Trade Unionist and Socialist One such company donating £36,000 for dinner tickets and confer-
privileged layer - the 1% - buying in- That layer of capitalist politicians Coalition - that condemns the ence tables, was Enron – the company involved in the world’s largest
dividual influence for measures to have a loyalty to a system that brings corruption and patronage in securities fraud!
benefit individuals, a tiny minority - wealth and security to a tiny fraction parliament and big business.
PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD telephone: 020 8988 8777 email: email@example.com
2 EDITORIAL www.socialistparty.org.uk 29 March - 4 April 2012 the Socialist
the Socialist what we think
The paper of the Socialist Party. Issue 711.
The Socialist, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Published by Socialist Publications, printed by Newsfax International. ISSN 1366-9621
Budget for the 1% must be fought
he blatantly pro-rich budget of was over the shocking withdrawal of tax How about ending more million of them young, there was nothing in
Chancellor George Osborne was allowances for pensioners, adding to the the budget, and no prospect of economic
met by a wave of outrage. There anger already burning among public sector of the tax avoidance recovery in sight.
was incredulity that the top 1% had workers at being forced to pay more, work It is not that there were no other options;
been made significantly better off, while longer and receive less pension. Osborne loopholes that the rich far from it. Even some of the articles by pro-
pushing on with austerity for everyone else. insultingly boasted that pensioners would use? capitalist commentators suggested measures
Even some of the right-wing newspapers though receive the “biggest cash increase in that could seriously raise money from the
were incensed that the income of pension- the state pension ever” - a miserable £5.30 Or helping small rich to use to boost the public sector and the
ers was attacked. a week. economy as a whole.
Inflaming anger further, Osborne had tried businesses to secure the For instance, rather than increased one-
outright trickery, framing the changes in
the guise of ‘simplifying’ tax for pensioners, Naked class interests loans they need? off stamp duty when a £2 million property
is bought, how about an annual council tax
removing a ‘pointless’ 50% tax on the rich “Cowardly” for giving into the interests of the Or a levy on the piles charge on such properties that better reflects
and pretending to introduce more punitive rich, said some commentators about the the proportion of income paid in council tax
measures against them. budget. But Osborne isn’t trying to be an in- of cash lying idle in by the poorest in society?
Another attempt to con was his ‘generosity’ dependent arbitrator between the classes in Or ending more of the tax avoidance
in raising the income tax starting threshold to society; he’s overtly looking after his own.
company coffers? loopholes that the rich use? Or helping small
£9,205 in April 2013. This was condemned Tory and Lib Dem front benchers sat stony businesses to secure the loans they need?
as an “empty gesture” by the head of Citizens faced when Labour leader Ed Miliband de- that his budget meant that the super-rich will And how about a levy on the piles of cash
Advice, whose organisation estimated that manded to know if they would personally pay five times more tax than before”. lying idle in company coffers?
poorer working families would only be £33 a gain from the abolition of the 50p tax band, The corporation tax cut will ensure Britain The Socialist advocates going much further
year better off after their benefits are reduced as many of them will, including Cameron. has one of the lowest rates of this tax in the in order to fully transform the lives of the 99%
to take into account the slightly higher net Have these millionaire ministers gone too G20; but low tax rates don’t automatically
income. far for the Tories’ own good? Their tax gifts attract investment.
£33 certainly won’t cover the increased for the rich, attack on pensioners, threats For instance, Britain’s top companies are
cost of petrol, fares, household bills, and so of a further £10 billion in benefit cuts and estimated to have over £700 billion in cash
on. And what about the millions of people other policies have led to speculation on the reserves sitting idle, which isn’t being used
whose income is already below the present electoral damage being done to the coalition productively because of lack of a strong
tax threshold? parties. consumer market, not because of the rate
At the same time, someone ‘earning’ “Osborne has re-toxified the Tory brand” of tax. Join the Socialist Party www.socialistparty.org.uk
£500,000 a year gains at least £17,000 assessed John Rentoul in the Independent Reducing corporation tax and the top rate
a year from the reduction in the top rate on Sunday, who went on to say that now, of income tax cuts the spending power of – including nationalisation, under democratic
of income tax. In addition, shareholders only one-fifth of the way into the spending consumers further, by raising less money workers’ control and management, of the key
and directors of large companies were cuts, “cannot be the time to announce” the for the public sector and so fuelling the Con- sectors of the economy with compensation
whooping with delight at the extra cut in ditching of the 50p tax rate. Dems’ crazy driving down of public sector paid on the basis of proven need.
corporation tax. wages and other public spending. But even a cursory look at some of the
Other attacks included ending universal In February public sector net borrowing limited measures that could be taken shows
child benefit; forcing 300,000 more workers Economic stimulus? was a record high for a February; cuts and that workers don’t have to tolerate the
into the 40p tax band from April 2013; Times writer Philip Collins summarised a view more cuts are not digging a way out of the austerity being imposed.
reducing planning regulations; and starting a of many capitalist economists when he dis- crisis. Regionally imposed pay freezes would Pressure will inevitably build up again on
path to regional public sector pay bargaining missed as “absurd” the “idea that an income cut consumer spending further, as would the the trade union leaders – as it did last year –
and increasing further the retirement age. tax cut from 50p to 45p is a stimulus package threatened 880,000 public sector job losses to mobilise the strength of the millions-strong
The biggest initial backlash however … especially so because Mr Osborne bragged by 2017. For the 2.8 million unemployed, a workers’ movement to fight back.
Toasting the cuts - councils show no remorse
Linda Taaffe £2,825. This council eliminated 870 communities at a time when budg-
jobs last year and is intending to cut .
ets are severely stretched”
a further 690 in order “to balance In the Alice in Wonderland world
David Blanchflower, a former mem- the books” . inhabited by these butchers of
ber of the Bank of England’s Mon- Warrington, which unbelievably jobs and services, closing libraries,
etary Policy Committee, pointed was nominated “for most improved health centres, slashing jobs in so-
out in the Independent: “The lat- council after receiving three red cial services and introducing a reign
est labour market release last week flags from the Audit Commission for of terror in the workplace are “deliv-
showed that since June 2010, pub- financial mismanagement and child ering vital services”.
lic sector employment is down protection failings, spent £1,700 on
by 350,000. Education is down by tickets and £1,550 on hotel rooms” .
94,000, police by 25,000, health and East Lothian council, which was Workers’ representatives
social work by 27,000 and the NHS… also censored by Audit Scotland five The Telegraph, with it right-wing
by 35,000” . years ago, nevertheless was cited as agenda of discrediting the ‘state’ ,
You would think that those who .
“most improved council” The coun- including local government, which
are directly responsible for this state cil’s provost travelled to the awards they hope will pave the way for more
of affairs, carrying out the diktats by train from Scotland, staying over- privatisation, has an interest in pub-
of the coalition government, would night. The bill came to £3,605.30! licising events like this.
hang their heads in shame and seek Brent council which did not have far For us, the working class and the
to hide from the public gaze. Not a to go, “dipped into its youth services labour movement, corruption of this
bit of it. budget to pay for one of its three character – for this is what it is – pro-
The Daily Telegraph under the £270 tickets” . vides a further example of the rotten-
headline, “Council chiefs’ five-star The most expensive tickets for this ness of local government when it is in
dinner for handling cuts” reported
, event cost £7,200 for a table of ten, the hands of capitalist parties, which
that 1,200 senior council officials which entitled guests to bottles of includes the Labour Party.
“celebrated” their achievements in champagne, followed by port and a It provides further ammunition
the Great Room of London’s Gros- cheese board. Afterwards, delegates for raising the necessity for incor-
venor House Hotel. danced at the disco, and played rou- ruptible representatives of working
lette until 2am at a charity casino set people – in a new mass workers’
up on the balcony! party – to fight the cuts and cam-
Redundancies awards Unbelievably, this obscene paign for control of local councils so
It was reported that: “The awards, ,
event was “justified” according to that they can be used in the interests
run by the Local Government Chron- on a salad of Serrano ham, aspara- the Telegraph reported that those a spokesman for the Local Govern- of the working class.
icle, were hosted by John Culshaw, gus, rocket and Parmesan. This was present “had overseen redundan- ment Association on the grounds Perhaps anti-cuts campaigners
the impressionist. He is understood followed by tournedos of beef in a .
cies and cuts to services” Among that “these awards recognise and could ask questions of their own
to charge around £10,000 per ap- smoked garlic and red wine sauce them were six staff sent by Shef- celebrate the hard work and dedi- council - did they send a delega-
pearance.” Furthermore: “After a with pancetta, celeriac…” etc. field council, who stayed overnight cation of those individuals who tion to this obscene junket, and how
networking reception, guests dined In a masterly understatement, in London hotels, amassing a bill of continue to deliver vital services to much was spent on it?
Have you got news for us? Phone us on 020 8988 8777 firstname.lastname@example.org fax: 020 8988 8787. editor Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, news/international news Dave Carr, letters/reviews Roger
Shrives, workplace news Alison Hill, campaigns/party news Bob Severn, youth news/sales Sarah Wrack, photographer Paul Mattsson. Deadline: Friday before publication date. Urgent news - Monday
the Socialist 29 March - 4 April 2012 www.socialistparty.org.uk news 3
World warming even faster Them...
Socialist plan needed
If further proof were needed to show that the Tories’ election
pledge to be the “greenest government ever” was a lie it has
As it stands, the NHS - supposedly
now been provided. One of those exposed as a ‘dining donor’ ‘ringfenced’ from austerity - has
is hedge-fund manager Michael Hintze who, as well as handing to find £50 billion of so-called ef-
£1.5 billion to the Tories, backs Tory grandee Lord Lawson‘s ficiency savings by the end of the
misnamed climate disinformation ‘thinktank’, the Global decade. The government claims to
Warming Policy Foundation. It seems his cash is money well- be protecting frontline services but
the number of nurses working in the
spent. The Financial Times reports that the government is NHS has decreased by 3,500 over
considering removing any requirement on big business to report the last year. And according to the
their poisonous CO2 emissions. Here Pete Mason explains the chief of finance of the NHS, there
threat posed by escalating emissions. is no shining light at the end of the
tunnel. He said “It’s really important
that the service gets used to operat-
2010 is now thought to be the warm- dire warnings and conclusive scien- ing in this resource climate... It’s not
est year on record. Previously, the tific evidence has had no effect on a question of just doing it for a year
accelerated warming of the arctic capitalist governments wedded to or two and then getting out of the
was insufficiently taken into account their paymasters, in particular the woods; this is it as far as I can see
by one of the main global tempera- major oil companies. ahead.”
ture records. Today the effects of global warm- 2010 was the warmest year on record
Now, new data paints a dramatic ing are manifest in deadly floods
picture of our warming planet: due and droughts of previously unim- ed that in Pakistan, where 18 million lowest rainfall since 1917 in 2011, Healthy eating
to a sharp rise in carbon dioxide aginable proportions. Global emis- people were affected by two years has hit food production badly. Ever wondered why the government
output from industrial activity over sions of CO2 increased by nearly of record floods, millions are still in The birthplace and resting home doesn’t take health seriously? Per-
the last two decades, the world is 50% between 1990 and 2010, with dire need and facing the danger of of climate change denial, the USA haps who it takes its advice from
warming faster than we thought. Yet a record breaking 5.8% increase in malnutrition. has suffered so much extreme might give an idea. For example to
global CO2 emissions between 2009 Meanwhile the drought and hose- weather, such as the March 2012 write policy on obesity, alcohol and
and 2010. pipe ban in southern and eastern tornadoes which killed 39, that four diet-related disease, the govern-
What’s the alternative? So much heat was added to the England is just a pale reflection of out of five people live in an area that ment asks for help from companies
A socialist plan of production globe that in 2010, sea levels, nor- that faced by many in the neocolo- has been affected by weather-re- including PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Mars,
could both remove the private mally rising three millimetres a year nial world. lated disasters since 2006, a recent McDonald’s and KFC. Hmm...
profit motive which prevents capi- as a result of thermal expansion and The Somali famine has thankfully study found.
talist industry from abandoning extra melt water, actually fell by five been declared over, although more Not surprisingly then, despite the
fossil fuels, and at the same time millimetres, as our hotter atmos- than two million people are still at denialist propaganda of Fox News Election strategy
construct the necessary infrastruc- phere draws up more moisture from a high risk of malnutrition and food and other US TV channels, a grow- Tony Blair recently told Labour MPs:
ture to cope with our destabilised the earth and releases it as a flood. insecurity. ing majority in the USA now believe “We can’t go into another election
climate. Under capitalism, as al- As a result, over 2010 and 2011, Severe droughts in Mexico, Syria, global warming is real, and a major- without the support of a single chief
ways, the most vulnerable on the Pakistan, Australia, the USA and Argentina and Portugal are the most ity reject the oil-rich deniers’ claims executive, as we did at the last elec-
planet are left to suffer and die. Thailand saw unprecedented flood- recent, while an on-going drought that global warming is part of some tion.” What Labour MPs should re-
ing. Only last month the BBC report- in Texas, which experienced the as yet undiscovered natural cycle. ally be remembering is that there
are millions of working class people
angry about jobs and services being
Budget 2012: reject regional pay
cut, and only a handful of chief exec-
utives sniffing around for ‘business-
friendly’ policies. But will they?
One of the many attacks on work- economies, in already disadvan- is substantially lower than the rest et make this official and could
ers in the budget is the proposal to taged areas and would simply result of the transport department (our make things worse. This is pure
introduce regional pay in the public in a deepening of the inequality that parent department). Management exploitation. We are not second
sector, including the civil service. exists between London/South East tries to justify this on ‘recruit and class citizens and we deserve pay
Katrine Williams, the chair of PCS and the rest of the UK.” retain’ principles. In other words, parity with colleagues throughout
Wales, said: “Holding down public Katrine Williams said “PCS in a low pay/high unemployment the UK.”
sector pay in Wales will damage pay members in the Department for area like Swansea they don’t need to The TUC has warned that reduc-
rates across the board. Poverty is the Work and Pensions haven’t had pay much to get people to work for ing public sector wages by 1% would
problem here which won’t be solved them. hit local economies by at least £1.7
by the Con-Dems stealing £1.25 bil- “The new measures in the Budg- billion a year.
lion out of public sector workers’ It is fundamentally
In 2004, when this idea was last
unfair to pay two
proposed, by a Labour government, employees, working
the PCS civil service union commis-
sioned a report by the thinktank the for the same
Bevan Foundation. This outlined
the “complexity, inefficiency and employer on the
likely disproportionate effect any same grade and
move to regional pay would have on
public sector workers, particularly doing the same
women who comprise the majority
of the public sector workforce. duties, differing pay
“The private sector, in general,
has abandoned the concept of lo-
cal/regional pay. Tesco tried it a few
years back but have reverted back to an inflation proofed pay rise for
a zonal system of pay. five years and making ends meet
“If the government does want has become increasingly difficult
greater efficiency then it should re- with soaring costs of the essen-
turn to national bargaining as an ef- tials - rent, food and bills. It won’t
ficiency measure. help the Welsh economy to drive
“PCS does not agree with any our wages down further - we’ll just
form of localised regional pay for have even less to spend in our lo-
two basic reasons: cal communities.
“It is fundamentally unfair to pay “Now is the time for trade union-
two employees, working for the ists from the public and private sec-
same employer on the same grade tors to all stand together against the
and doing the same duties, differing Con-Dem government’s attacks on
pay rates on the basis of the location pay, pensions, services and the wel- 3,000 people came from all over Ireland to a rally in Dublin on 24 March against the introduction of the
of their workplace. fare state.” regressive household tax, which is a set rate for every household. Only 2,000 could fit inside so speakers
“There is no evidence that such This is underlined by a worker in were sent to speak at the overflow rally outside. The Socialist Party’s sister organisation in Ireland is playing
a scheme would benefit local job- the licensing department (DVLA) a leading role in the campaign against the tax and calling for a strategy of mass non-payment. With less than
markets. It is more likely to have in Swansea: “Unofficially, DVLA a week to go until the government’s deadline 85% of people have not registered to pay the tax photo Socialist
a detrimental effect on the local already has regional pay. Our pay Party Ireland
4 Workplace www.socialistparty.org.uk 29 March - 4 April 2012 the Socialist
National action needed to stop In brief
the pensions robbery NHS pensions vote
ast week’s issue of the So- Osborne announced in the Budget But now how do we build from
cialist carried an explana- that pension ages will be rising even here? Delegates at the NUT annual
tion of why the PCS civil ser- faster. A teacher in their 30s would conference over Easter have the re-
vice union had decided not not now have to work until 68 to get sponsibility to decide on the next
to call action on 28 March. This was their full pension - but maybe to 70! stage of the campaign. The NUT ex-
a direct consequence of the teach- Faced with these attacks, union ecutive agreed a flexible formula of
ers’ union NUT decision not to call leaders can’t afford to hesitate. “bringing all other regions and Wales,
national action on that day but in- Unions need to be fighting just as in turn or together, into pensions ac-
stead to call a strike across London. hard for their members, and for the .
tion” But no dates have yet been set
This was in spite of Martin Powell- millions that rely on schools and for calling out other regions on strike.
Davies, a Socialist Party member, ar- services, as the Con-Dems are for If NUT conference votes to sup- photo Paul Mattsson
guing at the NUT national executive the millionaires. port regional action, then a clear
for national action on 28 March. While others ran for cover, unions and speedy calendar of rolling Unison members working in the
The following is an extract from including the NUT, UCU and PCS strikes needs to be announced so health service will be voting on
the Socialist Party leaflet distributed stood firm and regrouped, prepar- that the government, and trade whether to accept new pensions
to striking teachers on 28 March, ing their members for further na- unionists, know we are serious. proposals, in a ballot running
which explains how the pensions tional action on 28 March. But even But Socialist Party Teachers be- from 11–27 April. It is a consulta-
battle can go forward. the NUT leadership hesitated at the lieves that it would be better to call tion exercise, not a strike ballot.
last minute and opted for a strike out everyone together in a national Unison head of health Christina
After the massive show of trade un- only across the London region. strike, supported by other unions. McAnea has warned that: “the
ion strength and unity on 30 No- United national action is our most ballot papers will also recognise
vember, this government could not effective weapon. National strikes that rejecting the offer would
have believed its luck when, just a Next phase photo Paul Mattsson are also far easier to coordinate with require members to take further
few weeks later, the leaders of un- 28 March must be the start of the under pressure, and left isolated other fighting unions, like the PCS, industrial action.” Hardly a call
ions like ATL and Unison shame- next phase of the campaign, not the by others holding back from ac- than regional activities. for action to defend hard-won
fully retreated and accepted the end. But isolated regional action tion like the NASUWT, a majority Socialist Party Teachers believes pension rights.
unacceptable terms of the ‘Heads can’t put the government under on the NUT executive lost faith that we should consider a two-day strike
of Agreement’ pensions offer, which pressure in the same way that unit- members would take more action. to escalate pressure on ministers.
would still mean paying more, ed national strike action can. It has been left to the London NUT 28 March has taught ministers that MMP
working longer and getting less. NUT members in London, and membership, and the hard work trade unionists will fight their cuts. workers attacked
Weakness has only invited fur- across the country, have been ask- of local officers and school reps, to It’s also taught trade unionists that The long-running dispute at MMP
ther attacks. While giving even more ing why only London members show that, given a lead, teachers will they need to elect fighting trade packaging in Bootle has escalated
handouts to the wealthy top 1%, were asked to strike. The fact is that, stand together. union leaderships. with the sacking of four workers.
The four are part of the 149
Tanker drivers vote to strike
workers who have been locked out
of the factory over a dispute over
redundancies. They were sacked
National Shop Stewards Network Tanker drivers working for five for ways to cut corners to save mon-
by a kangaroo court which did
not allow them to call witnesses
6th annual conference: major fuel distribution firms and
members of Unite, have voted
ey, at the expense of the drivers’
working conditions and pensions.
to the accusations of using foul
and abusive language. Their union
Saturday 9 June 11am - 4pm overwhelmingly for strike action Now those workers are fighting Unite is investigating an appeal.
Friends Meeting House, Euston over health and safety issues. Up
until a few years ago the major fuel
back, with large majorities for strike
action (see below).
• Please send messages of
support to: mayrsmerseypeople@
Road, London NW1 2BJ companies tended to have their
own distribution fleet, with their
Across the seven companies
61.1% voted for strike action.
own drivers. The government is not looking
Thanks to good trade union or- forward to the sight of queues at pet-
Speakers include: ganisation, safety and training rol stations, so is allegedly training Police strike ballot
standards were upheld and driv- troops to scab on any strikes. Unite
• Bob Crow, transport union RMT general ers had reasonably secure employ- must take any attempts to train up
secretary ment. But when the oil companies a scab army seriously and make the
were looking to increase their al- necessary preparations.
• Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary ready mega-profits, they discovered But the government’s fear of these
the benefits of outsourcing. workers’ action says everything
• A leading Rank and File construction Experienced drivers left, to be re- about the potential power of united
electrician placed by contractors. And the con- strike action against their austerity
tracting companies started looking plans.
• Kevin Courtney, NUT deputy general secretary
Company % In favour of strike % turnout
Conference fee: £5 Turners 94.4% 81.8%
Norbert Dentressangle 74.8% 71.3%
For more information see: www.shopstewards.net Wincanton 68.4% 71.9%
BP 60.2% 85.8%
Contact the NSSN at: email@example.com or Hoyer 59.7% 79.7%
PO Box 54498, London, E10 9DE Workers in DHL narrowly voted against strike action but voted in favour
of action short of a strike, while Unite members in Suckling voted against
photo Paul Mattsson
Save the remploy factories - not for sale or closure at any price The Police Federation has an-
nounced a ballot on the right
Les Woodward ing to help get disabled people out to strike “as soon as possible”.
Remploy trade union national of poverty and into work, it will do They will also be holding a protest
convenor nothing to improve the economic march on Westminster, sometime
stability of the country. It will do before their annual conference
nothing for the ‘inclusion’ agenda in May. The protest march is over
The closure of 54 Remploy factories that most disabled workers, includ- cuts to police budgets and the “un-
potentially can affect everyone in ing those in Remploy, aspire to. precedented attack on policing by
the UK. Disability can strike anyone What this act of barbarism will this government”. The question of
in any socio-economic group, at any achieve will be misery, poverty and annual fitness tests is a particular
time. The difference is not the dis- possibly an early grave for the vast concern.
ability but the available resources to majority of Remploy workers. These In January 2008 more than 20,000
deal with it. workers will be paying the ultimate police marched on Westminster
If someone has a big bank bal- price with their jobs for the eco- against Labour’s refusal to backdate
ance, a Bupa account and plenty of nomic crisis. a pay increase. That year, 87% voted
time for rest and recuperation, the This is unlike the multi-million- to demand full industrial rights for
effects of disability will be less dam- aire bankers and their very good the Police Federation.
aging than those felt by someone multi-millionaire friends in the cab-
who is on the breadline, on benefits inet who are doing very nicely out of •For more workplace and industri-
and struggling to make ends meet. this crisis. al stories, see the Socialist Party’s
This attack on the most vulner- Remploy factories are not for clo- website: www.socialistparty.org.uk
able workers in society will do noth- sure and not for sale at any price. Protesting outside Parliament photo the Socialist
the Socialist 29 March - 4 April 2012 www.socialistparty.org.uk ElEction 2012 5
For the millions,
3 may ns
Fight t 12
not the millionaires
The latest fashion among all the parties in Westminster millionaires £40,000 each. Their numbers include sector pensions. It is happy to promise to maintain
is to steal the Socialist Party’s slogan and claim they David Cameron and other members of the cabinet! this government’s misery for the millions, but refuses
are introducing policies that help ‘the millions not the New Labour rightly attacked the government point blank to promise to restore the 50p tax rate.
millionaires’. Nothing could be further from the truth! for producing a budget ‘by the rich for the rich’. At local level every single Labour council has so far
If you are a millionaire the government believes you Unfortunately Labour’s policies are not fundamentally done the government’s bidding and implemented
need to be encouraged with incentives; anyone else different to those of the government parties. Labour vicious cuts. There is therefore an urgent need for
needs to be punished with pay freezes and cuts in says it will not reverse the vast majority of the cuts a party that stands in the interests of the majority
public services and benefits. The cut in the 50p tax implemented by the Con-Dems and will maintain – that really does stand for the millions not the
rate in the latest Con-Dem budget has saved 14,000 the public sector pay freeze and cutting of public millionaires.
More austerity – unless In ‘Them and Us’
Britain there is an
urgent need for a
party that stands for
All TUSC local
sign up to a simple five
we stop it!
the majority - not the
In 2011 millions of trade unionists took action against the
government’s cuts, particularly in defence of their pen- Only 6 out
sions. An escalation of the action is clearly necessary; ter- of 29 Con-Dem
rible as the cuts have been, they represent less than 10% cabinet members
of the government’s plans! aren’t
Demonstrations, strikes and occupations are an essen- millionaires
tial part of the fight against austerity, but it is also nec-
essary to have an electoral alternative that is genuinely
This is increasingly being discussed in the Labour-affili- Big
ated trade unions. A quarter of the motions for this year’s Candidate Nancy Taaffe, library worker made redundant business sits Oppose all cuts to council
GMB conference are questioning why the union is continu- photo Paul Mattson on £731bn that jobs, services, pay and condi-
ing to use members’ money to fund New Labour. it won’t invest tions - we reject the claim that
We argue for all trade unions to stop funding Labour and The candidates include many leading trade unionists: because ‘some cuts’ are necessary to
to begin to build a party that genuinely stands in their inter- Alex Gordon, president of the RMT transport union; Steve it sees our services
ests. We support all steps towards such a party. Hedley, London regional secretary of the RMT; Ian Leahair, no easy
That is one reason the Socialist Party takes part in the London regional secretary of the firefighters union FBU; profits Reject increases in council
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) which will be Tony Mulhearn, deputy leader of Liverpool City Council tax, rent and service charges
standing as many anti-cuts candidates as possible in the when it defied the Tories during the 1980s; Dave Nellist, to compensate for government
3 May elections. Coventry Socialist Party councillor; and many others. ch cuts
Vote against the privatisation
For councils that fight the cuts!
of council jobs and services, or
cut to 50p
the transfer of council services
to ‘social enterprises’ or ‘arms-
length’ management organisa-
ew Labour and Green councils legal powers are not enough – conducted in the teeth of massive tions, which are first steps to
ate 4 privatisation
say that have ‘no choice’ but councils need to set budgets that opposition – not only from the
to implement the cuts – but do not include any cuts in jobs and Tories, but sadly from the right-wing will save 1
that just isn’t true. If any council was services. leadership of Labour. If more Labour Use all the legal powers
to stop acting as collaborators with A ‘needs budget’ means setting councils had followed the Liverpool available to councils, including
the Tory axe wielders, and instead a budget based on the needs of the road Thatcher would have been 5m people powers to refer local NHS deci-
was to stand up and fight, they would local population, not the constraints finished. are desperate for sions, initiate referenda and
discover there are a thousand ways to of central government. Liverpool’s councillors were only social housing organise public commissions
defy the cuts. We are told that doing this – able to be removed and surcharged and consultations, to oppose
To name a few, councils could: following the example of Poplar in the after the betrayal of Labour leader both the cuts and government
Stop homelessness rocketing: by 1920s or of Liverpool and Lambeth in Neil Kinnock and Co. polices which centrally impose
refusing to evict council tenants who the 1980s – is ‘impossible’ and will the transfer of public services
fall into arrears because of housing inevitably lead to defeat. to private bodies
benefit cuts. They could also use their But the real history is different. Mass campaign
legal powers to threaten compulsory Poplar council won a campaign to Today councillors can no longer be When faced with govern-
purchase orders against big landlords equalise the rates across London and surcharged unless they are found ment cuts to council funding,
who evict tenants suffering from were able to introduce a programme guilty of financial crime for personal More councils should refuse to im-
housing benefit cuts. of financial assistance for the poor, gain. But it is still true that any than plement the cuts. We will sup-
Halt the destruction of state equal pay for women and a minimum council that refused to carry out cuts 4m workers port councils which in the first
education: by using councils ‘schools wage for council workers. or introduce hikes in council tax have to put in more instance use their reserves and
monitoring powers’ to build a would – at a certain stage – come into than 48hrs at work prudential borrowing powers to
campaign against academies and free conflict with the legal system. to make avoid passing them on - while
schools by organising, for example, Liverpool Trade unionists and anti-cuts ends meet arguing that the best way to
parents’ ballots on the issue. In the 1980s Liverpool City Council, campaigners would be able to mobilise the mass campaign
Stop 16+17 year olds being thrown in which Militant (forerunner of the mobilise tens of thousands in that is necessary to defeat
out of education: by continuing to Socialist Party) played a leading role, support of such a stand. In these the cuts is to set a budget
pay EMA to local students, as the forced Thatcher to hand over an extra circumstances – as in Liverpool – it that meets the needs of
Welsh Assembly and Tower Hamlets £60 million to Liverpool. would be very difficult for the law to If you want to stand the local community and
and Southwark councils have done. That was used to build 5,000 be used against such councils. as a TUSC candidate demands that
Any council which continued to pay council houses (more than were However, most councils can in local elections in the govern-
it would win the support of a whole built nationally the whole time New prepare themselves before taking your area this May, ment makes
generation. Labour was in office!), plus new this road. By using their reserves and to donate or find out up the
All of these measures, and many leisure centres and nurseries and to borrowing powers to avoid making more - check out shortfall
more, could be carried out by using create tens of thousands of jobs. cuts, councils could gain time to build the TUSC website at
councils’ legal powers. By themselves Liverpool’s inspiring struggle was a mass movement in their support. www.tusc.org.uk
6 the Socialist 29 March - 4 April 2012 29 March - 4 April 2012 the Socialist 7
There is an alTernaTive - socialism!
3 may ns
Fight t 12
For the Socialist Party another important reason for taking part in the Trade
Unionist and Socialist Coalition is to raise the profile of socialist ideas. We do
Just to give a few examples of what a socialist programme would mean:
not accept the endless mantra that ‘there is no alternative’ to austerity.
Can even a few Trade Unionist
and Socialist Coalition Unemployment & long hours Housing Young people Pensions
As unemployment soars Britain still Meanwhile there are five million Half a million young people were un-
(TUSC) representatives make apitalism has created enormous big corporations, in order that it can be used has one of the longest working weeks people, two million households, who employed even before economic crisis
wealth, science and technique. in developing socially useful production, jobs in the European Union. New Labour are on the housing list and desperate hit. Now over a million young people
a difference? We have technology today that and services. consistently fought for the right to opt for social housing. The pipe dream are jobless. Student fees have gone
was unimaginable a generation While we favour taxing the rich and big out of EU laws limiting the working propagated by Thatcher of a ‘home through the roof, while EMA student
Many workers who are considering voting ago. The world economy is 17 times the size corporations, we also recognise that the week to a maximum of 48 hours. owning democracy’ lies in ruins. payments have been abolished.
TUSC this year may ask if it is worthwhile it was a century ago. In Britain the major ‘markets’ – that is capitalism – will never More than four million workers in In London the average deposit
to do so, given that TUSC is a new force. corporations are hoarding an incredible meekly accept dramatically increased Britain work longer than that each required to take out a mortgage on a
But even one or two fighting councillors, £750 billion, which they are not investing regulation and taxation. Capitalism is week in order to make ends meet. At house is £85,000, while the median
or members of the Greater London because they do not consider they would an economic system driven solely by the the same time workers are being told wage is just £24,500. More and more
Assembly, can make a difference by using make sufficient profit from it. Yet we are capitalists’ need to maximise their profits, they have to retire later and later. people are being forced into the
their position as democratically elected told that the most basic public services – a increasing exploitation of the working class, This is the lunacy of capitalism – private rented sector, sometimes
local representatives to give confidence to national health service, the right to retire at the majority in society, in order to do so. millions thrown on the unemployment substandard, and almost always
and help organise community campaigns a reasonable age, a job with a living wage, the scrapheap while others work their expensive and insecure.
and trade unionists to fight. right to a secure affordable home – cannot be fingers to the bone. The million families in private rented
TUSC councillors would pledge to afforded by capitalism. Nationalisation By introducing a 35-hour week with accommodation are ten times more
oppose all cuts in council jobs, services, The current crisis is not caused by a So what is the alternative to this market mad- no loss of pay – in other words sharing likely to be forced to move than those
pay and conditions. We will campaign ‘bloated’ public sector but by the worst crisis ness? For a start we call for the nationalisation out the work – it would be possible to in other forms of accommodation.
against the idea that ‘some cuts’ are of capitalism in 70 years. Yet all the major of the big banking and finance companies. dramatically reduce the number of And homelessness is soaring – with
necessary. capitalist parties – Tories, Lib Dems and New Compensation should be paid on the basis of unemployed while simultaneously an 18% increase in the number of
We would refuse to allow divisions Labour – agree that it should be the 99%, the proven need. Not one penny should go to the improving the quality of life of working officially registered homeless in the
between council staff, service users and working class and public services that pay speculators who bear responsibility while de- class people. last year alone.
communities, which are inevitable unless for it. manding that the working class pays for the If this was combined with, not only A socialist government would
we oppose all cuts. TUSC councillors But it doesn’t have to be like this. At the crisis. an immediate halt in cuts to public immediately institute a mass
would vote against privatisation of council moment it is just accepted that the rich 1% It would then be necessary to introduce services, but a massive expansion programme of renovating and building
services, or the transfer of services to .
can’t be expected to pay ‘too much’ Osborne’s full government control of all incoming and of services it would be possible to high-quality, affordable council The capitalists increasingly expect us
‘social enterprises’ or ‘arm’s-length’ justification for cutting the 50p tax rate was outgoing foreign trade. That would enable a eliminate unemployment. houses. This would not only provide .
to ‘work ’til we drop’ A socialist pen-
management organisations. that the super-rich would find ways to avoid democratically elected government and the This would allow us to develop a work for the hundreds of thousands sion policy would allow workers to
TUSC councillors would seek to use paying it anyway, and so cutting it would only working class – not the market – to control vastly better public transport system, of unemployed building workers, start drawing a decent state pension at
all the legal powers open to councillors cost £100 million a year! imports and exports including capital. build more housing, and train and but would also immediately cut the 55. Those who want to continue work
to delay or obstruct government policies What a society, if you are poor and are A socialist nationalised banking hire more teachers, doctors and amount of money paid to private could do so.
which lead to cuts or the transfer of public caught claiming a few more pounds in benefit sector would be democratically run by nursing staff. landlords in housing benefit. Part-time work with part-pension
services to private bodies. For example, than you are legally entitled to you face representatives of banking workers and could bridge the gap between work
councils could refer local NHS decisions opprobrium and being sent to prison. If you trade unions, the wider working class, as and retirement for those who want it.
for further scrutiny. are a rich individual or a big corporation and well as the government. Decisions would be Environment State pensioners should receive
They could initiate referenda, public avoid paying tax, the chancellor just accepts made to meet the needs of the majority - for Of course, a socialist government an immediate 50% increase, and
consultations (for example of parents it and changes the tax system accordingly! example, offering cheap loans and mortgages would have to take the protection of this should be extended to all state
over the creation of divisive academy for housing and for the planned development the environment into account when A socialist programme for young benefits.
schools) and commissions as part of a of industry and services, and ending all building housing. At the moment the people would start with the right to The link between pensions and
wider campaign. Make the 1% pay repossessions of peoples’ homes. big construction companies build high quality training, and a job and/or earnings or inflation, whichever is
TUSC supporters will work with To start with socialists argue that a major That would only be the start. Capitalism purely for profit. A mass house-build- college place for every school leaver. higher, should be restored.
every anti-cuts campaign, and fight the campaign should be launched for the 1% has led to enormous economic destruction. ing programme would mean careful It would also include the abolition These measures would cost around
implementation of the cuts agenda, to pay their taxes. As the civil servants’ (in- In Britain around 10% of wealth has already planning to ensure the protection of of tuition fees and the immediate £560 million a year. This may sound
library by library, swimming pool by cluding tax collectors) trade union, the PCS, been lost as a result of the recession, due to green spaces. In many cases, it would introduction of a living grant. a lot, but the big pension companies
swimming pool, youth club by youth points out, there is about £120 billion in tax- factories and workplaces closing, resulting in be possible to build on fully decon- To do this for all students would cost get more than half this amount in tax
club. It’s one thing to pass a budget, it’s es that goes uncollected every year, almost over 2.5 million officially unemployed with taminated brownfield sites (land for- a maximum of £15 billion a year. It relief every year!
another to execute it! enough to wipe out the deficit at a stroke. the number rising. merly used for industrial purposes). would also mean introducing a living In addition, pensioners, having
TUSC elected representatives can Socialists argue that the rich should be the Moreover, pleasant and safe homes minimum wage of at least £8 an hour, contributed to society all their lives,
help by acting as a voice for the anti-cuts ones who pay for the crisis, via dramatically for all forms a crucial part of a decent with no exemptions on the grounds of should be entitled to free housing,
movement. Out of many such campaigns increased taxes for the super-rich and the No growth prospects environment. age, or any other basis. heating, telephone and travel.
there will emerge new anti-cuts and trade big corporations. For most of the 1970s the There is no prospect of a return to growth.
union candidates to challenge the big tax rate for the highest band of income was This is the real difference between now and,
three parties in future elections. 83%. Likewise, for most of the 1970s, big for example, the end of the second world war
corporations paid 52% of their profits in tax. when the total national debt was far higher
But that percentage has been reduced to just than it is today – over 200% of GDP compared
28% now. to around 60% now. Then, however, Britain
Join the Socialist Party
We also demand the immediate reversal of entered a period of significant economic
all privatisation of public services, including growth, thereby shrinking the national debt.
the NHS. Public services should be run to Today, the economy has only staggered
meet the needs of the population, not to into technical growth as a
make profits for big business. result of massive state
The major corporations that intervention. The best
dominate the British economy prospect that can be If you agree with this manifesto, then join the fight for
should open their books to hoped for under capi- socialism – join the Socialist Party. The struggle for
representatives of their workforce talism is a prolonged socialism needs your talents and abilities.
and the trade unions. Up and period of economic Our struggle does not stop at the shores of Britain.
down the country corporations stagnation.
are slashing pensions, cutting That is why a
Capitalism is an international economic system.
jobs and holding down pay, crucial step towards Multinational companies exploit the entire world in
claiming that they cannot solving the economic the pursuit of profit. The struggle for socialism is an
afford to do otherwise, crisis would be to take international struggle.
despite the £750 billion the big corporations That’s why the Socialist Party is affiliated to the
sitting in their accounts. that dominate Britain’s
We demand they open economy into democratic
Committee for a Workers’ International, which
the books and let the public ownership. This would is struggling for socialism in over 40 countries
workers see the reality allow for production to be planned worldwide.
of their finances. for need and not for profit. See www.socialistworld.net
We also argue for an A democratic, socialist plan To find out about joining the Socialist Party visit our
immediate levy – of of production would make it
at least 50% - of the possible to very quickly transform
website: www.socialistparty.org.uk or text 07761
un-invested funds of the the lives of millions of people. 818206 with your name and postcode
photo Paul Mattsson
8 youth www.socialistparty.org.uk 29 March - 4 April 2012 the Socialist
Rare sighting of Tories in Scotland
Youth Fight For Jobs Scotland
Protesters far outnumbered attend-
ees at the Scottish Tory conference;
considering there are more pandas
in Scotland than Tory MPs, this
shouldn’t come as a surprise!
As the 24 March Scottish TUC
demonstration passed the confer-
ence venue suited delegates – pro-
tected by a seven-foot-high fence
and a police cordon came to meet
us with mocking smiles and waves,
serving only to make the Youth Fight
for Jobs contingent even louder.
Youth Fight for Jobs responded to
Scotland’s first national demonstra-
tion against youth unemployment in
a generation by launching a strong
campaign across Scotland including
daily street stalls, leafleting colleges The Youth Fight for Jobs contingent photos L Ganley With the PCS banner
and workplaces, and protests against
workfare and the austerity budget. er demonstrated before into contact plained why we were marching, the queued up to sign our petition and introduction of a living wage.
Over the last few weeks young peo- with the trade union movement. We demands of the campaign, and why join the campaign. Unfortunately, 23 young people signed up for
ple flocked to stalls to sign up to the marched alongside young members we are refusing to give in to the Con- despite our letter in advance to the more information on the campaign,
campaign, enraged by the prospect from the PCS trade union. Our vi- Dem programme of austerity. People STUC, we were not allowed to speak including school students from near-
of joblessness and the freezing of the brant contingent chanted “no ifs, no applauded and gave us the thumbs on the official platform. by Irvine. We now have YFJ groups
minimum wage for under-21s. buts, no public sector cuts” and “we up. We set up a fringe meeting where in local areas with public meetings
Youth Fight for Jobs made the won’t be a lost generation, fight for Arriving at the official STUC rally YFJ members spoke to assembled over the next few weeks and plan to
1,000-strong demonstration lively, jobs and education” . on the promenade, young people, marchers on our demands of real job organise a Scottish March for Jobs in
bringing young people who had nev- Youth Fight for Jobs speakers ex- seeing our contingent in action, creation, scrapping workfare and the the summer.
Brighton Uni: Socialist Students five votes from victory
Jack Poole I finished second, losing by just five during 2011, although not involv- itself a further indictment of unions members about how he hoped to get
Brighton University Socialist second preference votes. ing as many students as in 2010, still that have failed to publicise the enor- a bar without also mounting a seri-
Students showed a willingness to fight. The an- mous attacks - were shocked to hear
ger of students made the NUS lead- that as well as paying £9,000 students Clearly identifying
Students fightback ership call for a national walkout on would have course cuts, service cuts
Frequently dominated by populist The last two years have seen mas- 14 March 2012, but then they failed and job losses to look forward to! myself as a
politics and joke candidates, stu-
dent union elections are too often
sive movements of young people
in Brighton as part of the national
to seriously build for the walkout to
be a success (see the Socialist 710).
the stomping ground of the apoliti- movement against cuts and higher Student democracy all the cuts, we
cal and the right-wing bureaucracy fees. The dominance of unelected trus-
that dominate local student unions A wave of walkouts, mass dem- Opposing all cuts tees and lack of democratic struc- talked to hundreds
and large sections of the National onstrations and occupations in late It was in this context that I contested tures were highlighted by dozens of
Union of Students (NUS). 2010 saw Socialist Students mem- the presidency at Brighton student students across the five campuses at of students angry
However with education facing bers in Brighton play a key role in union. Clearly identifying myself as Brighton University who felt discon- about £9,000 fees
huge attacks from the Con-Dem gov- organising and suggesting the way a socialist against all the cuts, we nected from the union. I pledged to
ernment, we need fighting, demo- forward by linking with the trade un- talked to hundreds of students who, introduce regular democratic as- and massive cuts
cratic student unions and an NUS ion movement in the battle against despite the insistence of the union’s semblies at each campus.
leadership that is willing to take on all cuts. incumbent leadership that there My main opposition in the election ous campaign against all cuts, he had
the government’s cuts agenda with a The NUS leadership, instead of was no mood for a walkout, were was a self-confessed “proud member no answer.
clear strategy. supporting action by hundreds of clearly angry about £9,000 fees and of the Labour Party” who is “left, but A fantastic campaign that involved
In the student union elections at thousands of students pathetically the massive cuts being made to uni- not as left as Jack”! He focused on the Socialist Student members and anti-
Brighton University, I received over capitulated, leaving the student versity budgets. issue of a student bar on campus, as cuts activists highlighted the issues of
570 votes as a Socialist Students can- movement leaderless and disori- Students who were not already well as trying red scare tactics. When fees, cuts and privatisation, and put
didate for student union president. entated. However, demonstrations aware of the cuts being made - in confronted by Socialist Students down a marker for future victories.
Million Hoodies March against racist murders in the US
Socialist Alternative (US) Sanford, Florida on 26 February. refused to charge Zimmerman with other victims of racist murders, in- American workers and youth. Both
Edited from socialistalternative.org Support for the protests increased any crime, saying that there is ‘no cluding Ramarley Graham who was parties represent a system that has
after Fox News ‘commentator’ Ger- evidence to contradict his self-de- unarmed when shot by police in failed to provide decent living stand-
aldo Rivera said that the hoodie fence claim’ . his home in February. Many young ards or the prospect of a safe future
Thousands of people have taken Martin was wearing was as much The police took Trayvon’s body to black demonstrators held signs say- for the majority.
part in ‘Million Hoodie Marches’ to blame for his death as the killer the morgue in a bag marked ‘uni- ing: “Am I next?” We need to build a mass move-
and vigils in the US, including in George Zimmerman. .
dentified’ They made no effort to ment need alongside an independ-
New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Though called a ‘neighbourhood contact his family despite having ent party of the working class and
Los Angeles, to demand justice for watch captain’ by the media, Zim- his mobile phone. Trayvon’s family Alternative needed young people that fights for a demo-
17 year old African American Tray- merman was not part of any regis- didn’t find out for nearly three days. Working class communities and cratic socialist society.
von Martin. tered watch groups. The officer in charge, in a previous youth need a platform for fighting
Demonstrators have chucked Eyewitness reports and 911 case initially hadn’t arrested a police institutionalised racism and pover- A protest for Trayvon Martin
Skittles on the pavement and car- records have clearly indicated that lieutenant’s son for attacking a black ty. The Republicans and Democrats Saturday 3 March, 1.30-4pm,
ried bottles of ice tea, all that ‘armed’ Zimmerman was not acting in self- homeless person on camera. clearly have no interest in dealing American Embassy, 24 Grosvenor
Trayvon when he was shot dead in defence. Yet police officials have Marchers have chanted names of with the problems facing African- Square, London
Get involved I’d like to join the Socialist Party o I’d like more information about the Socialist Party o SOCIALIST PARTY FIGHTING FUND
£ target £ received January-March 2012 Deadline 30 March
Donate I’d like to donate £ to the Socialist Party please make cheques payable to Socialist Party
North West 1,200 1,611
Northern 600 727
Subscribe 12 issues £9 o 6 months £18 o 1 year £36 o please make cheques payable to Socialist Publications Ltd South West 1,400 1,634
East Midlands 1,550 1,626
Western Europe: 12 issues £16, half year £32, year £50 Rest of world: 12 issues £25, half year £50, year £90
Wales 2,300 2,368
Return slip or pay at www.socialistparty.org.uk/subscribe
Eastern 1,200 1,159
Name West Midlands 2,100 1,972
Address and postcode London 6,100 5,712
tel/email Yorkshire 2,900 2,607
Return to: Socialist Party, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD or phone 020 8988 8777 to pay by card, to arrange a direct debit, or to join. Southern 1,200 821
Credit card No: South East 1,000 395
England & Wales 3,450 1,062
Name: Start Date: Expiry Date: Security Code: Issue No:
TOTAL 25,000 21,698
the Socialist 29 March - 4 April 2012 www.socialistparty.org.uk international 9
French presidential election The Committee for a
An emerging left challenge The Committee for a Workers’
International (CWI) is the social-
ist international organisation
to which the Socialist Party is
The first round of the French affiliated.
presidential election will be The CWI is organised in 45 coun-
held on 22 April. The UK mass tries and works to unite the work-
media has concentrated its ing class and oppressed peoples
against global capitalism and to
coverage on the conservative fight for a socialist world.
candidate and incumbent For more details including CWI
Nicolas Sarkozy, his main publications write to: CWI, PO
opponent – the social Box 3688, London E11 1YE.
democrat François Hollande email firstname.lastname@example.org
- and the far-right outsider,
Marine Le Pen of the National
Front. However, the radical
image not available
Left Front candidate Jean- www.socialistworld.net
Luc Mélenchon, who opposes The CWI website contains
news, reports and analysis from
the government’s austerity around the world. Recent articles
measures, is gaining ground include:
as Cedric Gerome reports.
n November of last year, a poll by
the newspaper ‘Le Point’ stated
that 83% of the French popula-
tion think the politicians do not image not available
care about them, 69% think they are
‘rather corrupt’ and 60% think that This includes the far-right Na- his main challenger. It also reflects Luc Mélenchon, the candidate of
the functioning of French democ- tional Front (FN) candidate Marine the profound general volatility in the Left Front (an electoral alliance
racy is ‘not satisfying’ Le Pen - daughter of the notoriously the country. between the French Communist
France could rapidly become anti-Semitic Jean-Marie Le Pen - The deep unpopularity of the Party and the smaller Left Party) is
the political centrepiece of Europe. posing as the defender of France’s French political elite offers the ‘anti- highly significant.
Although forecasts indicate a certain Christian and Jewish communities establishment’ FN a fertile ground
economic growth for this year, the and arguing for a war against ‘Islam- to develop among the most neglect-
unemployment rate is still expected ist extremism’ . ed sections of the population. But Electoral support Québec: Over 200,000
to climb. Household consumption Sarkozy hypocritically argues for significantly, even Le Pen has had A recent opinion poll gives Mé-
continues to nosedive, and the ‘national unity’ after having used
, to put more emphasis at criticising lenchon 14%, becoming the ‘third demonstrate against tuition
French banking sector remains blatant racist provocations as part the banks and the financial system, candidate’ in these elections, and fees hike
substantially exposed to the debt of his presidency (notably his anti- targeting, as she says, “the law of even eclipsing Marine Le Pen (who
of the crisis-ridden ‘peripheral’ Roma measures of last year or, more the banks as well as the law of the he ridiculed in a TV debate by dis- Government austerity, police
economies. recently, his polemics against Halal gangs” . playing the pro-rich character of the repression... the sudents’ struggle
The social class divide within meat). This shows that the economic FN’s programme). is everyone’s struggle.
French society has widened consid- While surveys show clearly that crisis has contributed to polarising Despite the crisis faced by the
erably during the deeply unpopu- unemployment, pensions, hous- the electoral landscape in a sharper New Anti-Capitalist (NPA) of Olivier Alternative Socialiste (CWI in
lar presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy; ing shortages and wages are voters’ way than previous elections in the Besancenot - whose popularity Québec) leaflet
which has been marked by massive main concerns; this new, provoked country’s recent history. To the ex- and membership have dropped
tax breaks for the rich, a full frontal climate of fear is a convenient way tent that in recent months the im- dramatically because of the false
attack on pension rights, a public for Sarkozy to shift the debate to- pression was given that suddenly all methods of its leadership - the
sector jobs massacre, and the clo- wards ‘law-and-order’ issues, politicians were ‘re-discovering’ the search for a radical voice that can
sure of around 900 factories within pushing the major concerns of the existence of the industrial working express working class grievances
the last three years. majority of the population into the class and the factories. against the rich elite and their
Meanwhile the profits of French background. It is within such a context that system remains more than ever the image not available
multinationals and executive boss- Furthermore, proposals for new François Hollande, presenting him- order of the day.
es’ pay have broken new records. anti-terrorist legislation have been self as the candidate of “real change” , Mélenchon’s slogan “take the
The next Republic’s president, in put forward. If implemented, the came out with a few electoral pro- power” appeals to all those who are
any case, will face increasing pres- broad definition of these measures posals that try to surf the wave of enraged at the diktat of the banks
sures from the financial markets opens the door to crack down on all hatred of the super wealthy, notably and the markets over their lives.
to push on with bitter structural oppositionist currents in society. through a 75% tax on millionaires. His rhetorical skills, his references
austerity recipes. All these factors One poll taken after the shootings This has however nothing to to France’s revolutionary history, the
are preparing the ground for social gives Sarkozy 30% and the Socialist do with a serious commitment to success of his well-attended meet-
convulsions on an unprecedented Party (PS) candidate François Hol- reverse the capitalist policies of the ings and of his recent call to demon- Kazakhstan: 100 day
scale. lande 28% for the first round, taking right wing, as Hollande’s recent visit strate and occupy the Bastille square anniversary of Zhanaozen
place on 22 April. to London to reassure City bankers in Paris - when tens of thousands of massacre
However, in the projections of his pro-market view clearly people rallied - all have contributed
Recent killings for the second round (on 6 May), illustrates. to create a real dynamic behind his Successful demonstrations across
The recent shootings in the south Sarkozy remains far behind. If Hollande benefits from a cer- campaign. Kazakhstan (also international
of the country, with the murder of Indeed, hatred at the ‘president of tain electoral support, it is mainly Although the programme of solidarity protests).
three children and a teacher outside the rich’ is embedded in the minds because of the desire by large sec- Mélenchon remains essentially
their Jewish school in Toulouse and of many working class people. In tions of workers, young people and limited to the idea of reforming socialistworld.net
the killing of three paratroopers early February, only 12% of manual poor suburbs inhabitants to ‘exor- the existing institutions, it never-
in Montauban by a young man workers declared they would vote cise’ the nightmare of the past ten theless offers a platform on which
of Algerian origin, have given an for him. years of right-wing UMP (Sarkozy’s future mass mobilisations can be
unexpected turn to the presidential The fact, though improbable but Union for a Popular Movement) rule built, and opens up, once again,
campaign, with all establishment not impossible, that he could still - made up of lies, contempt, corrup- the debate on the necessity for a
candidates cynically exploiting win the elections, says a lot about tion and authoritarianism. new mass party to the left of the PS,
this tragedy for their own electoral the inconsistency and scepticism The sharp rise, in the recent and for a socialist alternative to the image not available
purposes. which surrounds the campaign of weeks, of electoral support for Jean- capitalist system.
Spain: Workers gear up for general strike
The right-wing People’s Party prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has said to have turned out. ed in the mass demonstrations, em-
provoked a 24-hour general strike on 29 March by Spain’s trade These marches followed a massive phasising the need for a sustained
unions, by making it easier for employers to sack workers. Collective day of protest on 19 February and programme of action, democrati-
the spontaneous explosion of soli- cally discussed and decided upon Hong Kong: ‘Long Hair’
bargaining will also be undermined and severance pay will be capped sentenced to two months in
darity with the ‘Valencian spring’ , by workplace and community as-
at two years’ pay and slashed. Many Spaniards are outraged that which saw tens of thousands protest semblies and strike committees and prison - parliamentary seat
this measure will increase unemployment (currently over five million) around the country. These mobili- open to members of all unions and under threat
- which, at 23% of the workforce, is the highest unemployment rate in sations represent the build up to the none.
the European Union. Danny Byrne reports from Spain. general strike. The naming of a date for a 48- Outrageous anti-democratic sen-
The focal point in this upturn in hour strike to follow 29 March, tence as establishment seeks to
Less than 100 days since the forma- bilisations. On Sunday 11 March, struggle is the recently announced with the threat of further strikes of criminalise protests.
tion of the People’s Party govern- up to 1.5 million people marched in ,
‘labour reform’ which represents an even longer duration if necessary,
ment, which was meant to bring 60 cities, with unions claiming at- historic attack on the gains of the could be the basis to begin a Socialist Action (CWI) reporters
‘stability’ to crisis-ridden Spain, the tendances of 500,000 in Madrid and Spanish working class. movement capable of facing down in Hong Kong
country has been convulsed by an 450,000 in Barcelona. In the region Members of Socialismo Revolu- the government’s cuts and counter-
intense period of protests and mo- of Andalucia alone, over 220,000 are cionario (CWI in Spain) participat- reforms.
10 reviews/letters www.socialistparty.org.uk 29 March - 4 April 2012 the Socialist
postbag Abortion - defend and extend
the right to choose
Do you have something
Send your news, views and
criticism in not more than 150
words to Socialist Postbag, PO
Box 24697, London E11 1YD, Shona McCulloch looks ‘40 days for life’ campaign in the
or phone 020 8988 8771, email: at the tactics of right-wing Lent run-up to Easter where de-
email@example.com. opponents of abortion rights luded zealots harassed service users
We reserve the right to shorten trying to access the clinics.
and of choice, and how best In Brighton a group, harboured
letters. Don’t forget to give to safeguard women’s hard- and supported by a church in Wor-
your name, address and phone won gains. thing, charmingly named them-
selves ‘Abort67’ They displayed
Confidentiality will be respected if
graphic imagery of aborted foetuses
requested. irect action tactics by outside a Brighton clinic entrance,
anti-choice zealots in the gave out misinformation and tried
USA have produced hor- physical encircling to stop people
Keep fighting Lansley’s rific tales of vicious at- entering the clinic.
plans tacks including the cold-blooded Brighton Pro-Choice has been
The Con-Dems have passed Andrew murder of abortion clinic staff. Anti- set up by local feminists, socialists
Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill. choice methods have also shifted and anarchists. An important agree-
I organised a protest recently outside from lobbying Republican politi- ment, based on advice, experience
the constituency office of my local MP, cians for outright bans on abortion and evidence from the USA pro-
John Hemming, who voted for the bill. to fighting for piecemeal legislation choice movement, decided not to
Our press release of this was reprinted to reach the same outcome. make the clinic the site of a pitched
on the Birmingham Against the Cuts Recent horrific proposals by right- battle between ourselves and anti-
website. John Hemming posted saying wing politicians in various US states choice advocates.
under this onslaught include forcing A vital secondary objective of
women to carry dead foetuses to full our campaign is to empower those
term; removing the choice to termi- who use the clinic. Casting serv-
nate even where the mother’s life is ice-users as helpless victims, who
at risk and treating miscarriages or we need to storm in and save, is
suicide attempts as “suspected mur- actively disempowering. photo Sarah Wrack
der” or “attempted murder” .
Their plans also include allowing Book: It doesn’t have to be
doctors to lie to parents about birth Tactics like this, women and the
defects so even a severely deformed However traditional strategies used struggle for socialism £5.99
foetus will not be aborted. They to give power to targets of the right
would also let employers refuse to wing and help them build and lead Pamphlet: Women - fighting
that a protest would frighten his con- cover medical insurance for birth their own campaigns, such as sup- austerity, fighting for equality
stituents! control and fire women if they dis- porting black minority ethnic com- £1
As we finished our good natured and cover they use contraception. munities to see off the racist BNP or
peaceful protest Hemming blustered Virginia will soon become the EDL, are not appropriate for trying Both from Socialist Books
out and said, wrongly, that since we eighth US state requiring women to empower people who are going (see page 11)
turned up only three people had come to receive ultrasound scans if they through an acutely difficult period
in. He then blustered off to a meeting. ask for a termination. The Catholic in their lives which they may want day of the campaign. Socialist we will organise a lobby of this. We
Hemming’s response was typical of Archbishop of St Andrews and Ed- to pass through quickly. Party members have built links must oppose these reactionaries at
the Con-Dem response to dissent. inburgh, Keith O’Brien, is now ad- In Brighton activists offered an between the campaign and local every turn.
These MPs will find out that there are vocating such measures in Britain. ‘escort service’ to those wanting trade unions. We should not take for granted
millions of people who will defend the to use the clinic so they can do so Several protests are planned to that the gains of the past, secured
NHS from the government. The work- without harassment. They are also oppose Abort67 in a way that does by struggle, have somehow become
ing class fought hard for the NHS, and In Britain giving support to clinics for every not create a pitched battle near inalienable rights – our rights only
will fight again to stop us suffering the Some anti-choice campaign groups day of the ‘40 days for life’ cam- the clinic. On 15 April a ‘Carnival exist when they are accessible to all
fear that you would impoverish your in Britain are modelled on US ex- paign. Supporters are bringing in for Choice’ protest and march is and, under capitalism, remain only
family if you fell ill, a fear that is very amples, often with direct links and baked goods for clinic staff and planned in Worthing, to build oppo- as long as we can defend them.
real in America today. funding. In London and Brighton, service users. sition to Abort67.
Ben Rubery British Pregnancy Advisory Serv- An international campaign also The leader of Abort67 is seeming- London protest – Friday 30 March,
ice (Bpas) clinics were targeted by encourages people to donate to ly due in court in September for his 7pm to 8.30pm, Bedford Square,
groups taking part in the abhorrent family planning clinics for every previous anti-choice activities and London WC1.
Con-Dems hit Maggie
One of the people to suffer under the
Con-Dems’ new property taxes is Mar-
garet, Baroness Thatcher. Under new Review: We must look - the
laws, supposedly to make up cash lost
by abolishing the 50p tax rate for the
well-off, she will have to pay stamp
photographs of Don McCullin
duty on her multi-million pound town-
house in London. Well, Maggie, at The life’s work of one of does not talk about the photograph
least it’s not the poll tax. the world’s greatest living but about what actually happened.
photographers, Don McCullin McCullin’s approach is sincere
and compassionate. Typically, he
is on show until 15 April says of his war photographs: “This is
at London’s Imperial War what I’ve made a name from, which
Museum. This exhibition is doesn’t particularly please me.”
shocking but essential viewing He describes his more recent
for socialists. Don McCullin landscape photography, as a man US soldier, Hue, Vietnam, 1968 photo Don McCullin
who witnessed countless scenes of
spoke to Dave Beale. brutality, as “… a clean-up job of me background, which will always be Cullin’s other work (though not his
trying to get rid of all this stuff” to with him and which make him who war photographs) is also on display
Born in 1935, Don McCullin grew up come to terms with his dreadful war he is. A small collection of Don Mc- at Tate Britain until 6 May.
in a damp basement in North Lon- experiences.
don, where he watched his father He puts the environmental case
The mini-clampdown will also hit Cam- die in dire poverty. He recalls the and criticises government devel- SocialismToday
eron’s stepfather in law, Viscount As- anger he felt. Conscripted to the air opment plans. “I’m not saying that The Socialist Party’s magazine
tor, who will face an annual levy on his force in the 1950s, he learnt about landscape is as important as human April 2012 issue includes:
18,700 acre estate on the island of photography. beings but it plays a major part in
Jura. The extra cost for the Baroness On returning he says, unlike Cecil their happiness and existence... And New
and Viscount is due to new cosmetic Beaton and Lord Snowdon: “I want- we also need places to escape from Hannah Sell questions the conclusions of Paul
attacks on their properties that are ed to photograph poor people... be- the cities too...” Mason’s latest book.
registered in offshore tax havens, the cause nobody else was interested in In 1983 Murdoch’s newly appoint- State
l of the unions
British Virgin Islands and Bahamas. photographing poverty but I was, ed editor, Andrew Neill, dismissed Rob Williams draws up a balance sheet of the
There’s no suggestion that they gained because I understood it.” McCullin from his then post at the trade unions’ response to austerity.
any tax advantage from these deals – The Observer published one of his Sunday Times. He recalls Neill:
what beastly cad would say such a photographs and decided to employ “came in one day and said ‘I am go-
lThe Euro patient
Lynn Walsh reports on the second Greek bailout
thing? But, among all the budget at- him. In the 1960s and 1970s, he trav- ing to make this [the Sunday Times
and conflict within the EU
tacks on the rest of us, it’s pleasant elled from one war zone to another, supplement – Eds] a leisure and life
to report that paying these charges will as well as photographing poverty in magazine and there will be no more £2.50 including postage from: socialismtoday
cause momentary anguish to these Britain. Don McCullin points to a dead children in this magazine, no Socialism Today PO Box @socialistparty.org.uk
super-rich. photograph in the exhibition, of a more African dead children’ . 24697, www.socialismtoday.org
Keith White grief-stricken Cypriot woman whose Don McCullin emphasises the London E11 1YD.
husband has just been killed. He importance of his working class 020 8988 8773
the Socialist 29 March - 4 April 2012 www.socialistparty.org.uk news 11
Former Liverpool 47 councillor to give
socialist challenge for mayor
f elected I would use all the tion Maintenance Allowance, and
powers at my disposal to to create real jobs.
fight for everyone suffering
under this relentless assault ‘There is no need
masterminded by the Con-Dem
government and unfortunately car- for cuts. There is a
ried out by Labour and the Lib Dems
in the council chamber. I will seek to £120 billion of tax
take back in house the vital council
services that have been handed out
to the privateers.” and uncollected...
Tony Mulhearn, veteran socialist
and trade unionist, former District I propose the
Labour Party president, and one of
the leaders of the 1983-87 socialist
immediate lifting of
council, has entered the race to be threats to services
Liverpool’s first elected mayor.
The elected mayor will hold great- for children, young
er powers than those held by the
current council leader. Tony who is people and the
standing on a clear anti-cuts plat- most vulnerable,
form, on behalf of the Trade Union-
ist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), contained in the
“There is no need for these cuts. latest council
There is a £120 billion tax gap of
evaded, avoided and uncollected
tax. The UK holds £850 billion in I propose reversing
banking assets. There is some £731
billion lying in the banks uninvested all cuts made so far’
by big business.
The bankers continue to gorge I will demand that Liverpool’s
themselves with obscene bonuses. councillors abandon their policy
Then there is the latest smash-and- of implementing the cuts demand- Tony Mulhearn speaking during the Liverpool 47 struggle which fought for and won £60 million of extra funding
grab raid orchestrated by George ed by the Con-Dem millionaires’ for jobs, homes and services out of Thatcher’s Tory government photo Dave Sinclair
Osborne against our pensioners government which represents the
to fund tax-cuts for his millionaire bankers, hedge fund managers and
friends. The money is there and others who leech on society.
none of these cuts need to be made. I will call for a broad city-wide
Liverpool’s public services face campaign to defend our libraries,
obliteration until we stand up to this our hospitals, nurses and the NHS
government and demand they re- now at grave risk from a government
turn the £120 million they have sto- determined to open it up to private
len from our city’s funding so far. health companies whose first prior-
I will propose the immediate ity will be to maximise profits for its
lifting of threats to services for our
children and young people and
Tony has invited the other mayor- Liverpool - A City that Dared to Fight
some of the most vulnerable peo- al candidates, including the current By Peter Taaffe and Tony Mulhearn
ple in our city, contained in the lat- Labour council leader Joe Ander- £14.95 or £16 including p&p
est council budget. son, to have a public debate in April. Please make cheques payable to Socialist Books
I will propose the reversal of all TUSC is standing candidates for the
the cuts made so far. council election, also on 3 May. Socialist Books PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD
I will seek to use any new funds TUSC election campaign meeting:
coming into the city to support our Wednesday 4 April, 7.15pm 020 8988 8789 firstname.lastname@example.org
young people at college who are Liverpool Pub (upstairs), James www.socialistbooks.org.uk
suffering the loss of their Educa- Street, Liverpool
Wales: Does Plaid Cymru leadership vote show left turn?
Dave Reid the “two Eds” - Miliband and Balls the market” and “a role for the state impoverish Wales, Wood replied: not possibly make up for the past
– have said a future Labour govern- in the economy” Wood does not
, “Well we have that already within destruction of industry and min-
ment would maintain Tory cuts. It propose clearly socialist policies. the UK.” ing now to be accompanied with
The election of Leanne Wood, a will put Welsh Labour under pres- She favours a “social economy” public service and welfare cuts.
radical, republican, anti-capitalist sure as Wood accuses them of “sit- rather than a socialist economy. The tidal waves of capitalism would
woman, as leader of Welsh national- ting and waiting” while Wales sinks She supports decentralisation ‘Cooperative islands’ overwhelm these tiny cooperative
ist party Plaid Cymru makes a sharp under the cuts. and cooperatives rather than na- Support for independence currently islands.
change from the party’s more con- During the leadership elec- tionalisation and calls for “a robust stands at about 10%, but as Scotland A weak, independent, capitalist
servative leadership of the past and tion Plaid Cymru’s membership economic infrastructure that can moves towards an independence Wales could withstand the forces
could attract trade unionists and increased by 23%. A thin but sig- shelter us from future economic referendum in 2014 and the eco- of global capitalism even less than
young people to Plaid. nificant layer of young people were storms” . nomic situation worsens in Wales, Greece or Ireland. Only a socialist
Leanne has identified as a social- drawn into Plaid by Leanne’s cam- Wood has linked independence this is bound to rise. Wales linking with workers in Scot-
ist and trade unionist and is chair of paign. with a campaign for social justice But Leanne’s model of a string of land, England, Ireland and the rest
the PCS union group in the Welsh that could resonate with many cooperatives, islands of socialism of Europe can hope to defy the rig-
assembly. She has been prominent workers. in a stormy sea of capitalism, can- ours of the capitalist markets.
in support of many workers’ strug- Voting for cuts Most working people have op-
gles, anti-war demonstrations and
Her election as leader opens up the
However, while being the most
prominent politician in Wales in
support of workers in struggle,
posed independence partly because
of the weakness of the Welsh econo-
my, especially since the destruction
Plaid Cymru – a radical party?
prospect of a more robust approach
by Plaid in taking up social issues
and in calling for independence.
Wood does not have confidence
that a mass movement can defeat
the cuts or change society.
of industry by Margaret Thatcher’s
Tories in the 1980s.
But the prospect opening up for
W hile Leanne Wood publicly
supported the Occupy Car-
diff camp, Neil McEvoy, the Plaid
cil has attacked facilities for Unison.
A Plaid councillor has attempted to
start a witch-hunt against Unison ac-
She has ruled out any coalition For example, she opposed the the Welsh economy - already valued deputy leader of Cardiff council tivists in Carmarthenshire.
with the Tories, has been prominent ‘needs budget’ strategy put forward at only 74% of the UK per-head aver- (supposedly on the left of Plaid), Whether Plaid’s significant
in opposing cuts in public services, by a number of trade unionists and age - with massive benefit cuts, re- denounced occupiers as extremist. conservative section will accept
criticised the capitalist European Socialist Party Wales that would in- gional pay and huge public service He agreed that the camp should a radical campaigning party re-
Union and clearly opposed nuclear volve mobilising a mass movement cuts, is to sink to eastern European be moved from Cardiff Castle’s mains to be seen. They could form
power, traditionally supported by in support of a Welsh government or Greek levels even while part of grounds before the police used a drag on Plaid’s move to the left
Plaid Cymru because of the power refusing to carry out Con-Dem cuts the UK. The Con-Dem government tasers and horses to break it up. and even attempt to undermine
stations that were at Wylfa and from Westminster. Reluctantly, she plans to cut Welsh public sector Plaid–led councils have carried Leanne Wood.
Trawsfynydd. supported a budget that included wages by up to 18% through region- through big cuts in schools and A split or series of splits is possi-
Her election will make Plaid Cym- some cuts. al pay. privatisation. ble given the breadth of ideas and
ru, at least on the surface, appear as And while calling for an economy When challenged by a TV com- Plaid-controlled Caerphilly coun- cross-class support in Plaid.
the radical alternative, especially as that serves “our people rather than mentator that independence would
Solidarity price £2
29 March - 4 April 2012
After the millionaires’ budget...
for The millionS
Paula Mitchell up and condemn the budget for the
rich, “what would they do under
the same circumstances? Exactly
he RMT has a proud the same except over a longer pe-
tradition of fighting riod of time” .
politically. There is Pouring scorn on Miliband’s call
nothing to be ashamed ,
for “responsible capitalism” he said
of about being a trade unionist you can’t have capitalism without
and a socialist - millions of people inequality.
out there are looking for an alter- Fire Brigades Union (FBU) gen-
native. Labour is ashamed of its eral secretary Matt Wrack joined
background. With TUSC there’ll be Bob Crow on the platform. The
no running away from supporting London region of the FBU officially
strikers - it’s on the tin... They’ve got backs TUSC and Matt has made a
the millionaires - we’ve got the mil- personal commitment of £2,000 to
lions who are deprived of a voice.” the campaign.
This was how RMT transport un- Matt underlined the devastating
ion president Alex Gordon closed a effects of the Con-Dem policies of
rally to launch the Trade Unionist rampant privatisation, attacks on
and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) list welfare, and attacks on workers
of candidates for the London-wide who make a stand.
member list in the Greater Lon- Yet the Labour leadership con-
don Assembly elections. Alex is the demned people for striking, and in-
number one candidate on the list. structed MPs to abstain on the dra-
On the day of the millionaires’ conian Welfare Bill. “Our message
budget, the national executive of can get an echo - the alternative is
the RMT made the decision to back a dire future that offers nothing to
the London Assembly election list millions” .
of TUSC and to allow RMT branch- FBU executive member for Lon-
es around the country to back TUSC don Ian Leahair, a candidate on the Some of the TUSC GLA candidates at the launch rally photo Paul Mattsson
candidates in the council elections list, outlined the attacks on pay and
in May 2012. shifts and the privatisation the FBU and socialists attended the rally. As Labour no longer represents them. fidence that we can run society, we
RMT general secretary Bob Crow has had to battle against. “I am not candidate April Ashley (on public “People feel despair, but we want to change society”.
made this important announce- a politician. But the FBU in London sector union Unison’s national ex- stand to say there is an alterna-
ment at the rally. The executive had is fully supporting TUSC. Since ecutive representing black women tive.” She went on to explain: “This See www.socialistparty.org.uk
written to every single branch in 2009 year-on-year we’ve been in a members, speaking in a personal is a socialist banner. There is huge for a full report of the launch
the Greater London area and not bitter dispute because we dared to capacity) said, the trade unionists wealth in society. The rich are get- meeting and
one said they shouldn’t support stand up for our conditions of serv- on the list, and those present in the ting richer. They are enriching www.tusc.org.uk for updates
TUSC! ice... We back TUSC because it op- room, themselves represent thou- themselves at our expense. How is and a list of the candidates for
Bob pointed out that while La- poses all cuts and all privatisation.” sands more who want to see the it that the 99% can’t run society for London and council candidates
bour leader Ed Miliband may get Two hundred trade unionists back of the Con-Dems but believe our benefit? We stand to build con- nationally
What we stand for available to all at any age. Abolish university
tuition fees now and introduce a living grant. No to
trade unions, democratically controlled by their
members. Full-time union officials to be regularly
neW WorkerS’ PArTy
For a new mass workers’ party drawing
The Socialist Party fights for socialism – a academies and ‘Free schools’! elected and receive no more than a worker’s together workers, young people and activists
democratic society run for the needs of all and A socialist NHS to provide for everyone’s wage. Support the National Shop Stewards from workplace, community, environmental and
not the profits of a few. We also oppose every health needs – free at the point of use and under Network. anti-war campaigns, to provide a fighting, political
cut, fighting in our day-to-day campaigning for democratic control. Kick out private contractors! A maximum 35-hour week with no loss of pay. alternative to the pro-big business parties.
every possible improvement for working class Keep council housing publicly owned. For a Trade unions to disaffiliate from the Labour
people. The organised working class has the massive building programme of publicly owned envIronmenT Party now and aid the building of a new workers’
potential power to stop the cuts and transform housing, on an environmentally sustainable basis, Major research and investment into replacing party! Support the Trade Unionist and Socialist
society. to provide good quality homes with low rents. fossil fuels with renewable energy and into ending Coalition as an important step towards this.
As capitalism dominates the globe, the struggle the problems of early obsolescence and un-
for genuine socialism must be international. Work And InCome recycled waste. SoCIAlISm And InTernATIonAlISm
The Socialist Party is part of the Committee Trade union struggle to increase the minimum Public ownership of the energy generating No to imperialist wars and occupations.
for a Workers’ International (CWI), a socialist wage to £8 an hour without exemptions as an industries. No to nuclear power. No to Trident. Withdraw the troops immediately from
international that organises in over 40 immediate step towards £10 an hour. For an A democratically planned, low fare, publicly Afghanistan!
countries. annual increase in the minimum wage linked to owned transport system, as part of an overall plan Tax the super-rich! For a socialist government
Our demands include: average earnings. against environmental pollution. to take into public ownership the top 150
PublIC ServICeS All workers, including part-timers, temps, casual companies and the banking system that
No to ALL cuts in jobs, public services and and migrant workers to have trade union rates of rIghTS dominate the British economy, and run them
benefits. Defend our pensions. pay, employment protection, and sickness and Oppose discrimination on the grounds of race, under democratic working class control and
No to privatisation and the Private Finance holiday rights from day one of employment. sex, disability, sexuality, age, and all other forms management. Compensation to be paid only on
Initiative (PFI). Renationalise all privatised utilities An immediate 50% increase in the state of prejudice. the basis of proven need.
and services, with compensation paid only on the retirement pension, as a step towards a living Repeal all laws that trample over civil liberties. A democratic socialist plan of production based
basis of proven need. pension. For the right to protest! End police harassment. on the interests of the overwhelming majority
Fully fund all services and run them under Reject ‘Workfare’. For the right to decent Defend abortion rights. For a woman’s right to of people, and in a way that safeguards the
accountable, democratic committees that include benefits, education, training, or a job, without choose when and whether to have children. environment.
representatives of service workers and users. compulsion. For the right to asylum. No to racist immigration No to the bosses’ neoliberal European Union!
Free, publicly run, good quality education, Scrap the anti-trade union laws! For fighting laws. For a socialist Europe and a socialist world!