He who pays the piper.pdf by censhunay


									                                  the Socialist
    Electio sto
         featu &7
       pag es 5, 6

www.socialistparty.org.uk                                    29 March - 4 April 2012                                   Issue 711                             Price: 70p (Solidarity: £2)

  sTand for
  ThE 1%...
                                                                                      WE nEEd a
                                                                                      voicE for
                                                                                       ThE 99%!
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: info@socialistparty.org.uk
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 editors@socialistparty.org.uk 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...
than thought
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

                                                                                                                                                                       ...& Us
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
pay packets.”
   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: info@shopstewards.net 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
                                                                                     strike action.

                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                       authority candidates
                                                                                                                                                                                       sign up to a simple five

we stop it!
                                                                                                                                       the majority - not the
                                                                                                                                                                                       point pledge:

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

                                                                                                                                                                         aires £4

 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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            photo Senan

                                                   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
Jamie Cocozza
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).
                                                                                                                                                                                            socialist against
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

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 the   Socialist     29 March - 4 April 2012                                           www.socialistparty.org.uk                                                         international                     9

French presidential election                                                                                                                                              The Committee for a
                                                                                                                                                                          Workers’ International

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 cwi@worldsoc.co.uk
- 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

               the Socialist
                   postbag                    Abortion - defend and extend
                                              the right to choose
Do you have something
to say?
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-
editors@socialistparty.org.uk.                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-
number.                                                                                                  .
                                                                                       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
                                                                                                                                  l	 revolutionaries?
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
                                               evaded, avoided
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
has said:
   “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      bookshop@socialistparty.org.uk
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
anti-cuts campaigns.
   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
the Socialist
                                                                                                                                                                                               Solidarity price £2

                                                                                                                                                                                     29 March - 4 April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Issue 711

 After the millionaires’ budget...

    TUSC STandS
  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!

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