Five years of Tory-Liberal Coalition government has been five years of cuts to public services, pay restraint and attacks on trade unions. No wonder Osborne’s autumn statement saying this would continue for another five years got such a poor response.
Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party & West Yorks TUSC Convenor
Yet the Labour Party waiting in the wings, don’t offer much better. It’s leadership including local MP Ed Balls have committed themselves to sticking with the Tories spending plans and austerity.
Not that this should be suprising anyone as Leeds City Council has been controlled by Labour for the last five years where they have implemented the cuts locally to horrendous effect. Hundreds of jobs have gone in the council workforce, whilst libraries, day centres and other facilities have been shut.
Over the past four years, Leeds Socialist Party as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has been standing candidates in the local elections attempting to challenge this. At each time, we’ve co-ordinated our campaigns with other genuine anti-austerity groups, which we are doing again this year alongside our allies in TUSC (see appeal below).
On January 26th, we’ve helped to organise a meeting to bring those groups together to ensure we have the widest possible challenge prepared to say no to further cuts and austerity and prepapred to mobilise against them in the council chamber and Westminster.
Join us in ensuring that as many pro-austerity politicians face a challenge that’s prepared to vote against cuts budgets and mobilise ordinary workers, young people and others to fight for the resources we need.
7pm, Regency Suite, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Lower Briggate, LS1 4AE
TUSC Appeal for Co-ordinated Anti-Austerity Electoral Challenge
The cuts already imposed have devastated lives and crucial services. If the Tories (or Labour) implement tens of billions more over the next parliament then it will mean living standards hurled backwards, widespread poverty and homelessness, blighted lives and premature deaths.
In Greece and Spain we have seen how united left and “people’s” formations have grown quickly and inspired great swathes of people. We believe there is a basis for establishing anti-austerity electoral coalitions and working together to build a stronger socialist alternative.
It should be possible for all of us on the left to group together in a single electoral coalition for the May elections. The Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party, the RMT union and independent socialists— are part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and we are preparing to stand candidates in the local and general election in May.
But we are keen to work with other forces, in West Yorkshire, the local brigade of the FBU is represented on our local steering committee. We would appeal to other left organizations and trade unions to join with us in TUSC, or if this is not possible at the present time then to meet to co-ordinate as effectively as possible our electoral interventions
We are pleased that at their recent national conference Left Unity passed policy increasing its cooperation with TUSC. In previous elections, TUSC supporters in Leeds have coordinated our electoral challenge with the Alliance for Green Socialism on a socialist, anti-cuts basis. We want to build on that.
We see the potential in Scotland, but we also saw it in the great protests in solidarity with Gaza in the summer, the climate change demonstrations, the support for the NHS strikes and the thirst for radical alternatives to the way the world is now.
We know in Leeds that there is a great potential to bring trade unionists and socialists together and offer an electoral alternative to all the main parties.
A key plank of this should be opposition to austerity, whether carried out by national or local government, standing fully behind trade unionists fighting such attacks. This means refusing to vote for cuts to jobs and services, as well as utilising the powers of said bodies and elected positions to assist in the organization of trade union and community struggle against such cuts.
As well as opposing the savage cuts made by Leeds City Council we also have to oppose the cuts to the Fire Service and attacks on firefighters pensions and oppose the privatisation of our rail service & introduction in this region of Driver- Only operation.
As I am sure you agree we need to see a united, left campaign which includes the above as well as candidates who stand in opposition to all forms of oppression; imperialism & war and stand for the advocacy of socialism as the alternative to a capitalist system mired in crisis.
We look forward to hearing from you with a view to having a meeting to discuss the way forward before Xmas where we can also plan and organise a joint open public meeting in the new year, where we can decide and/or formalise who we can stand where.
Due to the nature of TUSC’s structures for approving candidates, we have forwarded one general election candidate in Leeds to the TUSC national steering committee for ratification, however, we are open to discussion on the developing the best possible challenge in all seats in Leeds.
Yours in solidarity
TUSC West Yorkshire steering committee representatives
Iain Dalton Socialist Party
Sally Kincaid Socialist Workers Party
Dave Williams West Yorkshire FBU Brigade Secretary
Trevor Howard RMT Yorkshire President