Lewisham Deptford – Chris Flood

I was a Lewisham Socialist Party councillor for Telegraph Hill for 7.5 years up until May 2010. During this time I fought consistently with the other Socialist Councillor Ian Page to oppose cuts in services and job losses. We always voted against cuts in the council chamber unlike all the other political parties.

We successfully campaigned from spring 2008, against the South East London proposals to ‘reorganise’ hospital services in the borough, allegedly driven only by ‘clinical needs’. In reality the plans were about cutting public spending and getting the NHS ready for private companies to profit from our health services. Socialist Party councillors launched a petition opposing the ‘options’, with the aim to build public pressure to push the council to use its legal powers to ensure that the hospitals had sufficient funds.

I presented a motion to the council’s Healthier Communities Select Committee to ‘refer back’ the plans to the government, which councils are allowed to do. Although New Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors opposed this call, in the end, public pressure won.

In 2009, the proposal to reduce Lewisham Hospital’s A&E opening hours or cut emergency surgery services was overturned. This shows the power of public campaigning – and the benefit of having Socialist politicians to put the case for public services. As a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition MP I would continue to campaign in this way with other Trade Unions and the community to defend public services against cuts and privatisation, whether those services are local authority run housing, education and care services or services in the NHS

Email chris.flood@icloud.com

twitter @mastiniman

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Croydon Central – April Ashley

I have been a trade unionist in local government
for 20 years fighting for better terms and conditions for union members  and against the constant attacks on our living standards. The Tories  onslaught of austerity has been the worst attack on members that I can
remember with everyone in fear of losing their jobs and those in work  relying on benefits and payday loans just to get by. No one can live on  zero-hours contracts. They are barely surviving. The most vulnerable in  society are being ground in the dirt with welfare cuts, the bedroom tax  and benefit sanctions.

Working people have had enough of austerity.  Austerity means as we get poorer and local services are cut the Tories  ensure their friends the ‘1%’ get richer.

I am standing to show there  is an alternative to austerity. Unfortunately, Labour is just  ‘austerity-lite’ and we will still be facing terrible attacks to public  services under a Labour government. Their priority is paying down the  deficit which will mean us paying the deficit instead of the banks,  rich tax evaders and the PFI swindlers.

The millionaire backed UKIP  are scapegoating immigrants for the economic problems, which seems an  easy answer, instead of blaming the real culprits – the banks.

I  represent black members on UNISON’s National Executive Committee  (personal capacity) and I am fighting against the increased racism and  Islamaphobia in society. This is an attempt to divide and rule working  people while the rich laugh all the way to the bank.

The only people  that have benefitted under austerity are the millionaires. Food banks  have trebled. I am really pleased to be standing as a TUSC candidate to  campaign for an alternative to austerity.
I have been a trade unionist  in local government for 20 years fighting for better terms and  conditions for union members and against the constant attacks on our  living standards.

Download and share Aprils Leaflet

Contact
SuttonCroydonTUSC@gmail.com
Tel 07732 638 728

Hackney South & Shoreditch – Brian Debus

I am the Chair of Hackney council Unison, representing 2,900 trade union members, and President of Hackney Trades Council that has over 7,000 affiliated members. I’ve helped lead several strikes and campaigns amongst Unison members in the last 20 years, most recently over pay and pensions. I’m a longstanding member of the Socialist Party and its predecessor Militant with decades of experience in the trade union and socialist movement; from playing a leading role in the 1990s Anti-Poll Tax struggle in Hackney, to campaigning against the deportation of asylum seekers.
THE GOVERNMENT AND COUNCILS SHOULD:
  • Immediately stop implementing the bedroom tax.
  • Stop all housing privatisation and council house sales.
  • Renovate homes instead of handing them over to the private sector.
  • Register private landlords to enforce rent controls to reduce rents, and decent standards, and deal with overcrowding.
  • Use compulsory purchase orders to buy empty properties – there are a million empty homes in the UK.
  • Nationalise the banks and house-building companies and introduce a programme of building hundreds of thousands of new council homes each year.
I WILL:
  • Oppose all cuts and privatisation in the NHS.
  • Fight the pernicious racism of UKIP and those in the main political parties who attempt to scapegoat immigrants as causing the ills of a failed capitalist system.

Contact

07428 778 286

@TUSC_Hackney

Scrap Trident

TUSC is completely opposed to the renewal of Trident I believe the existing Trident system should be scrapped.

Nuclear arms are unable to protect workers and the poor of the world from aggression. At the same time the threat is used against workers not to protest against terrible conditions.

Let’s spend the £76 billion earmarked for Trident on defending public services, jobs, wages, health and education, and relegate the nuclear arms industry to where it belongs, the scrapyard of history.

Radioactive material from warheads should be permanently disposed of as safely as possible

Workers employed in nuclear weapons production, together with scientists and engineers, should be redeployed on projects of real benefit to society, without job losses or loss of pay. Lucas Aerospace workers developed a plan in 1976 to produce a life support system, transport and alternative energy supplies instead of arms; workers should be looking at similar alternatives now.

The £76 billion planned for the new nuclear weapons should be spent on defending public services, jobs and a future for our young people.

The eradication of nuclear weapons needs a change in the social system. A new and democratic society based on public ownership of industry and workers’ control and management would form the basis of a socialist planned economy.

One of its first tasks would be to end the wasteful expenditure on arms proliferation.

Student Fees ? We say student Grants not fees!

TUSC’s manifesto calls clearly for “student grants not fees” and, if elected, our representatives would use their positions to help organise campaigns and actions to help make that demand a reality.

The fact that the Labour Party hopes that students and their families will be content with a pledge to reduce tuition fees to £6,000 a year shows how far removed they are from the pressures facing most young people.

They, and all the main parties, have abandoned the idea of free education. Of course, it was a Labour government who first brought in tuition fees for higher education in the first place.

Reducing student fees by a third will still leave many students from working class backgrounds feeling that university is something that they cannot afford. For those students who do go on to higher education, then they will still leave with a mountain of debt to go with their degree certificate.

It also appears that the shortfall to universities from a cut in tuition fees  would not be funded by the prospective Labour government. This will mean more cuts in courses and facilities. Students will still be paying huge fees for an underfunded university education.

Of course, students don’t just have to borrow to fund their tuition fees. Rents and other living costs continue to rise as well. That’s why TUSC also stands for the return of grants – a system that helped fund today’s MPs when they were at university but which they now wish to deny to a new generation of students.

All the main parties will say that TUSC’s demands are ‘unaffordable’. TUSC disagrees. We do not accept their ‘austerity’ agenda. We know that their is plenty of wealth in our society but that is in the hands of a tiny few who are using the ‘austerity’ agenda to steal back the gains of the past, like free education, from the rest of us.

TUSC candidates in, for example, Manchester include students standing as council candidates for TUSC to help campaign for our demand for “grants, not fees”. I would call on students who support what TUSC are saying to get in touch and help build TUSC’s campaign up to the General Election on May 7.

TUSC backs 38 Degrees campaign: No to TTIP, tax the rich, and save our NHS

Across the country members of 38 Degrees have been contacting TUSC parliamentary candidates to ask their views on various questions. While local TUSC candidates have and will respond individually, the questions 38 Degrees have been asking are, in the view of the TUSC steering committee, very important. For that reason we would like to make our views as a coalition clear.

We would also appeal to all supporters of 38 Degrees and others campaigning on these issues: why not use the elections as a means to further your campaign? TUSC is a coalition which was established in order to enable people like you – trade unionists, campaigners and socialists – to stand against the pro-austerity establishment parties. This May we are aiming to have over 100 parliamentary and 1,000 council candidates standing under our umbrella.

If you would like to take part and stand as a candidate yourself check out the candidates page on the TUSC website:

Q1. Do TUSC candidates oppose the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? What will we do to stop this deal and protect our public services?

Unlike the three major parties, which all support TTIP, TUSC is completely opposed to it. At our 2015 national conference we agreed our general election platform which included: “No to TTIP and all secret austerity treaties”. No wonder TTIP has been devised behind closed doors, it aims to further open up our public services (particularly the NHS) to be privatised and run in the interests of profit, rather than the public.

TTIP would further deregulate finance, genetically modified organisms and fracking. But probably the most dangerous aspect of TTIP is the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). This would allow corporations to bring claims against states whenever they feel that their business interests have been adversely affected by national laws or policies. It would give, for example, governments an excuse to further accelerate privatisation of the NHS as US private healthcare companies could demand access to run NHS services and be entitled to legally claim against a government if denied.

TUSC opposes all privatisation of public services. We resolutely oppose TTIP now, and would continue to do so if elected. TUSC MPs would help mobilise opposition to TTIP, both through raising awareness but also supporting protests, demonstrations and strikes which can force positive change. We believe TTIP is yet another example of how we need to change the type of society we live in – which is run in the interests of the 1% not the 99%. We will continue to campaign for a democratic socialist society.

Q2. Do TUSC candidates support a crackdown on tax dodging by the big companies?

Yes! While public spending is being cut to the bone, big companies are not even paying the very low levels of corporation tax demanded of them. A National Audit Office report showed that more than 400 of the 800 largest businesses paid less than £10 million in tax in 2012/13 and around 160 paid no corporation tax at all. Imagine how many public services that have been closed – including libraries, community centres and youth centres – could have been saved if these big companies had paid up what they owed.

It is little surprise that big business has got away with this when successive governments have assisted them in doing so. At least 14 of the top 20 donors to the Tory party are linked to ‘tax havens’. But with Labour recently declaring that it is “furiously, passionately, aggressively pro-business” it cannot be trusted to act either.

TUSC’s general election platform states: “Tax the rich. For progressive tax on rich corporations and individuals and an end to tax avoidance”. We also campaign for the cutbacks in Revenue and Customs to be reversed to enable rich tax dodgers to be pursued. However, we think there are also wider issues here. The whole banking system is rotten, based on gambling and speculation. It needs reorganising and rationally planning. But you can’t plan what you don’t control, and you don’t control what you don’t own. Large amounts of Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland are in public ownership, but not under democratic control. Nationalisation should be extended to the whole banking system and tight regulation then enforced in the interests of the millions not the millionaires.

Britain is not a poor country. The problem is we have an economic system, backed up by the main establishment parties, which means vast wealth is concentrated at the very top. The key point is that the minority at the top own and control this wealth, whilst most of us struggle to get by. We think we need a radical change, whereby ownership and control of the main resources in society are put in the hands of ordinary people, and human need (such as the NHS, decent housing and free education) are put before private greed.

Q3. Do TUSC candidates campaign to defend the NHS by opposing NHS cuts and privatisation?

Yes. Historically the NHS has been one of the most important gains made by working class people in Britain. We need a massive campaign to stop it being destroyed; which would leave workers in Britain facing the nightmare of a profit-driven US-style ‘Breaking Bad’ health service. If the Tories win the election they will accelerate the destruction of the NHS. Labour has said it will repeal the Tories Health and Social Care Act, but it has not pledged to reverse privatisation, much of which took place under Labour governments. TUSC campaigns for all the profiteers to be kicked out of the NHS. We demand an end to Profit From Illness (PFI) and for the massive debts it has created to be written off. We oppose all cuts, closures and job losses in the NHS.

We also go further, calling for the expansion of the NHS with free and accessible dental care for all and the abolition of the prescription charges. We call for nationalisation of the pharmaceutical industry, the pharmacy chains and medical supply industry and integrate them into a democratically controlled NHS.

We demand a minimum of at least £10 per hour and a 35-hour week for all health workers.

We also campaign for a democratic socialist society where poverty – the biggest killer and the greatest cause of ill-health – could become a problem of the past.

Brent Central – John Boyle

I’m standing to provide an alternative to the mainstream parties and oppose all cuts and privatisation. Labour run Brent Council has just agreed £54 million worth of cuts for next 2 years. This means loss of valuable resources like Stonebridge Adventure playground and childrens crossing wardens. I would support and help build campaigns which pressure central government for the funding Brent needs. I pledge to actively oppose and vote against all proposed cuts. Big issues for me include lack of council homes and rent caps, Benefit Cuts, inequality & low wages, privatisation/academisation of education, council cutbacks, library closures, closure of Central Middlesex A&E and other health care cuts. Rubbish collection & dirty streets and a lack of opportunities and support for young people. The big problem is inequality. In such a rich country with big bankers bonuses, huge city profits and corporate tax evasion there is no reason for austerity.

Contact

Twitter @TuscBrent

Email jbsoc69@gmail.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/TUSC-Brent/301176656648425

Website https://tuscbrent.wordpress.com/

Lewisham West & Penge Martin Powell-Davies

I am a teacher and active campaigner in Lewisham, South London. I am also one of three members of my union’s executive standing as parliamentary candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) – which is more than for any other party.

Currently I am heavily involved in a big campaign of teachers, parents and school students against academies in Lewisham – see my facebook for details about that.

I have been living – and campaigning – in Lewisham West and Penge for over 25 years. In the early 1990s, I was the main organiser of the Penge Anti-Poll Tax Union, part of the victorious campaign that defeated Margaret Thatcher.

I moved to Sydenham and was elected Secretary of the Lewisham branch of NUT, the teacher’s union. I have since played a key role in many local campaigns against cuts, opposing racist attacks, and supporting and leading trade union action to defend schools, jobs and services. I have taught locally – in both Bromley and Lewisham schools – and my children have also all attended local schools.

To make clear that I am different from the distrusted and despised career politicians, I have also pledged that, if elected as MP, I would continue to take only my existing classroom teacher’s take-home pay, donating the extra salary towards building trade union, socialist and community campaigns.

Contact

Email mpdnut@gmail.com

Website http://electmartin1.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter https://twitter.com/MPDNUT

Greenwich & Woolwich – Lynne Chamberlain

I am secretary of Greenwich & Bexley TUC, and all my adult life I have been an active socialist and trade unionist .  Particularly in UCU strikes and campaigns against education cuts most notably the closure of RNIB Redhill College, which was supported by the late Tony Benn. I am a teacher in further education

In 2010 I received the UCU Distinguished Service Award.

TUSC Council Candidate, May 2014, Glyndon Ward, Plumstead, Receiving the highest percentage vote in London.

I helped initiate the formation of the Greenwich & Bexley TUC in 2010. Re-elected secretary every year since. At the forefront of organizing support for all local strikers with financial collections, public meetings and benefit concerts: Unite bus strikes, NHS, Firefighters, EDF strikers, NUT, PCS, GMB, CWU

Recent campaigns include:

  • Building solidarity for UCU strikes in Lambeth and Greenwich Community College
  • London Living Wage
  • Defend Council Housing
  • Ritzy Bectu strikers,
  • St Mungo’s,
  • ISS GMB workers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
  • In the wake of Lee Rigby’s murder in Woolwich we organized local street stalls and meetings against the EDL. We also campaigned against the deaths in police custody of Paul Coker and Nur Saeed.

Contact

Telephone 07884 080602

Email lynne.windeatt@btinternet.com

Facebook  ‘Lynne Chamberlain’

Twitter account @LynneSocialist