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
Steve Nally works in education and is a member of the GMB trade union. Steve was national Secretary of the All Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation and like 18 million others played a key part in defeating the tax and bringing down Margaret Thatcher. Steve has lived in Lambeth all his life and has been an active socialist campaigner since the early 1980’s. Steve says that he is standing because “Labour no longer fights for working class people. In Lambeth they are now managing the decline of vital services. They claim to be a ‘Cooperative Council’ but all they are cooperating with is implementing ConDem cuts and non stop austerity. TUSC provides a vision whereby the hopes and needs of the 99% come first”. If elected Steve will only take an average wage with majority of his wages going towards local campaigns and struggles.
I am standing as a TUSC candidate in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency in the General Election. I am a Train Operator on London Underground and RMT Representative. It is vital that there is a Socialist alternative to the pro big business policies of all the other main parties including UKIP. Ordinary working people are disillusioned with Politicians who they see as self-serving and corrupt. That is why I pledge to take home no more than the average of a skilled worker if elected. I will be standing against Boris Johnson the London mayor who before he was elected pledged to keep underground ticket offices open but when elected reneged on this pledge, a decision that will lead to the loss of one thousand jobs . This election is not just about my role on the London Underground or our battles with Boris Johnson, it is about what sort of society we want to live in . TUSC stands for a society that is run by the people for the people for the interests of the 99% not the corrupt 1% . Get involved get active and lets build the socialist alternative!
I am an elected workers’ representative, a Health and Safety rep for the Rail, Transport and Maritime union RMT on the London Underground. I fight for tube workers’ health and safety against management’s cost-cutting agenda. I am a cleaner and a union activist. I know what it means to get off your knees and fight for your rights. And if elected I will take only the average skilled workers’ wage in Barking and Dagenham. Our Labour-run council has made around £97 million cuts and they plan £50 million more. Repossessions in Barking are the highest in England. Queen’s A&E struggles while King George’s A&E faces closure. The money is there. For instance, our multi-millionaire Barking MP Margaret Hodge’s family’s business, Stencor, paid ‘just 0.01% tax’ on over £2bn of UK business in 2011, newspapers reported. Last year, elected trade unionists representing thousands of council, rail, teaching and Job Centre employees, signed a letter from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition to Margaret Hodge, asking her to pledge to defend trade union rights, restore public services and benefits and stand for a £10 minimum wage. She didn’t even reply! Tory, Liberal, UKIP and even most Labour MPs are only interested in their own careers. Labour MPs say they agree with the austerity agenda of the government. TUSC, founded by the late railway workers’ union leader Bob Crow, says no to all cuts. Barking TUSC have agreed for me to be their candidate, as a local resident and trade union activist I am proud to stand for parliament on their behalf.
The Tories plan a return to the 1930s and the end of the welfare state. Labour won’t challenge the lie that the deficit must be reduced by cutting public services. All the main parties falsely blame migrants for low pay, lack of housing and over-stretched schools & hospitals. This is racist divide and rule.
We have to reject those arguments so that our side can unite against the real enemy – the bankers, corporate fat cats and tax-dodgers who caused the crisis in the first place.
The money is there!
One million people now rely on food banks, but the richest 1,000 have doubled their wealth since the start of the crisis. There are more billionaires per head in the UK than any other country.
The £80 billion in austerity cuts since 2008 equals the amount bankers have received in bonuses. The deficit could be wiped out in an instant by taxing the rich, but all the main parties pledge years of continued austerity.
I’m a socialist and a Socialist Party member who has fought very cut and privatisation in my home borough of Waltham Forest for nearly 30 years. I’m proud that we stood our ground when privatisation was put forward by all politicians as the answer to every problem.
I stood for parliament in 2005 against then Labour MP Neil Gerrard who debated with me and said that PFI at our local hospital was “the only show in town”. That ‘show’ has led to our stroke unit being closed and moved miles away. When the devastation caused by privatisation wasn’t immediately apparent, we made it clear that future generations would be damaged and disadvantaged by it. Sadly, I believe we were right.
I had my two children in the local hospital Whipps Cross and they went to local schools. I worked for Waltham Forest libraries for 12 years before my job was deleted in 2012 due to cuts. So I have been both a user of public services and a provider of them.
I loved my job in the library – serving local school children and the elderly who were housebound made me feel like I was doing something worthwhile. I shall never forgive those who elevated their salaries and expenses and gladly cut jobs and services for the Tories and their mates in the city.
This is part of the reason why I am standing, I want to whistleblow in the most public arena, an election. I want to tell the truth about the crime of austerity being perpetrated against working class communities and their families.
At the end of January 2015 I resigned from the pro-austerity Labour party after over 30 years of membership. I am now standing for TUSC as no other party countenances an alternative to austerity even though voters in other European countries are keen to give it a try. There is always an alternative.
I attended South Bank University where I gained a BSc Social Science degree. I currently work for a Housing Association and is also a branch officer of Unite Housing Workers Branch. From 2011-2014 I sat on Unite’s Executive Council and Finance and General Purpose Committee.
I was a Labour Councillor for 23 years – Merton Council from 1986-2002 and Lambeth Council from 2006-2013. During that period I was Chair of the Finance Committee, Deputy Leader and Chief Whip at Merton Council, and Deputy Cabinet member for Enterprise at Lambeth Council. I was also suspended by Lambeth Labour Group for opposing cuts. For a number of years I was Chair of the London Boroughs Grants Committee (LBGC) investing £30m in the voluntary sector in London.
I was Labour’s parliamentary candidate in North Southwark and Bermondsey in 2001 where I came second with 30.8% of the votes.
I’m standing as a TUSC candidate simply because working people no longer have a party that represents them or fights for them.
Working people can be sure of one thing. The election of a Tory government will mean more privatisations, more attacks on employment conditions, on wages and trade union rights, more austerity, more cuts in public services; and more silver-linings for the richest.
But unfortunately they cannot be sure that the election of “One Nation Labour” would tilt the balance back in their favour.
Glen Hart, the TUSC candidate for Croydon North, has lived all his life in Thornton Heath. He is an active trade unionist in the Rail and Maritime Trades Union (RMT), and currently is a station supervisor. Glen is married with 3 children. He is a socialist. One of his earliest political recollections is participating in the demonstrations against the Tories’ hated Poll Tax in the early 1990s. “I am standing for TUSC”, he says, “because I want to give the people of North Croydon a real choice. The careerist mainstream candidates offer the same diet of austerity, and cuts in public services. If elected, I will be a workers’ MP on a workers’ wage. I will not take the fat salary and lavish expenses and benefits – I will stay in touch with my constituents!”