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

Defend and Extend Public Services

There’s no question that the primary battle of the whole of the Labour movement is defence of public services. TUSC’s commitment to defending these services is unequivocal.

However the call for the introduction of the Public Service Users Bill as currently worded seeks to make the in-house option the default, and require public consultation before privatisation or outsourcing and promote transparency, accountability and social value in public service contracts.

That leaves the door wide open for privatisation with the wasteful tendering exercise not only providing a bonanza for lawyers, but also suggests that privatisation of public services is a serious option.

We would give critical support to the bill, but would seek to strengthen it by moving to delete any provision for private companies to take over public service delivery.

We demand a stop to all privatisation, including the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). Privatised public services and utilities should be brought back into public ownership under democratic control.

We say re-nationalise all rail, bus and ferry services to build an integrated, low-pollution public transport system. Bring Royal Mail back into public ownership to guarantee our postal services, and bring prisons, probation, and all other parts of the justice system back into the public sector.

We support a high-quality free National Health Service under democratic public ownership and control.

We will demand a stop to council estate sell-offs and to fund councils to allow them to build high-standard, eco-friendly, affordable council housing.

We call for an end to academies and ‘free schools’ and demand good, free education for all, under democratic local authority control.

We are certainly be making public declarations in this regard via social media, media statements, and interviews, always providing we get a fair share of air time from the Media. However we rely on our supporters, such as you, to share this where you can.

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.

Chingford – Len Hockey

My name is Len Hockey and I am 53 years old, a hospital porter and a trade union activist of over 30 years standing. I am currently a branch secretary for the UNITE trade union and a Socialist Party member.

I have worked at Whipps Cross hospital in east London for 26 years during which time I have led numerous campaigns including building trade union organisation, against victimisation and against down grading of pay. Also an historic battle to end the two tier workforce which, following successful strike action, secured increased pay and conditions for a privatised, low paid, mainly migrant workforce.

In Chingford ConDem policies have meant vicious attacks including a library closure, the cut of a fire engine and denigration of this service through attacks on workers’ pensions. Also, the slashing of vital children’s and young people’s services, social work services to baby clinics and career services to the youth offending team.

I am proud to be taking part in the biggest left-of-Labour electoral challenge for 60 years: in a coalition of dedicated campaigners fighting for permanent, properly paid jobs, trade union rights, affordable housing, decent public services and benefits, and against the establishment parties policy of austerity, ie.  planned poverty for the millions while the super-rich get richer.

Contact

Tel 07746 414536

Email len4tusc@gmail.com

Twitter @TUSCWF

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/walthamforesttusc

Website http://www.walthamforesttusc.com/

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/

Sutton & Cheam Pauline Gorman

I am a retired teacher – I taught for 35 years in Special and Comprehensive schools in London and Birmingham. I was elected Union rep in several schools, onto NUT Associations’ Committees and as delegate to Trades Councils and NUT National Conference. Over the years I have been active in many campaigns including: those to preserve Trade Union rights, against public spending cuts, and to stop the Vietnam and Iraq wars. I have been enormously enthused by the creation of TUSC as a major campaigning organisation against the vicious cuts perpetrated by the current (and previous) corrupt and self-serving governments. I am currently campaigning against the introduction of TTIP and to save the NHS and our local Hospital – St Helier. I am a life-long socialist and believe that democratic ownership of the means of production is the only way to ensure equality for all and to preserve human life on the planet.

Flyer please download and share

See campaign Window Poster

Contact

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SuttonandCroydonTUSC

Email pfgorman44@gmail.com

Meetings
1. Sutton Guardian (local newspaper) final debate (hustings) is scheduled for Nonsuch High School, Cheam, on March 12, with the lead topic education.

Fantastic animation worth looking at and sharing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyG1KPeCAT0

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

Barking – Joseph Mambuliya

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.

See the barking leaflet TUSC2, download and share

Contact Facebook – Barking Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Call 07981 325 899

Email joseph@barkingTUSC.org.uk