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.

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

Uxbridge & South Ruislip – Gary Harbord

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!

Gary Harbord leaflet to download and share.

Contact

Facebook 

Mobile 07804 280034

Email gazharbord@yahoo.co.uk

Meetings and Events

Hillingdon/Harrow TUSC fundraiser is Friday 10th April between 8pm and 12pm Greenwood hall, Pinner Road, Northwood Hills HA5 3TJ (nearest tube Northwood Hills)

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

East Ham – Lois Austin

Lois has been an active campaigner for working class people’s rights since her teens. She has helped organise mass campaigns and demonstrations against racism and the right-wing Thatcher government. Lois was a founding member of the Stop the War Coalition, campaigning against the unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today Lois campaigns locally and is a housing activist. She was a driving force behind The Stratford Academy Concerned Parents, which supported the teachers strike in 2012 by uniting staff, parents and the local community in Newham successfully stopping senior management’s cuts to teachers pay and the bullying of staff.

Lois is angry both at this rotten government making normal people suffer for the bankers’ crisis but also our local Labour Party for not standing up for the people of Newham. Last year Lois stood for Mayor of Newham on a program of, capping rents, rehousing the Focus E15 Mums locally in council housing, building council housing, ending the bedroom tax and against all cuts.

Find the local Flyer, download and share.

Contact

Number – 07540 189 052

Email – newham.tusc@gmail.com

Website – https://newhamtusc.wordpress.com/

Facebook – Newham Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Twitter – @TUSCnewham

Meetings

Lois is a speaker at Newham Trades Council – Open meeting on the housing crisis – on 19 March, 7:00 Harold Road community centre

Walthamstow – Nancy Taaffe

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.

Download the campaign flyer nancyleaflet
Contact
Mobile: 07786857673
Email: nancytaaffe185@gmail.com
Public meetings
A provisional college debate on 26th march
A provisional NUT debate 31st march
Fundraiser on 18th April
Trades council  – provisional date 22nd April

Croydon North – Glen Hart

Quote

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!”

 Leaflet – Download the Hart Manifesto 2.3
Contact:
Twitter: @GlenHart7  Facebook
Sutton & Croydon TUSC Group Facebook &  Group Blog
Telephone Number  07809471289
Email glenharttusc@gmail.com

Standing up to the cuts!

Featured

In May 2015 a third of the seats in London will be challenged by candidates standing for the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition. Across the country, hundreds of ordinary people, trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists, are building the biggest left-of-Labour challenge in over 60 years. A hundred general election candidates and hundreds more council candidates. All the main parties offer austerity. We don’t accept that ordinary working class people should be losing jobs, pay, benefits and homes, while the rich are getting richer. We are making history. Join us and volunteer to be a TUSC campaigner and help to build a viable alternative to austerity and cuts.

New TUSC map 6

Pink above is where we are standing.

Click here to find our London candidate list and the full list of candidates beyond London can be found on this pdf -> parliamentary candidates.

What do we stand for?

THE Con-Dem government has inflicted five years of savage austerity on working class people. Unfortunately there is no prospect of this changing beyond the general election, as the leadership of the Labour Party has made it clear that a Labour government would not mean an end to austerity.

THE Con-Dem government has inflicted five years of savage austerity on working class people. Unfortunately there is no prospect of this changing beyond the general election, as the leadership of the Labour Party has made it clear that a Labour government would not mean an end to austerity.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) argues that working class people should not pay for a crisis that we did not cause. That was why TUSC was set up in 2010, co-founded by the late Bob Crow, to show that there is a clear left-wing alternative to policies of public sector cuts, privatisation, militarism and environmental degradation.

TUSC has accepted from its start that there will be some Labour candidates who share our socialist aspirations and will be prepared to support measures that challenge the austerity consensus of the establishment politicians. But it is also committed to standing candidates or supporting others if that is the only way a working class anti-austerity socialist alternative can be articulated at election time.

Our coalition, of trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists, is united on the need for mass resistance to the ruling class offensive, and for an alternative programme of left-wing policies to help inspire and direct such resistance:

PUBLIC OWNERSHIP, NOT PRIVATE PROFIT

  • Stop all privatisation, including the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). Bring privatised public services and utilities back into public ownership under democratic control.

NO CUTS – FOR QUALITY PUBLIC SERVICES

  • Re-nationalise all rail, bus and ferry services to build an integrated, low-pollution public transport system. Take Royal Mail back into public ownership to guarantee our postal services. Bring prisons, probation, and all other parts of the justice system back into the public sector.
  • For a high-quality, free National Health Service under democratic public ownership and control.
  • Stop council estate sell-offs and build high-standard, eco-friendly, affordable council housing.
  • No to academies and ‘free schools’. Good, free education for all, under democratic local authority control; student grants not fees.

JOBS, NOT HANDOUTS TO THE BANKERS AND BILLIONAIRES

  • Bring banks and finance institutions into genuine public ownership under democratic control, instead of giving huge handouts to the very capitalists who caused the crisis.
  • Tax the rich. For progressive tax on rich corporations and individuals and an end to tax avoidance.
  • For massive investment in environmental projects.

EMPLOYMENT AND TRADE UNION RIGHTS

  • Repeal the anti-trade union laws.
  • Support the TUC’s demand to increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour, and for it then to rise in line with inflation or wages, whichever is higher.
  • Scrap zero hour contracts. Guaranteed hours and full employment rights for all.
  • Invest to create and protect jobs, including for young people.
  • Solidarity with workers taking action to defend jobs, conditions, pensions, public services and trade unions. Reinstate full trade union rights to prison officers.

PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT – STOP GLOBAL WARMING

  • Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions – otherwise climate change, caused by capitalism, will destroy us.
  • Invest in publicly-owned and controlled renewable energy.
  • Move to sustainable, low-pollution industry and farming – stop the pollution that is destroying our environment.
  • Produce for need, not profit, and design goods for reuse and recycling.

DECENT PENSIONS AND BENEFITS

  • Abolish the bedroom tax.
  • Reverse cuts to benefits; for living benefits; end child poverty.
  • Restore the pre-Thatcher real value of pensions. Reinstate the link with average earnings.

STOP THE ATTACKS ON DISABLED PEOPLE

  • Promote inclusive policies to enable disabled people to participate in, and have equal access to, education, employment, housing, transport and welfare provision.
  • Support measures to ensure disabled people receive a level of income according to needs. Equal pay for equal work.

DEMOCRACY, DIVERSITY AND JUSTICE

  • Welcome diversity and oppose racism, fascism and discrimination. Defend the right to asylum, repeal the 2014 Immigration Act and all racist immigration controls.
  • Ensure women have genuinely equal rights and pay.
  • Full equality for LGBT people.
  • Defend our liberties and make police and security democratically accountable.
  • For the right to vote at 16.

SOLIDARITY NOT WAR

  • No to imperialist wars and occupations!
  • Justice for the Palestinians, lift the siege of Gaza.
  • No more spending on a new generation of nuclear weapons, huge aircraft carriers or irrelevant eurofighters – convert arms spending into socially useful products and services.
  • An independent foreign policy, based on international solidarity – no more being a US poodle, no moves towards a capitalist, militarist United States of Europe. No to austerity and anti-working class policies, whether from the EU or Britain.

SOCIALISM

For a democratic socialist society run in the interests of people not millionaires. For bringing into democratic public ownership the major companies and banks that dominate the economy, so that production and services can be planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the environment.