Tuesday, 16 September 2014

What is “One Nation Labour” for?

We will hear a lot in the coming months about “splitting the left vote”; how Labour are the “lesser evil” and so on. These arguments are from those who say that, even against our better judgement, we must vote Labour - to keep the Tories (or UKIP) out.

The “lesser evil” approach is the road to ruin for working people. The “lesser evil” school constantly urges workers to vote, not for the party they want, not for the party with the policies that will benefit them and their families; but for another party: a party they do not want, but a party which is, apparently, the “lesser evil”.

But that IS only apparent. “Labour” is better than the Tories only in the same sense that being hanged tomorrow, is better than being hanged today!

Of course it is! But to vote for the lesser evil simply brings the greater evil nearer!

That is why we are here today. Well over a decade of “Labour” government led us directly to the ConDems! And the “lesser evil” brigade want us to go through that all over again! No thank you!

Have a look at the Guardian article here. Labour’s shadow minister is almost shouting the message that if you vote for us you’ll get more of the same!

In the run up to Hitler’s seizure of power in the early 1930s, right wing leaders of the Labour movement in Germany urged that people should vote for Field Marshal von Hindenburg, as the “lesser evil” to that of Hitler. And he was elected. But then handed power to Hitler - he appointed him Chancellor!

Saturday, 13 September 2014


Here is a posting on the national TUSC website about Labour controlled Enfield council in North London where there is also an active local TUSC group.

Pressure of events and the hot breath of Enfield TUSC down their necks (and also the fact there may still be one or two fighting Labour councillors left!) has led Enfield to take some pro-worker measures to defend housing.

As TUSC has constantly emphasised, an article in the Guardian explains that councils do have powers they could use to intervene (if there is the will to find them and use them!).

Enfield, the report says, "has arranged a credit facility of £100m" to bulk-buy homes, in a programme that began in March this year. It is introducing a scheme to license private landlords and, "for the first time in 30 years, it is building council homes", with 180 starts this month as the first steps.

Austerity is NOT the only show in town! But Enfield will need to do more. It is still issuing redundancy notices to staff! See the full article.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Sutton Croydon TUSC Meeting, 10th September, 2014.

The main, and most exciting decision we made was that we should stand a TUSC candidate in Croydon North in the general election next year! 

All the mainstream parties (and UKIP!) offer nothing for working people. There’s is a bleak and uncertain future for the vast majority: of endless austerity, cuts in public services, unaffordable homes and low wage, zero-hour contracts!

TUSC is building a new workers’ party. It’s time we gave Croydon the opportunity to vote for someone armed with policies to shift the balance of power back towards working people and their families.

The next major decision for us will be selecting the candidate. We hope to agree this at our next meeting in a month’s time.

We also discussed whether to stand in Sutton/ Carshalton constituencies, but we felt at this stage we should concentrate our forces in one constituency.

The other key issues were -

We agreed a simple constitution - mainly required for opening a bank account. We agreed an annual membership fee - £10, or £2 (unwaged) - to help regularise income and support.

We agreed to write to all local union branches, trades councils, left organisations, community groups & campaign groups, to solicit their support for our candidate and for what we are seeking to do across the boroughs.

We agreed to hold street stall on Croydon High Street.

We agreed to prepare specific anti-UKIP material to contribute to the wider election campaign.

The date of the next meeting will be Wednesday, 8th October. Location to be decided - it may be North Croydon, where we shall be spending more time in the months to come! For more information, email us at - SuttonCroydonTUSC@gmail.com

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

One Nation Labour - Ambitious for Croydon?

Labour’s Manifesto for Croydon is called “Ambitious for Croydon”. They don’t call themselves “Labour”. They call themselves, “One Nation Labour”.

It is a document of double-speak. The overall message is that if you vote “Labour" they will try to make things a little better. However, “we will have to take tough decisions”. (No prizes for guessing who will be at the sharp end of that).

Whilst admitting there are, "stark contrasts in wealth and poverty” in Croydon, the document puts forward proposals of the meekest, milk-and-water variety. There are few proposals not ring-fenced with caveats and circumspection. The manifesto is as cautious as cat in a dog pen.

It reads as though the calamities affecting Croydon are to be tackled not by the Council itself, but by other people and organisations, businesses and voluntary groups. There is very little in the document suggesting that the council ITSELF can or should do very much!

The word “socialism”, needless to say, is not mentioned.

Unbelievably, one of its major proposals is for setting up a “Croydon Fairness Commission”.  It will "recommend steps on how to improve the quality of life across the borough...”.

This is an open admission that Croydon’s New Labour council does not know what to do! Instead, it will ask a committee of the great and the good, clever people you understand, who will come up with something. What an admission of total bankruptcy!

Here is a sample of some of New Labour's “ambitious" proposals.

On wages. Implement £10 an hour minimum wage? No. Implement the London Living Wage? No. Instead, they “will campaign to make Croydon a living wage borough”! Why are they still campaigning? They are in power!

On jobs. An ambitious direct works programme by the Council? No. An immediate halt to all cuts in council services and jobs? No. Instead, they "will work towards increasing employment…”.  Work towards!

On youth unemployment. They will "create an ambitious and vibrant ‘place to be’”.  They will "build upon our good working relationships with local businesses…”.

On housing. An ambitious building programme of affordable houses and flats? No. A rent freeze? No. Abolish the bedroom tax? No.  Set up a council Housing Costs and Standards Agency to set and control ALL rents and ENFORCE housing condition standards? No.

But they will set up another commission of clever folk who will "report back within six months on the scale of the homelessness crisis we will inherit and to provide possible solutions”.  There are various ideas for more “partnerships” and some “cracking down” on bad landlords. But the nearest they get to a proposal we could go along with is a "not-for-profit lettings agency”. But they will only “look to” establishing this (and it is point seven, of eight).

Even on libraries they are pathetically cautious. Will they halt library closures? No. Will they set up new libraries? No. Instead, they will “seek to” reverse the Tories’ policies.

Whatever else their manifesto is, it very definitely is NOT “Ambitious for Croydon”. It may be ambitious for councillors, who want to join the “New Labour” gravy train; but for Croydon people the “manifesto” is a waste of good paper.

They are no longer Labour. WE are Labour!

If you think this is an unfair review, you can see the manifesto for yourself at Croydon Labour's website. www.croydonlabour.org.uk