TUSC LOCAL MEETING - 3rd JUNE, West Croydon, 7.30pm ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Venue: Croydon Voluntary Action Centre, London Road
Right out of West Croydon station & Centre is 200 metres on right
SPEAKERS - Paula Mitchell - TUSC National Steering Committee with Glen Hart - TUSC Candidate Croydon North April Ashley - TUSC Candidate Croydon Central Pauline Gorman - TUSC Candidate Sutton & Cheam
The Tories didn’t win this election. New Labour lost it!
Labour leaders offered little of substance to distinguish Labour from the Tories and LibDems - offering no hope and no concrete programme for improving the lives of the vast majority.
And for their part, the majority of trade union leaders remained shamefully silent during this crucial election - offering no counter-arguments against the daily ravings of the right-wing media. Where were they?!
Their members must organise to elect leaders prepared to organise, inspire and fight back. TUSC supporters with other union activists will be in the forefront of that battle!
Many people are now openly talking about the final demise of New Labour. There can be little doubt that shifting further rightward would finish it off.
So the fight goes on! The Tories have no mandate to impose their pro-rich agenda. Of the total electorate they obtained less than 24%. Even of those who did vote, only one out of three people voted Tory! Hardly a ringing endorsement!
In Croydon, workers and young people can expect precious little from the New Labour council. It is so bereft of ideas that it has asked the Bishop of Croydon to lead a commission to come up with suggestions!
In Sutton and Cheam a tweedledee MP has been replaced by a tweedledum one. And Sutton residents are benighted by a council of faceless and self-important place-seekers. Not a socialist amongst them - yet!
So there is much to be done!
Locally and nationally TUSC supporters will be drawing up a balance sheet of the lessons from the elections. At the same time we will be planning for the fightback over the coming period.
In addition to being an opportunity to ask any basic questions you might have about TUSC, the meeting will consider key issues such as:
* What are the key lessons of the election?
* Why building TUSC is vital - in workplaces, local communities, union branches.
* Building TUSC, right here, right now, in Croydon and Sutton!
We are organising our local TUSC post election meeting. Watch this space for details in the next few days.
In the meantime our national steering committee held its first post-election meeting this week. Here is its report.
- Against the backdrop of a Tory-majority government committed to accelerated austerity, albeit one with the lowest ever share of support amongst the total electorate (24.4%), the need the build on the TUSC campaign to develop a socialist electoral alternative was recognised by all.
The meeting agreed a vote of thanks to all the 748 candidates - and their agents and campaign teams - who contested the elections on May 7th under the TUSC umbrella, polling a combined total of 118,125 votes.
A detailed report of the TUSC results was accepted and is now available, in PDF format, at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/338.pdf
The meeting noted the best parliamentary scores were for Dave Nellist in Coventry North West (1,769 votes, 3.9%) and Jenny Sutton in Tottenham (1,324, 3.1%) but recognised, as anticipated, there was an almost uniform incidence of 'split voting'.
This meant that many voters - in some cities by a four to one ratio - supported TUSC but, afraid of the (now realised) prospect of another Tory government, were only prepared to vote for a local council candidate at this stage.
Most English councils outside of London had elections this year and TUSC fielded a record total of 613 candidates.
The victory of the Southampton anti-cuts 'rebel councillor' Don Thomas was applauded by the meeting. Don was re-elected for his Coxford ward, which he holds with the TUSC national steering committee member Keith Morrell, with a 37.2% share of the vote, exactly 1,000 votes ahead of Labour.
There were also two Town councillors elected on Thursday on TUSC's anti-cuts platform, another sign that the fight around local council services will be a vital part of building resistance to the government.
On this basis the steering committee agreed to organise a 'councillors forum' in July, open not just to TUSC supporters but to any councillor who wants to fight, to discuss the details of how to prepare and build support for no-cuts 'needs budgets'.
A TUSC directory of councils with elections in 2016 - nearly half of which are Labour-controlled - is available at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/340.pdf
The steering committee also agreed to organise a TUSC conference for September 26th to prepare for the 2016 elections, which include the elections to the National Assembly for Wales and the Greater London Authority elections as well as the local council contests (and Mayoral elections in Bristol, Liverpool and Salford).
The Scottish TUSC steering committee will organise a separate conference to plan for the Scottish Parliament elections also taking place in May next year.
There will be much celebrating in London’s exclusive gentlemen’s clubs today!
And workers will feel downcast.
Despite 5 years of a strongly anti-working class government (and anti-middle class too, if truth be told), New Labour has utterly failed to rally working class votes to defeat the smug Tories.
Those votes Labour did get were in the forlorn hope that they would help keep the Tories out.
But hope is not a strategy!
The two parties most associated with betrayal - the LibDems and New Labour - were punished.
In Scotland Labour is finished - their open alliance with the Tories during the independence vote was the last straw for the vast majority of workers and young people.
Many people asked themselves - why vote for a party that generally speaking has adopted Tories’ policies? - even some of UKIPs! - I may as well vote for the real thing!
And UKIP has made gains in Labour strongholds.
That UKIP obtained nearly 4 million votes is a blistering condemnation of the Labour leadership and those right-wing leaders of the trade unions who failed to counter head on the arguments of UKIP that it somehow represents the interests of workers!
Instead of fighting on a clear anti-austerity platform with policies aimed at benefiting working people, they said they would stick to Tory cuts in services!
Labour produced a campaign mug with “Immigration Controls” on it!
They should hang their heads in shame.
It is surely time now for all those who want to fight openly, as we do, for the interests of working people to join together with TUSC and others to build a fighting party of labour.
It is widely known that Morrisons hasn’t been doing well lately. In fact the chief executive officer (Dalton Philips) was sacked recently because he failed to improve Morrison’s position.
It’s also widely known that top managers are supposed to be paid by results. When the firm does well (by the shareholders, that is), so do they.
So you’d expect that Mr Philips would not be rewarded very much, due to having been sacked for failure. Well you’d be wrong.
According to the Financial Times, today,
“His pay package in his final year added up to £2.1m. The remuneration committee decided that he had hit enough targets to justify 60 per cent of his maximum bonus, including for his “personal” attributes, whatever they were.
Because he is classed as a “good leaver” he will collect a year’s salary and will keep the right to future share payments, which could add up to another £2m as a going-away present”.
So that’s around £4m altogether. Food for thought.
Could Morrisons afford to pay its workers £10 an hour?