Thursday, 23 July 2015



The leadership election in the Labour Party is again bringing to the foreground the importance of building a socialist political voice for working people.

That, in essence, is the basic platform of Jeremy Corbyn - and polls have suggested he is now a front runner.

Much enthusiasm is, understandably, being generated.

But for it to be truly meaningful, a “rejuvenated” Labour Party would need to go hand-in-hand  with bold, democratic socialist policies; aimed squarely at delivering real and lasting benefits for  workers - combatting head on the propaganda of big business capitalism.

It would, to paraphrase an old Labour Party manifesto, seek plainly to tilt the balance of power in society decisively in favour of working people and their families.

Whether the “renewal” process is successful remains to be seen. The forces of the right - supported enthusiastically by the corporate media and the numerous establishment toadies within the labour movement - are seeking to make sure that any leftward move is halted.

Even master toady, Blair, (for it is he) has been wheeled out to offer his vacuous tuppence-worth.

It would certainly transform the political scene in the UK (and beyond) if Corbyn was elected and he set out in this direction - with the enthusiastic help of socialists inside and (perhaps more importantly) outside Labour.

Given the steady degeneration of New Labour since the 1990s, we remain somewhat sceptical about what he can achieve, however. Nonetheless we wish Jeremy the best of luck.

In the meantime we cannot rely on that process entirely. We must build TUSC as a bulwark of the socialist left, and a growing powerful voice for working class (and middle class) people.

A new local TUSC leaflet is available for general distribution purposes. You can see it if you click - HERE.

Please contact us if you need a wad of them. Use them at meetings, your workplace, family and friends, special events - or simply stand outside a railway station and hand them out! ;-)

Email us at -

Lets raise our voice!

Monday, 20 July 2015


The policies of austerity - shamefully not opposed by the dominating right-wing of the Labour Party - are having a devastating effect on local communities.

These are some key facts so far since 2010 - according to the Financial Times today. 

Around 150,000 pensioners have lost access to vital services. (Note these are vital services!)

There has been an 8% cut in child protection spending. That’s child protection!

Per child spending on children’s centres (0 - 4 yr olds) has dropped from £446 in 2010, to £319 in 2013 - a 28% cut.

Factory health and safety inspections in 2009 (in England) numbered around 56,000. By 2009 this had been slashed to around 5,000. A 90% reduction. Fifty three councils have abandoned pro-active inspections altogether!

Here’s a straight quote from the FT - “Children’s social work departments, faced with a surge in referrals after public awareness was raised through a series of abuse scandals, have seen their funds cut by the equivalent of more than £600 for every referred child”.

Overall, there’s been a cut of £18 billion to council budgets - nearly 20% of spending.

And there’s another £9.5 billion of cuts to go before 2020!


Instead of breaking the law by organising a fight back, they are instead breaking the law by putting more and more families with children into B&B accommodation for longer than 6 weeks at a time!

From Tory and Liberal councils we might expect nothing but seat warming inactivity and perhaps some occasional hand wringing, but from so-called Labour councils we should expect more. 

Unfortunately - with some very honourable exceptions (being TUSC or left-wing Labour, for example) - most Labour councillors seem not to have a recognisable backbone between the lot of them! 

Why doesn’t Jeremy Corbyn respond to this by calling on all Labour councils to rise up against the cuts to services?  Without this; what is Labour for?

Sunday, 12 July 2015


We'll be watching and reporting more about Reed (Croydon North) and Scully (Sutton & Cheam) over the coming period. If you have information or insights - do let us know.

New Labour Steve Reed was asking questions in Parliament the other day about “business rate retention” by local authorities.

The argument goes that if councils can retain for themselves more of the rates paid by businesses, this will “incentivise” councils to help businesses grow. Councils will need to implement policies, in competition with each other, that will “attract business investors”.

This is a policy being developed right now by the Tories. But how would it “incentivise” councils?

The idea is old hat. Not only councils, but also Governments themselves around the world are encouraged to compete with each other for the favours of the monied classes and big corporations.

Advertisement are placed in appropriate journals aimed at councils and entire countries. These say, in essence, “Please invest here! Look! - we offer low wages, low or zero business taxes, precious little financial regulation, anti-union laws, no environmental rules. We are a corporate haven! Come and exploit our workforce!”

Cut to the chase - you can make more money for your shareholders if you invest here.

But this approach benefits big business very much more than it does small and medium businesses.

These kind of “incentivisations” - lauded by the Reeds and the Scullys - are much better exploited by big companies - who employ lobbyists, have access to corporate lawyers and planners etc, and who can squeeze the very maximum out of the arrangements - and squeeze out smaller firms.

Take the Sunday trading laws. They are to be abolished, so that Sunday will be like any other day for shopping. The beneficiaries will not be small and medium businesses.

On 6th July the Financial Times said, “George Osborne will offer to rip up the remaining restrictions on Sunday trading in Wednesday’s Budget in a move that will delight big retailers but antagonise corner shops…”.

We are in favour of supporting small and medium businesses. Their main enemy is not TUSC or democratic socialism, but big business!

If we ran Croydon or Sutton council, we would reduce their rates. We would involve them in the planning processes for the improvement of key retail areas so that Big Retail didn’t squeeze them out.

And a nationalised and democratically run banking sector could also (and would) help them by providing safe and accessible loans. In return we would expect them to be equally supportive of their employees.

The question of youth unemployment and youth services should have been the cause for some anger and offered the opportunity for Reed to campaign for solutions to match up to the scale of the issue. See "Youth Fight for Jobs".

Instead, in June, he merely asked the Cabinet Office,  “what steps is the minister taking to ensure that local authority-funded youth services are maintained at their current level”.

At their current level!!! - as though the current level was sufficient!

But then what else can we expect? Labour has swallowed the Tory arguments that we must “cut back”, we must “balance the books".

Floored by Reed's knock-out-blow question, the Tory Minister simply said that it is up councils to sort out this issue - by “promoting innovative delivery models for youth services”.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015


On the day of the Tories' Budget and the major rail dispute, we publish the report of the NSSN Conference last weekend. You can watch the excellent main speakers on YouTube - HERE.

The NSSN website is HERE.

"This was the first NSSN conference since the Tories’ shock election victory and no delegate was left in any doubt as to the challenges we face.

But they also recognised there is no time for mourning. Activists spoke of the necessity of moving swiftly into action and displayed a confidence that a government, supported by just 24% of the population, could be defeated if the unions adopted a bold, radical and fighting agenda.

The morning session – Stop the Tory Union-Busters – was addressed by five union general secretaries or presidents, as well as leading activists from the floor.

The common thread between almost all speakers was that the left trade unions – those affiliated to the NSSN – have to make the running in the coming months.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of firefighters’ union FBU (the NSSN’s newest affiliate), said: “Imagine if the TUC leaders began to go out city by city and town by town making the case against austerity and the case for organising and then called for a general strike – then I think that could receive a huge echo.”

Civil servants union PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka paid tribute to the NSSN for being first on the scene whenever there is a dispute. The NSSN’s ability to mobilise was echoed by other speakers involved in disputes. Candy Udwin, sacked PCS National Gallery activist thanked the NSSN: “It is only because of your support that we are still fighting”.

Mark was adamant “we could stop austerity in its tracks” if the TUC united against our class enemies.

It was a message echoed by the bakers’ union’s Ronnie Draper, the RMT’s Peter Pinkney and the prison officers’ Steve Gillan. Ronnie went back to the tremendous Hovis dispute victory in 2013 that “only happened because you took part”.

Martin Powell-Davies, NUT national executive member, detailed the action taken this year by teachers, school students and community activists which has defeated the attempts to convert five Lewisham schools to academies.

Conference gave a rousing welcome to Marie and Christine from the Glasgow homelessness workers’ dispute who reported on the Labour city council’s attempts to organise a scab workforce to break their 15 week dispute.

They brought news of the success of the Dundee hospital porters’ strike, and the determination it had given them: “We’re not going back until we get what we came out for”.

The author of ‘Blacklisted – The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists’, Dave Smith, was well received by conference as he was able to give a very serious subject the attention it deserved while making everyone laugh.

The loudest response of the morning was reserved for the RMT’s Jared Wood, speaking from the floor on the London Underground strikes planned for 8 and 9 July – a historic dispute with all four tube unions involved in closing down the complete network.

The NSSN has demonstrated for a number of years that it is a key component in the workers’ movement. It has supporters who hold key positions in many unions and who consistently call for support for all workers and for coordinated action.

This conference saw the NSSN beginning to take the next steps – putting itself centre stage and taking the movement forward if the official bodies fail to respond".