United LEFT

**working for unity in action of all the LEFT in the UK** (previously known as the RESPECT SUPPORTERS BLOG)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

The birth of a new Socialist Coalition!


The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition was launched last week in order to contest seats in the coming general election on a clear anti-cuts and socialist programme. Founding supporters include Bob Crow general secretary of the RMT, Brian Caton general secretary of the POA, Chris Baugh assistant general secretary of the PCS and other leading officers of the PCS. The core policy statement is above.


With the general election looming, time is of the essence. Over the next week, we want as many people as possible to become a launch sponsor of TUSC. Please sponsor it yourself and pass this appeal on to others that you think may be interested. To sponsor the coalition you just need to email electioncoalition@btinternet.com stating 'I wish to add my support to the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition election challenge'. Please provide your name, address, email address, phone number and which, if any, trade union or community organisation you are part of, along with details of any position you hold.


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Provisional programme for general election coalition

The working class and peoples of Britain face a ruling class offensive which will intensify over the coming period.
It is an offensive against public services, incomes, living standards and trade union rights in order to boost monopoly profit. Not content with receiving the biggest bail-out in the history of British capitalism, big business aims to make workers and their families pay to serve the interests, first and foremost, of the City of London's financial institutions.

It is also an offensive which will be stepped up regardless of which party wins the forthcoming General Election. The likelihood is that a Tory government will make earlier and deeper cuts in public spending than a New Labour one. A Labour government may also be more vulnerable to trade union pressure not to outlaw industrial action in 'essential' services.

But both main parties intend to prolong the imperialist occupation of Afghanistan and to maintain the expansion of nuclear power and a new generation of British nuclear weapons.

Therefore this coalition is contesting the General Election to show that there is a clear left-wing alternative to policies of public sector cuts, privatisation, militarism and environmental degradation.

We recognise that there will be Labour and non-Labour candidates who agree with our policies, who share our socialist aspirations and who will be supported by left and labour movement organisations participating in our coalition.

We also recognise that there are different strategic views about the way forward for the left in Britain, whether the Labour Party can be reclaimed by the labour movement, or whether a new workers' party needs to be established.

But our coalition 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. These are the policies which we therefore propose to put before the people:

PUBLIC OWNERSHIP, NOT PRIVATISED PROFIT
Stop all privatisation, including “PFI” & “PPP” - privatisation just rakes off our money into their pockets, for worse services.

Bring public services and utilities back into public ownership under democratic control.


NO CUTS - QUALITY PUBLIC SERVICES

Take rail back into public ownership and build integrated, low-pollution public transport.

Quality, free National Health Service under democratic public ownership and control.

Stop council house sell-offs and build eco-friendly, affordable public housing.

Good, free education for all under democratic local control, plus student grants not fees.

Keep Royal Mail as a publicly owned service, not a privatised cash cow.


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 - not nuclear or dirty fossil fuel.


JOBS, NOT HANDOUTS TO BANKERS & BILLIONAIRES

Bring banks and finance into true public ownership and democratic control, instead of huge handouts to the very capitalists who caused the crisis.

Tax the rich. Progressive tax on rich corporations and individuals, with a crackdown on tax avoidance.

Massive investment in environmental projects, for jobs and survival.


EMPLOYMENT & TRADE UNION RIGHTS

Repeal the anti-trade union laws.

A minimum wage set at half average adult male earnings, with no exemptions.

Invest to create and protect jobs, especially for young people.

Solidarity with workers taking action to defend jobs, conditions, pensions, public services and trade unions.


PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT

Recognise that we depend on our environment for survival.

Move to sustainable, low-pollution industry & farming - stop the pollution that is destroying our environment.

Recognise that many of our planet's resources are limited and that capitalism fritters them away for profit.

Produce for need, not profit, and design goods for reuse and recycling.


DECENT PENSIONS & BENEFITS

Restore the pre-Thatcher real value of pensions and link them to the higher of wages & earnings.

Protect entitlement to benefits and their value; end child poverty.


DEMOCRACY, DIVERSITY & JUSTICE

Welcome diversity and oppose racism, fascism and discrimination.

Ensure women have genuinely equal rights and pay.

Defend our liberties and make police and security democratically accountable.

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.


SOLIDARITY NOT WAR

Bring home all British troops from Afghanistan immediately - no more wars for resources.

No more spending on a new generation of nuclear weapons, huge aircraft carriers or irrelevant eurofighters - convert arms spending to socially useful products and services.

An independent foreign policy, based on international solidarity – no more US poodle, no moves to a capitalist, militarist United States of Europe, no Lisbon Treaty.


Join the SUSC Facebook group below:
743 members in two days!!
Link: Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Facebook Group

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6 Comments:

At 1:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is the Respect Supporters blog promoting this "left wing alternative" instead of the real one, which is, uh, Respect?

This is not a serious initiative. The RMT and a couple of people from the PCS? This is yet another ultra-left adventure. We know how futile NO2EU was and this will go the same way. The left has to engage in broad politics with serious mass forces, not this nonsense!

- Respect member

 
At 4:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will RESPECT be involved in the coalition? I do hope you all get involved :-)

 
At 5:41 pm, Blogger Neil Williams said...

Anonymous (the 1.02am ne)
Looks like i am "ultra left" along with many others (I would suggest we are about 40% of the membership)in the "minority" in Respect or at least Goerge Galloway suggested we may be at the 2009 Respect conference.

Now lets get this clear Respect was set up to create a progressive/Socialist alternative to New Labour and it never ever saw itself as "that" alternative but part of a coalition of the Left that would help build it over time (read last years conference motions).

It saddens me that when we have a serious attempt to build such an alternative (just remember what many of the Left said about Respect when it was set up)that Respect has turned its back on it and turned itself towards the Greens as the better partner. This is a disasterous mistake in my opinion.
The good news, if there is any, was that conference agreed to support candidates fron this new allliance even if they would not be formely part of it.

Respect has about 700 members at most (and i mean at most)and most are paper memebers only. It does not have branches in key towns and cities in England let alone Wales and Scotland. So we can go it alone and "wither away" to nothing over the next 18months or be a central part of constructing an alternative that in time and over a number of years may just may gain support amoungst working people and their communities.

There is no middle ground. The many in Respect who support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will do all can to help it grow as well as support Respect in the election. The TUSC has already signed up over 740 supporters on its Facebook group in two days so its already as large as Respect and will be supporting the Respect candidates in the election.

But Anonymous answer this what part of the TUSC manifesto dont you support?

 
At 8:15 pm, Anonymous malachy said...

Hi,

First of all although this is slightly off-topic I would like to say that I have had a MASSIVE political conversion in the last month. Some of it was down to reading this site, most of it was through visiting various pro-BNP/UKIP sites. Please don't judge me negatively for what I am about to reveal.

It is imperative that EVERY force in the land opposes the BNP and UKIP. Seriously, I mean this. I was pretty much open-minded to the fact that BNP was going to admit ethnic minorities and that UKIP seems to take a libertarian stance. Hell, I was even voicing my support for BNP at one point as a progressive democratic organisation. I thought that they were being treated unfairly. How wrong I was.

I have found both UKIP and BNP to be racist, homophobic and vile organisations that should be stopped. I never thought I would hear myself say that. But it is true. They are vile, despicable organisations that promote hate and intolerance, and stifle any opposition whenever possible. Some BNPers actually use signatures that glorify the words used on the gates of Auschwitz. Some promote the idea of shooting/executing muslims and opposing factions.

So, if I have posted anything untoward on this site within the last few months or so I apologise. I was wrong. Just like the millions of people that were taken in by these parasitic organisations, I was taken in. And I mean that, I was completely and utterly taken in by the BS.

Regards,

Malachy

 
At 6:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Morning Neil

"The TUSC has already signed up over 740 supporters on its Facebook group in two days so its already as large as Respect"

I am afraid having 740 followers on Facebook is very different to having 700 actual members ( even if they are only paying subs)

I wish the TUSC or whatever they are called the best of luck but ff they are here in 12 months I will be amazed. Another here today gone tomorrow effort from the left.

Still if it gets people on the streets to actually campaign then it should be applauded.

 
At 11:20 pm, Blogger Neil Williams said...

The current support for the TUSC is now over 1600+ on Facebook in ust a week) and growing - not so small I think.

I seem to remember (have you frgot)many in the Labour Party and many others on the Left (who should have been natural friends and have known better)saying Respect would be a 5 minute wonder and never win a Council seat or an MP in Westminster - how wrong they were and here we are over 5 years later.

Its sad (and such a critical mistake) to see some in Respect use the same language about TUSC as was used against Respect over 5 years ago. Its not perfect and so much could be better but just think how much better it would be if Respect had thrown its full weight behind it a year ago and today (something which the Respect conference had always committed it to doing by the way).

Only time will tell but I am confident TUSC or a bigger successor will still be with us the election after this but will Respect in any meaningful form unless its becomes part of a broader progressive/socialist alliance?

 

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