Wednesday, 14 December 2011


PRESS RELEASE                                For immediate use December 13th 2011


Unite, Britain's biggest union, today agreed to ask workers at the building materials company, CEMEX, if they are prepared to be balloted for industrial action over pensions.  The dispute concerns workers in the cement business at Rugby, Warwickshire and South Ferriby, North Lincolnshire, as well as drivers and other workers based at a number of sites across the country,” Rugby TUSC spokesperson Pete McLaren informed us today. 

“What this shows,” he continued, “is that attacks on pensions are happening in the private sector as well as in the public sector, as we said on November 30th when we supported strikes around the slogan ‘Fair Pensions for All’.  Rugby TUSC, and Rugby Against the Cuts, will support CEMEX workers as we support public sector workers.  Attacks on pensions in the public and private sector are driven by an ideological desire by the Coalition Government to make workers pay for the economic crisis they did not cause.

“In this instance, Unite is challenging the company over its two pension schemes. Firstly, its decision to close the defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to existing members, and secondly Unite is also challenging the company over its defined contribution (DC) scheme which was opened to new starters about five years ago. The union believes that the scheme provides inadequate benefits to workers.

“Unite wants an outcome which would provide decent pensions for all CEMEX employees. However, to date the company has refused to enter into serious discussions. Unite is calling on the company to reconsider its attitude and position and is consulting with Unite members on strike action’ he concluded.

Unite, national officer John Allott confirmed: "Unite is to ask workers at CEMEX if they are prepared to take part in an industrial action ballot over pensions.  The company are refusing to negotiate with the union to achieve decent pensions for all its employees. We hope that the company will now get round the table and negotiate in good faith."

CEMEX is a global building materials company and a leading supplier of cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates. In the UK, CEMEX also provides asphalt, roof tiles, concrete block solutions and railway sleepers. The company generates over £1 billion in annual sales and has a UK supply network with over 500 locations.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Following the issue of a Media Release outlining how Rugby TUSC had been promoting the Public Sector Pensions Strike on Nov 30 with stalls and leaflets, BBC CWR contacted local TUSC spokesperson Pete McLaren and subsequently interviewed him live on Saturday December 3rd about the impact of the strike.  The interview can be heard at  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00ltpvt  

Thursday, 1 December 2011



Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been reported as saying that public sector strikers should be shot.  On the ‘One Show’, he apparently said, “I’d have them all shot.   I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.”

“If the report is accurate, and Jeremy Clarkson did say that public sector strikers should be shot dead, then I believe, at the very least, he should immediately be charged with Hate Crime and sacked by the BBC,” Pete McLaren, spokesperson for Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), said today. “There may be other offences he has committed as well. “

“Whether or not he said it tongue in cheek, and I did not see the programme, his reported comments are extremely offensive and bordering on the fascist.  You can not make a joke about executing people in front of their families.  These reported comments are beyond reproach even in a society that correctly values freedom of speech.    Such a freedom should not extend to the right to publicly call for mass exterminations, which is effectively what Clarkson was reported to have said.”

“This is more than just an insult to the millions of public sector workers on strike today to defend pensions and fight cuts.   If the comments have been accurately reported, they indicate a desire to wage terror and war on ordinary working people whose jobs are in the public sector.  The authorities must deal with this immediately,” Pete McLaren concluded.

Monday, 21 November 2011


* Early morning workplace pickets at the following workplaces
– Warwickshire college, Lower Hillmorton Rd, Rugby
-   Rugby St Cross Hospital, Barby Rd
* 10.15am Cathedral Steps, Priory Street Coventry March/Rally
* 12 noon TUC March through Birmingham - Assemble Lionel
                  St/Livery St car park
* 1.30pm Rally with TUC Gen Sec Brendan Barber, hopefully
            Banner Theatre, & others National Indoor Arena, B’ham
* 7.30pm NSSN Public Meeting ‘Building on Nov 30’ Methodist
              Central Hall, Coventry

Monday, 14 November 2011


"The Rugby TUSC branch has gained considerable publicity for opposing the closure of a ward at Rugby St Cross hospital", reports Rugby TUSC Convenor Pete McLaren.  "We were initially contacted by our daily local Paper, the Warwickshire Telegraph, ten days ago asking for a comment on the sudden announcement by hospital bosses.  We followed that up with a Media Release which was immediately taken up by BBC Coventry And Warwickshire who interviewed me and subsequently broadcast aspects of it on news items.  Yesterday our weekly Rugby Advertiser carried the Media Release in full, using it to counter pose the claim of the NHS Trust Chief Executive that the hospital remained safe!  Their heading was "Campaigners fear for future of hospital"  This is the first time I have ever had a Media Release reproduced in the Media in full.
We are in the process of contacting the on site Trade Unions suggesting a joint campaign of action, and, amongst other things, we are offering that TUSC would promote any press statements the Unions wanted to make."
The Press article can be read at  tp://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/decision_to_close_birch_ward_at_rugby_s_hospital_of_st_cross_came_out_of_the_blue_1_320


There were 16 TUSC supporters present.  It was agreed Pete McLaren take notes of the meeting.  Those in attendance introduced themselves and described their political backgrounds

There was a lot of general discussion about the significance of TUSC and the role independents could play within it.  Some decisions were made about how the ISN should develop - these are listed at the end of the report

The following were amongst the main points made:
TUSC is a Coalition with huge potential
The importance of TUSC is that it has Trade Union backing, along with the SP and SWP<!--more-->
TUSC must have electoral and non electoral strategies.  Campaigning will bring genuine people on board, including those who will not come to meetings.  We should use modern technology
Independent socialists will now have a say on the TUSC SC through the ISN
The ISN can remain even if TUSC dissolves for some reason
Independents can come together to provide a coherent voice
Independents need to relate to the rest of the left
The Left needs to find a way of coming together with a federal structure to keep everyone on board.  People would then join the alliance, not its component parts as happened with the original SA to an extent
The objective situation is worse today and Labour is no longer reclaimable.  We therefore need to build quickly, with democratic structures and individual membership to attract
It will not be easy – we need trade unionists on board and branches on the ground
We must learn from the positives from past projects, such as building from below
There is support for socialist ideas, evidenced by new waves of protest, but no real alternative is being offered.  This is where TUSC should step in – and take our socialist ideas to the wider community
We need to be careful that the far right does not fill the vacuum
We need to persuade the majority of people of the need to change society.  We need a Party to do this, but stepping stones towards it can be laid now.  TUSC can be part of that.  We need a movement that inspires and encourages socialism in a language people can understand
Building a new Left Party is not utopian, it is happening in many European countries
Building local TUSC branches, and establishing local memberships, will strengthen the argument for TUSC to move towards a national membership structure
Local branches are emerging and calls are growing for membership to be introduced
We need to be wary both of sectarianism and bureaucracy, and promote discussions to overcome these problems.  We must use our influence as independents
We must be more inclusive by ensuring meetings are accessible and not by relying only on traditional forces like TUs, many of which have historically been male dominated.  The cuts are affecting the most vulnerable groups, those the left ignores. We must avoid excluding minorities
TUSC must develop its policy on women and reflect women’s’ concerns.  Meetings for women should be organised
Does TUSC have any democratic structures?  Why has there been no open Conference?
Could the ISN have two representatives on the TUSC Steering Committee (SC) to represent different interests?
Members of the TUSC Steering Committee are wary of moving too fast because of past mistakes with other left projects
The TUSC Steering Committee is federal with decisions by consensus only
The Steering Committee has met since July to discuss the London elections: it has not yet addressed the issues raised at the July Conference
Although we need a new Party, calling for one now may threaten the future of TUSC because it could threaten the existence of existing supportive parties
The July TUSC Conference broadened out the SC and thus improved democracy within TUSC.  Not only has representation of independents been accepted, but it has been agreed to find ways of giving representation to supportive political groups, local TU branches and local TUSC branches
TUSC has a very underdeveloped programme which must be changed: the question is, how?

Nick Wrack explained the present TUSC programme was limited to what the different groups involved in TUSC could agree on to stand candidates together.  The ISN could raise additional policies for consideration.  Those present suggested the following ways of building TUSC and the ISN:
We must intervene wherever we can and be seen to have a national presence as the ISN , eg on N30.  To do this we need local contacts on the ground, and then to set up networking/mapping arrangements
We need a common script – the need for a new workers’ party should be part of it
We should work to set up local TUSC branches, out of Anti Cuts Groups where appropriate, and then use such branches to encourage local membership
Local TUSC branches must be recognised by the SC
Independents should try to build local TUSC branches
It may prove more difficult to set up branches in areas dominated by the SP or SWP
As we build TUSC, we build the ISN, but not by acting against existing socialist groups
We must use the ISN web site to get branches and independents together
We must not underestimate our potential influence
TUSC branches should promote TUSC on N30
The ‘Unique Selling Point’ of the ISN is the arguing for the creation of a new socialist party

We agree to establish the ISN as a national body working in TUSC
This meeting becomes a sort of steering committee for the ISN
ISN members would help develop TUSC branches wherever possible
ISN members would work within existing left forums to promote both TUSC and the ISN
A network of local ISN contacts will be established
Create a map of independent left groups and local independent socialists across the country
The ISN web site to be developed to become more proactive
The need for a new socialist party to be central to the ISN’s work
The ISN will promote TUSC and the ISN on N30
Will McMahon, Pete McLaren and Steve Ballard were nominated. Will McMahon received 8 votes, Pete McLaren received 6 votes, Steve Ballard received 1 vote, with one person not voting. Given the votes for Will and Pete it was agreed to ask the Steering Committee if both could attend meetings, otherwise they will alternate attendance.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to Nick Wrack and Will McMahon for organizing the meeting.
It was agreed to hold the next national ISN meeting on Saturday 14 January 2012 in London.  A pooled fare would operate
Pete McLaren  06/11/11


Nuneaton Against the Cuts invited Pete McLaren, Convenor of the Rugby TUSC Branch, to speak at their meeting last week about setting up a TUSC branch.  They are planning to stand four or five TUSC candidates next year.

“I explained that, in Rugby, TUSC emerged directly out of Rugby Against the Cuts when it was decided to stand anti cuts candidates in every ward,” Pete McLaren explained.  “This followed the refusal by any establishment parties or candidates to sign our Pledge to Oppose All Cuts.  The Rugby TUSC branch was set up on March 2: by the end of the month we had seven candidates, including three leading members of local trade unions who agreed there was an urgent need for a political dimension to the anti cuts struggle.”

“I went on to outline how TUSC had developed nationally, including the decisions taken at the TUSC Conference in July, and that since then the London Region RMT had agreed to promote an anti cuts challenge in the Greater London assembly and Mayoral Elections in 2012, suggesting this could take place under the name of TUSC.  This has since been firmed up with a letter from leading RMT and FBUofficials, in a personal capacity, calling for TU and socialist candidates across London.”

 “I concluded by announcing the formation of an Independent Socialist Network within TUSC, with the first national meeting taking place on October 29”

 Nuneaton Against the Cuts Secretary Tom Sidwell afterwards said the meeting had been positive.  “We were particularly encouraged to hear that Rugby TUSC had delivered their main leaflet to every household in the seven wards and put out three leaflets in total, both on stalls and through doors. had raised £2,000, £1,330 of which had come from trade unions and put out 15 Media releases since March, leading to 15 press articles, three radio interviews and three lead items on socialist blogs.   Rugby TUSC averaged 7.2% of the vote with a ratio to Labour votes of 1:4.  The national TUSC average was 4.7%, a ratio to Labour of 1:10
 “We have now written asking Rugby TUSC to provide us with examples of their press releases.  We are trying to encourage others in the group to produce these more regularly and we think the talk Pete McLaren gave will really help us focus on future activities as TUSC”, he concluded.                                                                                            Pete McLaren  04/10/11

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Rugby TUSC Public Meeting

Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition - Rugby Branch - Public Meeting


Bob Crow RMT General Secretary
Steve Roberts FBU Chair Warwickshire
Jane Nellist NUT Joint Secretary, Coventry
Jodie Hannis Youth Fight for Jobs, Coventry & Warwickshire
Come along and meet the Jarrow marchers!
Wednesday 26th October - 7pm
United Railwaymen's Club - Spring Street, Rugby

Sunday, 15 May 2011

758 Votes for Rugby TUSC

Rugby TUSC Election Results - 5th May 2011

TUSC Candidate: Steve Roberts
Tory 1230  56%
Labour 521  24%
Lib Dem 330  15%
TUSC 122  5.5%


TUSC Candidate:  Clive Dunkley

Labour 490  48%
Tory 397  39%
TUSC 122  12.1%
TUSC Candidate:  Julie Weekes  
Lib Dem 971  49%
Tory 576  29%
Labour 341  17%
TUSC 85   4.3%
TUSC Candidate:  Pete McLaren
Tory 1614  60.5%
Lib Dem 560  21%
Labour 404  15%
TUSC 88 3.3%

TUSC Candidate:  Bert Harris
Lib Dem 1057  50%
Labour 506  24%
Tory 495  23%
TUSC 67 3.2%


TUSC Candidate:  Dave Goodwin

Tory 940  47%
Labour 614  31%
Lib Dem 329  16%
TUSC 117 5.8%


TUSC Candidate:  Geoff Dewhirst

Tory 812  84%
TUSC 157  16.2%

TOTAL TUSC VOTE - 758 Average % over all 7 wards - 7.2%

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Fight the cuts - VOTE TUSC AGAINST CUTS on 5th May

Fight the cuts: Vote for a socialist alternative
TUSC against cuts

Dave Nellist
Socialist Party councillor, Coventry
TUSC steering committee

Dave Nellist at NSSN lobby of TUC, photo Suleyman Civi
Dave Nellist at NSSN lobby of TUC, photo Suleyman Civi
On Thursday 5 May millions of people get the chance to pass judgement on a year of the Con-Dem government.
Elections are being held for local councils in England (outside London), the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the councils and Assembly in Northern Ireland.
In all these elections there will be socialist candidates offering an alternative to the diet of cuts and austerity supported, to one degree or another, by all the establishment parties - the Tories, the Lib Dems, Labour and the nationalists.
Hanging, like the sword of Damocles, over every village, town and city, is the prospect of deeper cuts to essential services and local jobs than seen for decades.
But while the cuts originate in parliament and Whitehall, the government's job in making those cuts is partly eased by the lack of real opposition from Labour and many trade union leaders.
When the government proposed to cut future pension and benefit rates, by changing the way in which they are indexed - Labour abstained. When the government debated widespread cuts in disability, housing and other benefits - Labour abstained. In every council where Labour currently has a majority, as far as I know they have passed on the government's cuts, without a single Labour vote against.
You can't rely on Labour to stand up for you, because at heart they want most of the same cuts, only "slower". They don't disagree with the government's direction of travel, only the speed; forever repeating "too far, too fast". They don't intend to resist the cuts, only to cynically harvest public opposition on their road to the 2015 general election.
And in recent weeks, Labour's strategists' master plan for that election has emerged in the newspapers, to rebrand Labour as 'Blue Labour', consolidating the party as "small-c Conservative" - as if Labour's record on privatisation, wars, and the widening gap between the rich and the rest wasn't 'blue' enough already!
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will be standing 180 candidates in 53 towns and cities in England on 5 May. Our candidates are drawn from the best working class fighters, who will protect local services, including active members of the following trade unions: PCS, Unison, Unite, FBU, RMT, Aslef, CWU, UCU, NUT, and NASUWT.

Stop the cuts

If elected, TUSC councillors would campaign to stop the cuts being implemented locally by linking up with trade unionists and working class communities and helping to coordinate the fightback.
This election is but part of a longer term anti-cuts battle. The last 12 months have just been year one of a five-year government austerity plan.
26 March showed the strength of feeling among working class people and their families when half a million trade unionists marched through London to protest at the cuts. But protest and rage is not enough; we need a strategy to beat the government.
The TUC needs to support those trade unions starting the fightback, by developing an escalating programme of coordinated national industrial action, beginning with the defence of pensions in June. Alongside that, trade unionists need to develop a serious political alternative to the establishment parties' overlapping agenda of cuts and austerity.
Vote TUSC Agianst Cuts on 5 May.

Focus on Bilton Ward

The 7th & final seat Rugby TUSC are contesting in the local elections this year is Bilton Ward.

Steve Roberts lives in Bilton ward and works for the fire service.  He is the chair of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) in Warwickshire and an active member of Rugby against the Cuts.  If elected he will fight ALL cuts in jobs and services in Rugby.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Focus on Brownsover South Ward

The sixth seat Rugby TUSC are fighting in the local elections is the Brownsover South Ward.

Brownsover South covers the South and West of Brownsover estate from Keswick Drive/Lindale over to Hawlands and Coniston Close.  It also includes old Brownsover around Boughton Road and the new housing in Projects Drive and Aqua Close.

Clive was born & grew up in Brownsover and attended Boughton Leigh School for six years in the 1970s.  He currently lives in the Brownsover South ward and works as a teacher.  Clive is an active member of the teaching union the NUT, Rugby Against the Cuts and the Socialist Party.  If elected Clive will oppose ALL cuts.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Focus on Hillmorton Ward

The fifth seat that Rugby TUSC are contesting in May's local elections is Hillmorton Ward.


Dave Goodwin is 40 and has worked on the railway since leaving school in 1986. Almost a proper cockney he lived in East London for 29 years before moving up to his adopted home of Rugby. If asked Dave says that London is a great place but he won't be moving back there in this lifetime! Dave follows West Ham United and is known in certain parts of Hillmorton as West Ham Dave.

Dave has been a member of the RMT and its predecessor the NUR since he joined the railway and has struggled with the rest of his union's membership through the disastrous period of privatisation and the recent assaults on Network Rail staff's terms & conditions which have led to approximately 1500 redundancies.

A Health and Safety rep, Dave has fought issues at a local and national level and will do the same for his constituents should he be elected. No Cuts mean No Cuts, this country was in a worse state at the end of world war 2 yet we built the NHS, built social housing and brought industries into public ownership. We must all fight these neo-liberal free market millionaires who don't care if you carry the can for their failures.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Focus on Eastlands Ward

The forth of the seats Rugby TUSC are contesting is Eastlands  ward.

Eastlands covers the area around Eastlands Road, the Southfields Estate, and the Slade Road & Sidney Road areas.

Bert Harris, 49, is former Labour Candidate and led Rugby’s campaign against the Poll Tax. He has lived in Rugby all his life apart from the 3 years he spent studying Politics at Liverpool University. For the past 17 years he has run his own business supplying Crew to the live events industry and also works as a freelance Stage Manager. Bert is a Wolves Season Ticket holder and also enjoys golf, fishing and mountain biking.

Bert has not been politically active for a few years but has been forced back into action by the severity of the ConDem’s cuts. He says, ‘ At the time of the Poll Tax campaign we warned of the effects on council services, the Poll Tax was defeated by a mass movement of the people, lets hope the same can be done with the campaign against the cuts’. He added, ‘ The bankers are sitting pretty with their big bonuses while we are forced to pay’.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Focus on Dunchurch and Knightlow Ward

The third of the wards Rugby TUSC are standing in is Dunchurch and Knightlow ward.

Dunchurch & Knightlow ward covers the villages of Dunchurch, Thurlaston, Marton, Stretton on Dunsmore, Frankton and Princethorpe.


Pete McLaren lives locally in Long Lawford, and is married with 3 children and 5 grandchildren, three of whom live with their parents in Dunchurch.  He is a former teacher at inner city Comprehensive Schools in Coventry.  He is National Secretary of the Socialist Alliance and national Press Officer of the Campaign for a New Workers’ Party.  Locally, he is the Secretary of Rugby against the Cuts, Coventry and Warwickshire Socialist Alliance, Rugby Against Racism and Rugby Stop The war Coalition.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Focus on Caldecott Ward

The second of the wards Rugby TUSC are standing in is Caldecott ward.

Caldecott ward covers the town centre area by Rugby School and runs from Norton Leys (Off Dunchurch Road) over to the area around the Railway club on Hillmorton Road.


Julie lives in Caldecott ward and works as a teacher.  She is an active member of the UCU and was also active in the anti-poll tax campaign in the early 1990s.  Julie has campaigned against the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan as a member of the Rugby branch of the Stop the War Coalition.  She has also campaigned against racism and far right parties/organisations in the town.  If elected Julie would oppose ALL cuts to jobs and services in Rugby.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Focus on Leam Valley Ward

Over the next week Rugby TUSC will introduce all their candidates for May's local elections in Rugby, we start by looking at Leam Valley ward. 

Leam Valley covers the Birdingbury, Grandborough, Leamington Hastings, Flecknoe and Willoughby areas.


Geoff says "I have worked in Rugby for 6 years, and am seeing, from a professional point of view, the effects that the cuts are having already. They’re hitting all levels of society in one way or another. But, inevitably, it’s the most vulnerable who are facing the greatest losses. I am 62 years old and have experienced the rigours of post war social deprivation in my home town of Bradford, and am determined to fight all retrograde steps. If elected, I will steadfastly pursue an anti-cuts agenda, until these measures are substituted with more equitable policies."

Monday, 4 April 2011

Big Society on the Agenda

This is a report of a meeting which took place in Dunchuch in March.

A meeting of over 100 angry residents packed into Dunchurch Infants School, just outside Rugby, to hear the chair and local Liberal Democrat parish councillor declare the only way to save the local library from closure was to staff it using volunteers.  It seems the ‘big society’ agenda is even being pushed by coalition partners at local parish council level as well as nationally.

The angry meeting was told about budget cuts being made by the Tory controlled Warwickshire County Council which will result in 16 libraries being closed down in the county, including the local one in Dunchurch.
With a defeatist attitude the Liberal Democrat chair of the parish council, Robin Aird, declared to the meeting that there was no way the County Council would reverse these cuts and the only possible way to maintain a library in the village would be to run it as a ‘big society’ venture using local volunteers to replace the two women workers currently employed to run the service.

During the discussion some local residents, following Aird’s negative lead, said they would get involved in running the service.  However, two of the local election candidates from Rugby TUSC made short interventions explaining that there are alternatives to cuts and firmly stated that it wasn’t acceptable to sack workers and replace them with community volunteers.  We also pointed out that this is a weak coalition that can be forced into U turns, giving the example of the protests in the Forest of Dean which helped to force the coalition to reverse their decision to sell off the country’s woodlands.

Myself and Pete McLaren (TUSC candidate for Dunchurch in the coming local Borough elections) were the only people to receive a round of applause at the meeting.  This clearly shows that where a lead is given and a fighting strategy to resist cuts is put forward people are determined and willing to fight back.

Clive Dunkley
Candidate – TUSC Candidate Brownsover South

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Rugby TUSC annonce 7 candidates - vote against the cuts!

With nominations closing at 12 noon today Monday, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition confirmed the names of its seven candidates who will be standing in Rugby.

“We have a strong list of active socialists and trade unionists standing to promote our opposition to cuts,” Election Agent Clive Dunkley announced.  “They are as follows:

Bilton - Steve Roberts            Chair, Warwickshire Fire Brigades Union (FBU) 
Brownsover South – Clive Dunkley   Socialist party & National Union of Teachers (NUT)
Caldecott – Julie Weekes Universities and Colleges Union (UCU)
Dunchurch –Pete McLaren     National Secretary, Socialist Alliance & NUT
Eastlands – Bert Harris – Former Secretary Rugby Anti Poll Tax Union
Hillmorton – Dave Goodwin  RMT Health & Safety Rep
Leam Valley – Geoff Dewhirst Secretary Warwickshire UNITE – Community & Youth Workers Section

All TUSC candidates will appear on the ballot paper as Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts.

“This is historic.  Never before have the establishment Parties in Rugby faced such an electoral challenge,” he continued.  “Our candidates will be standing to support the decision made by Rugby Against the Cuts to promote anti cuts candidates in every Rugby ward.  We now have an active Branch of TUSC in Rugby and these Elections give us the opportunity to show local people that there are alternatives to public spending cuts.  We will be arguing that the deficit could be resolved by a 5% wealth tax, or by collecting in all the taxes which the rich avoid paying or evade,” he concluded

Local TUSC spokesperson Pete McLaren added, “The three establishment Parties all believe that cutting public spending is the way to resolve the economic crisis.  Over 500,000 trade unionists and political activists marching in London a week ago said otherwise.  We are now giving the people of Rugby the opportunity to use their vote to show their opposition to public spending cuts.  Continued pressure can force Governments to change course, and we are delighted to be part of a growing anti cuts movement that is having an increasing influence,” he concluded.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Local Election Manifesto

Stand up to the Con-Dem Government

For councillors who refuse to implement the cuts!

TUSC has agreed the policy platform, outlined below, on which it is proposing to contest the elections to local councils that will take place next May in every area of England bar London. TUSC is also involved in discussions to organise an election challenge for the Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly elections (there are no local elections in Scotland and Wales in 2011).
The local elections policy platform, agreed at a conference of TUSC supporters in January, is the basis on which any prospective council candidate who wishes to can stand under the TUSC name in May's elections.
The local elections policy platform is a supplement to the core policy statement that TUSC candidates endorsed when they stood in the general election in May 2010, which still stands as the basic policy position of the TUSC coalition (see 'Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition Policies' below).

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition policy platform for the 2011 local elections in England:

THE LOCAL council elections in May 2011 will be the first opportunity voters will have in England to register public opposition at the ballot box to the Con-Dem government's unparalleled attack on our public services.
But the elections are not just a chance to make a one-day 'protest vote'. They are also an opportunity to elect councillors who can actually stop many of the cuts from being implemented locally.
Over the years, it is true, local councils have been stripped of many of their powers over different services. Margaret Thatcher, who began this process, famously said, "I must take more power to the centre to stop socialism" - in other words, that public services that 'crowded out' the private sector should be curbed or, where they exist, should be opened up to private companies to make profits from public needs. It is a matter of record that the New Labour government carried on with this approach throughout its 13 years in office - the turnover of private companies running public services reached over £80 billion in 2008, for example, 126% higher than 1995-96 under the previous Tory government.
But councils still have enormous powers and responsibilities, controlling budgets totalling billions of pounds, spent on services from housing to schools, youth clubs, libraries, adult social care, crime reduction, sports centres, highways maintenance and refuse collection, to name but a few. They have legal powers, over some non-council provided services for example, including many of those now privatised, that they can exercise for our benefit.
What councillors do, therefore, can still affect the quality of our daily lives. They certainly don't have to accept every dictate from central government to cut or privatise our services. They have a choice. Even a minority group on a council, or a single councillor, can make a difference, by using their position as democratically elected local representatives to appeal to and help organise community campaigns and trade unionists to fight.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an alliance which includes individual trade unionists, community campaigners and different political parties. Yet, while we each have our own general policies and programme, all our candidates are committed to using every opportunity open to councillors - from public campaigning to presenting policy motions at council meetings - to do everything possible to protect and improve our public services. Voting for TUSC councillors will make a difference.

All TUSC councillors will:

* Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions - we reject the claim that 'some cuts' are necessary to our services.
* Reject above inflation increases in council tax, rent and service charges to compensate for government cuts.
* Vote against the privatisation of council services, or the transfer of council services to 'social enterprises' or 'arms-length' management organisations, which are first steps to privatisation.
* Use all the legal powers available to councils, including powers to refer local NHS decisions, initiate referenda and organise public commissions and consultations, to oppose both the cuts and government polices which centrally impose the transfer of public services to private bodies.
* When faced with government cuts to council funding, councils should refuse to implement the cuts. We will support councils which in the first instance use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid passing them on - while arguing that the best way to mobilise the mass campaign that is necessary to defeat the cuts is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demands that the government makes up the shortfall.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Rugby TUSC to contest local elections in May

The recently formed branch of the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition will be standing candidates in this year's local elections in Rugby.  Candidates selected so far, who will be on the ballot paper as Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts, include;

Bilton  Steve Roberts  (FBU)
Dunchurch  Pete Mclaren   (NUT & Secretary of Socialist Alliance)
Brownsover South   Clive Dunkley   (NUT & Socialist Party member)
Hillmorton   Dave Goodwin   (RMT)
Caldecott   Julie Weekes   (UCU)
Leam Valley   Geoff Dewhirst   (UNITE)
Eastlands   Bert Harris   (Former Secretary of Rugby Anti-Poll Tax Union)