Socialists and the 2018 local elections in Birmingham

 

 

Socialists and the 2018 local elections in Birmingham

May 3rd will see local elections take place in Birmingham, with all 101 of the redrawn council wards and seats being contested.

Nationally the Tories continue to show that they are not “strong and stable” but weak and wobbly. The 2017 general election called by Theresa May was supposed to follow the Conservative script  – an increased majority for May, with Corbyn’s Labour suffering. The actual results were very different. We predicted that Corbyn’s anti austerity policies would be popular despite the constant sabotage of the Labour right wing. The outcome showed that working class people are looking for change – not surprising given year after year of austerity cuts.

Unfortunately Corbyn’s anti austerity leadership has not yet been reflected in Labour Councils across the country, and Birmingham is no exception.

We have outlined previously how we think the council should be opposing the cuts by refusing to pass on Tory austerity and campaigning to win back money stolen from Birmingham by central government, a strategy which has obtained support at a national level within the local government trade unions as well as union branches locally. Sadly, instead of using some of the substantial reserves (which have now risen since 2010!) to fund services and hold down council tax whilst a campaign is built, they have chosen to reduce library services, close nurseries, cut thousands of jobs and attack Bin and Homecare workers. Birmingham is suffering massively from the crisis of capitalism – we need public representatives who are going to help organise resistance to these attacks.

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In recent elections the Socialist Party, as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, has stood in the city. We wanted to ensure that there was an anti austerity and socialist voice when both of the main parties offered more of the same, pro cuts pro big business polices – this stance being supported by several thousand votes across the city. In the 2017 general election we took the decision not to stand in order to support Jeremy’s battle against the Tories – we distributed thousands of leaflets outlining why the Socialist Party supported Corbyn’s policies, and why they needed to be extended further.

In 2018 we recognise that Jeremy Corbyn is attempting to build on his anti austerity message at a time when the Tories are on the ropes. Therefore we will not be contesting all wards, but will be standing in 10.

Acocks Green                              Eamonn Flynn

Bournbrook & Selly Park      Sam Witts

Bournville & Cotteridge         Clive Walder

Brandwood & Kings Heath   Bill Murray

Castle Vale                                     Kris O’Sullivan

Handsworth Wood                   Rachel Jenkins

Perry Barr                                   Corinthia Ward

Shard End                                    Mark Andrews

Stockland Green                        Ted Woodley

Weoley & Selly Oak                   Nick Brook-Hart

 

Whilst recognising Jeremy’s position and so standing in fewer seats, we are continuing to fight austerity and the capitalist crisis using every opportunity we have, whether that’s taking part in campaigns to save the NHS and other key services, helping to build stronger, more militant unions, or standing in elections.

We will be continuing to put forward the idea that councillors do have a choice to oppose the cuts, both in the council chamber and on the streets, and that working class people should not pay for the capitalist crisis.

 

Homecare strike
Birmingham Homecare workers on strike against the Labour Council

We will be arguing that to end the situation where thousands of Birmingham kids are living in poverty we will need to create a socialist society that puts ordinary people before profit. A socialist society that through public ownership of the key sectors of the economy including the banks, can plan the enormous resources that exist for the benefit of the majority.

We urge you to support our candidates in the wards where we are standing, attend our public meeting, help our campaign by for example making a donation, putting up a poster or volunteering to distribute leaflets. We also would encourage you to think about joining the Socialist Party – help us build a mass socialist movement armed with the policies that can defeat capitalism once and for all.

Public Meeting – all welcome!

Council cuts, Corbyn and the Tories – how can we fight back?

Tuesday 1st May, 7.30pm

The Victoria Pub, John Bright st, Birmingham City Centre, B1 1BN

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TRADE UNIONIST and SOCIALIST COALITION (TUSC)

Birmingham Press Release -For immediate use

‘Birmingham’s Labour Council “needs a sharp kick up the backside” says the Trades Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) who have announced that they will be standing 10 candidates in this year’s Birmingham City Council elections.

They will be standing against a number of Council cabinet members who they see as the architects of austerity policies in the Council House.

The group are pledged to opposing all cuts to and privatisation of council services. They are committed to adopting a balanced and legal no cuts budget using reserves and existing borrowing powers while campaigning for the government to return money it has “stolen” from Birmingham, thus enabling them to restore Birmingham’s shattered public services.

TUSC spokesperson Ted Woodley who is standing in Stockland Green ward, said “Birmingham City Council have about £400 million in usable reserves so there is no excuse for passing on the vicious cuts demanded by the weak and wobbly Tory government”

TUSC is highly critical of Labour councils carrying out government diktat to implement cuts across the country and in particular they condemn Birmingham council for spending £6 million trying to cut jobs and pay in the bin service yet choosing to threaten 14 nurseries with closure to save only £160,000. “Councils have a choice to carry out Tory government dirty work or try to stand up for the people of Birmingham.”

TUSC supported Binworkers in last year’s dispute and a number of bin workers have expressed support for TUSC standing candidates. TUSC condemns the waste of more than £6 million of public money in an effort to reduce bin workers’ pay by a supposedly cash strapped council.

Bill Murray, candidate in Brandwood & Kings Heath, added “We would have much preferred to be supporting a Birmingham Labour Party carrying out Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity policies. But as they aren’t, we have no alternative but to stand and present an anti-austerity, no-cuts alternative to all the mainstream parties to defend local services and offer voters a real choice”

ENDS

From Ian Leech, Election Agent.Ian can be contacted at:  iankleech@btopenworld.comor  07948 752232

Ian is a member of the Socialist Party one of the components of the Trades Unionist & Socialist Coalition

and Ted Woodley Candidate who can be contacted at ejww3037@hotmail.com  or 07941 003037

Ted is a member of the RMT transport union, another of the components of TUSC

Information 

1) TUSC will host a pre-election public meeting on Tuesday 1st May 7.30 at the Victoria, John Bright Street,City Centre Birmingham. The national chair of TUSC, Dave Nellist will speak at it. Dave was the Labour MP for Coventry South East from 1983 to 1992, when he was expelled from the Labour Party as one of the leaders of the anti-poll tax campaign that brought down Tory premier Margaret Thatcher. He was a Socialist Party Councillor in Coventry 1998 -2012.

  1. TUSC was co-founded in 2010 by the late Bob Crow of the RMT transport workers’ union, together with other leading trade unionists, the Socialist Party and other socialist groups, to provide an electoral alternative for those opposing austerity.  

For information and video clips about TUSC see: www.tusc.org.ukFor interviews and any other information requests, please email: info@tusc.org.uk  or call Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent on 020-8988-8773 or 07989-360158.Dave Nellist can also be contacted on 07970-294237

 

Written by workers for workers.

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