Protesters with UNISON banners demonstrating in UK city.

Something Is Rotten In The City of Birmingham

Last Saturday Birmingham Socialist Party attended a protest organised by Unite, GMB and Unison against Birmingham’s Labour council’s decision to cut public service funding. Despite the unforgiving cold and rainy weather, the flame of anger thawed the numbing cold. 

The fiery speeches drew people from all walks of life including many children and older people to the streets against the cowardly and extortionate decision of the council. The union-led protest was attended by workers from the council, NHS, educators and the fire brigade.

Around 100 people were attending the protest, and our party sold 12 newspapers, collected two new contacts, and gathered £6 worth of donations. Our party spoke to some of the protestors. A regional organiser from Unite claimed such a decision to be short-sighted as austerity would negatively affect the economy in the long run. The union had raised concern over the budget cuts to the city's Labour MPs as well, but have so far been met with a wall of silence. 

Likewise, considering the government is in a weak position and there will be a general election this year, the local council is in a good position to demand more funding from the central government. 

But instead, they cut funding for the most vulnerable in the community while increasing the council tax on struggling people by 21%. All because of their financial mismanagement such as spending £130 million on the still not functioning Oracle IT system. I have consulted an IT expert in this regard and he explained that a program of this scope should cost no more than a fraction of this budget.

The decision of the council reflects the overall attitude of both the Tories in government and Labour waiting in the wings. Rather than taking personal responsibility for their mistakes, they make working people pay the price. This shows the need for a new party that answers to workers and not the wealthy lobbyists.

Written by workers for workers.

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We are a branch of the Socialist Party, the English and Welsh section of the Committee for a Workers' International - a worldwide revolutionary socialist organisation with parties and groups in countries across the globe.
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