The Socialist

The Socialist 9 May 2018

Tories out!

The Socialist issue 994

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Southampton: Keith Morrell, anti-cuts councillor, re-elected

TUSC May 2018 campaigning, Keith Morrell second-right

TUSC May 2018 campaigning, Keith Morrell second-right   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Southampton Socialist Party

Sadly it wasn't Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies that were on offer in Southampton but his right-wing Blairite opponent, Labour council leader Simon Letts' and his fellow councillors who have cruelly voted to close disabled services.

Despite a heroic campaign by parents, these Blairites consistently turned down calls to save Kentish Road Respite Centre. With the support of anti-cuts councillor Keith Morrell, these parents campaigned long and hard and decided to stand with Keith in the local elections.

Keith Morrell was re-elected on a landslide with 47% of the vote, an endorsement of the consistent stand he has taken. Simon Letts was punished and lost his seat, but so have those on the left who have argued an anti-austerity Corbyn manifesto was on offer. It wasn't!

Southampton Labour Council has cut 120 million from the budget, vital services and over 1,000 jobs. That's implementing Tory cuts. As schools face savage Tory budget cuts, Labour councillors offer support in words then demand schools cut their budgets.

Significantly the Tories lost their leader too, yet further evidence of the anger and opposition to eight years of austerity. Imagine if Labour had taken up the policy of re-elected anti-cuts councillor Keith Morrell and protected jobs and services.

Labour could have swept the board and begun to build the sort of mass campaign that can win back the stolen government funding Southampton so desperately needs.

The gains Labour made in Southampton are not gains for Corbyn and the left. The new councillors are not Corbyn supporters and will continue to assist the undermining campaign by the Blairite wing.

None of the Momentum candidates won in Southampton. Local left Labour Party members need to draw urgent conclusions from this and adopt a clear anti-cuts manifesto. To build a campaign they should seek to collaborate with anti-cuts councillors locally, the local trade unions, community and anti-cuts campaigns.

Southampton Socialist Party will continue to work with all those opposed to austerity and work towards the implementation of a no cuts policy by Southampton council.

In this issue

Local elections 2018

Local election results are a major warning sign for Labour

The Tusc results

Southampton: Keith Morrell, anti-cuts councillor, re-elected

Haringey councillors need to fight austerity now

TUSC vote up in Waltham Forest but many voters stay away

TUSC stands against Birmingham council's cuts and attacks on workers

Strong TUSC result in Huddersfield

France '68

France '68: History's greatest general strike erupts

Socialist Party news and analysis

US president suggests gun control to blame for London knife deaths

Use TUC march as launch pad for action on pay

Breast cancer screening scandal


Socialists fight for Palestinian liberation and workers' unity

Socialists in Israel-Palestine reject establishment antisemitism charge against Jeremy Corbyn


Roger Shrives, 5 April 1947 - 1 May 2018

Keith Pattenden 28 September 1955 - 1 May 2018

Obituary: Tony Byrne 1939 - 2018

Socialist Party workplace news

Hull Energy Works: Unofficial strike action reinstates victimised workers

Defend Hull FE College - defend our city!

Victory against academisation at Avenue Primary

Firefighters ballot for action

PCS: A fighting strategy to defeat the Tory pay cap

International socialist news and analysis

Teachers revolt in Trump country

China: Impressive, coordinated and daring crane drivers' strikes

CWI news in brief


Home   |   The Socialist 9 May 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

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9 May 2018