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From: The Socialist issue 853, 22 April 2015: Stop NHS cuts!

Search site for keywords: Derby - Elections 2015 - Elections - Cuts - Labour - MPs

Elections 2015: Why I'm standing

A record of standing up for workers

Chris Fernandez, TUSC parliamentary candidate in Derby South

I'm angry. As a support worker in the health sector for people with complex needs I'm angry with what is happening to people due to cuts, when there is no need for cuts.

All the main parties want to reduce the government deficit with cuts. However, over 120 billion is lost to tax evasion and avoidance each year. You can cut the deficit without cutting people. I'm also angry about those MPs who talk a lot but will do nothing for ordinary people.

I'm a Unison workplace rep. In 2013 I led a strike against wage cuts and restructuring and I'm now campaigning for union recognition in my workplace.

In south Derby I was involved in the campaign to keep the Moorways swimming pool open which the Labour council wanted to close. We managed to save the pool for another year.

I have campaigned against the building of the incinerator waste plant in Sinfin ward. When Rolls Royce - whose factories in Sinfin employ thousands of workers - announced job cuts, I called for the renationalisation of the company.

On all of these issues, the sitting Labour MP, Dame Margaret Beckett, has not said a word. She was one of many Labour MPs who voted on 13 January with the Tories and Liberals for another 30 billion worth of cuts for the next parliament!

The people of Derby South deserve better. They need an MP who not only speaks out against these cuts and votes against them, but will campaign against them.

In contrast to an MP's bloated salary of 67,000 a year, I am pledging that I will only take the average wage of a worker in Derby South - 24,000 - so I don't become divorced from the lives of ordinary people. I will put the surplus into a solidarity fund to support workers in struggle.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 22 April 2015

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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