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From: The Socialist issue 1125, 17 March 2021: Defend the right to protest - end violence against women

Search site for keywords: Working class - Worcester - Libraries - Council

Standing for TUSC in Worcester

As a step towards building a mass party of the working class

TUSC campaigners in Worcester 2015, photo Mark Davies

TUSC campaigners in Worcester 2015, photo Mark Davies   (Click to enlarge)

Calvin Fowler, Worcester Socialist Party

Worcester council is Tory run, and its underfunding of services has been appalling. Also, over the last few years we have seen our hospital, The Worcestershire, in the headlines. It has not been reaching acceptable levels of care, not due to the hard-working NHS staff, but the crippling PFI debt and underfunding. This in turn has led to low staff morale, ward closures, and outpatient services being stopped.

In 2019, the Tory council proposed to shut two community libraries due to lack of funds. So a 'Save Our Libraries' group was set up with local residents and members of the Worcestershire Socialist Party. We organised public meetings, a rally and a protest. It was well-publicised and well-attended. This mobilisation of the working class led to the money suddenly being found by the council, and the libraries staying open.

In Worcester, like in other towns and cities, the pandemic has seen shops closing and smaller shops being unable to pay the super-high rents and business rates.

Where I work there are five of us. Three of us, myself included, have been furloughed since last March. 80% of your wages isn't a government hand out - it's a pay cut!

Austerity

The austerity following the 2007-08 banking crash, where the establishment politicians showed that they would rather bail out their mates in the banks than help the working class, has meant poorer living conditions for all workers and has snowballed ever since.

The mood in Worcester is one of anger at the injustice. The Labour Party at local and national level is not a party for the working class, but merely a second eleven for capitalism. We need a new mass workers' party. I am standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Worcester as a step towards building one.

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Finance appeal

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.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Local services keywords:

Care Homes (43)

Closures (164)

Cuts (3525)

Disability (106)

Fire (309)

Fire service (71)

Huddersfield (234)

Libraries (95)

Library (123)

Nursery (38)

Probation (51)

Water (131)

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Article dated 17 March 2021

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RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June, photo by G Freeman

RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June. Photo G Freeman

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