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While there is a huge crisis of political representation for the capitalist elite - with no major party reliably representing their interests - there also remains a crisis of political representation for the working class.
In the 2017 snap election Jeremy Corbyn was able to enthuse millions of workers and young people. Labour gained 3.5 million votes, including a million who had previously voted Ukip. The potential existed to build on that by promoting a socialist platform offering the working and middle class a real alternative to austerity.
Unfortunately however, during Jeremy Corbyn's time as Labour leader, at every stage the Corbyn wing was prepared to make concessions to the pro-capitalists in the vain hope of pacifying them. The inevitable result was the muffling of Corbyn's anti-austerity programme. Concessions included Labour being seen as a 'remain in the EU' party, rather than the party of the working class - for those who voted remain and those who voted leave.
A confident position that Labour would renegotiate Brexit from an entirely different standpoint to that of the Tories was necessary, including a 'red line' of the removal of all legislation that undermines workers' rights and blocks state aid and nationalisation. And guaranteeing the rights of people in Britain who are from other EU countries.
Such an approach would be one aspect of a socialist programme. Other aspects would include insisting that all companies threatening redundancies or closures - whether on the grounds of Brexit or otherwise - immediately open their books to workers' inspection. Where necessary, they should be nationalised under democratic working-class control and management.
Immediate measures like mass council house building, a £12-an-hour minimum wage and free education would need to be combined with a programme for the nationalisation of the major corporations and banks to really take the levers of power out of the hands of the capitalist saboteurs that would otherwise do all in their power to prevent the implementation of pro-working-class policies.
The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn under Keir Starmer's leadership has showed the determination of Starmer to annihilate the last vestiges of 'Corbynism'- as the Socialist Party warned would be the case. Corbyn has always opposed antisemitism. Yet Blairite Labour general secretary David Evans suspended him for stating that antisemitism within Labour has been 'dramatically overstated for political reasons' - an incredible attack on the right of Labour Party members to express their views.
Labour councils have continued to privatise, close and cut vital services, jobs and pay. The spectre of the end of the central government grant to local authorities means that councils look to sell-offs, luxury developments and deals with private developers to increase income. Labour councils should stop making cuts. And their plans should go further, to include mass council house building and measures such as rent control in the private sector.
Labour-led councils have billions of pounds in general reserves. These funds, along with use of powers to borrow money, could be used to help implement legal no-cuts budgets, while launching a struggle to demand sufficient funding from the government.
We are constantly involved in the struggles of trade unions and trade union members against attacks by the government and private sector employers on workers' pay, jobs, pensions, and terms and conditions.
On 26 March 2011 half a million people marched against attacks on pensions and other cuts; then strike action was taken by 750,000 civil servants, teachers and lecturers on 30 June 2011; followed by over two million public sector workers on 30 November 2011; and by 400,000 workers on 10 May 2012.
Since those large strikes, we have continuously been involved in supporting - and in some cases helping to lead - a great many national and local strikes by trade unions, including those of the PCS (civil servants), UCU (lecturers), NEU (teachers), BMA (doctors), and RMT (transport workers).
We play a leading role in building the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN, http://shopstewards.net/), which helps workers in struggle at rank and file level and that has played a key role in mobilising pressure on the trade union leaders to organise more - and more widespread - coordinated action against government austerity measures.
Crucially, the Socialist Party and the NSSN have called on the TUC to prepare the way for coordinated action against the decimation of services, benefits and workers' standard of living generally.
Many of our members are workplace trade union shop stewards and some have won representation on their trade union national executive committee.
The Socialist consistently reports on developments in the trade union movement and on battles, for example, against low pay and privatisation.
We fight against all cuts in jobs, services and benefits; against student tuition fees and against privatisation. We campaign for decent pay, pensions, benefits, and student grants.
We fight for women to win what's necessary to live a life free from inequality, poverty, discrimination and oppression.
See: A fighting programme for women's rights and socialism
We campaigned against the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and other military interventions by imperialist powers. We fight for a socialist world free of war, terrorism and racism.
We campaign to stop the destruction and pollution of our environment.
TUSC was co-founded in 2010 by the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers' union leader. Its first steering committee included the Socialist Party and we have participated in the committee ever since. In 2012 the RMT decided to be represented officially on the committee. Along with the RMT, its steering committee today involves leading trade unionists from other unions together with the Socialist Party, the Resistance Movement, and independent socialists.
TUSC stood sufficient candidates in the 2015 general election to qualify for a UK-wide party election broadcast.
It recalibrated its electoral activity following Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader, a development which it warmly welcomed. Consequently TUSC did not contest either the 2017 or 2019 general elections and only stood in other elections against those Labour candidates who opposed Jeremy Corbyn and were carrying out austerity policies.
But with Keir Starmer's election as leader TUSC agreed to resume standing candidates, starting in the contests scheduled for May 2021
On May 3rd 2018 TUSC stood 111 council candidates in 33 authorities , contesting 101 wards. The results are available here: http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/424.pdf.
On 4th May 2017 TUSC stood 78 candidates in local council elections, contesting seats across 24 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales. TUSC also stood in two of the mayoral elections on that day in the new Liverpool City Region and in Doncaster.
In May 2016 TUSC stood candidates in the local elections across the country and also the mayoral elections in Liverpool and Bristol. TUSC's 2016 results are available here: www.tusc.org.uk/17246/
In 2015, the Socialist Party stood many candidates as part of TUSC in the 7th May 2015 general election and in the local elections on the same day, demanding "no to cuts and privatisation". Altogether 748 candidates contested the elections on May 7th under the TUSC umbrella, polling a combined total of 118,125 votes (for the detailed results, go to: http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/338.pdf).
Previously, the Socialist Party stood candidates as part of TUSC in the 2010 general election and the May 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 local elections.
TUSC stands for public ownership, not cuts and privatisation; jobs, not handouts to the bankers; the repeal of the anti-trade union laws, protection of the environment, decent pensions, and democratic rights. It presents the case for a democratic socialist society run in the interests of the people not the millionaires.
Bob Crow, former RMT general secretary, speaking at the London No2EU election rally, photo Paul Mattsson
In the June 2009 and May 2014 European elections we were part of the trade union-led No2EU - Yes to Democracy campaign.
We oppose the EU from a completely different class standpoint to that of the pro-big business Ukip and the Tory 'outers'.
A 'Leave' vote was also an opportunity to pass verdict on Cameron and his rotten government. Cameron had to go as a result of that verdict - now let's remove all the Tories from power!
Between 1983 and 1992, as part of the Labour Party, we had three socialist MPs - Dave Nellist, Terry Fields and Pat Wall - who lived on the average wage of the workers they were representing.
They never forgot their working class roots, or the problems of those workers that elected them - unlike many political and trade union leaders who live on inflated salaries.
We have also had Socialist Party councillors elected to serve terms of office representing the working class: Dave Nellist, Rob Windsor and Karen McKay in Coventry; and Ian Page and Chris Flood in Lewisham.
In 2006 in Huddersfield, Socialist Party member Dr Jackie Grunsell also won a council seat - with a majority of over 700 - standing as a 'Save Huddersfield’s NHS' candidate.
Militant newspaper - Defy the Poll Tax law
Over two decades ago we were known as the Militant Tendency and campaigned in the Labour Party for socialist policies.
We led Liverpool City council's battle in the mid 1980s for decent housing, jobs and services, and later were leaders in the battle to defeat Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's poll tax which forced her to resign.
Socialist Students campaigns against university tuition fees, against cuts in funding for higher education, for the restoration of a living grant and on many other issues.
The Socialist Party always opposed the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops. We have been actively involved in many other anti-war campaigns and protests, including against Israeli military onslaughts on Gaza.
We have been involved in many campaigns to stop hospital and ward closures around the country, and against the ongoing privatisation of health services. Read our NHS campaign articles.
The Socialist carries many reports on healthworkers fighting low pay and privatisation, some led by Socialist Party members, such as at Whipps Cross.
Caution wet floor - flooding in the centre of Gloucester, photo Chris Moore
Socialist Party members also regularly participate in demonstrations on many other environmental issues; including anti-fracking, for flood defences, against toxic waste incinerators and against nuclear power.
We were involved in campaigning against the disastrous war in Sri Lanka and helping to build the organisation Tamil Solidarity in Britain(www.tamilsolidarity.org).
We are involved in many campaigns against racism and neo-fascism, including demonstrations against the far-right English Defence League and BNP, as well as in other anti-racist activities - including against discriminatory harassment and brutality by the police.
In Lewisham, London, Socialist Party councillors led a campaign, along with local tenants, to convince the community not to vote for privatisation. Despite the New Labour council spending a fortune – they sent a video to every home – the campaign was successful.
In London, young Socialist Party members have campaigned against evictions, housing benefit cuts and the sell-off our council housing; and for rent caps, council run lettings agencies, a mass building programme of council housing, the renovation and use of empty properties, and for banks, when requested, to turn mortgages into affordable rents and offer cheap, no or low interest mortgages.
Fighting for Women - Rights and Socialism
The Socialist Party works both independently and with other groups to fight all racism, prejudice and discrimination.
When the far-right try to march or demonstrate, we are involved in organising counter-demonstrations, uniting local communities to stop them.
Reports and campaigns:
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
Lessons from history
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