Coventry Tory councillor attacks benefit claimants

Coventry Tory councillor attacks benefit claimants

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Cllr Julia Lepoidevin (Woodlands)

A Tory councillor in Coventry has attacked benefit claimants during a full council meeting – after previously calling food bank users “selfish”.

Cllr Julia Lepoidevin, who represents Woodlands ward and is shadow cabinet member for children’s services, claimed that “What drives families into poverty is more than just income measures. It is addiction, family breakdown, domestic abuse, debt, leaving school with no qualifications. Give an addict an increase in benefit and it will be spent on the addiction, create further debt, cause mental health issues and break up families.”

While no-one would deny that the causes of poverty can be complex, Cllr Lepoidevin deliberately chose to attack a tiny minority of vulnerable people rather than accepting that many ordinary people will be forced into poverty by her party’s benefit cuts. Labour councillors rightly attacked her for these disgraceful comments – unfortunately, they are passing on these cuts at a local level and they are hurting Coventry people with council tax rises.

This is not Cllr Lepoidevin’s first attack on working class people – in 2014, she called food bank users “selfish” and claimed they spend money on drugs and alcohol rather than food and rent.

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Sarah Smith (left) protesting against the eviction of a bedroom tax victim

Sarah Smith, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in Woodlands ward, said the comments were “appalling”. “Not content with just making these cuts, Cllr Lepoidevin wants to rub salt in the wound. I will continue to campaign against her and any other councillors who want to attack ordinary people.”

Coventry Socialists welcome advances for the Socialist Left in Irish elections

Coventry Socialists welcome advances for the Socialist Left in Irish elections

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Ruth Coppinger was re-elected as a TD for Dublin West

Coventry Socialist Party send warm congratulations and solidarity to socialist and anti austerity campaigners in Ireland who have made fantastic gains in the General Election.

Though it has been completely ignored so far by news outlets such as the BBC, the Left has performed extremely well.

We are extremely proud to announce that the Socialist Party in Ireland, as part of the Anti Austerity Alliance (AAA) has won a fantastic 3 TDs (MPs) in the Dail (Irish Parliament). Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger were re-elected in Dublin and in a superb breakthrough Mick Barry was elected in Cork.  In Dublin West Ruth came second (it is a multi member constituency) with Joan Burton of the Labour Party only just scraping in to fourth place.

Over 100 people in Coventry heard Ruth speak at our election rally for TUSC last year and was warmly received by all of those who attended.

We would also like to pay tribute to comrade Joe Higgins, who has visited Coventry in recent years to support our election campaigns here. Joe stood down at this election and his record as a Marxist in the Irish and Euro Parliament fighting for the rights and interests of working class people is unsurpassed.

The AAA also ran strong campaigns in many other areas such as Limerick, where we only narrowly lost out on more MPs. The People Before Profit Alliance which ran on a joint ticket with the AAA has also won at least 2 seats.

What these election results show is that pro-establishment, business as usual, pro capitalist politics is in crisis. It also shows that Socialist and anti austerity ideas, backed up with decades of campaigning and organising in the interests of ordinary people can win support.

We are proud of the role that our brothers and sisters in the Socialist Party in Ireland are playing and the results this weekend. Moreover, with our comrades organised in the Committee for a Workers’ International in 50 countries across the world, we look forward with confidence to stepping up the fight for socialist policies in answer to the capitalist crisis.

We encourage you to join our international movement for socialist change!

Fill in the form below to get involved

Protesters lobby Coventry council against cuts

Protesters lobby Coventry council against cuts

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Photo from Cov Telegraph

Protesters from trade unions, community groups and anti-cuts campaigners held a lobby of Coventry Council to protest against the budget passed yesterday.

UNISON Branch Secretary Sarah Feeney spoke and called on the council to use the £84million they have in reserves – a sum which they have increased by £3.5million in the last 12 months – to fund services and build a campaign against the cuts.

Dave Nellist spoke representing Coventry Against the Cuts and called on council workers to take action to defend their jobs – and their terms and conditions, which are also being threatened by the council – and echoed the call for the council to fight the cuts. “By the end of this Parliament 80p in every £1 of this city’s budget will have been robbed by the Tories in London, so that bankers can have the same Christmas bonuses this year as they did in the year they caused the financial crash.”

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Local Labour Cllr Pervez Akhtar then spoke and said that Labour councillors are “at pains” because of the cuts, but said they had no choice and they would not set an illegal budget. While it is welcome that Cllr Akhtar came and spoke – other councillors have not done so – he unfortunately misrepresented the position advocated by the groups assembled. We are not calling for an illegal budget to be set, we are calling for the council to pass a legal no-cuts budget by using the money they have in reserves. Of course Labour councillors do not want to make cuts – and we want to work with them to fight the Tories, rather than fighting them while they pass on Tory cuts.

These cuts will mean more job losses, play centres being closed, libraries opening hours reduced and council workers terms and conditions being threatened. We need to fight back.

 

Poll shows that Socialism is on the rise!

Poll shows that Socialism is on the rise!

Socialism Rising

Socialism Rising

After the 2015 General Election many people will be understandably wary of polls, and for good reason.

However a poll released by YouGov certainly makes for interesting, and encouraging reading. A survey of 3905 people showed that British people are keener on Socialism than Capitalism and that 36% of people have a very favourable or somewhat favourable opinion of Socialism compared to 33% who have a very favourable or somewhat favourable opinion of Capitalism.

In the same survey, almost 1 in 5 people described themselves as Socialists.

As ever these poll findings should be treated carefully. No doubt what people understand as Socialism will vary greatly. But what we can say is that this confirms something we have said for a long time, Socialism is far from dead, on the contrary it is on the rise.

Hardly surprising given that it was announced earlier this year that the 62 richest people in the world own as much wealth as half of the world’s population put together.

So if you are one of the growing number of people looking at Socialism as an alternative to global capitalist crisis, why don’t you get in touch to join us or find out more? Change won’t just happen, we have to get organised. Fill in the form below!

 

Nellist and left wing trade unionists oppose the EU and say no public money should go to UKIP and Tory campaigns

Nellist and left wing union leaders oppose the EU and say no public money should go to UKIP and Tory campaigns

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist, National Chair of TUSC

The following letter from Dave Nellist and leading left wing trade unionists appeared in The Guardian newspaper today. The original can be read here

‘Now the referendum has been called , the Electoral Commission has the power to designate who shall be the “official” Remain and Leave campaigns, giving these organisations both political authority and millions of pounds of public resources. We call on the commission not to give taxpayers’ money to the Tory and Ukip-dominated Vote Leave, Leave.EU or Grassroots Out campaigns, or any amalgam of them, in the forthcoming EU referendum. The commission does not have to choose an official campaign at all, if there is not one organisation that adequately represents those supporting a particular outcome to the referendum.

We believe there are millions of trade unionists, young people, anti-austerity campaigners and working-class voters, whose opposition to the big business-dominated EU would not be represented by these organisations.

We condemn the mainstream media for promoting Ukip, Tory and other pro-austerity and racist establishment politicians and organisations as the only exit voices. We call on the Electoral Commission to recognise that a significant proportion of those who will vote against the EU do so because they support basic socialist policies of workers’ rights, public ownership, and opposition to austerity and racism.’
Dave Nellist Ex-Labour MP and chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Janice Godrich President, PCS civil servants union
Sean Hoyle President, RMT transport workers union
John McInally National vice-president, PCS
Peter Pinkney RMT President 2013-2015
Paul McDonnell RMT national executive committee
John Reid RMT NEC
Dave Auger Unison public sector workers union NEC
April Ashley Unison NEC
Roger Bannister Unison NEC
Hugo Pierre Unison NEC
Karen Reissman Unison NEC
Polly Smith Unison NEC
Pete Glover National Union of Teachers NEC
Jane Nellist NUT NEC
Stefan Simms NUT NEC
Chas Berry Napo national vice-chair
Alan Gibson National Union of Journalists NEC
Elenor Haven PCS NEC
Marianne Owens PCS NEC
Paul Williams PCS NEC
Carlo Morelli University and College Union NEC
Richard McEwan UCU NEC
Sean Wallis UCU NEC
Saira Weiner UCU NEC
Mike Forster Unison local government service group executive (SGE)
Huw Williams Unison local government SGE
Gary Freeman Unison health SGE

 

Date set for EU referendum – the Socialist view

Date set for EU referendum – the Socialist view

notobosses

For a Socialist Europe

David Cameron has announced that the EU referendum will take place on Thursday 23rd June. The months up until this date will see campaigns across the country advocating a leave or remain position.

What is the position of the Socialist Party?

The Socialist Party will be campaigning for a vote to leave the capitalist EU.

In a recent issue of our newspaper, The Socialist, we wrote

‘The Socialist Party opposes the EU because, as Greece showed (the EU enforced massive austerity on Greece which unfortunately has not been resisted by Syriza – Coventry SP), its laws and institutions, while they ultimately could not stop a determined workers’ government supported by a mass movement from carrying out socialist policies, are another hurdle to overcome. We oppose the EU, Cameron’s deal included, in order to defend working class interests and take forward the fight for socialism, in Britain and Europe.’

We will provide further comment over the coming weeks and months on the EU referendum, on our position and how we can build the fight against capitalism and support the struggle for a Socialist Europe.

For now, here are some links to articles which provide a useful resource of information

Cameron’s EU renegotiation charade

Don’t give taxpayers’ money to UKIP and Tory EU campaigners

Socialists and the EU referendum

No to a capitalist EU, yes to a Socialist Europe

Capitalists strangling Greece – article by a German Marxist

 

 

Lobby Coventry Council against cuts

Lobby Coventry Council against cuts

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UNISON members marching against austerity

Coventry TUC has organised a protest outside the council house on Tuesday 23rd, when Coventry Council will set the budget for the next year. The planned budget includes proposals to close libraries and reduce their opening hours, close Edgwick and Eagle St play centres, close public toilets and cut another 1000 council jobs.

UNISON, the largest union on Coventry Council, is calling on the council to pass a legal no-cuts budget, using the £84million+ the council has in reserves to avoid making cuts and to build a campaign to win more money for local services.

The protest is outside the council house from 1pm on Tuesday 23rd February.