The Audacity Of This Leaflet! Earlsdon Socialist Candidate Calls Out Labour Library Hypocrisy

Written by Adam Harmsworth, Socialist Party member and TUSC councillor candidate for Earlsdon Ward.

Thanks to Tory austerity passed on by the Labour council, Coventry’s libraries have faced closures, staff cuts, opening time cuts, funding cuts. Earlsdon library is one that had its funding cut, and Socialist Party members were part of the protests battling for it to remain open and fully funded.

Dozens of youth and library staff protest closures.

So. I’m quite surprised by the audacity of Labour’s Earlsdon leaflet, calling the library a ‘vital resource’ which has ‘done our community proud’.

I agree entirely, I just… wonder why a vital resource was subject to cuts and repeatedly had its future threatened over the past few years, by Labour?

The leaflet continues “Your local Labour team is focused on supporting the trustees”. Let’s remind Coventry Labour councillors of their record.

Labour’s Earlsdon leaflet, alleging their support for Earlsdon’s Library. Some audacity!

To quote from Coventry Telegraph directly: “In 2016 Coventry Council had given Earlsdon residents the option of running their own library voluntarily, or seeing it permanently shut” [read the article yourself here]

Then in July 2018 [yes less than three years ago!] the library nearly closed because the council demanded the former trustees cough up to lease the building back from the council! Even when a new group of volunteers got an agreement to keep things going, the article points out the severe lack of staffing and limited opening hours.

Sarah Smith, co-founder & full-time campaigner for Save Coventry Libraries, is TUSC candidate for Woodlands Ward for the 3rd time and has said the following:

“In January 2015, Coventry city council announced they were going to close every Library in Coventry.

Soon after this save Coventry Libraries campaign was formed by Sarah Smith, Nicki Downes & Jane Nellist. Since 2015, Save Coventry Libraries has been campaigning to save Libraries in Coventry. Unfortunately, the mobile service was scrapped. Arena Park Library was closed Earlsdon, Finham & Cheylesmore Libraries have been handed over to volunteers.

When Earlsdon library was handed over to volunteers, it was closed continually for about a year, when it did open it was only open a few hours on a weekday, also lacked stock. The government nor local Council have done research into the impact or sustainability of Libraries run by volunteers/ community groups. As a Campaigner I have conducted my own research & found the average lifespan of a volunteer/community group led Libraries are around 18 months.

Of course some break the model but almost all are closed for long periods, lack stock & have safeguarding concerns for example the volunteers having to work alone & have to wear a rape alarm. Save Coventry Libraries will campaign not only save Libraries but its Librarians.”

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The 2016 protest in front of Earlsdon Library when its future was threatened.

Its bare-faced hypocrisy from the council.

Lets put it simply – Coventry Labour council doesn’t really care about Earlsdon library. Or any of the libraries they’ve slashed funding to while keeping tens of millions of pounds in reserves and doing nothing to oppose the cuts from central government.

That’s exactly why anti-cuts campaigners are standing in the May council election under the TUSC banner.

There might not be any major cuts this year, but the council refuses to reverse the damage that has been done. And won’t do anything to prevent more cuts.

We don’t need empty platitudes and already-broken promises for our public services, we need political action to push back the decade of cruel austerity.

As our election leaflet says:

This election is a chance to elect councillors who’ll take the fight to the Tories and bosses.

Falsely, Labour councils pretend they have no choice but to make cuts demanded by government.

Unlike Tory-lite Labour councillors, socialist councillors will resist austerity rather than pass on cuts.

We’d be a voice for local people against austerity, greedy landlords, privatisation and closures.

If councils put up a fight, setting no cuts budgets, they could force yet another Tory U-turn and win the funding our communities desperately need.

Working people need a voice, a party of our own. The Socialist Party is part of the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) set up to enable trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to stand together against the pro-austerity establishment parties. It is a beginning – a step towards the kind of party we need to deliver a socialist alternative to austerity.

Come to the TUSC Local Elections Conference!

The Covid crisis has revealed many things about our society – including how the vast wealth that exists in the UK can be drawn upon to serve public needs when sufficient pressure is applied.
The Tory government – despite being based on Thatcher’s ‘the free market rules’ ideology – has made U-turn after U-turn against the background of growing anger and public outcry.

So many things ridiculed before as impossible or not realistic have been enacted, even if sometimes in a limited and incomplete way. At the start of the spring lockdown the government, in effect, nationalised the railways and other forms of transport to keep the system going. Over the course of one weekend councils were instructed to provide accommodation for all those living on the streets.
Now, it is true, homelessness is rising again and private companies are still embedded in the transport system.
But nonetheless such measures have demonstrated that, when under pressure, even a government of the rich can be forced into making huge concessions in the interests of ordinary people.
And local councils could play a leading role in building that pressure – if there were councillors in them prepared to fight!

Labour leads over 120 councils, with a combined spending power greater than the state budgets of 16 EU countries.
But Starmer’s Labour cannot be trusted to stand up for ordinary people. That is why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is preparing to stand across the UK this May in the many elections taking place.
Even one councillor in a local authority taking a stand, if they used their position in the council chamber to appeal to those outside, could give confidence to local trade unionists and community campaigners to fight.
A network of rebel councillors across the country could have an even bigger impact in fighting for what is needed to meet the Covid crisis.

Come to the TUSC local elections conference to be held on Zoom on Sunday 7 February to help organise a fightback at the ballot box this May – or whenever the elections take place.
Conference registration
You can register in advance for this meeting: http://bit.ly/TUSCconferenceregistration.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

You can also just login into the meeting on the day as usual but you will still be asked for registration details on entering the zoom meeting details.

So try and either pre-register or leave a few mins to fill out the online form.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82896595909?pwd=OVE5RjNmbjJJcG1vd0RxZ0JyQ2RkUT09
Meeting ID: 828 9659 5909
Passcode: 645766

Spread the word!
You can help build for the event, first by saying you are Going on our Facebook event: http://bit.ly/TUSCconf21
And then by inviting your friends and union and work colleagues, either on Facebook or by telling them about it.

A lot of people, especially trade unionists and young people, have been let down by Starmer’s Labour and are looking for a serious alternative.
We’re building that alternative in TUSC, and each extra attendee hearing from trade union and socialist representatives and learning how to get involved helps develop TUSC even further.

Peace and Justice Project article and Defend Corbyn Protest report

Since Jeremy Corbyn resigned as Labour leader, hundreds of thousands of people who supported him and his programme have had to question what the way forward is for socialist ideas. When Jeremy was suspended from Labour, this question rose to the fore again, and again when he launched the Peace and Justice Project.

Here you can find a response to the Peace and Justice Project by the Socialist Party’s General Secretary, Hannah Sell:

Peace and Justice Project – no way forward for socialism

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is holding its Local Election Conference on Sunday 7th February 11am to 1:30pm. This will be a fantastic opportunity to hear about the electoral fight against Starmer’s new New Labour. Click here for the Facebook event – there is a link to register in the Description.

Not heard of TUSC? Click here to find out more!


Below is a report from the protest in Coventry after Corbyn’s suspension.

Coventry Corbyn Solidarity Protest: stay and fight, or a new workers party?

By Michael Morgan, Coventry Socialist Party

On Tuesday the 3rd of November members of Coventry Socialist Party attended a protest organised by Coventry Labour Left in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn, following his suspension from the Labour Party. The protest was relatively small with around 30 in attendance, many of whom were members of left wing organisations involved.

Two approaches to the issue arose at the protest. All were in agreement that no, Jeremy Corbyn was not an anti-Semite, and that the capitalist media and the right wing of the Labour Party had led a concerted effort to smear him as such. Jeremy Corbyn was indeed one of the country’s most ardent fighters against racism.

However, some on the Labour left, as well as some from other left wing organisations that operate within the labour party, argued for their ‘stay and fight’ position. This included members of Coventry Labour Left, Zarah Sultana in the form of a message read on her behalf and others. These speakers argued that the Labour Party is a mass organ of the working class, and that the lefts best course of action would be to petition the general secretary of the party (right winger, Starmer backed David Evans) and even to vote in National Executive Committee elections to fight for Corbyn’s reinstatement!

The Socialist Party argues that these measures do not go nearly far enough. In effect this argument is one of continuing to feed the mouth that bit you. To plead to the functions of the Labour Party and its officialdom to right a wrong they committed regardless of the actual findings of the EHRC report or of the Labour party’s rules is a strategy doomed to fail; if Starmer cared for the rules Corbyn would still be in the party!

This is why the Socialist Party argues for a new workers’ party through the Trade Union Socialist Coalition, a political party made up of local campaigners, activists and trade unionists. Labour is not a party of the working class. Jeremy Corbyn presented a great opportunity to democratise the party’s structures, to institute mandatory reselection and to reform Labour councils like the one in Coventry, which charges SEND pupils up to £600 per year to get to school. Yet this opportunity was not taken, and at some point that goes from being a political mistake to being politically disastrous as Corbyn has seen.

We need real working people to take political control and believe this is better done through a mass workers’ party than through Starmer’s Labour. We spoke at the protest to outline this message and handed out leaflets and sold several papers to passers by who took an interest in our ideas. 


Help us bring the challenge to Starmer’s Labour and build a new mass workers’ party!

You might be thinking about joining the Socialist Party, and the best step towards that is clicking below for a sign up form.w

Or at the moment you might be more interested in helping real anti-cuts campaigners challenge pro-austerity Blairite councillors in the May elections. The best step towards that is supporting TUSC!