Why I’m standing for TUSC in Bablake

 

Why I’m standing for TUSC in Bablake

Dan Crowter (right) quizzing a Labour Councillor over support for their support for the cuts

Dan Crowter (right) quizzing a Labour Councillor over their support for the cuts

Dan Crowter is our candidate in Bablake ward. Here he explains why he is standing in the local election on Thursday 5th May. Dan is 23, works in a call centre and is a member of the UNITE trade union.


I stood as a Socialist candidate in Bablake ward last year to put forward a socialist, anti-austerity alternative in that election. At that time Labour were running candidates in elections across the country,  putting forward plans for deep cuts in services that were as bad as Tory plans. The Labour candidate last year, David Kershaw, represents everything wrong with the right wing of Labour – a man who has proposed closing libraries and cutting school transport for disabled children!

This year, though, Jeremy Corbyn is leading the Labour Party, and has said he opposes austerity measures. With that in mind, we wrote to every Labour candidate in the city asking them to meet with us to discuss how we can fight the cuts together – as we have done previously. Unfortunately none of them were willing to discuss with us.

I think people in Coventry deserve Councillors who’ll stand up for them, rather than cutting their services.

The Tory cuts planned in Coventry will devastate services – and we need to fight them. That’s why I’m standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition as an anti-cuts candidate.

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TUSC candidates sign 38 Degrees NHS pledge

TUSC candidates sign 38 Degrees NHS pledge 

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38 Degrees campaigners with election candidates including from TUSC

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates attended an event organised by the 38 Degrees campaign against the privatisation of the NHS. Despite Labour’s claim to oppose privatisation, no Labour candidates turned up – nor did any Tories, Lib Dems or UKIP.

The TUSC candidate for Foleshill, Jim Hensman, said “Labour thinks private companies in the NHS should be allowed to make 5% profit – that’s not good enough. TUSC would kick all private companies out of the NHS, and have a fully publicly owned National Health Service, free at the point of use.”

Despite TUSC’s support of 38 Degrees’ stance on a number of issues, including opposing TTIP and NHS privatisation, 38 Degrees have unfortunately refused to include TUSC on their “Vote Match” quiz which shows people which party they most agree with on some issues. This is particularly disappointing given the policies and campaigns of TUSC.

We applaud the work of 38 Degrees for the work they have done in raising awareness of a number of issues, and the local activists from 38 Degrees who work hard to promote some excellent causes, and we will continue to support this where we can. We urge 38 Degrees nationally to start including TUSC in their election campaign – after all, we are standing over 800 candidates in the local and general elections!

Want to help kick private companies out of the NHS? Fill in the form below to get involved!


Why I’m standing for TUSC in Bablake

 Why I’m standing for TUSC in Bablake

Dan asks a Labour cllr to vote against the cuts

Dan asks a Labour cllr to vote against the cuts

A number of our election candidates are writing short articles to explain why they’re standing for TUSC. Our candidate in Bablake, Dan Crowter, wrote this. Please read and share!

When Labour councillor David Kershaw announced the council’s plans to close almost all Coventry libraries, adult education services, children’s centres and more, I was stunned. How can a former head teacher, who was even a member of the National Union of Teachers, justify these cuts? They will damage children’s lives, their education and their future.

Not only that, how can he even suggest cutting transport for disabled children when he’s a governor at a special needs school, Alice Stevens (now Riverbank Academy)? For anyone to cut that essential service would be disgusting, but as a governor at a special needs school Cllr Kershaw should know and understand its importance even more.

As a young parent, and carer for someone with special needs, I know the value of these services first hand – and unlike Cllr Kershaw, I would never vote to cut them. I’d fight tooth and nail to preserve them, along with all the other services that the people of Coventry use and rely on.

Being let down by Labour councillors is nothing new, but a former teacher knowingly cutting services that will seriously affect children is shocking. That’s one of the reasons I’m standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Bablake, against Cllr Kershaw. I think the people of Coventry deserve better than councillors who pass on the cuts “with heavy hearts” – we need representatives who’ll actually stand up and fight them!

Do you want to get involved in the Socialist election campaign? Fill in the form below!

Hundreds march in Coventry against cuts to local services

Hundreds march in Coventry against cuts to local services

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Coventry Against The Cuts march through the City Centre

Between 2-300 people marched through Coventry on Saturday 21st in a protest against enormous cuts to local services. The march, organised by Coventry TUC and Coventry Against the Cuts, united activists from a variety of trade unions and community campaigns. Flags and banners from Unison, Unite, FBU, NUT and other unions, as well as placards from “Save Our Libraries” campaigners showed the wide range of people who marched.

Many speakers concentrated on Coventry’s Labour council’s role in implementing Tory cuts. Socialist Party member Nicky Downes, Coventry NUT President, called for councillors to “stand up and fight”.

A Unison member who works in a library gave an impassioned speech outlining the current situation which received a loud response from the crowd.

An official from the FBU brought support from his union which was greatly appreciated – firefighters are on strike on Wednesday from 7am for 24 hours in their battle with the government.

Coventry’s Labour Council has already been forced to give some concessions to protesters such as delaying the planned cuts to disabled children’s transport and library closures for a year. This has been the result of campaigning by community groups and unions (especially Unison) across the city including thousands signing petitions and organised protests. Members of the Socialist Party and TUSC have played a role in this for example in Tile Hill and Stoke. The key thing is that protest clearly works!

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Picture from Coventry Telegraph

The budget proposals still include plans to close or reduce many vital services, including youth centres, community centres and even public toilets.

As Dave Nellist pointed out, the council has £81million+ in reserves that they could use to fund services while building a campaign against cuts alongside the people of Coventry, to demand central Government gives our city the money we need for decent services. If our Labour councillors won’t do that, we should replace them with people who will.

One of the most lively groups on the march was a section of young Socialists, including students from Coventry and Warwick University and local sixth forms, many of whom wore bright “£10 Now” shirts to support the campaign for a £10 an hour minimum wage.

There are a number of anti-cuts events this week in Coventry, please get along and show your support for the fight against austerity!

40 people join protest against library closures

40 people join protest against library closures

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Protesters outside Earlsdon Library

Around 40 people protested against library closures outside Earlsdon Library on Thursday in a vibrant demonstration of opposition to the council’s planned cuts.

Many children from Earlsdon Primary School came to the protest with their parents, which shows the depth of feeling in the community – this is echoed across Coventry, particularly in Tile Hill where over 900 people have signed the petition against the closure of the library,

Socialist Party member and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition activist Dan Crowter spoke at the protest to advertise the anti-cuts march on February 21st, and finished by saying that if the councillors aren’t prepared to fight the cuts we should replace them with people who will.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition activist Jason Toynbee on the protest

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition activist Jason Toynbee on the protest

Protesters will be outside Stoke Library at 10am and Earlsdon and Tile Hill Libraries at 12midday on Saturday 14th February, and will be holding a “read-in” outside the Council House at 4.45pm on February 23rd. There is also a major anti-cuts march in Coventry on February 21st, gathering outside the Transport Museum at 12 midday.

Coventry Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Election Launch – 7.30pm, February 25th, Methodist Central Hall

Coventry Socialist Students continues to grow

Coventry Socialist Students continues to grow

Socialist Students stall at Cov Uni Refreshers

Socialist Students stall at Cov Uni Refreshers

Coventry Socialist Students have further built our profile at Coventry University following a successful week of campaigning and activity.

We began the week with a public meeting on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, which around 15 students came to. We discussed the attacks and how socialists should respond to terrorism and Islamophobia. In addition we made plans to build our presence on campus, especially our flagship Housing Campaign.

On Tuesday our four Student Councillors attended the SU council meeting, and all four were nominated to various committees within the SU. We will use those platforms to stick up for ordinary students, and of course to build Coventry Socialist Students (CSS). Crucially, Kristian Sucilla O’Sullivan, Sam Kempster and Mohammed Wurie were all nominated for the Housing Committee, giving us a great opportunity to keep fighting for decent housing and against dodgy landlords and letting agencies.

Sam said ”Coventry Socialist Students are the foundation and support beams of the housing campaign and that’s never going to change, however it’s a really positive step that the campaign has been taken on by the SU and that the steering committee is comprised of both CSS councillors and SU Sabbatical Officers”.

A number of our members attended an open meeting of the lecturers union (UCU) on Wednesday, along with the National Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Dave Nellist, to continue forming links between staff and students at the university. The meeting was held by the Coventry UCU branch to bring together lecturers and workers from across the faculties under one roof to point out and discuss some of the serious problems going on behind the academic scenes.

Kristian speaking to UCU meeting on behalf of Coventry Socialist Students

Kristian speaking to UCU meeting on behalf of Coventry Socialist Students

Kristian spoke to the meeting to bring solidarity from CSS: “Students and lectures alike are being exploited in a variety of ways, from students facing overpriced sub-standard accommodation to lecturers being forced into working overtime by taking on extra admin workloads. We want to work with the UCU to bring together both these exploited groups in united struggle and point towards the real problem – the bosses upstairs.”

Protest against cuts to local services

Protest against cuts to local services

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Despite the pouring rain, around 40 people joined the lobby of Coventry Council on Tuesday 13th to challenge councillors over their planned budget cuts. The cuts will mean every service outside the City Centre is under threat of closure – every library, community centre and even public toilets!

Members of unions such as Unite, Unison, NUT and the FBU were represented, as well as Coventry Trades Council. Socialist Party members and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates were also at the lobby.

Dan Crowter, who stood for TUSC in Bablake ward in the 2014 local elections, said “The councillors tell us they’re making these cuts with a heavy heart. Well I’ve got a heavy heart too – but after these cuts and council tax rises, I’ll have a lighter wallet as well.”

Jane Nellist, Branch Secretary of Coventry NUT (personal capacity), attacked the council’s decision to cut libraries, pointing out their importance to the community and also for children as they provide them books and a safe space to read. She ended by saying that “we didn’t create this crisis, we’re not going to pay for it!”

Former Labour MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist, national chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, called on the council to use the £81 million they have in reserves and build a campaign against the cuts. He also said the council should be flooded with petitions challenging every service closure so the council know people are opposed to their cuts.

There will be a Coventry Against the Cuts march through the City Centre on February 21st, to put more pressure on the council before the budget vote on the 24th. If, as expected, Coventry’s councillors choose to vote for the planned cuts and decimate our services, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates will stand in every ward across the city to provide an anti-cuts alternative in May.