Dave Nellist debates TUC leader Frances O’Grady on the EU

Dave Nellist debates TUC leader Frances O’Grady on the EU

13219902_10157007517555457_1756590235_n

Dave on the Daily Politics

On the Daily Politics today Dave Nellist, former Coventry Labour MP and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) National Chair, debated the TUC General Secretary France O’Grady on the EU.

The TUC is campaigning for us to stay in the bosses EU, while Dave is leading the Socialist campaign for a leave vote. While Frances O’Grady praised the EU as a defender of workers rights, Dave pointed out that workers won those rights through trade union struggle.

Watch the clip below and please share – and if you want to find out more, come to The Socialist Case Against the EU meeting in Coventry on Thursday June 2nd, 7.30pm at the Methodist Central Hall.

Agree with Dave? Fill in the form below! 

 

Dave Nellist responds to Paul Mason on the EU

Dave Nellist responds to Paul Mason on the EU

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist, National Chair of TUSC

The below letter from Dave Nellist, former Coventry Labour MP and National Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), was carried in the Guardian in response to an article from left-wing journalist Paul Mason on the EU. Mason argued that there is a case for a left-wing anti-EU campaign – “Lexit” – but not now. Dave and TUSC argue that the time for an “exit left” campaign is now!

“Paul Mason outlines several of the powerful, socialist arguments for a Leave vote in the EU referendum (the left-wing case for Brexit, Guardian 16 May).

To Paul’s list could be added the EU drive for market liberalisation, or outright privatisation, of services such as rail, post, energy and water, as well as the threat to a publicly owned NHS that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership treaty (TTIP) poses.

But having explained how undemocratic and big business orientated the EU is – in effect, Thatcherism on a continental scale – Paul backs down and asks us to accept all that, because exit threatens a change of Tory leader. As if the marginal difference between David Cameron and Boris Johnson, in the context of all Paul has identified, is in any way fundamental.

David Cameron’s government was elected with only 24% support. It’s a government that is, in reality, weak and divided – maintained in office not by its own strength, but the weakness of the opposition, particularly at the top of the trade unions.

A Leave vote would topple David Cameron and further exacerbate the divisions inside the Tory party, not heal them. It could provide a perfect opportunity for Labour to demand not a mere change in Tory leader, but an immediate general election to choose a new government!

I campaigned in the past against the EU alongside labour movement giants like Tony Benn and Bob Crow, and I’m proud that TUSC is carrying on that struggle today, whilst faint hearts fall by the wayside.

Dave Nellist National Chair, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition”

daveandbob

Dave with Bob Crow at the launch of the No2EU campaign

If you want to find out more about the Socialist case for leaving the EU, come to “The Socialist Case Against the EU” meeting organised by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on Thursday 2nd June, 7.30pm at the Methodist Central Hall.

 

Tories weak and divided – step up the fight against austerity!

Tories weak and divided – step up the fight against austerity!

11180638_10153391379536757_835732954682646796_n

Young people protesting against Tory cuts to their future

We are pleased to carry the below article by Hannah Sell, the deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party. Hannah will be speaking at our post-election rally.

The right-wing media had been claiming that this year’s elections would prove it was unpopular to oppose austerity.

The Blairites in the Labour Party have sung from the same hymn sheet – predicting that Labour would lose a huge number of seats, resulting in Corbyn being forced out.

One right-wing Labour MP even told Kevin Maguire of the Mirror that, “a defeat for Labour’s London Mayor hopeful Sadiq Khan was a price worth paying if it triggered Corbyn’s downfall”.

But to the disappointment of the Tories and pro-austerity Labour MPs the elections showed not the popularity of austerity, cuts and privatisation but the growing anger against them.

At the time of writing not all elections have been counted but it is clear that the Tories have been decisively defeated in the London Mayoral contest and that Labour’s vote has held up in the English council elections.

In the year since the general election this government for the super-rich has escalated its attacks on the rest of us.

Austerity Myth

The myth that austerity was temporary and misery today would lead to plenty for all in the future has also been severely undermined. As a result increasing numbers of voters set out to express their anger at the polls.

However, there was no one party which voters used to protest against austerity. Instead anti-austerity anger was fragmented.

While many voted Labour others refused to do so because – while Jeremy Corbyn has correctly opposed austerity, saying it is a political choice – local Labour councillors and the Labour-led Welsh Assembly have passed on savage government cuts to local public services.

Right wing Labour councillors and Assembly Members that lost their seats will try and lay the blame at Corbyn’s door, but they did not stand on Corbyn’s policies, they stood on a pro-austerity programme.

That is why some voters showed their opposition by voting for what they saw as anti-cuts parties, whether that was Plaid Cymru in Wales, the SNP in Scotland, the Greens, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), or even in a distorted way for UKIP.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)

Unfortunately, all of those parties with the exception of TUSC, have implemented cuts when in power at local or national level.

TUSC, in which the Socialist Party participates, was alone in standing 100% opposed to austerity and cuts in public services.

TUSC is a coalition of socialists, trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners, including the transport workers’ union, the RMT, which stands in elections in order to oppose cuts and give workers a voice at the ballot box.

We wrote to Labour candidates before the elections urging them to take a clear anti-cuts stand and pledging not to stand against those that did so.

However, where Labour candidates voted for cuts – from library closures to bedroom tax evictions – we were prepared to stand against them.

The 58 Labour-led councils that had elections on Thursday hold over £4.5 billion in general reserves.

Pooling these would mean that no Labour council would have to make a single cut this year and could use the resulting breathing space to build a mass anti-austerity movement capable of defeating a weak and increasingly divided Tory government.

Tories Split

Split down the middle over Europe, the Tories have been forced to retreat on a whole number of issues; including now on the academisation of schools.

A powerful united movement could bring a halt of austerity and force the Tories to call a general election.

Building such a movement requires united strike action – building towards a 24 hour general strike – but it also requires creating a clear anti-austerity political alternative.

Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide election as Labour leader showed the potential for creating a mass anti-capitalist party.

Unfortunately, however, the majority of Labour MPs and councillors remain pro-capitalist and pro-austerity.

Labour is two parties in one: a pro-capitalist party and a potential workers’ party. Events of recent weeks show that no compromise is possible with the pro-capitalist wing – which is determined to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as soon as possible.

The election results do not give them the excuse they hoped for to move quickly, but they will act as soon as they can.

To defeat the right means starting to mobilise the currently fragmented anti-austerity mood in a mass, democratic movement.

To succeed this cannot be led by those who see the way forward within the narrow and undemocratic constraints of the existing Labour Party and whose approach is for endless compromise with the pro-austerity warmongers that dominate the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Instead it means building a movement – organised on federal lines – that brings together all of those workers, young people and community activists who have been inspired by Jeremy Corbyn and want to see a determined anti-capitalist party. The Socialist Party will do all we can to assist in the building of such a movement.

EU: In or out? Dave Nellist responds to Jeremy Corbyn

EU: In or out? Dave Nellist responds to Jeremy Corbyn

Dave Nellist, National Chair of TUSC

Dave Nellist, national Chair of TUSC

Dave Nellist, the national Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and a member of the Socialist Party, was recently invited on to Sky News to respond to the announcement from Jeremy Corbyn that he would be campaigning for a ‘Remain’ vote in the forthcoming EU referendum.

We are pleased to be able to post the interview with Dave, as a contribution to the debate that needs to take place about the best way forward for the left, the trade union movement and working class people.

Nellist battles Farage over EU referendum

Nellist battles Farage over EU referendum

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist, former Coventry Labour MP and National Chair of TUSC

The Coventry Telegraph recently carried a full page article by Simon Gilbert about the Socialist campaign, led by Dave Nellist, against the EU. Dave has also challenged UKIP leader and former banker Nigel Farage to a debate on the subject. Please read the article below and share!

Former Coventry MP Dave Nellist is taking on Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson in the race to lead the official “out” campaign in the run up to the European Union referendum.

Mr Nellist is fronting the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaign to leave the EU – a left-wing alternative to the Vote Leave campaign supported by Tory London mayor Mr Johnson and the Grassroots Out campaign backed by UKIP leader Mr Farage.

All three campaigns have submitted bids to the Electoral Commission who will decide on April 14 which will be chosen as the official campaign.

Ahead of the decision, Mr Nellist has challenged Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson to debate the issues around leaving the EU. Mr Nellist claims their campaigns can not be truly representative of the calls to leave due to what he perceives as vested interests with big businesses.

He said: “The Grassroots and Vote Leave campaigns, epitomised by Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, are the Tory Party within business.

“Working class people and trade unions have different priorities. If EU constructs prevent a successful British economy for workers, we should be opposed to them.”

He added: “Before the Electoral Commission makes it decision, let’s have a public debate: Who should be the voice of leave?

“Trade unionists and socialists, or bankers, Tories and ex-Tories?

“They can choose the venue – we don’t have to hold it in Port Talbot, Scunthorpe or Redcar if they’re too afraid to venture out of London – but let’s have the debate and see who really represents those millions of working class voters who will vote leave on June 23.”

The rewards for the winning campaign include access to a grant of up to £600,000, an overall spending limit of £7m, campaign broadcasts, free mailshots and free access to meeting rooms.

That has led TUSC to threaten the Electoral Commission with legal action if party bosses feel its bid has not been taken seriously.

Mr Nellist said: “We never make hollow threats. We have a large range of legal talent.

“We will have to wait and see how the process goes. We applied to have a verbal hearing with the Electoral Commission to make our submission, but that was turned down.

“They are considering our paper application along with the other two campaigns.”

Asked if he understood there might be some surprise at left-wing campaign to leave the EU, Mr Nellist said there was a long-running history of socialist opposition to EU membership.

He said: “I led the no campaign in Coventry during 1975. The Labour Party was opposed to the EU until the mid 1980s.

“If Tony Benn and Bob Crow were still with us, they would have led a trade union out presence.”

He added: “The view of most union leaderships is to stay, not to leave. But there will be significant sections who are against it at times like when they see it’s not possible for the British government to nationalise the steel industry because EU legislation says that would be state aid.”

Asked if he thought TUSC would have the resources to effectively deliver a national out campaign, Mr Nellist said: “We are the sixth biggest party in Britain.

“We stand in 125 towns and cities. If we were designated as the leave campaign, with the £600,000 funding that would follow, we could design and deliver leaflets to the vast majority of homes in the country. We are capable of doing campaigns of that size.”

He added that the party planned to run a left wing exit campaign even if they were not chosen as the official voice of Brexit.

‘Panama Papers’ scandal shows why UKIP & Tory EU outers can’t be the voice of Leave

DNupdated

Former Labour MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), one of three EU exit organisations vying for recognition from the Electoral Commission to be the official Leave campaign, today called on the Commission not to award official status to any group that has received funding from individuals or companies named in the ‘Panama Papers’.

Last week TUSC submitted what the BBC called a ‘surprise bid’ to be the designated Leave campaign in June’s EU referendum (click here for BBC article) against the Tory and UKIP dominated exit campaigns, Vote Leave and Grassroots Out.

Dave Nellist, a former backbench colleague of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is now the chair of TUSC, said:

“Designation as the official Leave campaign will give political authority to the group chosen, access to the media including TV broadcasts, and, not least, substantial public funding – £13 million for starters for a freepost mailing.

“It would be an outrage if taxpayers’ money went to organisations whose funders do everything to avoid paying tax!

“Ex-Tory donor and now UKIP member Aaron Banks, for example, one of the key funders of Grassroots Out, has been named in today’s Guardian as ‘appear[ing] as the shareholder of a British Virgin Islands company called PRI Holdings Limited’, with shares from PRI also reported as having been transferred to Elizabeth Bilney, the chief executive of Leave.EU. Vote Leave is also not short of wealthy business backers.

“At the very least the Electoral Commission should do a proper audit of the business backers of Grassroots Out and Vote Leave before they make their designation decision, even if that means disrupting the EU referendum timetable.

“Legally the Electoral Commission has to be satisfied that the campaign they choose ‘adequately represents’ those supporting a particular outcome in the referendum. Organisations funded by tainted money certainly wouldn’t meet that test.

“Alternatively, they can designate TUSC as the lead campaign for Leave.

“The Panama papers controversy, showing how the elite have a common interest in bending the rules for themselves, is another example of why either of the reactionary Leave campaigns will be too easily dealt with by the equally big business-dominated ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ Remain campaign, because they all operate within the same economic, political – and tax-avoiding – framework.

“TUSC, on the other hand, has a completely different standpoint and would provide an anti-austerity, anti-racist and socialist alternative to the EU that would offer a far greater challenge to the Remain campaign than Vote Leave or Grassroots Out ever could”.

Last Friday TUSC issued a challenge to Vote Leave and Grassroots Out for a public debate: ‘Who should be the voice of Leave? Trade unionists and socialists – or bankers, Tories and ex-Tories?’ Only now it should be, ‘Trade unionists and socialists – or bankers, Tories and tax avoiders’.

Coventry Socialists build support for junior doctors in Radford

Coventry Socialists build support for junior doctors in Radford

12909604_10156697417615705_8699592920462898652_o

Solidarity with junior doctors

Coventry Socialist Party hit the streets of Radford over the weekend, building support for the strike of junior doctors due to take place on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Setting up our our campaign table on Jubilee Crescent, there was a great deal of support for the junior doctors – people can see this is not just about junior doctors, but about the future of the entire NHS.

12888709_10156697416840705_7860269428980435419_o

Signing the petition

There is still a great deal of anger regarding the involvement of the Private Finance Initiatives (PFI AKA Profit From Illness) in the health service, a symptom of which is the extortionate car parking charges at Walsgrave hospital. Little wonder, when they are raking in over £2 million per year from people in the Coventry area!

Hundreds of leaflets were distributed outlining the case for the junior doctors and how the NHS can be defended. Numerous copies of our weekly newspaper The Socialist were also sold.

With the government split over the EU referendum and in crisis over the job losses in the steel industry, it is critical that the entire trade union movement supports the junior doctors not just in words, but in deeds, by organising co-ordinated industrial action including a 24 hour general strike.

The government can be beaten. We need to make it happen

EU referendum – new section of website launched!

EU referendum – new section on website launched!

Access the EU resources section

Access the EU resources section

Coventry Socialists are pleased to announce the launching of a new section on our website. The section will be added to over the coming weeks and months and will contain vital resources for those looking for which way to vote in the referendum due to take place on Thursday 23rd June, 2016. It provides some important background  and arguments on the Socialist case for a Leave vote.

The section can be accessed by navigating to the Menu bar at the top of the website.

 

Good riddance to IDS – time for all the Tories to go!

Good riddance to IDS – time for all the Tories to go!

Goodbye!

Goodbye!

Coventry Socialist Party celebrates the news that Iain Duncan Smith has resigned from his position as Work and Pensions Secretary. He states that the cuts to disability benefit were ‘not defensible’.

We find it highly unlikely that IDS has found a conscience – after all it is he who was overseeing savage cuts across the board to our welfare system prior to these latest proposed changes.

His decision represents a deep crisis in the Tory party which is also finding an expression with the leadership split over the EU referendum.

This is further example that the government is weak. The situation is crying out for organised mass pressure and resistance from working class people. The TUC needs to organise a mass national demonstration, not as a one off, but to prepare the ground for co-ordinated industrial action across the public and private sector, leading to a 24 hour general strike.

One Tory down, now let’s get rid of this whole government, build a mass fightback against austerity and for a socialist alternative to the nightmare of capitalism.

Please get involved by filling 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