Press release: Dave Nellist withdraws from general election

Dave Nellist withdraws from general election: press release

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist, National Chair of TUSC

Yesterday it was announced in the local press that Dave Nellist would not be contesting Coventry North West in order to support Jeremy Corbyn. In case you missed it, here is the full press release. We also invite you to our meeting tonight at 7.30pm, Methodist Hall


Dave Nellist, who has stood in the last eight general elections, six of them against Labour, has today announced he won’t be contesting Coventry North West in June in order to support Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister.

Mr Nellist, a former Labour MP who was a colleague of Jeremy Corbyn’s in Parliament in the 1980s, was expelled by Labour in 1992 over his opposition to the Poll Tax.  He sat on Coventry City Council as a socialist from 1998 to 2012.  He is now a member of the Socialist Party.

In an open letter being distributed amongst Labour Party members, Coventry Socialist Party says:

“We want to see the Tories defeated, and Jeremy Corbyn elected as Prime Minister. It is for this reason that we have taken the decision not to contest the general election this time.”

“Thousands of people regularly vote for us across the city at each election because they trust us to provide a socialist alternative to the mainstream parties. In this election we support the positive reforms being put forward by Jeremy – including an increase in taxes on the rich, increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour, the repeal of the anti-trade union laws etc.”

“We’ll be throwing ourselves into doing everything we can to get rid of this Tory government and making the arguments in favour of electing Jeremy Corbyn with socialist policies”.

Mr Nellist said today:

“I support Jeremy’s anti-austerity policies of higher wages, free university education, affordable house building programme, public ownership of the railways – and 4 more bank holidays! I want to see him elected Prime Minister on June 8th.”

“That won’t stop me continuing to oppose Labour’s local council programme of storing up tens of millions of pounds of reserves whilst libraries, nursery provision and youth clubs are underfunded and threatened with closure.”

“But we have a chance on June 8th to send Jeremy to No. 10 and we can’t do that if Coventry sends Tory MPs to Westminster.”

Mr Nellist is the national chair of TUSC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which stood 135 parliamentary candidates in 2015, making it the sixth largest party across Britain.

The TUSC national steering committee meets on 10th May in London and is expected to endorse no candidates at the June general election to maximise the opposition to the current government.

The Socialist Party is holding a public meeting at Coventry’s Methodist Central Hall on Wednesday, 10th May at 7:30 pm to further explain its stance.  The speaker will be Hannah Sell, Deputy General Secretary of the Socialist Party, who was a former member of the Labour Party National Executive in 1988/89.

Hundreds attend Corbyn rally in Leamington

Hundreds attend Corbyn rally in Leamington

Corbyn speaking in Leamington today

With little to no notice around 500 people gathered outside Leamington Town Hall today to hear Jeremy Corbyn speak. For an hour beforehand school, college and university students and workers streamed out from their lunch breaks on hearing the word that Corbyn was coming.

Such was the support for Corbyn that the road across the hall had to be temporarily closed in order to accommodate the ever growing numbers gathering either side of the road!

Corbyn spoke with his usual passion and highlighted the many policies that have inspired the sort of support he recieved today, such as a £ 10 an hour minimum wage, ban on zero hour contracts, and end to parking charges at hospitals, a massive affordable house building program and the creation of jobs and better services. 

Socialist Party members were inundated with interest with our leaflets and papers  making the call for a Corbyn and Labour to adopt a bold, socialist and anti-austerity programme – with mass rallies in every corner of the country that could galvanise and channel the anger and discontent that exists in society in a socialist direction. 

Today’s rally was built purely through word of mouth and social media, it gives a glimpse of what could be possible if Jeremy and all those that support him organised and built for huge mass rallies. Such events could inspire hundreds of thousands, if not milllions, and wipe out the threat of the Tories and UKIP in many areas and constituencies. 

It stands in great contrast to the defeat of Labour in the West Midlands Mayoral election last week, which showed up the utter failure of Blairism and the right wing of the Labour Party.

We will continue to give our support for the socialist policies of Jeremy Corbyn, and to build for the defeat of the Tories on June 8th! We have organised a public meeting on Wednesday this week at 7.30 in Coventry Methodist Central Hall, to discuss how we can get rid of the Tories and elect Jeremy on socialist policies

Agree and want to help? Get in touch – fill in the form below!

Get the Tories out – fight for socialism!

Get the Tories out – fight for socialism!

Labour leadership contest

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a rally in Newcastle 

After Theresa May’s surprise announcement today of a snap election on June 8th, the Socialist Party has produced the following statement. Please read and share – this election is a chance to fight the Tories and fight for socialism!

Theresa May has called a general election for one reason – not the reason she gave – but because of the government’s weakness in face of a rising tide of anger in British society.

Workers are suffering the most prolonged squeeze on wages since the start of the nineteenth century. Benefits cuts are leaving millions without enough money to feed themselves and their families. Last year a record 200,000 people were admitted to hospital suffering from malnutrition. Education and the NHS are facing life-threatening cuts. The housing crisis is acute. The new ultra-draconian anti-trade union laws are creating bitterness and frustration among trade unionists.

Far from being a strong government, May fears that, given the Tories’ wafer-thin majority in parliament, she could be overwhelmed by forced u-turns. In the first year of the government alone there were eleven, now – in order to try to prevent more – May has made the biggest u-turn yet. Having pledged not to call a snap election she has gone ahead and done so. This shows how capitalist politicians change the rules whenever it suits them.

Cameron and Clegg introduced the Fixed Term Parliament Act in order to try to shore up the Coalition government for five years, now May is over-riding it to try to strengthen a weak Tory government. She is gambling, based on current opinion polls, that she will win the general election with an increased majority and will then be more able to carry out her real programme – not the warm words about helping the ‘just managing’, but vicious austerity.

High risk for Tories

Her gamble is high-risk. The real poll will take place on 8 June, and a lot can happen between now and then. She is partly posing the election as a referendum on Brexit, hoping that the third of Tory voters who supported ‘remain’ will reluctantly continue to support her government. This is not guaranteed however – some may well switch to the pro-remain Liberal Democrats.

Moreover, the hated Tories are very unlikely to make significant inroads in Scotland. The Scottish National Party is not yet fully exposed and is likely to largely maintain its electoral base. Winning the Copeland byelection has probably given May hope that theTories can improve their position in the North of England. However, in both the Copeland and Stoke byelections the Tory vote actually fell in absolute terms. The Tories only scraped victory in Copeland because the Tory vote held up better than the Labour vote.

Globally the lesson of recent elections – from the US, to France, to the Netherlands – is that voters want to punish the capitalist establishment; and those parties and candidates that claim to be anti-establishment can have a mass appeal. Look at Melenchon in France, who by standing on a left programme, has soared to 19% in the opinion polls with a possibility that he will even go through to the second round. Jeremy Corbyn has already stated that Labour will not oppose the general election going ahead. Now he needs to launch an election campaign based on socialist policies that are relevant to working class people’s lives.

Policies for socialist change

It is clear that much of the pro-capitalist cabal at the top of the Labour Party will be secretly welcoming this election because they think Corbyn will be defeated and they can then replace him with some pro-capitalist pro-austerity leader. However, they could rue the day this election was called. If Corbyn fights on a clear socialist programme – for a Brexit in the interests of the working and middle-class – he could win the general election.

The policies that first thrust him into the leadership of the Labour Party would be a good beginning – an immediate introduction of a £10 an hour minimum wage, free education for all, mass council house building and nationalisation of the rail and energy companies. These should be combined with policies such as an immediate end to all cuts in public services and a pledge to immediately renationalise Royal Mail.

Jeremy should make clear that he would kick the privateers out of public services and education. He should pledge to introduce a real socialist NHS – a well-funded, comprehensive, high quality NHS, under democratic control, with care free at the point of use. These demands should be linked to the need for fundamental socialist change – for a society run in the interests of the majority instead of for the profits of a few.

Such an election campaign should not be limited to speeches and election broadcasts. The campaign to defend the NHS should be linked to the mass movement which began with the national demonstration on 4 March. Jeremy Corbyn spoke at that demonstration. Now he, together with the trade union movement and health campaigners, should call a second demonstration, during the election campaign, mobilising millions onto the streets against the Tories and in defence of the NHS.

Nellist to take fight to ‘Westminster establishment’

Nellist to take fight to ‘Westminster establishment’

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist

Yesterday it was announced on the website of the Coventry Telegraph that Socialist Party member Dave Nellist will be standing at the General Election in the Coventry North West constituency.

We are pleased to carry the full press release below. Our campaign will be unlike any other political party in this election. We will be taking a socialist and anti-austerity message to the people of Coventry North West. We will be saying that ordinary people did not cause this capitalist crisis and should not be made to pay for it.

Over the coming weeks we will be announcing details of Trade Unionist and Socialist candidates for the other two parliamentary seats, as well as for all 18 wards in the Council elections due on the same day.

 To make this as effective as possible we need your help

 We urge you to consider if you can help with the following –

  • Attend our election launch meeting on Weds 25th February, 7.30pm, Methodist Hall, Coventry City Centre (event page here)
  • Take leaflets to give to your neighbours, colleagues, friends, family – help us deliver leaflets in your area
  • Organise a meeting in your area of people who are interested in the campaign. If you are in a trade union or community group would you like Dave to address your meeting?
  • Make a donation, no matter how big or small. To get our message across costs money. We have no big business backers!
  • Display a poster in your window
  • Spread the word on social media (starting with sharing this article!)

There are many other ways you can help, get in touch by filling in the form at the bottom of this page if you can help or to get more information. We would also encourage you to join the Socialist Party. Nothing will ever change unless we get organised! To apply click here

FULL PRESS RELEASE

Nellist to take election fight to the “Westminster establishment”

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has announced that former Labour MP, Mr Dave Nellist, will contest the Coventry North West seat in May’s general election. TUSC was co-founded in 2010 by the late Bob Crow of the transport union, RMT, together with the Socialist Party and other socialist groups, to provide an electoral alternative for those opposing austerity. Mr Nellist, a former Labour MP and Socialist Party councillor in the city, said:

“If they win the general election the Tories intend to increase the pain of austerity. But Labour are no real alternative, as they have also signed up to similar levels of cuts. Frankly, it makes little difference which big party you vote for. What Coventry needs is an MP who will oppose austerity from whichever party it comes, and stand up for local people against the Westminster establishment.”

Mr Nellist believes TUSC offers a radical alternative to all the major parties in the general election. Key policies he intends to highlight in the election campaign include:

  • a 50% increase in the minimum wage to £10 an hour, so work pays without recourse to means tested benefits;
  • ending zero hour contracts and introducing new employment laws to give guaranteed hours and rights at work to all;
  • a major increase in building of affordable houses;
  • compulsory registration of private landlords and a cap on rents;
  • restoration of funding to local councils so essential services can be publicly provided again;
  • abolition of the bedroom tax, reversing cuts to benefits and restoring the real value of pensions;
  • tax the rich and end tax avoidance of wealthy corporations and individuals;
  • bring banks into genuine public ownership and under democratic control, instead of rewarding bankers with bonuses;
  • bring privatised public services and utilities, including rail, post and energy, back into public ownership;
  • for a democratic socialist society run in the interests of people not millionaires and based on democratic public ownership of major companies and banks so that production and services can be planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the environment.

Asked whether he would rather be fighting the sitting MP, Geoffrey Robinson, or the still to be totally quashed rumours that Tony Blair’s son, Euan, is still being lined up for the seat, Mr Nellist said:

“The last thing the people of Coventry North West need is an establishment lackey from the political classes parachuted in to our city. But whoever the Labour candidate is, I won’t need a map or a chauffeur to get around the constituency, because I live here.”

Mr Nellist, who was the Labour MP for Coventry South East from 1983 to 1992, was expelled from the Labour Party for his socialist views and consistent opposition to Tory policies such as the Poll Tax.  He famously only took the same wage as a skilled factory worker in Coventry, a commitment he has again made if elected.

Mr Nellist said today:

“People say that all the establishment parties are the same. They are right. If elected I intend only to take the average wage of a skilled worker in the city – less than half the wage MPs currently get. I’ve always believed MPs should be prepared to live exactly the same as ordinary people in ordinary jobs – not on a wage that insulates or isolates them from day-to-day problems.”

ENDS

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