A tale of two events – Gordon Brown and Jeremy Corbyn

A tale of two events – Gordon Brown and Jeremy Corbyn 

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stands in front of a Jump Jet Harrier fighter plane as he addresses Labour supporters at a rally in the Engineering Building of Coventry University

Gordon Brown

Former New Labour Prime Minister and Chancellor Gordon Brown spoke in Coventry today at an event organised by West Midlands Labour Party. The event stood in stark contrast to the 500 strong public street rally where Jeremy Corbyn spoke in Leamington Spa earlier in the week.

Brown spoke to a closed meeting of Labour Party members and media only audience that required ID to attend! In Leamington police had to close roads in the town to allow people to hear Jeremy speak due to the huge numbers gathering, while police and security surrounded the building where Brown spoke, was this to keep people out?

Brown was here to speak about protecting manufacturing jobs in Coventry and the UK. While Thatcher and the Tories began the slow destruction of car manufacturing in Coventry, New Labour under Blair and Brown continued it. There was no mention of the closures of Jaguar, Ryton or Massey Fergusons among many other closures under New Labour – or these interesting figures from Coventry and Warwickshire councils:

“Manufacturing: significant decline of 42,360 jobs in total over the ten period (1998-2008). The largest element of this decline was in the manufacturing of motor vehicles (-14,400 jobs, mostly in Coventry and Solihull); manufacturing of fabricated metals (-6,900, mostly in Warwickshire); and the manufacturing of machinery & equipment (- 5,030, mostly in Coventry).”

In speeches that lasted around an hour neither Brown nor Geoffrey Robinson even managed to mention Jeremy Corbyn, his policies, or winning a Labour government. Instead the focus was on electing local MPs to “stand up” to Theresa May and get her to “change her policies”. This is yet another demonstration of the failure of the Labour right which could harm the prospects of Jeremy being elected. Wherever Jeremy speaks, hundreds or even thousands come out to hear him often at very short notice.

The anti-austerity policies that he is putting forward inspire and enthuse people. This is the way to win support, not the tired methods of the Labour right which paved the way for the defeat in the recent mayoral election.

 

 

Coventry Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson fails to oppose Saudi war in Yemen

Coventry Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson fails to oppose Saudi war in Yemen

Millionaire Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson didn’t oppose the Saudi bombing in Yemen 

By a resident of the Coventry North West constituency

Over 100 Labour MPs shamefully abstained in Parliament this week on a motion opposing the Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign in Yemen. The motion was proposed by Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Emily Thornberry – the abstentions should be seen as another blatant attempt to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

The motion was not explicitly anti-war, and only called for a suspension of UK support for the bombing while an investigation takes place into whether the Saudi-led coalition has committed war crimes. Just one Tory MP supported the motion, with the rest unsurprisingly underlining their credentials for putting the interests of the arms traders and establishment before the interests of ordinary people in the Middle East and UK.

Despite the mild nature of the motion, even this was not acceptable to the the right, who disgracefully used the situation in Yemen as a political tool to attack Corbyn.

When Jeremy was re-elected he said he wanted the party to unite, and that he would “wipe the slate clean” and work with the plotters. After yet another deliberate plot to attack him, it has to be said that talk of unity with the right wing will only create further difficulties for those seeking to build an anti-austerity Labour Party. If Labour MPs can’t even support a mild motion like this, what are they in Parliament for? The vote this week once again shows the need for mandatory reselection for elected representatives of the Labour Party. We need MPs who, unlike Geoffrey Robinson, will put the interests of ordinary people first.

Do you agree? Are you disgusted by Geoffrey Robinson’s actions? Get in touch!

Thank you for voting Socialist!

Thank you for voting Socialist!

Vote TUSC!

We’d like to thank all the people across Coventry who voted against austerity and for a socialist alternative yesterday. TUSC candidates received 4388 votes in the council elections and 3052 in the three parliamentary seats – a total of 7440 votes for Socialist candidates.

A full analysis of the election results will follow. TUSC candidates will continue our campaigns against the cuts, and we urge you to get involved!

Did you vote TUSC? Let us know! 

Geoffrey Robinson to stand down?

Geoffrey Robinson to stand down?

Millionaire Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson

Millionaire Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson

Commenting on the rumour of the possible resignation of Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson, Dave Nellist, himself a former Coventry MP and now TUSC candidate for the constituency, said:

“It comes as little surprise that stories are appearing about Geoffrey Robinson standing down, or that local people face the imposition of an outside candidate, I predicted this some months ago.

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 chaffeur to get round the constituency, because I live here.

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, 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.

Let’s see whether Labour’s new candidate is coming to share the life and problems of Coventry people, or to use us as a rung on a career ladder to Westminster.”

Agree with Dave and want to help the Socialist campaign? Fill in the form below!

 

 

Dave Nellist outlines the socialist view on the HSBC tax evasion scandal

 

Dave Nellist outlines the socialist view on the HSBC tax evasion scandal

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist

Over recent days we have received dozens of emails from residents of the Coventry North West constituency regarding the HSBC tax evasion scandal. The emails were sent to all candidates that have announced they are standing in the General Election via the 38 Degrees campaign website. The Socialist Party welcomes the opportunity to state our position on this, and if you agree with our response please fill in the form at the bottom of the article. Remember nothing will change unless we get organised!

The email that was sent to us is below, followed by the response from Dave Nellist

Dear Dave Nellist, Parvez Akhtar, and Mr Geoffrey Robinson MP,

I’m concerned about the recent revelations that HSBC has been helping the super-rich dodge their tax, and that the government has not been acting to stop this.

As a prospective parliamentary candidate in my area, can you let me know what you pledge to do to crack down on tax dodging and prevent scandals like HSBC from happening again?

Response from Dave

It is an absolute disgrace that these individuals and companies have behaved in this way, whilst at the same time ordinary people in Coventry and across the country face austerity cuts that will see levels of public spending taking back to the 1930s.

We only have to pose the question that if these millionaires and billionaires had paid their taxes, how many of the cuts that are due to take place in Coventry could be avoided? For example our libraries, lollipop ladies, community and children’s centres which are all under threat to name just a few key services.

The rich have got away for this for far too long, little surprise perhaps when successive governments have been so friendly to big business at the expense of the majority of us. As we have seen there are a number of Tory donors who have been caught up in this, and of course Labour have come out recently and said they are “furiously, passionately, aggressively pro-business”, so I do not think they can be trusted to act.

Linked to this is the ability to collect tax. In the last few years the government has axed between 38,000 and 40,000 jobs in Revenues and Customs as it carries out its swingeing cuts in the public sector. It has also closed tax offices meaning HMRC no longer has an network of local offices to provide advice and ensure tax compliance across the UK. How can any present or future government (Labour or Conservative) say they are serious about collecting tax and stopping the obscene tax avoidance if it sacks the very people who are able to collect it?

The Socialist Party, which is standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in this election, will support and demand measures that close all tax loopholes and tax havens.  We will fight for the rich to pay more tax and would support any measures such as a ‘Robin Hood / Tobin’ tax. We will also campaign for the cutbacks in Revenue and Customs to be reversed to enable tax dodgers to be pursued. We also think we do not have a progressive tax system in this country, which is something we would fight for.

However we think there are also wider issues here. 

I suspect the only thing that makes HSBC different, is that they got caught! The whole banking system is rotten, based on gambling and speculation. If I put £5 on a horse in the 3.30, and it came in last, you would not be expected to refund my gambling. But that’s what the banks have got away with. Unprecedented gambling and speculation which spectacularly crashed in 2008, and triggered the recession that so many ordinary people are still suffering from. The whole banking system needs reorganising and rationally planning. But you can’t plan what you don’t control, and you don’t control what you don’t own. Large amounts of Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland are in public ownership, but not under democratic control. Nationalisation should be extended to the whole banking system and tight regulation then enforced in the interests of the millions not the millionaires.

Britain is not a poor country as this scandal illustrates. The problem is we have an economic system, backed up by the main establishment parties, which means vast wealth is concentrated at the very top. The key point is that the minority at the top own and control this wealth, whilst most of us struggle to get by. We think we need a radical change, whereby ownership and control of the main resources in society are put in the hands of ordinary people, and human need (such as the NHS, decent housing and free education) are put before private greed.

Thank you for contacting us and taking the time to read this response. I would encourage you to come to our election launch on Wednesday 25th February, 7.30pm at the Methodist Hall, bottom of Hertford Street where I and others will outline the socialist challenge in this election.

If you want to read more about our campaigns and policies please visit the websites at the bottom of this email, and if you would like to talk about the issues I have raised please call our campaign hotline on 07530 429441 or feel free to respond to this email.

Kind regards

Dave Nellist

www.coventrysocialists.com

www.tusc.org.uk

www.socialistparty.org.uk

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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