​The election battle lines are drawn – the view from Nuneaton

​The election battle lines are drawn – the view from Nuneaton

We have received this article from a Socialist Party member in Nuneaton regarding the forthcoming general election. Readers may remember that Nuneaton was seen as a key marginal in the 2015 election.

The Labour and Conservative manifestos are hot off the printing press and for the first time in a number of years, there is a difference.

Both the Labour and Conservative manifesto offer a vision for Britain, one of society ran for the many and not the few, or one of continued austerity and misery for working class people but tax breaks for the rich.

This was clearly seen on The Andrew Marr Show recently, during a debate between John McDonnell and Damian Green. When discussing Labour’s proposed programme of what is in reality modest nationalisation, Green accused McDonnell of not understanding capitalism, McDonnell quipped back that clearly Green does as he had profited from the rip off that is our privatised water industry. Dead right John!

Whereas the Tories look at essential industries and just see avenues for profit and potential cash cows, Jeremy Corbyn sees essential services that should benefit everybody, be publicly ran, and not used to make a handful of people rich at the expense of the many.

However, the Labour manifesto, despite offering a change from the austerity politics of the Tories, and the austerity-lite policies of the Blair-Brown-Miliband years, falls short of providing a decisive break with capitalism, which we believe is the root of all our problems.

Labour’s plan to renationalise the railways, bringing back into public ownership rail services as current contracts expire, will still leave railways in the hands of private-profiteers for over a decade. The ‘nationalisation’ of the energy industry is a modest plan of setting up a publicly ran company to compete with the others, much like the plans for buss services. Although these are good steps, they fall short of the immediate, democratic nationalisation of key industries and still leave working class people to be exploited and forced to pay rip of prices for train tickets or choose between eating or heating.

Despite these plans being by historical standards very modest, they have been received by the right-wing press with mass hysteria. This is because the capitalist elite fear these modest gains for working people and fear the hopes that a Corbyn led government could give working class people. Whereas they have enjoyed 7 years of growth, with the wealth of the richest 1% of people increasing year on year- with a 14% increase last year alone according to the Sunday Times rich list the rest of us have faced falling living standards due to the cruel austerity politics of both the Tory-Lib Dem coalition and the current government. A Corbyn led government threatens to undermine this.

If given a taste of modest reforms under Corbyn, the ruling elites fear this could cause working class people to want more, which would threaten the vast amounts of wealth they have acquired while the rest of us have suffered. As the saying goes, “appetite grows with eating.”

Although Corbyn’s manifesto is modest, it offers an alternative way of doing things. Although the Socialist Party argues that Corbyn should be bolder, like Melenchon was during the French Presidential election, we back Corbyn and the change in direction he represents and are campaigning for a Corbyn victory.

Although we argue that Corbyn could be bolder with his policies and offer a break with capitalism, the battle lines of this election have been drawn and on election day we will have to choose which side we are on. Are you on the side of Corbyn and for a society that looks after the elderly, gives young people a chance at life with free education, ensures that more people are paid a wage they can live on with a £10hr minimum wage and seeks to change society to be run for the many and not the few? Or are you on the side of Tories and the wealthy elite, for continued austerity for us but tax cuts for wealthiest, for taking the food out of children’s mouths as free school meals are scrapped, or for the continued privatisation of the NHS?

However, whatever the result of the election, the battle for a fairer society and for socialism will still need to be fought. The Labour Party machine is still in the hands of the Blairites who seek to undermine Corbyn and the alternative he represents, especially in the West Midlands. There can be no more talk of ‘unity’ with these professional ‘Red Tories’ who have sought to take Labour back to the Blair-Mandelson days.

If you want to join this fight then stand with us, join the Socialist Party and get involved in the day to day campaigning we do. We support Corbyn and will be making the argument for a Corbyn-led government based on socialist policies.

£250m NHS cuts in Nuneaton and Warwick revealed

£250m NHS cuts in Nuneaton and Warwick revealed

George Eliot Hospital (pic: Cov Telegraph)

Today the Coventry Telegraph revealed that under the “Sustainability and Transformation Plan”, set to be officially announced on Tuesday, A&E, maternity and children’s care facilities will all be closed at Nuneaton’s George Eliot Hospital.

The Telegraph states that other headline changes include:

  • Closing the Accident and Emergency department at George Eliot Hospital as well as moving maternity and children’s care to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW).
  • Bosses also want more people to have babies at home, there will be restrictions on overweight people and smokers getting non-emergency surgery and increasing the time between hip replacements.
  • Cancer care is also in line to be reviewed.
  • Stroke care at Warwick Hospital and George Eliot is also set to be moved to Coventry

Further NHS cuts in Nuneaton and Warwick threaten services across the area, including in Coventry. Along with further privatisation this will undermine our health service – the NHS should be completely publicly owned and free at the point of use! Coventry and Nuneaton Socialist Party  has a proud history of fighting and helping to stop numerous attacks to the NHS and George Eliot Hospital, from both Tory and New Labour governments, and will continue to campaign to save NHS services.

We will be mobilising for the Health Campaigns Together “It’s Our NHS” demonstration in London on March 4th to bring together the many local campaigns fighting to save NHS services in their area.

If you would like to get involved, get in touch – fill in the form below!

Successful rally in Nuneaton in support of Jeremy Corbyn

Successful Nuneaton rally in support of Jeremy Corbyn

Showing support for Jeremy Corbyn

Showing support for Jeremy Corbyn

Supporters of the anti-austerity Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn rallied in Nuneaton town centre on Saturday morning to show support for his campaign to retain the leadership of the Labour Party.

The event, which was organised by Momentum Nuneaton and Red Labour North Warwickshire, was well attended and attracted the attention of shoppers who stopped to listen to the many excellent speakers.

Speaker after speaker drew applause in calling for support for Jeremy and highlighting the utter hypocrisy of those who seek to undermine his democratic mandate as leader of the party.  It was pointed out that the establishment are scared of Jeremy Corbyn due to the mass involvement of working class people. They fear that the movement being galvanised is a threat to their system. In our view, they are right to be worried – socialist ideas are coming back on to the agenda and are becoming more and more vital as the capitalist system means constant misery for the vast majority of people.

Paul Reilly spoke to the crowd and brought solidarity greetings from Nuneaton Socialist Party and the Nuneaton branch of the RMT trade union of which he is the branch secretary. He outlined how the Socialist Party supports Jeremy Corbyn and that the MPs opposing him are the same MPs who took the country in to the Iraq war, introduced university tuition fees and failed to oppose the Tory attacks on welfare. To applause he also reported how he had moved a motion at the recent RMT conference which was passed unanimously, to support Jeremy Corbyn.

Part of the Nuneaton branch of the Socialist Party

Part of the Nuneaton branch of the Socialist Party

This was an excellent event and the Socialist Party congratulates the organisers for putting it together. We look forward to discussing and working with all those who want to defend Jeremy Corbyn and to help advance the battle for socialist ideas.

Nuneaton Socialist Party are holding an open meeting – see details below. All welcome

Defend Corbyn – Fight the Blairites and Tories

Tuesday 26th July, 7pm, The Crown Inn, Nuneaton. FB event here

 

Hundreds protest across West Midlands against Tory Austerity Budget

Hundreds protest across West Midlands against Tory Austerity Budget

The Tories emergency budget on 8th July saw vicious attacks on huge sections of society. But one group particularly hard hit was young people. The abolition of student grants, attacks on our right to housing benefit and that under-25s will be excluded from the new so-called living wage, mean young people are facing an even more bleak and uncertain future. But Osborne’s cuts budget was met with resistance. Protests took place around the country. In the West Midlands, Youth Fight for Jobs and young members of the Socialist Party organised 6 events throughout the day.

Despite catching the only times during the day where it rained, protests were held in Wolverhampton and Nuneaton while the budget proposals were being announced. With Youth Fight for Jobs organised events taking place later on in the day in Stoke and Worcester as well.

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  Nuneaton Protesters

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Wolverhampton

Aidan from Nuneaton reported;“We had loads of good conversations with people who were disgusted with Tory austerity and happily signed petitions and took leaflets away about building the anti-austerity movement”

100 people also attended an early evening demonstration in Coventry, that marched from Broadgate Square to Coventry Council House. Linking the latest draconian austerity measures with the proposed attacks on Trade Union facility time by Coventry’s Labour Council.

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Coventry protesters march to the Council House

In Birmingham an energetic crowd over of over 300 people heard from numerous speakers of different ages, some being new to the experience.

A group photograph was taken in support of the Greek people, after which, everyone marched to the West Midlands BBC office. Chanting all the way, and gaining attention from passers-by, the march delivered a letter to the West Midlands BBC director requesting they present more anti-austerity coverage.

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Birmingham

YFJ’s lively stalls and their demands of a £10 an hour minimum wage, rebuilding public services and a 24-hour general strike were extremely popular. A short but vibrant rally included speakers from the RMT, CWU and Unison as well as YFJ and campaigners against cuts to local library services.

Overall, with a youthful and fresh feeling, the protests have added to the range of demonstrations held across the region and has received much positive feedback from people. Over 150 people signed up to be involved in YFJ’s future anti austerity campaigns across the West Midlands who had never participated in political activity before.

Dave Nellist thanks Coventry TUSC voters

Dave Nellist thanks Coventry TUSC voters

Former Labour MP and Socialist councillor Dave Nellist

Former Labour MP and TUSC National Chair Dave Nellist

TUSC’s National Chair and Coventry North West candidate, Dave Nellist, had the letter below published in the Coventry Telegraph.

“Could I use your columns to thank all those people across Coventry and Warwickshire who voted against austerity, and for a socialist alternative, on May 7th.

Candidates from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) received 4388 votes in the Coventry Council elections, and 3052 across the three city parliamentary constituencies. Whilst clearly not yet sufficient to win a seat, given we are a relatively young formation – only 5 years old – we feel well-placed to build in the future. We were also pleased with the warm response we received in Nuneaton, Kenilworth, Rugby and wider Warwickshire.

Thousands of people in our area will now be in fear of the misery that a new majority Tory government will mete out. Swingeing and fast tracked welfare and public spending cuts can be expected in the coming weeks, with even more pressure placed on fire, police and local council services.

A new party with a 100% anti-austerity stance is urgently needed. Trade unions which gave millions of pounds to Labour in the run-up to the election will now be questioning how best to prepare to deal with the attacks of the next 5 years. In my view that should include a serious debate over whether Labour, with its lack of any proper opposition to austerity, is still the best vehicle for the trade union movement.

Hundreds of new supporters have contacted TUSC nationally since Thursday. If you’d like to get involved in the building of a new party feel free to ring me on (024) 7622 9311.”

Do you want to build an anti-austerity party? Fill in the form below!