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!

 

 

Labour councillors approve £15 million of cuts

Labour councillors approve £15 million of cuts

Dave Nellist presents petition calling on Council to fight the cuts

Dave Nellist presents petition calling on Council to fight the cuts

Labour controlled Coventry City Council this afternoon voted through a budget that will see £15 million of Tory cuts passed on to the people of Coventry, meaning vital services and jobs will be lost. Rather than put up a fight against cuts from Tory central government, the Labour Council have surrendered without a fight despite calls from local unions to do otherwise.

Dave Nellist of the Socialist Party and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition presented a 1,500 strong petition earlier in the day which was rejected by the Council – see this piece in the Coventry Telegraph for report.

In the coming days we will be doing a more detailed report.

Socialists joined a protest lobby of the Council meeting and will be hosting an election launch rally details as follows –

Wednesday 25th February

7.30pm Methodist Hall, Coventry City Centre,  Cv1 2HA

TUSC supporters

TUSC supporters

Two dates for your diary – major protest against the cuts and TUSC election launch!

Two dates for your diary – major protest against the cuts and TUSC election launch!

TUSC election launch

TUSC election launch

Anti austerity campaigners in Coventry are working hard to build for two key events taking place in the city next month. See the bottom of this article for details of both. The first is a major demonstration called by Coventry TUC, Coventry against the Cuts and local trade unions against the proposed cuts by Coventry City Council which will see the closure of vital local services such as community centres, local libraries and children’s centres. This takes place on the Saturday before Councillors vote on the cuts budget – we need to show our opposition. Make sure you are there and bring as many people as possible with you!

Shortly after this demonstration the Socialist Party and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will be holding the launch event for our election campaign. Speakers will include Dave Nellist, local trade unionists and campaigners. TUSC will be the only socialist and anti-austerity alternative in these elections – come to our launch to find out how you can get involved.

Coventry against the Cuts demonstration

Saturday 21st February, 12pm. Assembly point to be confirmed. For Facebook event page click here. If you want leaflets to help build for this event contact the campaign on coventryagainstthecuts@gmail.com

TUSC election launch meeting

Wednesday 25th February, 7.30pm. Methodist Hall, Coventry City Centre, CV1 2HA. For Facebook event page click here. To get more information about the campaign call or text 07530 429441

 

 

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

GET INVOLVED, CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO HELP!

Coventry Council Scrap Planned Cuts to Disabled Children’s Transport

Coventry Council Scrap Planned Cuts to Disabled Children’s Transport

Protestors outside the Council House

Protestors outside the Council House

Coventry Council announced today that disabled children’s transport to school will continue to be funded for at least another year, after protests over the planned cuts.

Over 50 people protested last month outside the Council House, including Socialist Students and TUSC activists as well as members of Warwick for Free Education. The protest was organised by community campaigner and DPAC member Eleanor Lisney.

This victory shows that protest and pressure works, and councils can be forced to back down over planned cuts – however, as the funding has only been guaranteed for another year it shows the importance of keeping that pressure up, both in terms of protest and electoral challenges to councillors who continue to vote for cuts.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students

It is urgent that the Council use the £80million+ reserves to stop any cuts to buy time to build a mass fightback in the city, linking up with other councils, to demand proper funding from central Government.

Protest against Labour’s plans to cut transport for children with disabilities

Protest against Labour’s plans to cut transport for children with disabilities

Protestors outside the Council House

Protestors outside the Council House

Around 60 protesters lobbied Coventry Council today in protest at their planned cuts to disabled children’s transport to school. These cuts could leave many children unable to get to school, as many families may be unable to pay for the transport required. Activists from the Socialist Party,the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students attended the demonstration, which was organised by Eleanor Lisney, a local campaigner and member of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC). Coventry’s Labour Council is choosing to carry out Tory cuts rather than fighting back and passing a budget that meets the needs of the people of Coventry.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Socialist Students

They should use some of the £81million they have in reserves to fund services temporarily, while building a campaign with service users, trade unions and community groups to demand central Government provides the money to fund the services we need.

For coverage in the Coventry Telegraph click here

Reject the pay proposal!

Reject the pay proposal!

An appeal to all members of GMB, UNISON and UNITE….Reject the pay proposal! Restart the industrial action to win fair pay!

Reject the pay proposal!

Reject the pay proposal!

The following is the text of the Issue 20 of The Cov Council Socialist – a bulletin produced by and for local authority workers in Coventry

By a union steward at Coventry City Council

Tuesday 14th October should have seen over 1 million council workers take industrial action in the campaign to win a fair pay deal. This was due to be part of a 3 day programme of industrial action, with colleagues in the NHS taking action on the Monday, UCU members in Further Education (UCU also stopped their strike) as well council workers on Tuesday and PCS in the Civil Service on Wednesday.

Just a few days before our action started, the leaderships of GMB, UNISON and UN ITE agreed to suspend the action because the Labour controlled Local Government Association (LGA), our employers, had made a new proposal.

The new ‘offer’ is an ‘indecent proposal’

We believe that to suspend the action was a mistake for a number of reasons. The proposal does not go anywhere near solving the chronic problem of low pay in local government. Years of real term pay cuts have seen us get worse and worse off. The proposal is still not a formal offer, and they want to give us 2.2 per cent over two years. This actually leaves us worse off this pay year (2014-15) than the “derisory” 1% offer from the employer we took action over in July and costs the employer less. In January 2015, 2.2% will be added to all pay spines to last until 31 March 2016. It’s a cunningly presented two year response to a one year pay claim attempt to buy off and shut up low paid council workers in the run up to a general election.

A 2 year deal designed to avoid any pay disputes in the first year of a potential Labour government? Pay cuts hurt whether they are from a Tory or Labour government / LGA!

It would be a big mistake for us to accept a 2 year pay deal, particularly one that is so sub-standard. The proposal appears to want to put the issue of pay well and truly off the agenda until 2016. The rate of inflation could easily go up, but our pay would be stuck. This means we would continue to experience a fall in our standard of living, and keep things ‘nice and quiet’ for Ed Miliband in the first year of a Labour government. This is wrong firstly because it is by no means certain Labour will get elected, and secondly they have already stated they will be signing up Tory spending plans. Union members need to come before the interests of a Labour Party which supports Tory austerity. Once again this shows the need for the unions to break the link with Labour.

Reject the proposal and restart the action

We all know that although the strike on 10th July was about pay, in reality it was also about the attacks on our jobs, terms and condition and the defence of public services.  It is always a difficult decision to strike however we were left with no alternative and in most areas the strike was well supported. Preparations had been made for 14th October and by suspending the strike the union leaderships have shown weakness and we risk losing momentum and the chance of co-ordinated action with other public sector unions.

Socialists in the council unions will be campaigning for the maximum possible rejection of the proposal and for the restarting of the action. Linked to this, we need to campaign to transform our unions in to democratic, combative organisations that are prepared to lead a concerted and bold fight against pay cuts and austerity.

If you agree with the above, we urge you to get in contact with us to help campaign to get the proposal rejected and to help build the voice of socialism in the unions. Please fill in the form below

Independence referendum in Scotland – resources from Coventry Socialist Party

Independence referendum in Scotland – resources from Coventry Socialist Party

Vote Yes and fight for socialism

Vote Yes and fight for socialism

This Thursday will see people in Scotland go to the polls and voting Yes or No to independence. The Yes campaign has gained rapidly in the polls in recent weeks which has sent the UK establishment and their political representatives in the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems in to hysterics.

But what does it all mean? Will independence be a step forward? What is the role of the SNP and Alex Salmond? What is the best way to combat ‘project fear / project terror’ from the ‘Better Together’ No campaign? What will happen to workers in the rest of the UK? What is the role of Socialists in Scotland in this referendum? These are just a few of the many questions being asked by people.

Coventry Socialist Party have compiled this selection of links to help people through the fog of misinformation in the mainstream media, and to outline a socialist way forward. As Socialists we are internationalists, and our sister party in Scotland as part of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) has been at the forefront of fighting for clear, bold socialist policies.

Here are some links to help understand the current situation –

In March, Socialist Party Scotland produced a short Q and A article on independence – to read it click here

With the Better Together campaign getting ever more desperate, we believe the best way to defeat ‘project fear’ is with bold socialist policies – to see what we are putting forward click here

Whatever the result, there will be the need to continue the battles against cuts and austerity, that is why we say vote Yes but continue to strike back. Read this article by a Socialist Party member in Glasgow here

10 days that can shake British capitalism to its foundations, major article which takes up the idea of ‘Team Scotland’. Click here

The Socialist Party is part of an international socialist organisation, the CWI, which is present in around 50 countries across the planet. Visit the website of the CWI here

If you agree with our analysis, why not join? If you want to join our find out more visit here

 

 

 

Dave Nellist says thanks to all Socialist voters

Dave Nellist says thanks to all Socialist voters

Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist

The following letter from Dave Nellist appeared in the Coventry Telegraph newspaper today.

Dear Editor,

Could I use your columns to thank all those 2592 people across Coventry who voted last Thursday for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and especially the 974 people who were good enough to support me personally in St Michael’s.

Although not large enough to win a seat I know that, in many cases, those voters are people who have supported socialist ideas through many elections.  I suspect over the next 2 or 3 years they will be joined by many more who, having put their faith in larger parties at this election, will be disappointed.

The Local Government Association (LGA), the national body of councils to which Coventry belongs, brought out a report 3 weeks ago.  In that report the LGA predicted, whichever party wins the general election next year, cuts in local services, for example leisure centres, libraries, youth services and many others, will continue until the end of the decade.

If that is the case, then I believe many thousands of people in the city will be looking for a socialist and trade union based alternative to parties which either instigate those cuts in Westminster, or fail to defend us from those cuts on the Council.

It was for that reason that the late Bob Crow, then the general secretary of the transport union RMT, co-founded TUSC 4 years ago.  It’s also the reason why a growing number of active, and in some cases senior, trade unionists including firefighters, local government workers, civil servants, teachers, prison officers, as well as union activists in private industry, feel the need to start again and build a new political party for working people rooted in the organisations and communities of the working class.

TUSC is only at the beginning of that road.

Once again, my thanks to all those who supported us on May 22nd.

Dave Nellist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Christmas from Coventry Socialist Party

Happy Christmas from Coventry Socialist Party

sp logo

Coventry Socialist Party would like to extend greetings to all members and supporters and a warm thank you for your support in 2013. The last year has been another busy one for the party in the local area and 2014 promises to be no different. As the Tory cuts continue to bite and Labour offer no real alternative, the role of the Socialist Party in opposing all cuts and putting forward a socialist alternative to the capitalist system will become ever more important.

Our members have been involved in a wide range of campaigns and activities in the trade unions, local communities and amongst youth and students on a whole number of issues.

In 2014 there will be Local and European elections where as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition we will be the only party firmly opposed to capitalist cuts and austerity.

We urge all of those who support us to think about how you can help build the socialist opposition to capitalism in 2014. Could you make a regular donation to the party, or take out a subscription to our newspaper ‘The Socialist’? If you are at a school or college, would you like help in setting up a Marxist discussion group? We would also urge all those who agree with what we are doing to consider taking the step of applying to join the Socialist Party.

If you can do any of the above or want more information, please fill in the form below

And lastly, please remember to support the FBU who are on strike this evening!