Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Runs 330 Local Election candidates – down from 650 in 2014.

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There’s a lot of Corbynistas gloating at every poor opinion poll score for Labour. Keir Starmer, they say, lacks the common touch of Jeremy Corbyn, the popularity of his politics and the successes of his election campaigns. He is too moderate. A “resurrected New Labour project” is in the making.

Some have turned to the Whippet Party of Northern Independence, others to the revolutionary pro-Chinese state Marxism-Leninism of the Morning Star and the Communist Party of Britain.

An older grouping has now launched its own foray into electoral politics. Interestingly it comes from the hardline pro-Brexit Socialist Party and union RMT who worked with the CPB in what was described as a ‘left wing version of UKIP’, NO2EU, an electoral alliance, headed by Bob Crow, between the RMT, the Communist Party of Britain and the Socialist Party, subsequently led to the formation of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Here is the TUSC campaign.

TUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

On Friday 9 April, over 70 attended the online campaign launch rally organised by the London Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), gearing up for the London elections on 6 May.

The rally was chaired by James Ivens, a London Socialist Party organiser. He opened the rally by reiterating the point that “TUSC candidates standing for the Greater London Authority (GLA) are standing to be the hot breath on the back of the necks of cutter-Khan, Starmer the abstainer, and their resurrected New Labour project”.

Candidates update: now it’s over 330 standing for TUSC on May 6

Candidates now agreed include an executive council member of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU); four members of UNISON’s national executive; two members of the UNISON Local Government Service Group Executive, plus the secretary of Glasgow Unison, the branch which led the magnificent equal pay strike in 2018; a former member of the RMT transport workers’ national executive; leaders of the ‘NHS workers say no’ campaign and two of the original McStrikers.

And along with a number of former Labour councillors standing as TUSC, we now have two TUSC candidates who were previously general election candidates for Labour in December 2019, just 14 months ago.

TUSC’s local election campaign had made such an impact that the Wikipedia page on them does no include anything more a brief reference to its existence. The 330 candidates is down from the 2014 local election candidacy when they ran 650. TUSC gained no seats (and, in one ward, no votes) and lost three anti-cuts councillors in Leicester and Hull. They retained one affiliated councillor each in Warrington, Walsall and Hull, and two in Southampton. In the 2016 elections, TUSC had three councillors in Southampton under the banner of Coxford Putting People First, Kevin Bennett having lost his seat in Warrington; Hull Red Labour and Walsall Democratic Labour also lost their remaining seats. Following the 2018 elections, TUSC retained at least one affiliated councillor in Coxford, Southampton, following the re-election (as Independent – Putting People First) of TUSC national steering committee member Keith Morrell. Two other former Putting People First councillors also retain their seats as Independents, but the group has since dissolved.[Morrell resigned in 2019.

The Socialist Workers Party which had been part of TUSC left in 2017.

The Socialist Workers Party has decided to suspend its membership of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

TUSC has provided a structure for trade unionists, campaigners and socialists to stand in elections against pro-austerity politicians.

It’s not a decision we take lightly.

Our small electoral united front would make it harder to achieve a larger united front with the Labour left.

The SWP, TUSC and Labour—how do we take on the Tories?

That move was influenced by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership but, despite his absence, they have not gone back on it. At present the SWP, prefers, like their own split, Counterfire, movementist politics, the belief that street protests and strikes are the way forward for the left to any electoral front.

Howie’s Corner sums up some other reasons for their decline.

“Militant” stands 330 candidates under the TUSC banner in local elections

This intervention is much weaker than in the past as the Socialist Party had a major split before the pandemic losing perhaps some 400 members plus the bast bulk of their version of the Fourth International though Peter Taffe managed to hang n to the CWI’s money much to the chagrin of his former allies around the world.

The SP also managed to lose the bulk of it’s experienced and well placed trade unionists inside the PCS union who now organise around Socialist Voice and remain cheerleaders for Mark Serwotka. The remains of Militant’s supporters have rallied around Marion Lloyd who failed in her challenge against the leadership though remains on the unions NEC

The new breakaway group Socialist Alternative (Note, Tendance Coatesy covered this split: Socialist Party, (former Militant) in Total International Split over those who have “buckled to the pressures of ‘Identity Politics’) . is barely able to publish a regular newspaper and the other grouping Socialist Appeal remains buried in Labour  operating against party rules with some 400 plus supporters and a fortnightly paper.

Socialist Alternative would no doubt differ: SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE CAMPAIGN DAY A SUCCESS!

On 10 April, Socialist Alternative members up and down the country held stalls and attended protests on NHS pay, gender violence and Kill the Bill – part of a nationwide campaign day. We are proud to be part of a diverse range of working class movements, always seeking to offer a way forward and raise the need for socialist change. The day’s activities saw hundreds of people taking our leaflets and buying the new copy of our paper – with more than 340 sold in less than a week. Photos of a selection of our activities are posted below!

Poor old Socialist Appeal keeps humming the same old tune:

Starmer and the right wing: Leading the Labour Party ‘over a cliff’

None of these groups, from the CPB to TUSC, offer a serious left wing electoral alternative to Labour.

In the meantime the Tories have been making hay:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 16, 2021 at 4:38 pm

3 Responses

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  1. The TUSC website contains a snippet on their absence from the Hartlepool by-election. “In addition to the two TUSC candidates who previously stood as 2019 Labour general election candidates, Thelma Walker, previously Labour MP for Colne Valley, has announced she intends to stand for the parliamentary by-election in Hartlepool. The TUSC steering committee had considered the Hartlepool by-election at its last meeting and discussed with local Socialist Labour councillors about the possibility of standing a candidate as part of the TUSC election challenge in May. Now Thelma has put herself forward, with Labour’s candidate another former MP Paul Williams, previously representing Stockton South, whose record is one of opposing Jeremy Corbyn. TUSC looks forward to working alongside Thelma in the struggle to solve the crisis of working class political representation.” The release makes reference to “Socialist Labour” councillors in the town. True; Arthur’s only elected UK representatives (some 4 in all) sit currently (until May) on the local Borough Council. However they have as nuch in common with any definition of socialism., as I have as a possible member of the Carlton Club. They are instead, just the usual flotsam and jetsam of people who tried to live the hog on the back of town hall politics, and got the boot from Labour for a list of misdemenours as long as your arm. I would thought TUSC (and Thelma) would have a better sense of decorum and propriety. …..

    David Walsh

    April 16, 2021 at 5:51 pm

  2. Heard from a friend who is in the SWP that they have recruited as many people so far this year than they did in the whole of 2020 and have already reached “The Magic 300” (the yearly number needed to replace drop outs and resignations). Many of the people they are recruiting were children during the Delta Crisis and they feel that is past them with the groups that split from them during that period are either defunct or stagnant. Therefore their turn to Movementism looks like staying for the time being with an accommodation to ID Politics and even Privilege Theory (both v. Popular among the students). While they have a long way to go before they match their mid 1990s high point in terms of numbers, they feel they are on an upward tick.

    IainF

    April 17, 2021 at 3:58 am


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