Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), 32 Votes in Rotherham (but beat the Lib-Dems…).

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32 Votes in Rotherham.

TUSC is, it says on their site “a coalition for the millions not millionaires”. The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition stands in elections, “offering the opportunity to trade unionists, community campaigners, socialists and others, to stand candidates under a common anti-austerity banner distinct from the mainstream, capitalist establishment politicians.”

At present TUSC is essentially a coalition between the Socialist Party (ex-Miitant) and itself, with formal support from the  National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT). What the present day RMT backing amounts to, given that the only easily accessible material from them calling for a TUSC vote dates from before the election of Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labour Party, is a matter of speculation. The union’s public Net material does indicate any campaigning for TUSC. At all.

TUSC has attempted to broaden its basis. There is also some kind of alliance with Chris Williamson and his micro-party Resist. These TUSC allies, who have voted to register with the Electoral Commission, came the fore recently in reports that they had officially been at meetings of George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain, and a Rally by the WPB in Birmingham also attended by the former MP expelled from Labour after rows about anti-Semitism. There are efforts to get other confetti from the world of small left parties and breakaways from Labour into the TUSC fold.

It seems that this has developed as part of their latest campaign for “People’s Budget’s”. This idea is to draw a wish-list of what a local Council should spend, money no object, “based on the needs of local communities.” The latest Socialist carries these reports,

Birmingham People’s Budget

Birmingham TUSC hosted an initial forum to discuss the pressing issues facing working-class communities in Birmingham on 27 November. The meeting looked at what steps could be taken by Birmingham City Council, and how to campaign for the necessary funding from central government to carry them out.

In attendance were members of ten trade union branches, including RMT, Unite, ASLEF, CWU and UCU, the chair of the Birmingham branch of Acorn tenants’ union and the local coordinators of TUSC and the Workers Party of Britain. Save Our Schools West Midlands also sent a written submission.

Southampton People’s Budget

Southampton TUSC hosted a People’s Budget meeting on 13 November. The meeting invited representatives from the trade unions, Labour councillors, councillors from Alton in Hampshire who have resigned from Labour, the Breakthrough Party, the Workers’ Party and other community organisations.

Those unfamiliar with the way the Socialist Party operates could look at its 2018-9 split. This – extended to its international fronts – was over issues of independent feminist campaigning or, as the SP leader Peter Taaffe put it, “capitulating to petit bourgeois identity politics”.

Nobody imagines that this would ruffle Galloway’s feathers, nor will TUSC’s record of campaigning for Brexit and its link during the Referendum to the hard-line Brexiters like Paul Embery and his Arron Banks supported ‘Trade Unionists Against the EU’ . Others on the left may not find this kind of language or anti-EU politics sympathetic. The fact that inside the SP they were unable to disagree democratically over such issues and had to fissure into rival groups says a lot about the way the SP internal regime operates. That may also put many people off working with them.

The group in the UK which broke with the SP during this dispute is called Socialist Alternative SA (part of a majority of what was Taaffe’s ‘international’, the CWI, the rival alliance is now called ‘International Socialist Alternative’ while the ‘Taafites’ are the ‘Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI)). SA are not part of TUSC. Stop me if you have given up on that one….

Here is how TUSC’s electoral campaigning is faring.



(From Newshound David…)

Election of a Borough Councillor for Aughton and Swallownest ward on Thursday 9 December 2021

I, Sharon Kemp, being the Returning Officer at this election, do hereby give notice that the number of votes recorded for each Candidate is as follows:

Name of CandidateDescription (if any)Number of Votes*
Jack BannanYorkshire Party35
Louisa Kathryn BarkerThe Green Party59
Mark LambertLiberal Democrats14
Paul MarshallTrade Unionist and Socialist Coalition32
Julia Helen MitchellThe Conservative Party Candidate496
Gavin Peter ShawcroftRotherham Democratic Party15
Robert Paul TaylorLabour Party645 (ELECTED)

In Liverpool recently TUSC had the excuse for a poor result (84 votes.6.08%) because of the presence of a candidate from a local independent left electoral coalition, Beacon Liverpool, “For Municipal Socialism” (Peter Furmedge – 171 votes 12.38%) in one of the contested council seats (Kirkdale). (1)

What’s their excuse this time?


(1) “standing as a non-party candidate but on a Beacon Liverpool manifesto.” It’s time for some new politics in Liverpool

New political party in Liverpool aiming to take on established order

Beacon Liverpool will face off against the Conservatives, the Green Party, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition in November.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 11, 2021 at 10:30 am

2 Responses

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  1. Could any area be less attuned to as bourgeois and affluent a party as the Lib Dems?

    Was this an unusually strong ward for the Tories historically by Rotherham standards? Because until recently I don’t think they’d have come even that relatively close behind Labour (UKIP clearly were a gateway drug for many of those voters).


    December 12, 2021 at 2:46 am

    • Its a new and rather odd seat created as usual by the Boundary commission. A bit like my old seats in East Cleveland its a mix of big ex council estates, a good mix of lower price private housing and clustered old tiny villages. Rotherham council has had a bad time since the grooming scandal and Labour had to take the flak. This gave both the Tories and UKIP (locally with a fascist tinge) reason to poll strongly. The ‘Rotherham Democrats’ are the old UKIP’ers expelled from the main party for obvious reasons afterwards. A bit long, but here’s Andrew Teale’s take on the ward written before the election; “The boundary review for this year’s Rotherham election created the new ward of Aughton and Swallownest, covering territory which had previously been part of Holderness and Rother Vale wards. Aughton and Swallownest are both part of the parish of Aston cum Aughton, which covers three large villages which are just outside the Sheffield city boundary and function as Sheffield suburbs. The ward also includes the tiny parish of Ulley to the north-east and what’s left of the parish of Orgreave to the west; this ward doesn’t cover the former Orgreave colliery site, which is being extensively redeveloped for housing and industry and has declared independence as the new parish of Waverley.

      The extensive boundary changes make comparisons with previous years difficult, but for what it’s worth both predecessor wards voted Labour at every election since 2004 with the exception of UKIP wins in Rother Vale (in 2014) and Holderness (one out of three seats in 2016). In May the new Aughton and Swallownest ward split its representation. Labour topped the poll with 40% of the vote, and former Holderness ward councillor Lyndsay Pitchley was re-elected a long way ahead of her running-mate. That allowed the Conservatives, who polled 32%, to win the ward’s other seat; third place went to the Rotherham Democratic Party, whose outgoing councillor Mick Elliot finished on 16% and lost his seat.

      The two outgoing Conservative councillors only served for five months before handing in their resignations in October. Emma McClure of Anston and Woodsetts ward cites changes in her family circumstances, while Jack Austin of Aughton and Swallownest ward is concentrating on running his engineering business. The two by-elections to replace them have attracted a lot of interest, with fifteen candidates standing for the two vacancies.

      Defending Anston and Woodsetts for the Conservatives is Adrian Knight, who lives in Woodsetts and is a former manager of Dinnington Town FC’s junior side. The Lib Dems’ Drew Tarmey is having another go after his near-miss in May; Tarmey is the vice-chairman of Anston parish council, and his day job is teaching medical students at the University of Manchester. The Labour candidate is Simon Tweed, who was a Rotherham councillor (representing Dinnington ward) from 2008 until May when he fought this ward and lost his seat. Another former Rotherham councillor who wants to get back is independent candidate Clive Jepson, who lost his seat here in May. Independent candidate (and former Labour councillor) Jonathan Ireland and David Foulstone for the Green Party also stood here in May, and they complete the Anston and Woodsetts ballot paper together with Allen Cowles for the Rotherham Democratic Party and the former Yorkshire Party leader Chris Whitwood.

      On paper Aughton and Swallownest looks like a more difficult Conservative defence. The party have given that job to Julia Mitchell, who lives in Swallownest and works part-time in a dental practice. The Labour candidate is former Rotherham councillor Robert Taylor, who represented Anston and Woodsetts ward from 2015 to 2016 and Holderness ward from 2016 to 2021. The Rotherham Democratic Party have changed candidate to Gavin Shawcroft, who contested Sitwell ward in May. Also standing are Mark Lambert for the Liberal Democrats, Dennis Bannan for the Yorkshire Party, Louisa Barker for the Green Party and Paul Marshall for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.”

      David Walsh

      December 12, 2021 at 12:46 pm

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