Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘Socialist Party

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

Left Fragmentation Part 3: Trade Union and Socialist Coalition Launches Rival to Labour in May Elections.

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Another Left Splinter.

 

TUSC is a coalition with an all-Britain steering committee comprised of representatives from its constituent organisations alongside leading trade unionists, sitting in a personal capacity. The current constituent organisations are the RMT transport workers’ union, represented on the steering committee since 2012; the Socialist Party, a co-founder of TUSC in 2010; and the Resistance Movement, established in 2019 by, amongst others, the ex-Labour MP Chris Williamson.

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

The Socialist Party, SP,  is best known as one the splinters that emerged from the Militant Tendency – the others of an size being Socialist Appeal (following the major anti-Militant expulsions bust up in 1992 they stayed inside the Labour Party), and Socialist Alternative (a more recent split, which is part of the Committee for a Workers’ International in which the SP was the leading fore). There is also a faction within the PCS Trade Union, Socialist View, which had connections with the party.

Socialist Party leaders, such as Peter Taaffe (General Secretary 1997–2020) considered that the Labour Party had become a bourgeois party, and had to be opposed electorally. But, “When Jeremy was Labour leader there was an opportunity to transform Labour into a mass workers’ party. ” ‘Jeremy’ and his ‘project’ did not do this. “his was not done, allowing Starmer to take the leadership with the party machine, MPs, and structures ready and waiting to do his pro-capitalist will. Given that missed opportunity, a struggle for working-class political representation will not now succeed within the confines of the Labour Party.” “Today, in an era of profound capitalist crisis, the working class needs its own voice more than ever before. A party, not a project, is the way forward.” ( Socialism Today, issue 245, February 2021)

One can only guess who would be the leading cadre in this party.

Both the Socialist Party and the Rail and Maritime Transport union (RMT) campaigned for Brexit and cast their support behind the Leave campaign. TUSC promoted Paul Embery’s Trade Unionists Against the EU front whch had got financial backing from hard right businessman Arron Banks. Far from helping the labour movement, or fulfilling prophecies that the North Sea would turn to socialist lemonade,  this helped the Bosses’ Brexit and prepared the way for the Johnson electoral strategy of Getting Brexit Done..

 

 

Chris Williamson, whose Resistance Movement is, an observer member,  did not attend. This suggests that there may well be problems with the man whose reputation as a left-wing politician may exceed Lord Voldemort’s.

Williamson did make a recent appearance elsewhere, not long ago, promoted by the anti-Labour Skwawkbox alt-news site.

If Williamson is yet to tweet on the event,  Resist sent somebody.

 

 

Sadiq Khan is a target in London.

 

Pitching to Corbyn…

We await Corbyn’s response,

Summary of previous electoral campaigns (Wikipedia).

2015 local elections

TUSC renewed its promise to field the largest left-of-Labour challenge in the parliamentary and local authority elections. It bolstered its 2014 local election candidacy count by 70, bringing the total to 650. As it also fielded 135 PPCs, in every major town and city in England, Wales, and Scotland, TUSC subsequently exceeded the overall number of candidates to satisfy the BBC’s fair coverage threshold, qualifying it for distribution of election material via the Royal Mail, as well as time on the major networks for the airing of a Party Election Broadcast.[56]

TUSC gained no seats (and, in one ward, no votes) and lost three anti-cuts councillors in Leicester and Hull. They retain one affiliated councillor each in Warrington, Walsall and Hull, and two in Southampton.[57]

2016 local elections

Following the 2016 elections, TUSC had three councillors in Southampton under the banner of Coxford Putting People First,[58] Kevin Bennett having lost his seat in Warrington;[59] Hull Red Labour and Walsall Democratic Labour also lost their remaining seats.

2018 local elections

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.[60] Two other former Putting People First councillors also retain their seats as Independents, but the group has since dissolved.[61] Morrell resigned in 2019.[62]

@Neo-LIberal’ Labour meanwhile has launched this:

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 8, 2021 at 1:09 pm

Socialist Workers Party and TUSC say “come and join us!”.

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Building coalitions outside SUTR/SWP: London Anarchist Federation write up on 9th December Antifascist mobilisaton – Freedom News

 

SWP, “The future has to lie outside Labour.”

 

The Socialist Workers Party held its annual rally last weekend. Not many people noticed. But we Spotters did. “Over 400 members attended the conference held online.”

In the run up to the event an eagle-eyed writer, ‘Peter Manson’,  for a small leftist magazine noted,

the December PCB provides membership figures, which this year appear in the CC’s ‘Finance report 2019-20’. Here it is stated: “The number of registered members of the SWP is 6,701. This is about an increase of 250 on last year.”

But what does it mean to be an ‘SWP member’? There is a clue in this sentence: “Around 2,000 of our members are paying a regular subscription …” Yes, that’s right – well under a third of them pay any dues.

But what does it mean to be an ‘SWP member’? There is a clue in this sentence: “Around 2,000 of our members are paying a regular subscription …” Yes, that’s right – well under a third of them pay any dues! The CC elaborates: “New members tend to pay much lower subs – or sometimes none at all, if someone in the branch has not explained the importance of making a financial contribution.”

This gives the whole game away. These so-called ‘members’ are merely individuals who have filled in an application form.

‘Mason’ also found this in their internal debate.

“Jim (Newcastle)” proposes an addition to Socialist Worker’s ‘What we stand for’ column, which reads:

In the event of a successful transition to socialism … we reject any attempt to create a one-party state by encouraging a multi-party system, with the provision that all parties represent different means of progressing towards production for need, not profit, and do not include any policies that seek to discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion or disability.

In other words, once the working class has taken power, the only kind of political parties permitted will be those advocating the building of socialism.

 

At the event, (SWP conference—Debating where next for the left )

Charlie Kimber, SWP joint national secretary and editor of Socialist Worker, led a discussion on Tory failures and the crisis in Labour.

During discussion of the Labour Party Charlie highlighted the need to work with the Labour left in united fronts, but to argue for revolutionary ideas.

“Keir Starmer has agreed with the Tories more than he has disagreed. We need to put forward the argument for people disillusioned with Labour to join the SWP.

“The best response from the Labour left to attacks from Starmer would be leaving the Labour Party.”

This is one of the vehicles  which the SWP sees as important for their activity.

Delegates also highlighted the People Before Profit (PBP) organisation’s emergency ­programme, along with the importance for action on the streets and in workplaces.

There is no reference to a debate about the consequences of Brexit. The SWP enthusiastically voted for Brexit in the Referendum. The most recent reference (December)  in Socialist Worker to the issues Brexit raises,  concludes with a long list things that didn’t and would never, happen,

Brexit could have meant more than this

 The feeling against the elites could have led to a Brexit in the interests of working class people. 

That would have broken from the pro-business single market regime but maintained and extended workers’ freedom of movement.

It would have been linked to more money for the NHS and education, a higher minimum wage, action on climate chaos and other issues. This is what supporters of a left exit from the EU (Lexit) argued. To win such a Brexit would have required mass pressure. 

Instead the Tories have come up with various versions of Brexit designed to make it even easier for the bosses to exploit people. 

Instead they talked about happier themes.

The SWP effectively runs Stand up to Racism (SUTR).

Brian from the central committee (CC) introduced the session on racism and the far right, BLM, and Stand Up to Racism.

 debate took place on whether to add an amendment to the session’s commission about the SWP pushing for SUTR to explicitly oppose Israeli apartheid.

Martin from the Black Country said, “We need a very clear profile as the party saying we are against anti-Palestinian racism and Israeli apartheid.”

Sophia from the CC disagreed with this approach. She said, “As the SWP we are uncompromising on our position over Palestine. But in the united front we don’t put ultimatums on people. We need the strongest possible anti-racist movement in Britain.”

The amendment was voted down.

Translated into ordinary language this means that the SWP/SUTR will work with people who do not agree that Israel is an apartheid state, some of whom may well include Jews.

In the meantime another approach to Labour has got underway from equally virulent pro-Brexit groups, the Socialist Party and the RMT.

TUSC to hold local elections conference in February

The Socialist. 13th of January.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed the agenda and timetable for a local elections conference to be held on Zoom on Sunday 7 February.

The conference has been convened under the heading ‘Fighting back against Starmer’s new New Labour – including at the ballot box!’, starting at 11am to conclude by 1.30pm.

Platform speakers from the constituent components of the TUSC steering committee, the RMT transport workers’ union, the Socialist Party, the Resistance Movement (note, this is Chris Williamson’s outfit) and the individual members’ representatives, will introduce the single plenary session.

There is no pre-registration for this conference. The Zoom details will be published on the events page at tusc.org.uk nearer the time.

Here is Chris Williamson’s new Best Friend:

It is believed that the SWP will not be supporting, even minimally, this front.

No round up of these developments would be complete with giving the views of another of the SWP’s critics though,

Pseudo-left groups all over the world have responded to the attempted coup led by Donald Trump with one voice. It is a position best summed up by Alex Callinicos, the theoretical leader of Britain’s Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and its sympathising groups in many countries: “No need to panic—order will be restored in Washington.”

 

The next passage from the article,  may not be about the SWP, and refers to a breakaway from the party. But it will strike many people as a stern, but fair comment and credits us Pabloites for running the IMG to boot!,

Counterfire specialises in offering a platform for the flotsam and jetsam of pseudo-left politics. Illustrative of the politically diseased character of this milieu is the closing commentary of Tariq Ali, the former leader of the now defunct British Pabloite outfit, the International Marxist Group, and now a self-promoting media commentator of no fixed political abode. He concluded his own dismissal of events by wishing success for the political violence planned by Trump’s supporters, writing, “Instead of running scared and being taken out by the cops, [Mike] Pence and [Nancy] Pelosi should have waltzed out together, down the street till they reached the White House… and then? Fill in the blanks as the mood takes you.”