Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.

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

with 3 comments


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

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition: Good, But Where is the Policy on Migrant Workers?

leave a comment »

Keep the Red Flag Flying!

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has been launched. Analysis of its prospects via Phil here, and the general political background in the Weekly Worker here. Wikipedia here. Clearly its aim is to mobilise support for left candidates in the coming election. From a wide spectrum of parties, including Labour. No doubt there is much to say about the left and union bodies involved, or the refusal of some groups (CPB for example) who do not back it. This is its provisional programme. On this basis it looks encouraging but, as noted below, there is a serious gap and underdeveloped themes.

“The core policies include, amongst others, opposition to public spending cuts and privatisation, calls for investment in publicly owned and controlled renewable energy, the repeal of the anti-trade union laws, and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

The statement makes a clear socialist commitment to “bringing into democratic public ownership the major companies and banks that dominate the economy, so that production and services can be planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the environment”.


Stop all privatisation, including “PFI” & “PPP” – privatisation just rakes off our money into their pockets, for worse services.
Bring public services and utilities back into public ownership under democratic control.

Take rail back into public ownership and build integrated, low-pollution public transport.
Quality, free National Health Service under democratic public ownership and control.
Stop council house sell-offs and build eco-friendly, affordable public housing.
Good, free education for all under democratic local control, plus student grants not fees.
Keep Royal Mail as a publicly owned service, not a privatised cash cow.

Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions – otherwise climate change, caused by capitalism, will destroy us.
Invest in publicly owned and controlled renewable energy – not nuclear or dirty fossil fuel.

Bring banks and finance into true public ownership and democratic control, instead of huge handouts to the very capitalists who caused the crisis.
Tax the rich. Progressive tax on rich corporations and individuals, with a crackdown on tax avoidance.
Massive investment in environmental projects, for jobs and survival.

Repeal the anti-trade union laws.
A minimum wage set at half average adult male earnings, with no exemptions.
Invest to create and protect jobs, especially for young people.
Solidarity with workers taking action to defend jobs, conditions, pensions, public services and trade unions.

Recognise that we depend on our environment for survival.
Move to sustainable, low-pollution industry & farming – stop the pollution that is destroying our environment.
Recognise that many of our planet’s resources are limited and that capitalism fritters them away for profit.
Produce for need, not profit, and design goods for reuse and recycling.

Restore the pre-Thatcher real value of pensions and link them to the higher of wages & earnings.
Protect entitlement to benefits and their value; end child poverty. This needs a clear stand against Welfare Reform and Workfare to be added.

Welcome diversity and oppose racism, fascism and discrimination.
Ensure women have genuinely equal rights and pay.
Defend our liberties and make police and security democratically accountable.
For a democratic socialist society run in the interests of people not millionaires. For bringing into democratic public ownership the major companies and banks that dominate the economy, so that production and services can be planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the environment.

Bring home all British troops from Afghanistan immediately – no more wars for resources.
No more spending on a new generation of nuclear weapons, huge aircraft carriers or irrelevant eurofighters – convert arms spending to socially useful products and services.
An independent foreign policy, based on international solidarity – no more US poodle, no moves to a capitalist, militarist United States of Europe, no Lisbon Treaty.

It has been pointed out by the comrades on Facebook that this lacks any policy on migrant workers. Or on immigration.

These are core issues for trade unionists and socialists. Xenophobic  ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment is widespread in the UK. It shades into open racism. It drives politics to the right. It divides. We need to above all to defend the rights of migrant workers. That is, to  build working class unity, and make class politics, not the communalism of fading groups like Respect, or the nationalism of the mainstream parties, our principle. Not to mention the need to fight the BNP.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm