Thursday, 26 June 2014


Sutton and Croydon TUSC would like to express its solidarity with the strikers at the Sutton Guardian and elsewhere, who are on strike due to job cuts caused by corporate "efficiency" drive.

Below is a short piece we published on our Facebook page a few weeks ago about who owns the "local" Guardian.  Here is a report in the Guardian newspaper.

"The Sutton Guardian is our “local” paper. The Croydon Guardian does the same for Croydon. 

You might fondly imagine that both are community based papers, concerned for the people of Sutton & Croydon, holding the local powerful to account, and keen to expose local shenanigans in the Council and other places (we are not, of course, implying there are any). 

However, both “Guardians” are owned by Newsquest Media Group. The third largest local paper producer in the UK, with 300 titles. 

Newsquest itself was set up in 1995 when New York buy-out firm KKR spent £210 million of largely borrowed money to buy UK Reed Regional Newspapers, from Elsevier.

After selling various pieces of this publishing mini-empire and buying various pieces from other media groups, such as Pearsons (who own the Financial Times), the “refreshed” company was sold, in 1999, to Gannett Inc, for £920 million - suggesting a very a tidy profit.

KKR is Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts. Before they set up their buy-out operation, they all worked for Bear Stearns in New York. That’s the firm that went bust early in 2008, helping precipitate the global financial meltdown.

Gannett Inc is the ultimate owner of the Guardian. Gannett’s fatuous byline (which most firms seem to want to have these days) is, - “Its all within reach.”

Its headquarters are in Virginia, USA. Amongst other things, the corporation owns 43 television stations. Its total assets are worth around 7 billion dollars.

The Sutton Guardian, The Croydon Guardian: as local as any other subsidiary of a global corporate behemoth!"

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


The annual conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is on Saturday, 5th July just 5 days ahead of what could be a multi-millioned strike against austerity and wage cuts!

Venue - Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn.
Start Time - 11 am.

Speakers include - RMT President, Peter Pinkney;  Bakers’ Union General Secretary, Ronnie Draper;  POA Gen Sec, Steve Gillan;   PCS President, Janice Godrich;  and Ginger Jentsen from the highly successful $15 NOW! minimum wage campaign in Seattle.

The $15 NOW website is -

The NSSN website is -

Monday, 23 June 2014

Local TUSC Groups Build on Election Work

Click here for a report from the national TUSC on how local groups are now being established up and down the country - and preparing for Election 2015!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

New Sutton and Croydon TUSC Branch!

We had a very successful “inaugural” TUSC meeting last night (11th June)!  We agreed to set up a permanent Sutton and Croydon TUSC branch!  

After a thorough discussion about our first, and very positive electoral challenge in May, and about the lessons learned, everyone enthusiastically endorsed the idea of setting up a branch. We felt this was a vital step if we are to offer a strong, and local, socialist alternative - not just in elections (crucial though they are) but also in the industrial and community struggles that occur in the boroughs.

If you want to fight back against austerity, racism, poor housing, poverty wages, unemployment and cuts in local services and the NHS - JOIN US!

Our new email address and our mobile number is below, at the bottom of this post.

We agreed to purchase a Sutton and Croydon TUSC banner. And to kick off our post-election street activity, our first street stall (hopefully with banner!) will be on Croydon High Street at lunchtime on FRIDAY, 4th JULY. Watch this space for further details.

We also agreed to start a campaign to pressure councillors to deliver REAL improvements for the people of Croydon and Sutton. Needless to say, we have very low  expectations! The LibDems in Sutton, and so-called “Labour” in Croydon hardly measure up! But they shouldn’t be allowed to have a quiet life on comfortable councillor expenses! 

Instead, the purpose of the campaign is to expose their hypocrisy and double-talk, and to highlight to local people that there is a working class, fighting alternative. 

To begin with, as individuals, we will write to each councillor in each of our wards. We will be asking them to say, explicitly, that they will support particular policies and proposals - of the kind that TUSC councillors will themselves be putting forward in due course.

For example, 
- will you, councillor, support an immediate RENT FREEZE for three years, in all flats and houses under the council’s control - including housing associations and similar?
- will you put forward a motion to implement, and enforce, A DECENT MINIMUM WAGE (say £10 an hour) for all council employees and sub-contractors?
- will you support an immediate HALT TO ALL ALL CUTS in jobs and services in the borough?
- will you propose in council that the borough’s very healthy reserves are used to kick-off a SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING PROGRAMME for truly affordable houses and flats? 
(These reserves are around £260 million in Sutton! and around £400 million in Croydon!)

If you are reading this, why don’t you also write to your local councillors along these lines? If you'd like a sample letter, or if you’re not sure who your local councillors are, contact us (see below) and we’ll send you some material.

We are also considering a monster petition along these lines.

Our next BRANCH meeting will be on 9th July. 

Our email address is -
Our mobile number is - 07732 638 728

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Building the TUSC after the election!

The location of this important meeting is barely five minutes walk from Sutton Station.

On exiting the station, turn left, then turn second left on Cedar Road (after the second row of shops). The Friends Meeting House is 100 metres on the right.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

How to defeat the right!

In this article, Seumas Milne almost argues the case for TUSC, but without mentioning us! Every soft left commentator is now saying that unless Labour adopts socialist policies, the far right will benefit.

He makes some very good points about UKIP - and the fact that the far right have NOT done well everywhere.

This is what he concludes, "only by putting the case front and centre for a complete break with the policies that got us here – through public investment, a crash housebuilding programme, workplace protection, rebuilding public services and a living wage – that the poison can be taken out of migration. If Labour doesn't do it, the Tories will find their own way to draw UKIP's sting".

But Labour will not do it! It has said it will not do it! Only the TUSC has these policies at the core of its programme!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Well done RMT and Mike Harding!

RMT Tube union official Mark Harding found not guilty of charges relating to picketing, brought under a raft of ant-union legislation.

Legislation that "Labour" has no intention of repealing!

See RMT site here.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Ethics in Croydon!

The “Inside Croydon” website has an important article (click here) about how Croydon is governed. It argues that the arrangements are becoming unethical and potentially corrupt. It describes how the community is being edged out; democratic control being sidelined by business and corporate interests. The running of Croydon is being shifted more and more in their favour.

The article shows how certain individuals sit in numerous boardrooms and lots of committees, leading potentially to conflicts of interest. There is a pervading smell of brown envelopes - “People openly discuss how property developers can skew the planning decision-making process, and how people at the grassroots seem to be losing out all the time”.

This trend is undoubtedly true, not only in Croydon, but also Sutton and elsewhere.

However, whilst raising a very important issue, the solution proposed by the author (Charlotte Davies) is very weak. She proposes ... a review!

A review that takes into account the guidance of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. This body was set up under John Major in 1994 - and it is useless! No one can claim seriously that it has had an impact. Did it, for example, stop the expenses scandal?

In trying to keep the article non-political and “objective”, Ms Davies glosses over something vital: that the present situation, the decline in ethics in local government, is a straightforward consequence of the growing dominance of politics by big business and finance.

The Labour Party itself has succumbed to the sticky-fingered corporate embrace. Part of the consequence of this has been the dismantling of inner-party democracy and the distancing of the party from organised labour. Democracy and big business cannot co-exist. One or the other must dominate.

It was the labour movement that brought democracy to the world - in the teeth of opposition from monied and landed interests! Only the labour movement then can honestly claim a root and branch affinity with corruption-free democracy and governance. When was the last time you read about wholesale corruption, “bungs” and thievery in a democratic trade union?

The decline in government ethical behaviour isn’t “inevitable” or a “sign of the times”. It is a consequence of how the world is run. But with the rise of globalisation, the shareholder is king. The world, including the domain of local government, is run for (and increasingly by) the people who own it, not by those who work and live in it!

Politics has become just another area for the pursuit of private profit.

If a review was to be undertaken, as proposed by Ms Davies, we would suggest that the people asked to do it should be delegated from those with the greatest interest in the quality of life in Croydon - the people who live there. Local trade unions could nominate representatives, as could community groups and others. A “people’s review”. Its terms of reference would include - open the books! Where is the money going? Where is it coming from? And who benefits?

The article suggests that the “new” Labour council should tackle these issues. Don’t hold your breath...

Monday, 2 June 2014

Here is an extract from a recent email (31st May) to all TUSC candidates, from Clive Heemskerk, the national agent, on behalf of the TUSC national committee. And below the extract, for information, is a list of the members of the TUSC national committee.

“We are writing on behalf of the TUSC steering committee to congratulate you on all your hard work for the recent elections.  As you know TUSC managed to stand an impressive 561 candidates in the biggest left-of-Labour challenge in six decades.  Our candidates included many trade unionists and community campaigners who had never stood in an election before, but saw TUSC as an opportunity to take the battle against austerity onto the electoral plane”.

Despite the press blackout, we were, “able to achieve some very creditable results. In Southampton councillor Keith Morrell, a member of the TUSC steering committee, was re-elected with a crushing majority”. In 21 councils we achieved, “more than 1,000 votes”  and in 10 councils, “more than 2,000”.  We scored over 5% of the vote in 78 council wards.

“Whichever party wins the general election we will face a continuation of government for the billionaires.  The Labour leadership has repeatedly made it clear that a Labour government will implement austerity.  Now Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has even stated that he would consider increasing the already draconian anti-trade union laws.  

As the growth in support of the right-wing nationalists of UKIP has shown, it is urgent that we step up our work to build a political force that actually stands in the interests of working class people and has a clear anti-cuts, anti-racist, socialist programme.

In order to facilitate this work it is important that TUSC is organised locally.  If no local structure already exists we recommend that a local steering committee or branch is urgently set up and that all those who have participated in the local election challenge are invited to participate. 

While it is up to local groups to determine exactly what structure best suits your locality, they should operate on the basis of consensus, as is the case nationally, in order to build the maximum possible unity between the growing forces involved in TUSC”.

The TUSC National Steering Committee
Chairperson – Dave Nellist. 
National Nominating Officer – Clive Heemskerk.

The Steering Committee members 
Representatives from the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union (RMT), the Socialist Party, the SWP, Socialist Resistance and the TUSC Independent Socialist Network.

Plus, in a personal capacity, Steve Gillan (POA General Secretary), Chris Baugh (PCS Assistant General Secretary), Joe Simpson (POA Assistant General Secretary), John McInally (PCS Vice-President), Ian Leahair (FBU National Executive), Nina Franklin (ex-NUT President), Brian Caton (ex-POA General Secretary), Cllr Keith Morrell (Southampton), Cllr Don Thomas (Southampton), and Nick Wrack.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Sutton and Croydon TUSC

Welcome to Sutton and Croydon's TUSC blog.

We already have a functioning Sutton and Croydon Facebook page, which can be found here. However, not everyone has a Facebook account, hence this blog. In the next few days we will transfer to this blog most of the recent posts from our Facebook page. When we have done that, both will be kept in sync.

The TUSC is fighting, amongst other things, to provide working people with a political voice. "Labour" no longer does that. The absence of such a voice is creating the political space for outfits such as UKIP to pose as an "anti-establishment" friend of the worker! It is not! Watch this space.

The national TUSC website is here.