Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Click below to see the advertisement for the Croydon Assembly, organised by the Croydon Trades Council, and due to be held on 15th November at Ruskin House.

We encourage everybody to attend. The aim seems to be to form a coalition, “to fight for a fairer, democratic society”. It says we should build alliances to end austerity. We agree. That is what TUSC is doing.

The leaflet also includes a list of important questions. One question, though, is missing - which party should we campaign for, and vote for, next May?

We draw attention to this in a friendly and comradely way because whilst calling on people to “join together” is undoubtedly right, people will want to know which party, which organisation, will be most likely to deliver.

We can’t afford to be vague whilst working people face the very real firestorm of austerity, unemployment, poverty wages, bad housing.

The leaflet says, “Our aims must include decent education and jobs for young people, a health service free from profiteers, care and dignity in older age, affordable housing and a living wage for all.”

We wholeheartedly agree. But we must also ask - who will deliver it?

So yes, let’s “Join Together”, and having done that, let’s fight for a programme that includes -

✓ introducing (and enforcing) a universal £10 an hour min wage.

✓ abolishing zero-hours contracts.

✓ reversing the Tories’ (and New Labour’s) cuts in public expenditure and services

✓ renationalising the railways, Post Office and energy utilities.

✓ introducing, and enforcing, rent controls.

✓ halting and reversing profit-seeking private finance in the NHS.

This summer, the Swansea Conference of Trades Councils carried a motion calling on unions to seriously consider electoral alliances like TUSC, because “New Labour” no longer represents the interests of working people.

We would urge the trade unionists and community activists at the Croydon Assembly to do that too.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Steve Reed's Radical Plans for Croydon!

Steve Reed OBE and wannabe "Labour" MP Sarah Jones, have suggested that the rail fare zones in Croydon should be re-drawn, to make fares cheaper for Croydon travellers.

We have issued a press notice.

“The commuter fares proposals from MP Steve Reed (OBE) and Sarah Jones will surely be seen by the residents of Croydon for what they are, an electioneering stunt”, said Glen Hart, TUSC Prospective Candidate for Croydon North.

He went on to say, “But what a poor stunt! They are fiddling whilst Rome burns! 

I would support any reforms that would benefit the lives of working people, and would support this idea too, were it not for its feebleness and opportunism. It will not be carried out. And then Jones and Reed, in best yah-booh political style, will blame Boris Johnson.

Furthermore, in the extremely unlikely event that the proposals were implemented, I suspect that Boris Johnson would simply rob Peter to pay Paul - by re-drawing the zone boundaries elsewhere so as to recoup the cost! This would set Londoner against Londoner.

In fact, of course, “One Nation Labour” themselves were just as responsible as the Tories for implementing the so-called “Public Private Partnership” arrangements into public services. In the running of the London Underground, for example, PPP has added very many £millions to the cost and complexity of managing the now fragmented Tube. 

The bundle of Tube contracts runs to 28,000 pages! Croydon commuters, like those all over London, are bearing the extra cost. 

The real solution to keeping fares down is to re-nationalise and re-unify the railways and run the industry as an efficient service for the public. The private railways receive massive subsidies from the taxpayer. Last year they received no less than £4 billion. 

To put this figure in context, the BBC reported in June that the NHS faced a “funding gap of £2 billion”."

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Monday, 20 October 2014


We hear every day in the papers and on TV that, “there is no money”.

They say, “we can’t afford public services”; that we must, "cut back”; we must, "balance the books” ... etc, etc, etc.

New Labour’s manifesto for next May will be couched entirely in these terms. “There is only so much we can do, because the country has no money."

But our claim, which we make loudly and without apology, is that THERE'S PLENTY OF MONEY! But the wrong people have control of it!

We know it's not in the pockets of the people of Croydon (or Sutton). But when it comes to corporations, they are AWASH WITH CASH! - cash which should be put to work delivering a better place for all to live!

To say we can’t afford more and better public services, more and better housing and well-paid jobs, is the foulest deceit!

The Guardian radical journalist, Owen Jones, whilst still hankering (unbelievably) for “New Labour”, pointed out recently that, "the richest 1,000 people in the country have doubled their wealth to £519 billion”. This is as much as the annual earnings of two-thirds of the British workforce!

FTSE100 chief executives (those of the biggest firms) are being paid an average of £4.7m a year, that’s almost £13,000 a day. They “earn" 170 times as much as the average worker.

And the UK’s richest five families have as much wealth as the poorest 20% of the population!

Read those paragraphs again. Jot down the numbers. It's frankly barmy in the light of this to claim that “we” have no money!  Unless…  Unless you have a political reason for wanting to make that claim ...

There will be more on this. We will show how a democratic socialist government can mobilise the resources of the country in a way that will benefit the interests of the vast majority.

Watch this space.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

UKIP Debate!

Here is a discussion between a UKIP supporter and a TUSC activist. As we’ve mentioned before, over the period until the general election (and beyond!) we will be posting “doorstep discussions” to illustrate the basic TUSC position on key issues. If you have any favourite questions you’d like us to answer - let us know, at:

UKIP Supporter - What are you going to do about all these immigrants?

TUSC - We are going to make sure that we nail the people really responsible for unemployment, job losses, zero-hour contracts, poverty wages and austerity. And those people are not immigrants. They are the 1% and their puppets in Parliament.

UKIPer - But you socialists would open the floodgates to immigrants!

TUSC - There are no “floodgates” to open! This idea, and this kind of wording is used to create fear and disunity between people for political purposes. Purposes that suit big business. We reject it outright.

How does talk of “opening floodgates" help working people? Our position on this starts, and finishes, with the fundamental principle of solidarity between workers, all workers. We have a vital common interest in defending ourselves collectively against unemployment, poverty wages, poor housing, etc.

For there part, many employers, full of hypocrisy, are often keen on immigration - because cheap labour means higher profits. Many of these hypocrites, if they can’t get cheap labour here, will “outsource” their business to where cheap labour can be found.

The best way to prevent workers (any workers) from being exploited on poverty wages, is to enforce a decent minimum wage! Nobody would be allowed to work for less than that. Then, no employer would be able to undercut wages! TUSC policy (and now the whole TUC) is for a £10 minimum wage. 

UKIPer - But higher wages would put people out of work!

TUSC - No they wouldn’t. Are you saying that countries with the lowest wages have the lowest unemployment? Because that’s just not true. Germany, Scandinavian countries, and many others, have some of the highest wages in the world, and also the highest employment - although their governments too are also keen to find ways to push living standards down! 

On the other hand, there are dozens of countries whose populations scrape by on poverty wages AND mass unemployment! There is simply no correlation between wage levels and employment.

Look at the UK. The North East and Northern Ireland have the lowest average wages, but also have the highest unemployment!

Higher wages will put money in workers' pockets - and that money will then be spent in shops! 

Higher wages also encourages employers to invest in new plant and machinery, and to compete more effectively. Today, too many employers rely on cheap labour and zero-hour contracts for their profits.

[By the way, this issue is one of the key contradictions of big business capitalism. Low wages may well boost short term profits for an individual employer, but if every employer pushed down wages, the economy would nosedive!]

UKIPer - But immigrants steal our jobs!

TUSC - No they don’t. Anyway, how do you “steal” a job? It's not the worker who chooses who gets the job; it’s the employer. Immigrants are not stealing jobs. Employers are! 

Workers are expected to compromise on wages, but employers won’t compromise on profits! Phones4U has just been closed, with around 5,000 job losses; the post office privatisation cost at least 1,300 jobs; Lloyds bank has cut no less than 30,00 jobs since 2008. [We have many more examples]. 

Councils up and down the country are slashing jobs to implement the government’s austerity programme (supported by UKIP councillors!). Immigration has not caused any of this!

UKIPer -  Aren’t you not concerned about immigration?

TUSC - Yes. Because the "immigration issue” is used to divert attention from what is REALLY causing unemployment, bad housing, poverty wages, and social service cutbacks. It is a major weapon in the armoury of big business in its search for profit and political advantage over the worker!

“Divide and rule” is a standard strategy of bosses and rulers everywhere. Whereas for workers, solidarity is their main defence. 

We are also concerned because workers in many countries are driven by dreadful circumstances to seek a better life elsewhere. Away from extreme poverty, war and violence. People will always seek better places to live - and under those circumstances - why shouldn’t they? It is war and poverty that drives migration. Like us here in this country, those workers are burdened with reactionary, pro-big business governments.

Through international solidarity, TUSC supports workers in those countries who are fighting for peace and the kind of government we want here. A democratic socialist government.

If they could achieve that, their country’s resources, its labour and its capital, would no longer serve the cause of the wealthiest; instead those resources would be put to work in the interests of the vast majority. When that starts to happen, the bosses and their governments will be much less able to use the immigration issue to sow division and fear. The same applies here.

A socialist government in Britain would be a big boost to that process. It will bring jobs, houses, decent wages - and a future free of worry and fear.

UKIPer - At least UKIP is anti-establishment.

TUSC - No it’s not. It PRETENDS to be anti-establishment! It's financed by millionaires! It's run by millionaires. Farage himself is a privately educated, millionaire, ex-city slicker! It has key members in the House of Lords! In what sense does this read like anti-establishment? 

Do you really think these millionaires are going to fight for the interests of workers like you? You’re absolutely right to be sceptical about mainstream parties. But don’t then give your support to their second eleven? 

UKIPer - How do I know TUSC is a workers’ party.

TUSC - Because workers finance TUSC. Workers support TUSC. And workers stand as TUSC candidates in elections.

Friday, 10 October 2014


We are choosing today, the day after the so-called “earthquake” in Clacton, to announce the provisional selection of our TUSC parliamentary candidate for Croydon North constituency - 

Glen is a worker, a socialist and an RMT trade union activist. He is a family man with children. He was born and grew up in Croydon. 

Meanwhile, the Guardian today reported ex-city slicker Farage saying, with no sense of irony, “We have a career political class of college kids who have never had jobs in their lives with absolutely no connection to ordinary people and how they are struggling. We need new people. We need change, real change.”

The devil himself will speak the truth, if it suits his purpose. And there is some truth here. The joke, however, is imagining that Farage’s party has some, “connection to ordinary people”.

We have to say frankly to those UKIP voters in Clacton, with a heavy heart, that we believe they have made a terrible mistake. UKIP is a party funded by millionaires and run by millionaires, FOR millionaires. It is a Tory second eleven!

The real winners in Clacton, though, were the non-voters - nearly 50% of the electorate! Undoubtedly many of those people realised that UKIP is just another pro-rich outfit. After all, how often does a truly anti-establishment party get so much support from the pro-establishment press!

In Glen, however, and in the constituents and supporters of TUSC, we have a party funded by working people, run by working people and FOR working people. Next May the people of Croydon will have, at last, a real choice - a workers’ candidate!

The fight-back starts here! Join us!

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