Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Election Statement from the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition

Trade unionists and socialists standing 42 candidates in general election challenge to ‘big business’ parties

'No choice’ election for Britain’s 7 million trade unionists

'Grassroots’ abandoning New Labour after 13 years of betrayal

The Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 42 candidates in the general election to offer an alternative to workers, trade unionists, pensioners and young people, fed up with the cuts agenda of the three main parties. The coalition is supported by many individual trade union leaders including Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT trade union, Brian Caton, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association and Chris Baugh, assistant general secretary of the PCS trade union.

Former Labour MP, Dave Nellist, speaking on behalf of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, said today:

“David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg have dubbed the coming election the "choice", "big choice", or "real choice" election.

In reality, there is little to choose between the main parties, that's why the proportion of votes going to the big three is declining. Growing numbers are disillusioned with politics in general, and money grabbing MP's expenses in particular.

Whatever mix of MPs form the next parliament, or the next government, they will seek to pass the bill for the billions borrowed to save the bankers and their bonuses to ordinary working people and their families. Huge tax rises and benefits cuts, wage freezes and attacks on pensions and, above all, through massive cuts in public services.

TUSC has a different agenda. We refuse to accept that ordinary people should pay for the crisis in casino economics. TUSC stands in opposition to public spending cuts and privatisation, calls for investment in publically owned and controlled renewable energy, for the repeal of the trade union laws and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. We want a democratic socialist alternative where the vast wealth of this country is planned for the needs of the millions, not the millionaires.

In the 42 constituencies in which we are standing our leaflets will reach over 3 million people. But given the size and news coverage of the towns and cities we are contesting, including some of the biggest in the country, we hope to reach many millions more with a basic socialist message.

We know the media will concentrate on the big parties and, given the lack of real debate between them, on personalities. That will make it more difficult for a genuinely different message to get a proper hearing, particularly in the broadcast media. When the votes are counted some may say our results will be modest; but with thousands of activists and supporters across the country we will use this election to build a network of people ready to resist the cuts in health and education, transport and housing, and pay and pensions which the next government will seek to implement. Struggle against those cuts, town by town, city by city, is inevitable: our electoral challenge seeks to prepare for those campaigns by presenting a radical socialist and trade
unionist alternative to prepare for the cuts battles to come."

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