Did the left/TUSC work together in the elections?
I was one of the many candidates who signed the anti-cuts pledge. Several socialists, trade unionists and greens signed the anti-cuts pledge. This was the pledge:
• Against all cuts to council services or to council jobs, pay or conditions
• To stop all privatisation of services or assets, including transfers to “arms-length organisations” or “social enterprises”
• Against council use of the “Private Finance Initiative” (PFI)
• To prevent cuts to the protection of our environment, including stopping global warming
• To keep the education and the national health service publicly owned and run
• Against increases in charges because of government cuts
• For real involvement of local people in decisions, including consultations, commissions and referendums and will work with local anti-cuts groups and trade unions
I got several hundred votes and other local anticuts candidates gained 1-10% of the vote. In our area the TUSC candidates appeared to be all from the Socialist Party. A quick online search reveals that the SWP was lukewarm over TUSC. There was no anticuts event, hustings or signing. I was prepared to pass it onto other parties/candidates but it came too late and with no event. Did our local TUSC email the 3 main parties? Did they contact the SWP? Why wasn’t the full anti-cut list be made public? There have been other problems (and here) but TUSC did better than last year. Yet there is little mention of the independents and green socialists who signed the pledge.
Next year I might be forced to organise the event myself if the candidate list is kept quiet. This may lead to several parties/groups wanting to sign the pledge. I honestly don’t know if one group would remove a candidate. A candidate can choose to be removed up to 16 days before a local election. This will be a real test of left unity and I have my suspicions that the goalposts could be moved.
This is the 3rd year of TUSC have stood and I hope the 4th irons out the problems above. Unless the main parties adopt the policy? Cows can fly with dynamite.