Socialist Worker

Socialist campaigns tap into the bitterness with Labour

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2198

TUSC’s Jenny Sutton and her team hit the streets of Tottenham, north London, last weekend  (Pic:» Guy Smallman )

TUSC’s Jenny Sutton and her team hit the streets of Tottenham, north London, last weekend (Pic: » Guy Smallman)

There is a left wing alternative to the free market, pro-war policies of the main parties in the general election.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is running over 40 candidates in the election.

They are standing against public spending cuts, privatisation and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—policies the main parties all back.

TUSC candidates and their supporters were out campaigning on the streets across Britain last weekend.

In some areas they seemed to be the only organisation bothering to speak to voters.

Campaigners report that they are getting a good response.

Jenny Sutton, a college lecturer who is fighting cuts, is standing against New Labour education minister David Lammy in Tottenham, north London.

“The disillusionment with Labour is strong,” Jenny told Socialist Worker.

“People here look back nostalgically to when left winger Bernie Grant was MP. People say, ‘Lammy is no Bernie Grant. He puts his ministerial career before us.’


“They say you can never find Lammy. He closed his office in Tottenham when he was elected. Even if you phone or email you don’t always get a response.

“We met one black woman who complained that, on a rare occasion when Lammy came to Bruce Grove, his minders stopped her from speaking to him.

“She was angry that Lammy isn’t fighting for Tottenham.”

Linda Bartle, a former Ford‑Visteon worker who occupied her plant in Enfield last year, is backing Jenny’s campaign.

“Jenny’s not looking at this as a career, she’s looking out for the interests of people in the area,” Linda told Socialist Worker.

“There’s a feeling that the area needs a new approach.”

In Salford, TUSC has united with the Hazel Must Go campaign to stand David Henry against disgraced MP Hazel Blears (see page 3).

Activists have been out canvassing and leafleting every day over the past week.


“There is so much hatred of all the mainstream parties on the doorstep,” Ameen Hadi, a local Unison union member, told Socialist Worker.

“One pensioner tried to slam her door in my face because she assumed I was Labour—but invited me in when I told her who I was campaigning for!

“We are building a network to continue campaigning against cuts after the election.”

Andy Behan, a rail worker who is standing for TUSC in the Orsdall council ward in Salford, was also out on the campaign trail.

“I knocked on the door of a Unite union member who is a union rep at the McVitie’s factory,” said Ameen. “It turns out he signed the nomination form for Andy.”

Elsewhere, TUSC supporters leafleted Portsmouth’s home game on Sunday, ­publicising RMT union activist Mick Tosh’s election ­campaign.

Mick is calling for an investigation into the troubled football club’s finances.

Meanwhile, more than 40 people were out ­campaigning for Angela McCormick in Glasgow North. Campaign organiser Jimmy Ross told Socialist Worker, “We went to shopping centres, and an estate.

“Angela did a street meeting outside a ­supermarket.

“Then we did two cavalcades of four cars each. We put banners on the cars, then drove up and down the main road calling out on the PA system.”

Scottish TUSC was set to hold a rally on Tuesday at the Scottish TUC with Bob Crow, Tommy Sheridan and Dave Nellist.

TUSC campaigners also hit the streets in other cities including Sheffield, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge.

The experience on the doorstep shows that ordinary ­people want an alternative to the mainstream parties and their cuts.

Politicians are preparing an onslaught on workers following the election—we need to keep building the networks that can resist it.

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Tue 20 Apr 2010, 18:02 BST
Issue No. 2198
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