Socialist Worker

TUSC round up: Taking the socialist message across the country

Issue No. 2199

Sheffield

Housing issues and the economic crisis are at the heart of discontent in Sheffield, where Maxine Bowler is standing for MP and councillor.

Maxine’s campaign team were out on the streets last weekend. Sharon Price, a probation worker, said, “Overcrowding is a huge issue. The levels of poverty are horrific.

“We spoke to a couple who were really angry at politicians and the bankers.

“We then got onto the issue of immigration. The stuff in the press about population and struggling services is having an effect.

“But we said that the bankers have taken all our money, that the government ignores the needs of all ordinary people and that we have to fight together. Eventually they said, ‘you’re right you know’.

“If you put class politics at the heart of the argument, people respond positively.”


Edinburgh

Four TUSC stalls took place in Edinburgh North & Leith last Saturday. Candidate Willie Black took to the soap box addressing street meetings. Many people stopped to talk to campaigners.

A shop steward from Sainsbury’s spoke about his efforts to unionise the night shift at his depot. He offered his support.

Sal, a single parent from Leith, explained how she was working in two low paid jobs, struggling to make ends meet.

TUSC campaigners leafleted Hibernian’s home football game on Sunday.

Willie also spoke at three meetings over the weekend.

He got the only cheer at a 250-strong hustings when he demanded the redistribution of wealth.

At the end of a church service on Sunday, people queued up to shake Willie’s hand. An older man who had recently lost his job said, “Yours is the best message of hope I have heard in the whole campaign.”


Doncaster

Doncaster North TUSC candidate Bill Rawcliffe, one of the 1,200 sacked Jarvis rail maintenance workers, received a great response in Stainforth last Saturday.

Supporter John Westmoreland said, “Lots of people said they will vote for Bill. At the local club, which is normally Labour territory, they already had posters up for Bill.”

Bill is standing against New Labour minister Ed Miliband.


Tottenham

There was a lively election debate in Tottenham, north London, last week organised by the Afro-Caribbean Leadership Council.

Jenny Sutton, the local TUSC candidate, joined ten others on the platform.

They included the incumbent MP education minister David Lammy – who turned up very late, missing most of the speeches.

He launched a direct attack on Jenny, accusing her of “lying” over cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages (Esol) classes.

She was able to put him straight on how many Esol courses had been slashed due to funding cuts.

A series of community youth workers and activists in the mainly black audience accused Lammy of taking black people for granted and being more interested in his career than his constituents.

There are three independent black candidates in Tottenham – a reflection of the massive disenchantment and the fracturing of Lammy’s black electoral base.

Jenny’s supporters leafletted people in the parks over the weekend. The local RMT branch is sending a letter to all its members in Tottenham, calling for a vote for Jenny.


Cambridge

Tom Woodcock, the Cambridge Socialists candidate for the Romsey council ward, said, “A lot of people who haven’t voted before are now taking notice.

“A bricklayer, had a long discussion with me. He put up a board outside his house saying Vote Cambridge Socialist.”

Martin Booth, a health worker, is standing in the parliamentary seat in the city for Cambridge Socialists.


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