The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing parliamentary candidates across Britain in May’s general election.
Glen Hart is the TUSC candidate for Croydon North, south London. He told Socialist Worker that his background in the transport workers’ RMT union had led him to become interested in working class politics.
Glen said, “When I was in school in Croydon we didn’t get taught much about politics. My first real experience with politics was the anti-poll tax demonstrations.
“I’ve been with the RMT for 18 years, when I started to work on the London Underground. That was when I started to get involved in demos.”
Glen has released a manifesto listing his ten priorities for Croydon. One of them is tackling the housing crisis.
“Housing is a big problem,” said Glen. “We’ve seen it in places like Brixton, where there’s gentrification. The government isn’t protecting tenants, they’re just making profits for landlords.”
Glen’s campaign will also focus on fighting racism and Ukip. Ukip is standing a black candidate, Winston McKenzie, in Croydon North to try and mask its racist agenda.
Glen said, “Croydon is one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs of London. We used to have the National Front, but we forced them out.
“I’ve always fought against racism. Now we’re seeing the rise of Ukip and a racist agenda. Someone has to stand up against it.”
Croydon North has long been a safe Labour seat. Some people argue that you have to vote Labour to get rid of the Tories and stop Ukip.
But Glen said it’s important to build a left alternative to Labour and a campaign based on fighting austerity.
“We’re standing in an area where Labour MPs aren’t going to do anything different to the Tories,” he explained.
“I want to be someone who represents the working class. Without TUSC there wouldn’t be anyone to vote for.”
Conference to get ready for the election
Candidates and activists of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will meet in London this Saturday, 24 January, to discuss its election challenge.
The conference will also debate the core policies which prospective candidates must endorse if they wish to stand under the TUSC name in May.
Socialist Worker supporters will be there to help build TUSC and to argue for vibrant, outward-looking campaigns.
TUSC is important for the general election and the council elections in May, but also for the political battles to come afterwards.
The turmoil in British politics creates a space on the left which TUSC is trying to fill.
A TUSC supporter in Tottenham, north London, where Jenny Sutton is the TUSC candidate, reports, “We had an extremely good day on the streets on Saturday. We ran two stalls and got 18 names of people who want to help out with the campaign.
“We are moving to ward-based organisation to strengthen our roots and to take out everywhere the message that there is a left alternative to austerity and racism.”