The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing parliamentary candidates across Britain in May’s general election. Jon Woods is the parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth North.
“I’m convenor of the local anti-cuts group,” said Jon. “I’m a social worker. I’ve been active politically since I supported the campaign against the Alton Bill that tried to restrict abortion rights in 1988.
“I’ve been involved in all the local campaigns from the North End anti poll tax union to Stop the War, and I am also president of Portsmouth trades council.”
He said, “My proudest moment as a trade unionist was probably being MC at the city’s demonstration during the 30 November public sector strikes in 2011.”
Tory fire minister Penny Mordaunt is the sitting MP.
Jon said he knows how angry firefighters are at the cuts she is pushing through.
He said, “I’ve supported picket lines at the two local fire stations at Cosham and Southsea.”
Jon said that it is important to stand to give a socialist alternative, as “Labour doesn’t really provide any opposition.
“The Labour group on the council helped the Tories pass their budget.
“John Ferrett, the leader of the Labour group, is their parliamentary candidate.”
“Before Mordaunt was elected in 2010 it was a Labour seat. They lost it because a lot of people couldn’t bring themselves to vote for them after years of betrayals.”
Jon said there are two reasons why he felt he had to stand. “First it’s vital that we stand up to the racist scapegoating. I’m clearly saying ‘Don’t blame migrants’. That’s on our banner whenever we have a stall.
“But beyond that, if the best we can ever expect is a Labour government under Ed Miliband that’s pretty sad. I want people to have someone to vote for that they can believe in.”