The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing parliamentary candidates in May’s general election.
Maxine Bowler is the candidate for Brightside and Hillsborough in Sheffield. She explained to Socialist Worker why she was standing.
She said, “Austerity is pounding the poorest people—and Brightside and Hillsborough is one of the poorest constituencies in the country.
“It has more people with health problems, more people on benefits—and more people being sanctioned.”
Maxine said it’s important to stand as a left alternative.
“Labour’s candidate Harry Harpham was New Labour minister David Blunkett’s election agent and deputy leader of the council.
“He said there are 8,000 people on the housing waiting list.
“I don’t know where the rest have gone because the list was much bigger than that.”
She said a housing crisis had developed in Sheffield on his watch. He is cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods.
“The council demolished 8,000 homes. It said if they did this then private contractors would come in. Of course, that’s not happened. Now there’s a housing crisis in the city.”
Maxine’s campaign offers a different type of politics.
“I’m quite well-known in the community, around the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Stop the War. And I’m known as someone who stands up to Islamophobia.”
She added, “Lots of people have slid off the electoral register—and many were never on it in the first place because they think all politicians stink.
“People feel that politics is just about people with money and power. TUSC candidates have to be ordinary people, who understand the lives of ordinary people.”