Socialist Worker

TUSC tackles the elephant in the room

Issue No. 2539

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference last Saturday debated standing in the May elections.

TUSC includes the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the Socialist Party and the RMT union.

The SWP argued that it would be a mistake to stand against Labour in England and Wales at this time. The Socialist Party and RMT said TUSC should stand against some Labour candidates.

Debate focused on the changed situation with Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. Paul Reilly of the RMT’s national executive committee said the union supported Corbyn—but not right wing Labour candidates.

Socialist Party deputy general secretary Hannah Sell said that standing against “anti-Corbyn right wing councillors” is an important “political weapon” against the cuts.

SWP joint national secretary Charlie Kimber said socialists can “explode the contradictions” in Labour by working with Corbyn supporters to fight austerity and racism.

Standing against Labour when elections are seen as a referendum on Corbyn is a barrier to this, he argued.

The conference voted overwhelmingly to stand candidates. Kimber said that the SWP “will not be able to take political responsibility for candidates standing in 2017” and would discuss TUSC’s decision in its structures.


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