The latest issue of the tedious Socialist Party rag The Socialist has just been published with the inevitable headline Trade union and Socialist Coalition: Vote for a Working Class Voice. and to be fair they are the standing the largest "fringe candidates" that I've come across so far. The TUSC is standing 561 candidates which are listed by ward here.
This is apparently just short of the threshold for obtaining what the BBC refer to as "fair coverage" and is used to ensure that that time isn't wasted giving air time to the loonies of whom there are far to many in the various elections that take place. Obviously the Socialist Party thinks it should get more media coverage, especially when its "front" organisation is standing a fair amount of candidates, though nowhere near the "big four".
So just who are the TUSC? The organisation set up by the Socialist Party brings it fellow trots the Socialist Workers Party and surprisingly the RMT union as the late Bob Crow was heavily involved. In addition there is a small group called the Independent Socialist Network which is the only way individuals can actually have a say as the TUSC is an alliance and does not accept individual members. Go figure.
But then of course this is all about "class" not individual human beings in the time mannered tradition of Marx, Lenin & Trotsky.
You can be a "supporter" but all that means is you donate money and do what they ask you without having any say in how the TUSC operates.
Top down socialism.
Whilst the comrades complain about a so-called "media blackout" on their campaigns (and it has to be remembered that the Sunday Times worked out the TUSC obtained 0.04% at the last general election) some of the attention they have received of late is more than a little unwelcome.
Their decision to run Steve Hedley has attracted some adverse reaction from what should be their "natural constituency". An on-line petition making accusations over alleged domestic violence is currently doing the rounds. Though at the time of writing it had only attracted 227 signatures, discussion has taken place on such forums as the PCS Union Face Book Group (no link its a "closed" group, in more than one way it has to be said).
Given the Socialist Party control the bankrupt PCS union that should be a worrying development.
Interestingly little has been said about the SWPs involvement. This organisation was widely condemned for its handling of serious accusations against of one its (now former) leaders and of the women (plural) who complained about their treatment by the party leadership.
There have been incidents at NUS conference and elsewhere on campus with SWP stalls being "turned over" and literature scattered to the wind. The latest such event taking place in Sheffield University, where not only was their stall wrecked, but they have been warned to stay out of the university on pain of being escorted off the premises by Security Guards. The latter because none of them were actually students.
The TUSC is actually standing no less than 21 candidates in Sheffield, one of whom is the notorious SWP hack Maxine Bowler. A student backlash could damage even their very limited chances here. Time will tell.
The Socialist Party itself is throwing everything into its Coventry offencive, where TUSC supremo and former
The track record of the Socialist Party where they have managed to have influence or control is very poor. When they were called the Militant, they made the Labour Party unelectable, when they took control of Liverpool Council they not only bankrupted it, but as Neil Kinnock reminded everyone in his now famous speech they sent taxis around the city to had out redundancy notices. Charming.
Of course they've now destroyed the largest of the Civil Service unions, the PCS and have had to go cap in hand to Unite to be bailed out.
And they say they offer an alternative?
Just the usual tired old unworkable Trotskyist nonsense.
Might provide some work for the cabbies in the unlikely event they get elected.