Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Fringe 2015: TUSC, the anti-austerity party that cuts

TUSC - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 135 candidates in the general election and therefore qualifies for a "Party Political Broadcast". Besides being somewhat dire, the "comrades" didn't really say too much about themselves other than they were an "anti-austerity" party and were "against all cuts".

The TUSC is of course the brainchild of the Socialist Party (formerly known as the Militant Tendency) who have cobbled together an alliance with the RMT union, the Socialist Workers Party (or what's left of it) and few other oddballs in the Independent Socialist Network.

You can't actually join as an individual which is also strange for a party that claims to stand for "workers democracy", but you can become a supporter which means you do work at their behest without any say in the decision making process.

Socialism eh!

That aside the TUSC claim:

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) argues that working class people should not pay for a crisis that we did not cause. That was why TUSC was set up in 2010, co-founded by the late Bob Crow, to show that there is a clear left-wing alternative to policies of public sector cuts, privatisation, militarism and environmental degradation.

TUSC has accepted from its start that there will be some Labour candidates who share our socialist aspirations and will be prepared to support measures that challenge the austerity consensus of the establishment politicians. But it is also committed to standing candidates or supporting others if that is the only way a working class anti-austerity socialist alternative can be articulated at election time.

Our coalition, of trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists, is united on the need for mass resistance to the ruling class offensive, and for an alternative programme of left-wing policies to help inspire and direct such resistance...

Except there's a problem with their track record.

The Socialist Party in their Militant guise gained control of Liverpool Council on a similar programme back in the eighties and err..ended up sending out redundancy notices to their workforce because they managed to bankrupt the city.

Fast forward to today and they have taken over the PCS union (the sixth largest in the country) and have  run it into the ground, being forced to sell off the unions assets, make staff redundant and even cancel elections because they can't afford it.

Not a very good track record at all.

More than that during their broadcast former MP Dave Nellist said he'd live on a "workers wage". Perhaps he might  but his fellow Socialist Party member Chris Baugh Assistant General Secretary of PCS doesn't.

Neither does the lefts failed "Messiah" Mark Serwotka General Secretary PCS who is always looking to build an alternative workers party.

Still they don't earn as much as George Galloway leader of the former left-wing Party "Respect", the third highest earning in Parliament.

The TUSC are no alternative to anything at all.

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