Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Former Chair of the Socialist Alliance and Respect, Nick Wrack, lead an interesting and successful public debate at the Rugby United Railway Club, Spring St., on Monday evening (March 19th). The meeting was organised by Rugby TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition), as a start to the party’s 2012 election campaign.

Nick Wrack, who is the TUSC No2 candidate in the London Assembly Elections in May, set out a clear vision of an alternative to the present reliance on a capitalist approach by the three main Parties.   “They all see vital services within society as opportunities for profit,” he argued.  “The result of such an approach is the privatisation of public services and the driving down of the living standards of working-class people”.

“I applaud the founding ethos of the NHS, in which all members of society contribute collectively to the communal well being, taking back their individual care needs when required. I campaign for a society in which this value informs all our communal action.  This demands the emergence of a party that will represent the views and needs of the working class,” he concluded.

Rugby TUSC convenor Pete McLaren (Prospective TUSC candidate for Wolston and the Lawfords) spoke of his long standing commitment to the ward in which he lives.  He outlined his pleasure at the progress Rugby TUSC had made.  “The TUSC branch in Rugby was formed just 12 months ago.  It has already made its presence felt in the area, with a number of stalls, leafleting, public meetings and campaigns against many aspects of the way public spending cuts have hit local people, including opposition to bus service cuts, the closure of Birch ward and the Welfare Reform Bill presently going through Parliament,” he commented.

Dave Goodwin (Prospective TUSC candidate for Hillmorton) confirmed TUSC’s commitment to opposing all cuts in public spending at every level.   He deplored the closure of care homes for older people, and the sale of associated assets.

Steve Roberts (Prospective TUSC candidate for Bilton) exploded the myth that the pensions’ pot cannot support the current commitments, using carefully researched figures. It was apparent that the raid on pensions was purely to bolster the bailout of the banks, he argued.

Julie Weekes (Prospective TUSC candidate for Rokeby and Overslade) spoke of the three-pronged effect of the cuts on women. Her research demonstrated that women are disproportionately more likely to lose their jobs; that cut services are more likely to have been used by women; and that the gaps thus created are more likely to be filled voluntarily by women.

Ally MacGregor (Prospective TUSC candidate for New Bilton), in the Chair, closed the meeting reaffirming Rugby TUSC’s determination to continue to work towards these visions through, and beyond, the coming election.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


The Rugby TUSC Public Meeting on Monday March 19th, 7.30pm, at the Rugby United Railway Club, Spring St received a boost on Thursday with an excellent article in the Rugby Advertiser.  Based accurately on the Media release sent in by Rugby TUSC Press officer Pete McLaren, the article was headlined "Left wing campaigners begin their fight for election", followed in large bold by 'Your opportunity to quiz cuts opponents'.  The article then outlined how it was a TUSC public Meeting with TUSC SC member Nick Wrack as the main speaker.  Pete McLaren was quoted as saying that the meeting would provide the opportunity to show there were alternatives to the cuts homing in on a 5% wealth tax, nationalisation of the banks and financial institutions, and the collection of avoided or evaded tax.  The article finished with a complete list of of the Rugby TUSC prospective candidates, accurately.  There was even a highlighted box in blue with Pete's quote about how the debt problem could be resolved by a 5% wealth tax on the richest 10%.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Rugby Against the Cuts pulls out of electoral work to avoid promoting Green candidates

Rugby Against the Cuts met on Thursday, March 8th.  The main discussion concerned the TUSC Statement about ending our alliance/collaboration with the Green party because of the Green party support for cuts, along with the intransigence of the local Greens over discussing seat distribution for the Council elections, and their refusal to negotiate.  Rugby Against the Cuts had previously agreed to promote anti cuts candidates across the whole of Rugby as it had done last year.  The Statement, which was mentioned in the local press, can be read in full at http://bit.ly/gd9tJr

A lot of the discussion was about whether or not Rugby Against the Cuts still had a role to play in the Council election campaign this year given the position of TUSC to end the electoral alliance.  A number of TUSC comrades explained that they no longer wanted to be associated electorally with a Green party that nationally supported cuts.

A Labour party member asked whether the Green party as a whole supported the cutting position in Brighton - when it became obvious from Green responses that the recent Green party Conference had not called the Brighton Green Councillors to task, he concluded that the Greens, like Labour, did support cuts once in power, and actually suggested Rugby Against the Cuts should support TUSC as the only anti cuts Party locally!  We didn’t push that one!

In the event, what was agreed, with only one vote against (and there were two Green party members present), was that Rugby Against the Cuts would withdraw from all electoral activity until after the Council Elections - in other words, RAtC will not get involved with supporting so-called anti cuts candidates this year, unlike last year when it had a leaflet promoting all anti cuts candidates, stalls and Media Releases promoting TUSC and Green anti cuts candidates.  It was also agreed that RAtC would not meet again until May.

TUSC can now concentrate on its own campaign without distraction, standing as TUSC Against Cuts.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


It is with regret that the Rugby branch of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) announces that it has ended its engagement with the Green party as part of Rugby Against the Cuts.  This has immediate implications for electoral arrangements, as outlined below.

Our reasons are two-fold:
  • The recent decision of the Green party controlling group on Brighton Council to promote and implement £35 million cuts which will lead to redundancies and devastate local public services.  TUSC, like Rugby Against the Cuts, is opposed to all cuts and believes they should be opposed at every level
  • Irreconcilable differences with local Green party members regarding the distribution of Anti Cuts candidates in Rugby, despite our attempts to negotiate with them on this matter - differences which will make it impossible to stand anti cuts candidates in every ward in Rugby as originally envisaged by Rugby Against the Cuts.

It is politically untenable for an anti cuts organization to promote anti cuts election candidates from a Party which, when it has power, implements cuts.  The Green party is clearly not an anti-cuts party, and although individual members may say they are against public spending cuts, as some did in Brighton, and some do in Rugby, if elected they would be in no position to stand up against them given their Party’s national policy.

This will mean that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), standing as TUSC Against Cuts, will field anti cuts candidates in as many Rugby wards as possible regardless of whether Green candidates stand or not, and we will clearly not be working co-operatively with the Green Party in the 2012 Council Elections.

TUSC has a very firm set of policies to oppose the cuts, ratified at a National TUSC conference last month, meaning that any elected TUSC Councillor shall under no circumstances support cuts in public services, unlike the U-turn recently made by the Green Party in Brighton.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition policy platform for the 2012 local elections
Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions – we reject the claim that ‘some cuts’ are necessary to our services.
Reject increases in council tax, rent and service charges to compensate for government cuts.
Vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services, or the transfer of council services to ‘social enterprises’ or ‘arms-length’ management organisations, which are first steps to privatisation.
Use all the legal powers available to councils, including powers to refer local NHS decisions, initiate referenda and organise public commissions and consultations, to oppose both the cuts and government polices which centrally impose the transfer of public services to private bodies.
When faced with government cuts to council funding, councils should refuse to implement the cuts.  We will support councils which in the first instance use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid passing them on – while arguing that the best way to mobilise the mass campaign that is necessary to defeat the cuts is to set a budget that meets the needs of the local community and demands that the government makes up the shortfall.