The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is already gearing up for May’s local elections – having decided on 34 candidates already. This is, of course, away from the general election that has to happen this year.
Making moves for this year’s elections
The January meeting of the TUSC all-Britain steering committee approved the first batch of candidates to contest the local council elections on 2 May. This kicks off the year in which a general election must be called – if, indeed, as is possible, it isn’t held on the same 2 May date.
38 candidates were agreed at the 10 January meeting, a record for TUSC at this early point in the nomination process. It reflects a growing determination that Keir Starmer’s Tory-lite ‘new’ Labour party should not be left unchallenged at the ballot box.
This was the mood, for example, of the hundred-plus public meeting in Southampton’s Bevois ward in late December. It introduced the local community worker Nadia Ditta as the TUSC candidate, one of those endorsed by the steering committee:
Nadia rallied the troops, recorded issues of concern, got names of people who want to work with us. She told the gathering that they should be proud of their community, and their children, and that we will make our voices heard in the council chambers of Southampton.
For many in attendance, Starmer’s complicity in following the Tory government’s support for Israel’s barbarous war against the Palestinians was the final straw. As it says in the TUSC local elections core policy platform, updated at the steering committee meeting:
if they won’t protest against the destruction of Gaza, its people firstly but also the infrastructure essential to a functioning society, what confidence can we have that they will fight to protect local services, jobs, wages and benefits here?
TUSC: building for the widest possible stand in May
Agreeing thirty-eight candidates in January is only a start, of course, with the steering committee in favour of the widest possible stand in May.
Council elections, contesting control of over one-fifth of all public spending, are important in themselves in the fight against austerity and the cost-of-living crisis. But they are also a vital spring-board for a general election challenge too. The TUSC will be discussing this and more with others at a convention of left-wing organisations on 3 February.
The full list of council candidates agreed so far is available on the TUSC website. The next steering committee meeting to discuss candidate applications will take place on 14 February. Completed application forms need to be received by the TUSC National Election Agent Clive Heemskerk, at cliveheemskerk(at)socialistparty.org.uk, by Saturday 10 February. Then, they can be placed on the agenda for this meeting.
The TUSC Council Candidate Application Form is available here as a download, and an explanatory TUSC Guide for Election Candidates and Agents can be found here.
In the run-up to the convention on Saturday 3 February, and the local elections in May, the TUSC wants to raise its social media profile so that hundreds, possibly thousands, more people see it and consider getting involved.
Its main social media platforms are X/Twitter and Facebook (it hopes to develop others). Please follow its accounts and share the posts. The TUSC post on Twitter yesterday afternoon announcing the first council candidates has already been seen by over 5,000 people. But, with your help, it could be many more.
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