The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is co-hosting a convention on how to present a “working-class challenge” to the main parties at this year’s general election. The event looks set to be an interesting platform of ideas and planning for smaller political parties on the left. Not that being ‘on the left’ of politics is hard – when you have Keir Starmer’s Labour Party lurching to the right.
TUSC: convening the working class
A “Convention to Organise a Working-Class Challenge at the General Election” will take place on Saturday 3 February at the Carrs Lane Centre in Birmingham B4 7SX. Co-hosted by the TUSC, it will also feature the Socialist Party, System Change (formerly Resist), the Campaign for a Mass Workers Party, TUSC Independent Socialists, and Socialist Students.
The convention is not aimed to be an event of hundreds of people. It is a working event of delegates from the six co-hosting organisations, and a further five socialist parties and campaign groups who have agreed to send representatives. Individual TUSC members who are not otherwise members of a constituent organisation are also welcome.
The convention will start with an opening session in which campaign groups and socialist organisations considering putting up candidates in the general election will be able to explain their broad position and take questions on their approach. It will also be open to any independent socialist candidates who, like the former Labour MP Emma Dent Coad, have already declared that they are intending to stand.
Fair media coverage and more
Then the convention will get down to detail, debating propositions tabled by the Convention Arrangements Committee (and any amendments or alternative proposals received) under six headings:
- The ‘fair media coverage’ target.
- The attitude to left-wing Labour candidates.
- A common name on the ballot paper.
- The minimum policies that candidates would have to support.
- The right to campaign independently within a common challenge.
- Decision-making going forward.
As the Canary previously reported, TUSC’s own election campaign is already off to a flying start. On 10 January, it announced 38 candidate for this year’s local elections on 2 May. This reflects a growing determination that Starmer’s Tory-lite ‘new’ Labour party should not be left unchallenged at the ballot box.
It is also this determination which is driving the convention and its aims.
How to get involved
In-person attendance at the convention is open to the following:
- Every campaign group or socialist organisation that is considering supporting or standing candidates in the general election can appoint up to ten delegates to represent their organisation at the event.
- Any individual member (attending in a personal capacity) of a trade union national executive committee, section or group executive committee member, or elected union branch officer or workplace rep can also attend with voice.
- Every resigned-from-Labour or independent socialist councillor can attend on the same basis.
- All individual members of TUSC will also be able to attend to ask questions and speak.
Zoom will also be available for visitors, who are asked to pay the same registration fee (£5 waged or £2 unwaged or low-waged) as in-person attendees to help meet the event’s costs. The registration form is available here.
Featured image via TUSC