Anti-cuts, public services

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Questions and answers on the cuts

Stop the cuts

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Q. The Lib/Tory coalition says that the government just has to make social cuts, in the same way as anyone who has "maxed out" their credit cards needs to cut back. Is that true?

A. No. In the first place, there is nothing impossible about the government continuing with a large budget deficit for a while. Governments can't "run out of money" in the same way that households or businesses can.

The "case" for the cuts is built on lies!

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

On Saturday 9 May, over 400 people marched from South Friern library in Barnet, to East Finchley library, then Finchley Church End before finishing at North Finchley library, to protest over proposed cuts to library services in the borough.

The march was joined on the final leg, from Finchley Church End library to North Finchley library by a double decker bus decorated with union banners, and a brass band.

Activists in Barnet have now completed 4 days of action, marching through all the libraries in Barnet.

Protest over library cuts in Barnet; London Met UCU votes to strike; job cuts at Leeds and Bradford colleges; reinstate Candy Udwin!

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Reclaim Brixton!

Author: 

Ruth Cashman

Two thousand people gathered in Brixton on Saturday 25 April under the banner of Reclaim Brixton.

The day included a short lived occupation of the Town Hall, several marches and speeches and music in Windrush Square.

Reclaim Brixton brings together a number of new and existing campaigns together.

Demands of the protest included:

• Refurbishment not regeneration of council estates — no evictions of Lambeth residents

• Stop racist policing, stop police violence, no more stop and search

• No cuts to local services — save Lambeth Libraries

Two thousand people gathered in Brixton on Saturday 25 April under the banner of Reclaim Brixton.

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IFS: Tory cuts may total 33% by 2019

Author: 

Anne Field

The four biggest parties in the next parliament – Labour, Tories, SNP and Lib-Dems – are all intending to continue to implement austerity policies after 7th May.

Where they differ is in relation to the size of the cuts they intend making, the timetable for implementing those cuts, and the extent to which their election manifestos clarify the cuts which they intend making.

This was the verdict of a detailed number-crunching analysis published on 23 April by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS): “Post-Election Austerity: Parties’ Plans Compared”.

The Tories are planning on making the biggest cuts in departmental spending: an overall cut of 7.1% by 2019, reducing such spending to its lowest level in real terms since 2003

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Hull Red Labour: “The party left us”

Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory supporters Gill Kennett and Dean Kirk were elected as Labour councillors in Hull, but expelled from the party for refusing to vote for cuts. Dean is standing in the May council elections as Hull Red Labour. We spoke to them about the campaign. Another former Labour councillor, ASLEF activist Gary Wareing, is also standing for HRL.


Our campaign has been going for five months. We have 25,000 leaflets and letters out already and another 10,000 to go out; regular campaign stalls; and door knocking.

An interview with Labour councillors in Hull expelled from the party for refusing to vote for cuts.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Unison Special Conference and winning rank and file control of our Unions

Author: 

Ed Whitby (Unison activist - personal capacity)

In the aftermath of the Unison Local Government Special Conference, unison activists are rightly discussing where next, how can we build on this policy victory and make it a victory for low paid workers in our re-opened pay battle. In this contribution Ed Whitby discusses how we continue to reclaim not just this pay battle, but also the structures of our union from the workplaces and branches upwards.

In the aftermath of the Unison Local Government Special Conference, unison activists are rightly discussing where next, how can we build on this policy victory and make it a victory for low paid workers in our re-opened pay battle. In this contribution Ed Whitby discusses how we continue to reclaim not just this pay battle, but also the structures of our union from the workplaces and branches upwards.

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University of the Arts students occupy

Students at the University of Arts London have occupied management offices to protest against cuts in foundation courses. Other colleges also now in occupation!

On the 16 March, news was spread amongst University of the Arts London (UAL) students that management had decided to cut over 800 places on their Foundation courses. Three days later, students and SUARTS sabbs are occupying management rooms at Central St Martins, King’s Cross in a peaceful yet poignant protest.

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Reverse, not slow, the cuts!

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Solidarity went to press before George Osborne's pre-election Budget on 18 March. All the signs were that Osborne would follow up his 3 December autumn statement with a few tax cuts, mainly for the well-off.

The autumn statement projected further social cuts estimated by the conservative Institute for Fiscal Studies to total £55 billion over the next five years, more than the £35 billion slashed since 2010.

Osborne has already said he wants £12 billion further welfare cuts.

Labour's leaders are only promising slower, milder cuts. The unions should use their clout in the Labour Party to demand taxes on the rich and reversal of cuts.

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Stop cuts in domestic violence services!

Author: 

Becky Crocker

Women activists have set up a direct action group, Sisters Uncut, to protest against cuts to domestic violence services.  Sisters Uncut held its first direct action on Saturday 14 February, to mark the spike in domestic violence that is usually recorded around Valentine’s Day.

Cuts to domestic violence services have reached a critical point.  According to a recent Women’s Aid report:

• Between 2010 and 2014 (July) the number of specialist refuge services decreased from 187 to 155.

Women activists have set up a direct action group, Sisters Uncut, to protest against cuts to domestic violence services. 

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