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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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.

Trade Unions: 

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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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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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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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Edinburgh fights cuts

On 12 February 2015 the City of Edinburgh Council, a Labour-SNP coalition, passed a budget with £22 million of cuts which will see a reduction of 1200 jobs from the council workforce.

Fiona Menzies from Edinburgh East Save Our Services told Solidarity: “This did not go unmarked. Community and trade union activists both lobbied outside the council and delivered inspiring deputations inside. People can get some idea of the range of groups and the arguments being made by watching the deputations on the council webcam.

Edinburgh Council, a Labour-SNP coalition, has passed a budget with £22 million of cuts which will see a reduction of 1,200 jobs from the council workforce.

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Around the world: 

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Save Lambeth Libraries!

Author: 

Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison Shop Steward

Lambeth Council has announced devastating cuts to the Library Service.

The proposals include:

• Closing half of Lambeth’s libraries

• The immediate sell-off of Minet and Waterloo Libraries

• Stopping funding to Carnegie, Durning and Upper Norwood Libraries

• Reducing the size of West Norwood and Brixton Libraries

• Replacing Libraries with bookshelves in pubs

Lambeth Council has announced devastating cuts to the Library Service.

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Working through the contradictions

Author: 

Kieran Miles

I had been interested in politics from a young age, but I thought being political meant watching the news and paying attention in history lessons. It wasn’t until the Tories were elected in summer 2010 that I began to think about politics in a serious way. I was horrified by the cuts.

Socialists can convince millions of people if we can just work through the contradictions in their heads, and our own. Every paper sale, every demo, every union branch, campaign meeting, or picket line, is an opportunity to do just that.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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