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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Hutchison port workers win a first semi-victory

Author: 

Martin Thomas
On 13 August the Federal Court ordered Hutchison to put workers back on the payroll until 31 August pending negotiations.

Workers at the Hutchison port terminals in Brisbane and in Sydney, Australia, have won a first semi-victory with a 13 August Federal Court order on Hutchison to put 97 workers back on pay until 31 August pending negotiations.

On the evening of Thursday 13 August the Federal Court ordered reinstatement of 97 dockworkers whom Hutchison Ports summarily sacked with immediate effect at their Brisbane and Sydney container terminals by email at 11:30pm on Thursday 6 August.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Becky Crocker and Charlotte Zalens

Council workers in the London boroughs of Bromley and Barnet struck again on 7-9 July and 8 July respectively in ongoing fights against cuts and privatisations.

Strikers from the two boroughs met up in Parliament Square at lunchtime on 8 July to protest at the budget announcement.

Bromley and Barnet council workers strike again; railworkers strike across South West; more strikes at National Gallery.

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Sharpening our politics against the Tories

Author: 

Monty Shield and Vicki Morris

On Saturday 30 May, around a thousand people marched from Waterloo station to Westminster Bridge against the planned £12 billion cuts to public welfare services

Protesters, organised by UK Uncut, hung a banner from Westminster Bridge overlooking Parliament, reading “austerity is a lie”; it was collectively painted by activists while on the bridge. The banner could be seen along way down the bank of the Thames!

Anti-cuts protests in London and Nottingham.

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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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