Anti-cuts committees are now being set up in areas across Britain.
The quicker, the better! Local Trades Councils, if they have any life at all, are the best bodies to initiate such committees. If committees are initiated outside trade-union structures, for example by community groups, they should move to base themselves in the labour movement, winning affiliations and delegates from trade unions.
The committee must, however, be broader than the Trades Council, drawing in delegates from community groups, ward and constituency Labour Parties, and workplaces, as well as trade unions.
The committee's aim should be simple: to fight every cut in jobs and services.
The first task of a committee should be to audit the effect of the threatened cuts in its area. Since it is now so easy to set up a website, the best format for this audit is a website where information about local cuts can be posted daily, as details become clear. That can then be used as a constantly-updated resource for leaflets.
The second is to get out to the working-class public. Street stalls are a good way to do this, and a good activity to draw new people into.
Demonstrations, lobbies of the council, workplace meetings, and support for industrial and community direct action against cuts, will also be part of the committee's work as it develops.
In some meetings to set up anti-cuts committees, there has been debate about the proper relation between them and council Labour groups.
If council Labour groups call for "unity against the Con-Dem government", that is fine. But the question has to be: unity to do what?
Committees should welcome council Labour groups sending delegates, if they will do that. But they should take their own decisions, based on the needs and wishes of the workers and community groups which they represent, and measure what the councillors do by the needs of the struggle against the government.
They should organise to make Labour councillors refuse to cooperate with the cuts. If council Labour groups carry out Lib-Tory cuts, then the committees must fight them. Dissident Labour councillors who fight the cuts should of course be welcome within the committees.