April 26, 2022 1.45 pm

Local Elections 2022: TUSC promises to fight cuts, stand up for working class and tax super rich

“Reject the capitalist parties, vote for a campaigning socialist alternative”

By Local Democracy Reporter

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition says it wants to be a voice for working-class people on the council.

Voters in Lincoln will head to the polls on May 5 to pick their choice in the local elections where a third of seats are up for grabs – one in each ward.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the leaders of each of the main parties a series of questions and gave them a chance to have their say.

For an analysis of the key battlegrounds, including where Conservatives will be looking to make strong advances or where Labour will be keen to defend visit here.

A full list of candidates, along with those in North East Lincolnshire, can be found here.

For the latest election coverage, click here.

Nick Parker is standing for the TUSC in Carholme ward.

Here’s what he had to say:

What is your party hoping to achieve? 

TUSC’s aim in the election is build a socialist alternative to the main parties and to offer Carholme ward residents the chance to elect a socialist councillor to represent them in the council chamber.

TUSC is seeking to popularise the idea that there is an alternative to the capitalist system that gives us cuts, privatisation, austerity, inequality, gentrification, environmental catastrophe, social division, and a cost of living crisis that seeks to make ordinary people pay for the sky-high profits of big business.

TUSC is not going to take control of the council if our candidate gets elected. But regardless of which party controls the council, that party’s representatives will implement cuts and austerity.

TUSC is standing to send the message that whichever party votes for cuts to council services, they will face opposition from socialists at the ballot box.

What calibre of candidates do you have this time round? 

The calibre of any candidate in this election should be measured by how far they’re prepared to go to fight for their community regardless of the effect on their political career, inside and outside the council chamber.

Nick pledges to be a voice in the council chamber to argue for socialist policies, and to vote against any policies that are opposed to the interests of working-class people.

Nick is an active trade unionist and socialist who was born and has grown up in Carholme.

Nick was a member of the Labour Party who joined under Corbyn but left like many others after Starmer shifted the party back to Tory-lite policies.

Nick has been involved in campaigns to defend workers’ living standards, against cuts and privatisation of our public services like our libraries and walk-in centre, and against racism and discrimination in our community.

A big issue is the cost of living crisis, what will you do to tackle/address this? 

Working-class people are crying out for meaningful action to tackle the cost of living crisis.

TUSC believes that the government should hold an emergency budget to reverse cuts to benefits and pensions, bring the energy production and distribution companies into public ownership, cap bills, and increase the minimum wage to £15 an hour.

But the Tories in government would prefer to put the profits of big business before the needs of the rest of us.

There’s a myth that councils can’t do anything about the cost of living crisis. They can!

Our Labour-run council could freeze council home rents and take action against rising rents and poor home insulation in the private sector.

Our Labour-run council could reverse the cuts to local welfare provision and expand the support provided to people struggling to make ends meet in our community.

Our Labour-run council could use its reserves to fund this while building the foundation for a mass campaign to demand more resources from the government in Westminster.

The council isn’t powerless – but what we need is socialist councillors who are prepared to put up a fight.

It’s not just residents facing financial strain, councils are too. How will you address the funding situation? 

Councils are facing a financial crisis because the Tories in government at a national level (and previously the Lib Dems when they were in bed with the Tories) have savagely cut funding for local councils.

Meanwhile, Labour councillors in Lincoln and across the country repeatedly tell us that there’s no alternative but for them to pass on those cuts on to our services, our jobs, and our communities.

That’s what Labour councillors have voted to do to the Drill Hall, introducing green bin charges, closing or charging for public toilets, cutting park wardens and urban rangers, etc.

Despite claiming they’re an alternative, Green councillors have acted the same by supporting austerity when they’ve had a sniff of power in other areas .

TUSC is standing over 250 candidates across the country arguing for a joined-up campaign of councils to refuse to make cuts and to take the fight back to Boris and his government for proper funding for our public services.

TUSC seeks to build a mass campaign rooted in the workplaces and the communities to demand the money back from Westminster that has been stolen from us to line the pockets of the super-rich.

The wealthiest 1% in society have plenty of money while the rest of us struggle.

It’s time to make the super-rich pay up.

There’s a lack of faith in politicians lately, particularly when looking at the national picture, how will you build that trust with your communities? 

Working-class people are absolutely right to lack faith in the main capitalist parties, when they have consistently let us down by allowing big businesses and the super-rich to enrich themselves at our expense while the majority of us struggle.

Not only that, politicians act like there’s one rule for them, and another rule for the rest of us. Changes that have been mooted about the future of Lincoln’s local democracy could make politicians even more remote and out of touch than they already are.

TUSC is led by Dave Nellist, a former Labour MP from 1983-1992. When Dave was in Parliament, he only took the average wage of a skilled worker (about a third of the wage) and donated the rest to community campaigns and struggles. That’s the way to build support with your community.

TUSC seeks to build a socialist alternative rooted in the communities which will unite working-class people to fight back against all attacks by the main capitalist parties.

What do the people on the doorstep care about? 

The cost of living crisis is the most immediate issue facing Carholme residents.

But it’s not the only issue.

Carholme deserves better than the neglect in the upkeep of our community areas because of austerity implemented by Labour councillors.

Carholme deserves better than gentrification policies that put the interests of wealthy private developers before local residents.

Carholme deserves better than a neglected privatised public transport system that has led to environmentally-damaging traffic and parking problems because it’s too expensive or unreliable for people to get the bus or train.

Carholme deserves better than poorly insulated, expensive homes because the council isn’t willing to build the council housing that can meet our needs.

And Carholme deserves better than councillors who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fighting Tory austerity policies.

Finally, tell us in 10 words why readers should vote for you?

Reject the capitalist parties, vote for a campaigning socialist alternative.