political parties

Vote With Your Feet!

In the last election, about 22 million of us didn’t vote [1]. That’s more people than voted for any political party. It’s not because we’re apathetic – it’s because most of us see through the “good cop, bad cop” routine of Labour and the Tories. Both parties support cuts, privatising the NHS, and making life hell for benefits claimants. [2] In the same way that a “good cop” will offer a cup of tea and a “friendly chat” while a “bad cop” shouts and makes threats, the Tories jeer at “scroungers” while Labour smiles and talks about the need to be practical. But whatever they promise in their manifestos, they both want to do the same thing – to screw us over on behalf of the rich.

Ray Woolford: putting profit before people

Ray Woolford is hard to avoid in local politics in Lewisham. He’s a political activist, four-time local election candidate, editor of the Lewisham Campaigner, bankroller of the local self-styled ‘revolutionary socialist’ Lewisham People Before Profit party, owner of Housemartins estate agents and former owner of the now closed Come the Revolution cafe.  We want to highlight the risks involved in working with him (and indeed, anyone associated with him), and advise everyone to give him a very wide berth. 
 
As the owner of Come the Revolution he
• Fired workers who joined Unite, the union
• Used threats of closing the business to get his way
• Accused workers of theft to cover up his own mismanagement
• Used the government’s workfare schemes for free labour
 

Cops try to cause trouble at Tory Local Government Protest in Leeds

Police tried to cause trouble so they could make arrests yesterday as a group of about 50+ protesters broke away from the TUC to protest at the Tory Local Governemtn Conference to show the public what was going on. The TUC meekly hid away in City Square in Leeds, the breakaway (inc WYSF) moved to the edge of the square were people could see us. The police tried to stop this even claiming they'd "provided a space for us". They were informed they couldn't stop us so did a sort of weak kettle (stopping any group of people leaving or joining but not really individuals). Most of the cops tactics was intelligence gathering, which when disrupted "accidentally" with flags etc really seemed to piss them off. As far as we are aware there where no arrests.

Tory Party Local Government Picket Leeds

Picket of the Tory Local Government Conference Queens Hotel, Leeds:
WYSF were joined by Leeds AFed, the Save REMPLOY Factories Campaign (GMB/Unite) and the SWP picketing the conference. Approx 20 of us took part (supported by even more police inc horses :) ). Had a great response from the public with busses, taxis, council workers, private workers and individuals all honking horns in support as they passed. Big thanks to all who turned out and prob see you all tomorrow for the TUC rally.

Demonstration against Andrew Lansley

Today saw the start of the Royal College of GPs conference in Liverpool. Keep Our NHS Public held a protest outside the venue, the BT Convention Centre, as health minister Andrew Lansley was set to be the day's keynote speaker. Members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation joined the action.

As the land was private property, the security had taken the trouble to set up a protest pen using steel barricades, in which the demonstrators were to be contained. Liverpool Solfed members and others were resistant to this, but too many of those who turned up complied willingly either by going inside or by keeping their distance from the centre whilst giving out leaflets. The minority who chose not to be caged - especially as there were no police present! - simply kept moving about so that they were never static enough to be herded back to the pen.

Tory Party Conference Demo

On Sunday 2nd October, members of Solidarity Federation were amongst those who descended on Manchester to demonstrate at the start of the Tory Party Conference. 30,000 people took part in the march, and there was an occupation of Albert Square which at the time of writing is still ongoing.

See Liverpool Solidarity Federation's pictures of the demo here.

Read Liverpool members' individual reflections on the day on the Truth, Reason & Liberty and Working Class Self-Organisation blogs.

The 'Spanish Revolution' hits Brighton

The occupations and demonstrations that have rocked Spain in opposition to austerity, unemployment and party politics have reached Brighton. At least 30 people, mostly from Spain, were occupying part of the Old Steine in Brighton city centre tonight in solidarity with the movement in Spain. An assembly run on directly democratic lines, with a megaphone being passed around participants, discussed tactics and goals of the camp, with decisions made to stage further protests and put on a programme of workshops. The assembly also reiterated its independence from all political ideologies and parties.

"This is the last thing we want to do" Really?

According to a headline in the Chronicle and Echo, "THE LARGEST cuts faced by Northamptonshire County Council in years have been approved by the Conservative leaders of the authority, despite the politicians admitting it was the last thing they wanted to do."

The last thing they wanted to do?

I can think of at least one option they could have taken.  Any councillor whose conscience was against the cuts could have taken the decision to resign their position.  But they didn't.

There are two conclusions:

1.  They actually did want to vote for the cuts, or

Councillor Joe Anderson is no ally of the working class

Joe Anderson, the leader of Liverpool City Council, is trying to paint himself as some kind of anti-cuts rebel. On 29th January he joined an anti-cuts march in Liverpool, not long after he wrote to David Cameron to withdraw Liverpool from the Big Society, and now he is asking people to march against the cuts this Sunday. This is nothing more than cheap political opportunism, and it should be rejected.

He tells us that the council is "bracing itself" for the cuts. He "warns" us that compulsory redundancies in the council will come. He is "incensed" by Liberal Democrats accusing him of having a "politically motivated" approach to job cuts.