What is TUSC?
It is exactly what the name says. It is a coalition of trade unionists and socialists who want to support a different set of policies from the other parties. There is now a three-party consensus in favour of cuts, privatisation and austerity; that aims to make the working class pay for the current capitalist crisis. TUSC opposes that agenda entirely.
Who is involved?
TUSC has the backing of the RMT national executive and in London it has the backing of the London region of the FBU. TUSC has been endorsed by three trade union general secretaries: Matt Wrack (FBU), Bob Crow (RMT) and Steve Gillan (POA). Alex Gordon, the president of the RMT, is heading our list in London and it includes union executive members from Unison, NUT, UCU and the FBU as well as rank and file activists. The Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party are both involved along with the Independent Socialist Network, which was set up for the many socialists who are not members of any organisation.
It also has the support of Ken Loach, Paul Laverty, solicitor Imran Khan, Mike Mansfield QC and ex-soldier Joe Glenton amongst others.
What does it stand for?
TUSC is opposed to all the cuts. We reject the argument that some cuts are necessary.
We are against privatisation and outsourcing. We want the repeal of the anti-union laws. In contrast with Labour, we are not embarrassed to support workers on strike.
We are unashamedly socialist. We call for democratic public ownership of the banks and major industries and the renationalisation of all the industries and services sold off in the past. We want a democratic socialist society run in the interests of the millions, not the millionaires, so that production and services can be planned to meet the needs of all and not just a rich few.
What does it hope to achieve?
This time, TUSC hopes to win a seat on the London assembly. We need just 5 per cent to do that. The result in Bradford West shows that Labour cannot take its working-class voters for granted any longer. We hope to cause an upset in London. Of course, we’d like to win council seats elsewhere but that’s much more difficult for a small party like ours with very little profile, when it’s first past the post.
How does TUSC differ from the Greens?
In lots of ways but, most importantly, TUSC opposes all cuts. The Greens say they’re against cuts but they’ve just voted for a cuts budget in Brighton where they run the council. That’s useless. There is no point saying you’re against cuts, and marching against them, if you then go into the council chamber and vote for them. That’s what puts so many people off politics. Voters want representatives who will do what they promise. TUSC promises to fight and puts forward an alternative.
Secondly, we argue that capitalism cannot solve the problems of the economy. You cannot have a ‘good capitalism’. We argue for a different, socialist society. While some individual Green members might agree with us, that isn’t the position of the Green Party.
Isn’t a vote for TUSC a wasted vote?
No. I think it’s important to vote for the party whose polities you support, not just for the least bad option. The old argument that you must vote Labour to keep out the Tories is wearing very thin.
Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have said they won’t reverse the Tory cuts, that they support the public sector pay freeze and they support privatisation.
Labour was in government for 13 years and continued privatising. The anti-union laws remained intact and the privatisation of the NHS and education began. How can anyone think that they will behave differently next time?
Those who believe we need something different have to start somewhere. We can’t guarantee that TUSC will win, any more than the pioneers of the Labour Party could. But you’ll never win unless you make a start.
There is a real chance under proportional representation that we can get 5 per cent across London and win at least one seat in the assembly on 3 May. That would make a huge difference to the political debate in Britain. By standing and arguing our case we are helping to pull the entire debate to the left.
What does the future hold?
Lots of hard work. At the moment TUSC is a coalition. I would like to see it develop into a new, united socialist party. But that won’t be easy. The left is fragmented. It’s been a great achievement to get this coalition up and running and it will take time to build it. I would like to see TUSC branches all over the country, carrying out activity all the time and not just at elections. I expect more trade unionists and activists to draw the conclusion that we need to build an alternative to Labour. There will be lots of discussions about how best to do that.
We need to build a mass socialist party, which argues and fights for a democratic, socialist society. That requires a party with millions of members and supporters. It won’t happen overnight. But what we’re doing at the moment can be a beginning.
Labour's 1983 election campaign has long been used to say it is impossible for a leader like Jeremy Corbyn to win any election from the left. Alex Nunns digs out the truth
Drax is the UK's biggest source of CO2 emissions – and we're paying for it, writes Almuth Ernsting
For the past 3 years, Barby Asante and members of London-based artists' collective, sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, have been responding directly to the vision of James Baldwin. Ahead of the nationwide release of a new film about the American activist and author, they reflect on the enduring relevance of Baldwin in Britain today.
Housing campaigners' gains in Bristol are spurring on a national movement to build a renters' union, writes Stuart Melvin
A new Espionage Act threatens whistleblowers and journalists, writes Sarah Kavanagh
We need an anti-austerity alliance, not a vaguely progressive alliance, argues Michael Calderbank
Rahila Gupta talks to Kimmie Taylor about life on the frontline in Rojava
It may seem as though these apps are working for us, but we are also working for the apps, writes Kurt Iveson
It's over 100 years ago that domestic workers began to organise to demand the same rights as other workers. Yet with LSE cleaners on strike this week, historian Laura Schwartz asks: how much has really changed?
Omar Barghouti asks whether Donald Trump, in his recent break with America’s long-standing support for the two-state solution, has unwittingly revived the debate about the plausibility, indeed the necessity, of a single, democratic state in historic Palestine?
2 May open meeting for artist-led poster campaign: End Tory Rule
The snap general election represents a unique opportunity to defeat this terrible government. We believe that visual artists have a crucial role to play
Our activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit…
Reflecting on a year in the environmental and anti-racist movements, Plane Stupid activist, Ali Tamlit, calls for a renewed focus on the dangers of power and privilege and the means to overcome them.
West Yorkshire calls for devolution of politics
When communities feel that power is exercised by a remote elite, anger and alienation will grow. But genuine regional democracy offers a positive alternative, argue the Same Skies Collective
How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers
For the first time in history, we have a mass migration of labour without an actual migration of workers. Mark Graham and Alex Wood explore the consequences
The Digital Liberties cross-party campaign
Access to the internet should be considered as vital as access to power and water writes Sophia Drakopoulou
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part III: a discussion of power and privilege
In the final article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr gives a few pointers on how to be a good ally
Event: Take Back Control Croydon
Ken Loach, Dawn Foster & Soweto Kinch to speak in Croydon at the first event of a UK-wide series organised by The World Transformed and local activists
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 19 April
On April 19th, we’ll be holding the second of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Changing our attitude to Climate Change
Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change
Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
In the second article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the silencing of black women and the flaws in safe spaces
Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
'We have come together to denounce this brazen conflict of interest and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media'
Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond
On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network
Disrupting the City of London Corporation elections
The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter
#AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement
Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.
Social Workers Without Borders
Jenny Nelson speaks to Lauren Wroe about a group combining activism and social work with refugees
Growing up married
Laura Nicholson interviews Dr Eylem Atakav about her new film, Growing Up Married, which tells the stories of Turkey’s child brides
The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari
Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next
Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace
Pass the domestic violence bill
Emma Snaith reports on the significance of the new anti-domestic violence bill
Report from the second Citizen’s Assembly of Podemos
Sol Trumbo Vila says the mandate from the Podemos Assembly is to go forwards in unity and with humility
Protect our public lands
Last summer Indigenous people travelled thousands of miles around the USA to tell their stories and build a movement. Julie Maldonado reports
From the frontlines
Red Pepper’s new race editor, Ashish Ghadiali, introduces a new space for black and minority progressive voices
How can we make the left sexy?
Jenny Nelson reports on a session at The World Transformed
In pictures: designing for change
Sana Iqbal, the designer behind the identity of The World Transformed festival and the accompanying cover of Red Pepper, talks about the importance of good design
Angry about the #MuslimBan? Here are 5 things to do
As well as protesting against Trump we have a lot of work to get on with here in the UK. Here's a list started by Platform