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.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to witness devastating political violence, but the world refuses to act. Ishiaba Kasonga and Serge Egola Angbakodolo ask why?
When fire safety has become a privilege for the rich, it’s time to stop austerity and fund emergency mass works to raise standards immediately, writes Jane Shallice
The election result has irreversibly changed political discourse in the UK, writes James Fox
In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Bernie Grant's election to parliament, Ayo Wallace explores the life and legacy of his radical representation of Tottenham's black communities.
Across Britain, hundreds of thousands of people have now taken part in mass rallies for Corbyn's Labour. Eli Regan soaks up the atmosphere in Warrington
The under-30s could be decisive in the general election. Frances Grahl meets young people hit by Tory austerity and looks at what's driving their support for Labour
“To them it’s just another number, someone else being sent back. But when you’ve got three children being left without their dad … it’s quite major,” writes Rebecca Omonira-Okeykanmi.
Hundreds of people surrounded the fences this weekend. Hera Lorandos spoke to women who have suffered inside.
Grassroots posters giving an alternative take on the general election
Laying out the case for Labour's leadership of a Progressive Alliance, Jeremy Gilbert argues that far from posing a threat to the Left, the Progressive Alliance offers a golden opportunity to end Tory rule and build a 21st century government committed to social justice
Brexit, Corbyn and beyond
Clarity of analysis can help the left avoid practical traps, argues Paul O'Connell
Paul Mason vs Progress: ‘Decide whether you want to be part of this party’ – full report
Broadcaster and Corbyn supporter Paul Mason tells the Blairites' annual conference some home truths
Contagion: how the crisis spread
Following on from his essay, How Empire Struck Back, Walden Bello speaks to TNI's Nick Buxton about how the financial crisis spread from the USA to Europe
How empire struck back
Walden Bello dissects the failure of Barack Obama's 'technocratic Keynesianism' and explains why this led to Donald Trump winning the US presidency
Empire en vogue
Nadine El-Enany examines the imperial pretensions of Britain's post-Brexit foreign affairs and trade strategy
Grenfell Tower residents evicted from hotel with just hours’ notice
An urgent call for support from the Radical Housing Network
Jeremy Corbyn is no longer the leader of the opposition – he has become the People’s Prime Minister
While Theresa May hides away, Corbyn stands with the people in our hours of need, writes Tom Walker
In the aftermath of this disaster, we must fight to restore respect and democracy for council tenants
Glyn Robbins says it's time to put residents, not private firms, back at the centre of decision-making over their housing
After Grenfell: ending the murderous war on our protections
Under cover of 'cutting red tape', the government has been slashing safety standards. It's time for it to stop, writes Christine Berry
Why the Grenfell Tower fire means everything must change
The fire was a man-made atrocity, says Faiza Shaheen – we must redesign our economic system so it can never happen again
Forcing MPs to take an oath of allegiance to the monarchy undermines democracy
As long as being an MP means pledging loyalty to an unelected head of state, our parliamentary system will remain undemocratic, writes Kate Flood
7 reasons why Labour can win the next election
From the rise of Grime for Corbyn to the reduced power of the tabloids, Will Murray looks at the reasons to be optimistic for Labour's chances next time
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 25 June
On June 25th, the fourth of Red Pepper Race Section's Open Editorial Meetings will celebrate the launch of our new black writers' issue - Empire Will Eat Itself.
After two years of attacks on Corbyn supporters, where are the apologies?
In the aftermath of this spectacular election result, some issues in the Labour Party need addressing, argues Seema Chandwani
If Corbyn’s Labour wins, it will be Attlee v Churchill all over again
Jack Witek argues that a Labour victory is no longer unthinkable – and it would mean the biggest shake-up since 1945
On the life of Robin Murray, visionary economist
Hilary Wainwright pays tribute to the life and legacy of Robin Murray, one of the key figures of the New Left whose vision of a modern socialism lies at the heart of the Labour manifesto.
Letter from the US: Dear rest of the world, I’m just as confused as you are
Kate Harveston apologises for the rise of Trump, but promises to make it up to us somehow
The myth of ‘stability’ with Theresa May
Settit Beyene looks at the truth behind the prime minister's favourite soundbite
Civic strike paralyses Colombia’s principle pacific port
An alliance of community organisations are fighting ’to live with dignity’ in the face of military repression. Patrick Kane and Seb Ordoñez report.
Greece’s heavy load
While the UK left is divided over how to respond to Brexit, the people of Greece continue to groan under the burden of EU-backed austerity. Jane Shallice reports
On the narcissism of small differences
In an interview with the TNI's Nick Buxton, social scientist and activist Susan George reflects on the French Presidential Elections.
Why Corbyn’s ‘unpopularity’ is exaggerated: Polls show he’s more popular than most other parties’ leaders – and on the up
Headlines about Jeremy Corbyn’s poor approval ratings in polls don’t tell the whole story, writes Alex Nunns
Job vacancy: Red Pepper is looking for a political organiser
Closing date for applications: postponed, see below
The media wants to demoralise Corbyn’s supporters – don’t let them succeed
Michael Calderbank looks at the results of yesterday's local elections
In light of Dunkirk: What have we learned from the (lack of) response in Calais?
Amy Corcoran and Sam Walton ask who helps refugees when it matters – and who stands on the sidelines
Osborne’s first day at work – activists to pulp Evening Standards for renewable energy
This isn’t just a stunt. A new worker’s cooperative is set to employ people on a real living wage in a recycling scheme that is heavily trolling George Osborne. Jenny Nelson writes
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 24 May
On May 24th, we’ll be holding the third of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
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