TUSC: The “Jiminy Cricket” of the Labour Party

2015-01-31 13.27.12

Like most Saturdays I was helping to run a stall with fellow Socialist Party members in Plymouth City Centre. Usually it goes without incident, although last year we received quite a bit of hostility from the police and the City Centre Company throughout the local elections. Today seemed to be just another day for selling our party’s newspaper, The Socialist, whilst engaging in discussion with passers by.

Being that it was quite a wet and windy day, it seemed at some points as though the more sensible thing to do may have been not to have held the stall but nevertheless we persevered and 6 of us ran the stall. It is because we did that I was able to have a very insightful conversation which raises many questions. The reason for this is that we had a Labour Councillor approach our stall looking for directions for a Youth Parliament event. Not wanting to squander the opportunity, I took the time to then ask a few questions of this Councillor to clarify their position on a few issues which both TUSC and the Socialist Party have been campaigning on.

At first, I was told of the usual horrors of being in a position where cuts have to be made due to the Tories cutting from Central Government, leaving no choice for local Councillors. I was then told at great length how this Councillor has done all they can to mitigate the worst of the damage currently being done to services and working conditions. What I did not then expect was to then be commended on the work which TUSC has done to provide a “Jiminy Cricket” or a conscience to the Labour Party.

I was then told that there was a concern that we were likely to split the vote which would open up the door to UKIP but I must admit that it felt as though this line had been rehearsed. It is also a perspective which I would disagree with as I am of the opinion that TUSC is picking up the votes of people that would otherwise be disenfranchised or tempted to vote UKIP as a protest vote. What was more intriguing was the fact that the belief that TUSC was seen by this Councillor to be a Jiminy Cricket type figure to the Labour Party was clearly a genuine one.

This is very telling as it is indicative of a guilty conscience from somebody who is clearly not fully behind their Party’s actions. Moreover, the fact that this person was willing to give a financial contribution to aid what is essentially a rival political party is also very telling. I would ask this Councillor and all others who are in this position in the Labour Party (I’m sure there are quite a few out there) to give serious consideration to the actions being committed by your party.

If you are not satisfied then I invite you to speak out against the needless austerity which is being imposed. If you are worried about the consequences of doing so, I would argue that this is a damning indication of how undemocratic and out of touch the Labour Party has become. I would also point out that there is a place for you if you should find yourself outside of the Labour Party, it is with the growing number of people who are willing to do something to challenge the idea that there is no alternative to austerity. It is with TUSC…


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