Trade Union Socialist Coalition candidate for Brent Central vows to fight cuts
- Credit: Archant
The austerity cuts being rained on Brent are not necessary at all and can be avoided believes the candidate standing for the Trade Union Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
John Boyle has lived in Brent for the past 20 years, having been bought up in Stoke-on-Trent, the son of a miner and mother who looked after him and his three siblings.
His party, TUSC, is only five-years old, the youngest of the five political parties battling it out for the hotly contested seat of Brent Central.
He said: “We are the only party that is really anti austerity and we are putting forward the idea that austerity should end now. Privatisations, casualisation of work, general austerity, I just don’t believe it’s necessary at all.”
He adds: “There is a lot of wealth in this society. One per cent of our society has lots of wealth. We see banks avoiding tax. We would be looking at sharing that wealth out. By taking banks and finance sector into common ownerships to be able to use those resources to meet needs. It would be that sort of approach.”
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Last year, Mr Boyle stood as a lone candidate for Harlesden ward, where he lives with his wife and two children. Even though he lost, he says the experience was a good one.
“We’ve got limited resources because TUSC is a new formation but we did what we could. It was really good outside the polling station we got to as there was no other parties there, none had shown up. We got 359 votes which was a good result. We beat the three Tories and two of the Libdems.”
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Mr Boyle politics were formed in his teens, living in and around the miner strikes, in the 1970’s when his father lost his job, and a decade later during further mass protests, which saw strikes at school. “There was this feeling of what’s going on? Places that you live in, which people live in are being completely disrespected, like they don’t count.”
He joined the Labour Party at 18 and was a big supporter of Militant Newspaper, but didn’t get too involved until 2001, when he started attending demonstrations against the war in Iraq.
It wasn’t until 2007, at the onset of the financial crisis that he joined the Socialist Party.
“They were in the labour party before but were expelled for sticking to their principles. The party was shifting to the right and ditching all their principles, so when I came back, it was a matter of going back to what I knew before.”
The Trade Union and the Socialist Coalition was set up five years ago to enable trade unions, community campaigners and socialists to stand as candidates.
“We are trying to build a mass party, a working class mass party. That’s our project and we’re at quite early stages but that’s the future project.”
People are dissatisfied; campaign groups are forming and fighting for recognition. The campaign to save Stonebridge Adventure Playground failed which he says is “criminal”.
“We are looking to champion people, not that we have all the answers but they will have someone there as a champion representative, not to continue putting cuts through but to fight, which ever government was in power, get more money back for Brent.”
We’d fight against all the trade union laws that have been brought in. We believe trade unions to be very important for work. Zero-hour contracts and low wages are driving living standards down.
People talk about housing benefits being too much so we need better decent wages and lower rents. It’s that sort of joined up approach.”
He added: “There is a reaction against the traditional politics with parties all seeming much the same. We can’t leave the political field because if we do we’ll lose out. It’s like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. That’s where our coalition comes from. We do need representatives, we do need political representation, we need it to be on our side, firmly on our side, and fighting against all this austerity.”