Sunday 6 January 2013

Labour Councillors Against the Cuts

At Stoke-on-Trent Labour's city-wide meeting on Friday evening, just shy of a hundred party members heard Council Leader Mohammed Pervez give a detailed presentation on the cuts that are coming this year, an outline of how the local authority is going to manage them, and the controversial regeneration strategy the council will be pursuing over the next few years.

During the meeting I was handed a leaflet from an organisation calling itself 'Councillors Against the Cuts'. It does not have any contact details but, as the leaflet notes, the network is sponsored by the Labour Representation Committee. I reproduce the text below for readers' information. As for the viability of its hard anti-cuts strategy, I have my doubts. It appears more a route to left martyrdom than anything else. More significantly, however, the Labour Group of the Local Government Association will be hosting a spring conference that aims to map out a coordinated response to the cuts. If I can, I plan on covering that gathering.

Councillors Against the Cuts

We are a new network of local councillors formed to support the fight against cuts. We Believe that instead of implementing the Coalition's cuts, councils and councillors should refuse to do so and help organise workers and communities in resistance.

We are pledged to vote against all cuts to services and jobs, increases in rents and charges, and increases in council tax.

We do not accept that cuts are "necessary": there is plenty of money in society, but it is in the wrong hands. Taxing the rich and business, taking the wealth of the banks and cutting Trident are all rich sources of funds.

We stand in solidarity with anti-cuts campaigns, with people defending their local services and with the broader community, residents, our children, pensioners etc. - in defence of the rights of the most vulnerable people in society as the Coalition government attacks them.

We are working with a network of local government workers and other trade unionists to fight for this policy to be adopted and campaigned for in the unions and the labour movement. We believe that close links are needed between Labour councillors and the unions in the public sector whether they are Labour-affiliated or not. We believe that, with the confidence that unions are behind them, many more councillors can be encouraged to refuse to implement cuts - and with the knowledge that councillors will support them unequivocally, many more trade unionists will be prepared to fight back against cuts.

Most of us are Labour councillors and our campaign is sponsored by the Labour Representation Committee, but we are open to all left and labour movement councillors willing to pledge to vote against/refuse to implement cuts.

Whether you are a councillor, local government worker, other trade unionist, anti-cuts campaigner or Labour Party activist - get involved!

Image source: HarpyMarx


Gary Elsby said...

The reason you seem to have little hope and faith in such a statement is because you swallow the line of cuts, hook line and sinker.

The letter writer is correct and I applaud your secrecy of your attended meeting.
No doubt it was all Pickle's fault and nothing to do with the bulshit of £21m worth of cuts towards privatisation (as ordered by consultants yonks ago).

Labour is to close St, Michaels care home (due either to Eric Pickles or Ross Irving but not because Labour follows a JVL/Consultants plan tom privatise).

Labour have no choice, says the friendly supporter.

Here's the truth Phil.

Labour announced the closure of St. Michaels(Abbots house is to go next year and followed by Marrow House the year after).

Gwen Hassel(driven by T. Oakman, Director) say (in tandem) 'We have no choice and everyone will be looked after anyway'.

A bit more truth.

In all correspondence to specialist in-house care staff, it is written (written, Phil).
"recruitment will take place to cover the needs of this vital group in the community".

Applications for new post went online over christmas and closing dates Jan 4th.
No new community jobs are there and human resources helped by taking Christmas off.

You see Phil, they are lying to you, Labour(???) and everyone else.

I didn't attend the meeting and you were fed bullshit.
You were told lies.

Care workers crying and not putting in applications because they didn't know what to do.

How is it possible to care for someone in the community, that is unable to be in the community?

Labour are abandoning vulnerable people and they are lying as they do it.

He (him) wants to privatise all elderly care.

Funny enough, that is exactly what Sandwell is doing.

Phil said...

I might take your claims and criticisms with more than a pinch of salt if,

a) They were true
b) If you had a viable alternative
c) If you had taken part in previous anti-cuts campaigns and struggles against the local authority here in Stoke.

Gary Elsby said...

1. They are true as they are facts.

2.If a woman carrying a baby asks for an alternative (on TV), Labour gives that alternative.
(read Ed Balls who now calls for alternatives-STREWTH).

3.I'm an expelled member of the Labour Party(duh).

The alternative to closing a care home is not to close it.
That is the dum dum alternative in itself.

Why doesn't Labour just say, point blank, that WE don't want care homes anymore and we want to PRIVATISE them?

Answer: Because it lies.

No recruitment is taking place and so how are the comments from Hassel and Oakley possibly true?

It is impossible to care for people whom cannot care for themselves within their own home.

Those that can care for themselves in their own home are able to receive additional care if required.

So what will Labour do with the continual rotating 35 ultra vulnerable people whom cannot care for themselves at all.

For the stupid answer, ask Gwen Hassel.
For the correct answer, ask the (I've self omitted this bit on reflection even though it galls me).

I'll leave it to you to find out where you can get that answer.

I calculated an extra 95-105 new positions being created in the community by Social Services and their own paper trail (Dec 2012 @10pm) hints towards this.

There are no new recruits.

Someone lies.

Gwen must answer to her lapdog comments.

I've every faith that you successfully landed a 'no confidence' blow to that meeting.
Take it for granted that we would have.

Phil said...

But, Gary. You weren't expelled. You walked out.

If memory serves you put out a leaflet in 2006-7 in your old stomping grounds of Abbey Hulton denouncing the 'Workers' Revolutionary Socialist Party' for its actions when it ran Liverpool City Council. I'm pretty certain most people who read that leaflet hadn't the foggiest of what you're on about.

But here you are, on this blog, condemning a Labour Council for not going down a route that so demonstrably failed. The only difference I can see is then, you were a loyal Labour Party member who spent an inordinate amount of time on various blogs defending Blair. And now you're not.

Gary Elsby said...

I think you are confused of the Labour process.

Your thought that I support Blair and support fully a Meredith led Council is absurd.
I supported the Labour Party via membership and unfortunately, I got Meredith and his Sandwell privatisation agenda circs 2005-present.
I think your mistake is to look too far into one or two policy items of Labour that split the Party almost down the middle.
Everyone had a vote and you came out on the wrong side.
You appear peeved.

Again you are confused.
I didn't put out a leaflet that people 'didn't understand', Im put out a leaflet where I explained who everyone was, what they really were and what they intended to do.

Funny enough, I wanted to win that vote.Try to forgive me.
I pointed out that the 'Socialist Party' was really the SWRP (in disguise).

The BNP dominated the area for years and now Labour have it once more.

Between them, they have shut the Abbey (ward) down.

Now I wonder why I supported Blair (and Brown)?
Why didn't I support Camerons lot or Cleggs lot?

Putting aside your absurd interpretations of the Labour process, I have to inform you that 4 million people listening to radio 4 heard me (every hour over 24 hrs) that I resigned from Labour.
2 days later, the NEC hierarchy that heard me resign, sent a recorded letter expelling me.

I am not allowed into a LP meeting for 5 years but will be accepted 2 mins after Tristram is re-installed (duh).

My, how scared they are of me.

You have still to write how angry the Labour meeting went, how angry the members are and how Cabinet members tell of no other ways.
You must tell us of how members feel so upset at things out of their hands.

You must tell us how old people are to be booted out of a care home and into the community to 'balance the books'.

The existing community care team are fully booked up and have a sparse night staff.

To close St. Michaels will require a 24/7 Days, noons and nights staff to facilitate that closure.

Gwen told Labour (you and 24 Labour councillors)(excluding the 10 V 10 opposition and Cabinet members), that all care will be delivered.

This is impossible.

But you accept Gwen's version because you have no fight in you.

We never did.
And we fought to the death.

Gary Elsby said...

Phil, is there any chance I could lean you towards the book called:

The state and local government' by Peter Latham.

The section on Stoke is particular of interest (especially the bit about me).

I also like your fellow Marxists bloggers who offer critique.

Just think, me and Karl in the same breath and in print.

Hope it hurts.

Where were you Phil when us 'Marxists' were on the front line fighting 'our' cause?

I read in the press today that Dimensions is to increase its prices due to a shortfall in cash.

Oh, how I pissed myself laughing.

Anonymous said...

Labour Councillors Against the this like the old headline, Man bites dog?

Gary Elsby said...

Ex mayors (now Cabinet)against cuts.

£21m worth of necessary cuts (via Pickles) my arse.

Of course, it goes without saying that calculators were brought out and Labour members totally dismissed the sum and issues a 'vote of no confidence' in Pervez and his cabinet.

Without hesitation, that is what we would have done.

The SWP would have fielded a candidate against us.

Anonymous said...

Gary Elsby said...

I reiterate my claim that £21m of cuts to stoke-on-Trent via the Tories is a lie being put about by Labour in this City.

This is a figure intended to bring a means to an end of a pre-planned kill of public service delivery by ex mayors.

I hope that Labour members challenge this figure and start to put pressure on.

By the way Phil, someone is reading your column.
Yhey are running a little scared and are returning back to points raised in this blog.

Also, why are they installling a new security system in St. Michaels care home, the one closing?

Being sold to a private care home?
(bearing in mind the £21m Pickles cuts lie).