Friday 23 January 2015

Don't vote for more of the same in Lewisham West and Penge

■ Fed up with inequality, long hours, unaffordable housing and low pay?
■ Sick of the same old parties cutting our services and living standards?
■ Worried about the future of our schools, NHS and public services?

Vote against cuts and privatisation

Most ordinary Londoners will be pleased to see the back of this Tory-LibDem Government. They have spent five years helping the super-rich get richer at our expense. But all the main parties promise to carry on with the same cuts! 

Tory Chancellor George Osborne promises years more savage spending cuts. But Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls promises exactly the same too.

Voters deserve better than a choice between parties that offer essentially the same diet of cuts, austerity and privatisation. That's why, in this May's General Election , TUSC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, will be standing candidates in over a hundred constituencies across England and Wales. 

TUSC was set up in 2010, co-founded by the late RMT union leader Bob Crow. TUSC calls on trade unions to stop relying on New Labour and to launch genuine independent political representation for working people. 

Selected to stand in Lewisham West and Penge

Last night, TUSC's local selection meeting agreed to back me as the TUSC candidate for the Lewisham West and Penge constituency, covering Forest Hill, Sydenham, Perry Vale and Bellingham wards in Lewisham and Clock House, Penge and Crystal Palace wards in Bromley. If my candidature is agreed by the TUSC national steering committee, then I will be agreed as one of those hoped for hundred-plus TUSC General Election candidates.

TUSC's Election Conference, being held tomorrow in London, will see prospective candidates and campaigners gather to plan the election campaign and to agree the TUSC election platform. Like all TUSC candidates, I will be supporting that agreed platform and campaigning for demands like:

● No cuts - for high quality public services and a free National Health Service
● No to academies. Good schools for all, under democratic local control
● Raise the minimum wage to £10 an hr. Invest to create and protect jobs
● For high-standard, eco-friendly, affordable council housing.

These demands are vital in Lewisham West and Penge. Tory Bromley Council is cutting services, trying to privatise libraries and turn schools into academies. Lewisham’s Labour Council is doing just the same!

For a Workers' MP on a Worker's Wage

I have been living - and campaigning - in Lewisham West and Penge for over 25 years. In the early 1990s, I was the main organiser of the Penge Anti-Poll Tax Union, part of the victorious campaign that defeated Margaret Thatcher. 

I moved to Sydenham and was elected Secretary of the Lewisham branch of NUT, the teacher’s union. I have since played a key role in many local campaigns against cuts, opposing racist attacks, and supporting and leading trade union action to defend schools, jobs and services. I have taught locally - in both Bromley and Lewisham schools - and my children have also all attended local schools. We have been helping to build the campaign to Save Sedgehill from being turned into an academy.

To make clear that I am different from the distrusted and despised career politicians, I have also pledged that, if elected as MP, I would continue to take only my existing classroom teacher's take-home pay, donating the extra salary towards building trade union, socialist and community campaigns.

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