Tuesday 28 May 2024

Chorley needs a MP who will Speak Out against war and austerity, not the 'Speaker'

Now that the General Election has been called, I have been asked to stand as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for Chorley. If local trade unionists and community campaigners are in support, then I will stand to challenge the 'Speaker', Lindsay Hoyle. This video explains why.

I'm Martin Powell Davies from the northwest region of TUSC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. 

As we all know, Rishi Sunak has finally run out of options and called a General Election. So trade unionists, socialists, community campaigners, people fighting for an end to genocide in Gaza or an end to cuts in the NHS, we're all happy to see the Tories receive the drubbing that they deserve on July the 4th.

But the question for campaigners in every constituency is how do we make our demands heard in the General Election? Will voters have the choice of being able to vote for an MP that will stand firm against war, against inequality, against cuts and privatisation? And sadly, we know that that's not a choice that's going to be on offer from a government led by Keir Starmer. 
On Palestine, on NHS privatisation, on workers' rights, Starmer's Labour has already been found wanting.

And in Chorley, it's even harder for campaigners' voices to be heard because Lindsay Hoyle has built himself a comfortable parliamentary career as the Speaker. He won't speak up for the powerless against the powerful. His actions in the House of Commons over the ceasefire vote have proved that.

That's why TUSC has been campaigning alongside other left and independents to make sure that a real socialist alternative is on offer in as many seats as possible on July the 4th. And that should include Chorley.

Now, of course, taking on the Speaker is no small undertaking and that's why, as you may know, two longstanding local TUSC supporters, Jenny Hurley and Dave Beale, have asked whether I would stand as your local General Election candidate.
And if trade union and community activists are in agreement, I'm very happy to do so.

So let me introduce myself. I'm a lifelong teacher trade unionist, community campaigner and socialist, a member of the NEU, the National Education Union here in Lancashire, although I've spent most of my trade union life as a branch secretary, National Executive member and lead official in London.

I've helped fight and win many trade union victories, as well as the battles to defeat, for example, Thatcher's poll tax and the racist BNP in the 1990s. In fact, Chorley and Coppull are communities that have already supported my family - 40 years ago when my brother-in-law Pete, a striking miner from South Wales, stayed here during that epic battle.

And of course then Thatcher and the Tories were determined to defeat the NUM in order to unleash an attack on everything the union movement had won over decades. And we're still having to fight to defend, and sometimes now win back those gains of the past like the NHS, council homes, trade union rights and nationalisation of energy, transport and utility companies.

But what did Thatcher say her greatest achievement was? It was New Labour. What the powerful achieved under Blair and now under Starmer was to turn Labour into an alternative Tory Party when what we need is an alternative TO the Tories. And with your backing, I'm ready to stand to offer that alternative in Chorley as a workers' MP on a worker's wage, not taking the inflated salary of a careerist politician.

I'm standing to be your voice, highlighting demands that you think are key but including, for example,
  • Fighting the cuts to services and beds across the region threatened by the New Hospitals Program and opposing NHS privatisation;
  • Demanding an end to the genocide of the Palestinian people and to the siege of Gaza, and fighting for a united struggle against poverty, war and oppression across the globe;
  • To demand a future for young people with properly funded schools and colleges and skilled jobs, apprenticeships or training, not national conscription.
  • Demand the launch of a real green industrial revolution in energy, transport and homes to provide those skilled jobs, reduce bills and act on climate crisis as well.
I will be a candidate who will be saying that MPs should support trade unionists in action. That we should have a socialist MP that will make sure that Chorley isn't represented just by the Speaker, but instead by an MP who will Speak Up for you.

No comments: