Voting to keep public servicesOf course there's enough money around to avoid the cuts but to use it for this would run counter to the way capitalism works, and can only work. Capitalism runs on profits and currently it's not profitable to invest to the same extent as before (one definition of a "slump"). The only way that capitalism is going to get out of this is by cutting living standards and encouraging profits (which is why Osborne announced last week yet another cut in corporation tax, a tax on profits).
Our public services are under massive attack. This Government is savaging jobs, public services and benefits. Around Britain, four out of five councils have cut library services and nearly 200 Sure Start children's centres have closed. Since 2010, Lambeth Labour council has cut 1,000 council jobs, closed down the park ranger service and privatised council call centres and adventure playgrounds. Yet the money is there in Britain today to keep all these services going. Between 2011 and 2012, £13billion was paid out in City bonuses. Just half of this would have been enough to avoid all the council cuts made that year.
All we hear from our councillors is that they have no alternative but to pass on the cuts. But they can fight for an alternative budget that would defend jobs and services. Lambeth council could, in the first instance, use its reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid passing on these cuts while arguing that the best way to mobilise a mass campaign that is necessary to defeat the cuts is to set a budget that meets the need of the local community and demands that the Government makes up the shortfall. As part of the battle against the cuts, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC )in Lambeth will be standing anti-cuts candidates in the 2014 elections and in any by-elections. We appeal to local trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners to stand as candidates in 2014. Anyone interested in this can contact TUSC on www.tusc.org.uk or call 020 7702 8667 Steve Nally Lambeth Socialist Party.
Militant probably know this but are pursuing the dishonest and condescending Trotskyist policy of trying to lead the working class down a cul de sac in the hope that when they reach the brick wall they'll turn to them for "leadership". It's the same with their advice to local councillors to fix a budget without cuts and send the bill to the government (which planet are they living on?). They know perfectly well the result. The councillors would be surchanged and banned from public office (as happened to Ted Knight and his fellow Lambeth councillors who tried this in the 1980s)and the central government would take over the running of the council and impose the cuts anyway. Which of course is what Militant wants to happen. It would be another brick wall.
The last paragraph of Nally's letter suggests that may be contesting the Brixton Hill by-election. Fair enough. We're prepared to take on all opponents of socialism