Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (STUSC) Manifesto Launch
Tuesday 20th April
Scottish Trade Union Congress
The Balgay Room, Number 10 Constitution Road, Dundee
Bob Crow (RMT General Secretary and TUSC steering group member)
Tommy Sheridan (Solidarity Co-Convenor and STUSC Candidate for Glasgow South West)
Dave Nellist (Socialist Party Councillor and TUSC Steering Committee)
Jim Malone (FBU Regional organiser and STUSC Steering Committee)
Plus other STUSC candidates and trade unionist supporters.
All trade unionists appearing in a personal capacity.
For further information on the manifesto launch, contact:
Graeme McIver, National Secretary Solidarity, Scotland’s Socialist Movement (and STUSC Steering Committee Member). Mobile: 07738 615 562. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tommy Sheridanm, Co-Convenor Solidarity, Scotland’s Socialist Movement (and STUSC candidate for Glasgow South West). Mobile: 07881771954. E-Mail: email@example.com
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (STUSC) will be standing candidates across Scotland at the General Election.
Here are the profiles of the 10 STUSC candidates listed alphabetically by constituency.
Dundee West – Jim McFarlane
Jim McFarlane is the branch chair of Dundee City UNISON and is a well known trade union activist in the city. Jim was the socialist candidate in the 2001 and 2005 General Elections in Dundee West – where he has lived all of his life. Jim is a member of the International Socialists and Solidarity.
“We cannot afford to accept the lies of the main big business parties.”
“We didn’t create this crisis. It was caused by the policies and actions of the bankers, the rich capitalists and their friends from the main political parties, who put greed and profits before the interests of ordinary working class people.”
“A vote for STUSC is a vote to bring banks and financial institutions into genuine public ownership under democratic control, instead of giving huge handouts to the very capitalists who caused the crisis.”
Edinburgh East – Gary Clark
Gary Clark is the assistant branch secretary of the Scotland No2 Branch of the postal workers union the CWU. Gary has played a leading role in many of the strikes the posties have been involved in over the last few years in defence of jobs, working conditions and the postal industry. Gary is standing as a candidate for Scottish TUSC and is backed by his union branch who are supporting his campaign.
“I am standing to make sure that there is a political voice in this election arguing to keep Royal Mail a publically owned service, not a privatised cash cow.”
“The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has been set up precisely to give that political voice and one that stands up for workers in struggle.”
Edinburgh North and Leith – Willie Black
Willie Black is a UNITE senior shop steward working for Scottish Power. Willie has been a life long trade unionist and political activist taking part in numerous struggles and campaigns. He lives in the Granton area of Edinburgh and has previously stood in Edinburgh City Council elections in the Edinburgh North and Leith constituency.
“I’m proud to stand for the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. When we campaign many people say they’re glad to see someone standing up for workers and a fightback. Whichever party gets in after the general election, we’re going to have to fight to stop cuts to our public services and our wages and conditions.”
“People like to hear our message that there is hope for the future, that we can save our services and make our communities more equal and well cared for.”
Glasgow North – Angela McCormick
Angela McCormick, a college lecturer and EIS union member, is to stand in Glasgow North in the general election. She has campaigned on a range of issues—from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan , to school closures, housing sell-offs and attacks on refugees and asylum seekers.
Now she will be standing as a Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and Solidarity candidate. Angela hopes to build a coalition involving local campaigning groups and trade unionists who want to fight cuts in services and back a socialist alternative at the ballot box.
“The cuts in Glasgow council are some of the worst ever, they’ve got plans to close 12 community centres and halve the number of community workers. Swimming pools and libraries could be shut in some of the poorest areas.”
“I’ve lived here all my life. It’s one of the most deprived areas in Europe . But there is a history of resistance too. Already there have been campaign meetings across the city to oppose the cuts and more are planned.”
“Labour, Tories and the Lib Dems are united on the need for cuts in Scotland . The Scottish National Party (SNP) tries to pose as an alternative—but has a record of selling out. The SNP gets involved in anti-cuts campaigning when it is in opposition,” says Angela. “But once they get a majority— like in Edinburgh —they push through cuts. They don’t have any answers.”
Angela’s campaign will offer an alternative to the cuts consensus. “I am standing as a candidate of resistance,” she says. “I want to put across the message that we won’t pay for the bankers’ crisis.
Glasgow North East – Graham Campbell
Graham Campbell is an ant-racist and community activist who lives in Sighthill within the Glasgow North East constituency. Graham stood as the socialist candidate in the constituency during the 2005 General Election and received over 1,400 votes.
Graham is well known within the constituency for his tireless campaigning over issues such as opposition to the Glasgow Housing stock transfer, rights for asylum seekers and campaigning for better community facilities.
“ Glasgow North East constituency is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of Scotland . Disgracefully, in the build up to this election the main parties have used language that has pandered to the racism and islamophobia of the far right BNP.”
“I will be standing in this election to fight for policies that would benefit all the people of Glasgow North East. For decent jobs, housing, pay conditions and pensions. For rights for asylum seekers, no to cuts in public services or community facilities and against racism and fascism.”
Glasgow South – Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan is the Co-Convenor of Solidarity, Scotland ’s Socialist Movement.
Tommy’s record as a representative and tribune of socialist ideas is second to none having served as both a councilor and two periods as an MSP.
He was elected to Glasgow City Council in 1992 to represent Pollok from his prison cell having been jailed in his opposition to the hated Poll Tax. (click here)
Tommy served as a Glasgow City Councillor between 1992 and 2003 and was elected to Holyrood in 1999 where he served the first of his two terms as an MSP.
During his time in Holyrood he successfully moved a bill to abolish warrant sales (click here) and introduced other bills to Renationlise the Railways (click here), for Free School Meals (click here) and to abolish the Council Tax (click here) and replace it with a fairer Service Tax. In 2001 he was awarded the title “Debater of the Year” at the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards.
He has been jailed for taking part in demonstrations against nuclear weapons on the Clyde at the Faslane Naval Base (click here), has campaigned alongside parents in Glasgow for the abolition of air guns (click here) and against school closures (click here).
During all his time in elected office, Tommy Sheridan took home only the pay of an average skilled worker and donated the rest of his MSP’s salary back to the cause of socialism.
“Both Solidarity and myslelf are proud to be part of the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. We launched the new coalition in Scotland on 31st March because 20 years ago to the day witnessed the mass demonstrations of 50,000 in Glasgow and 200,000 in London against the hated poll tax.
Before the year was out Margaret Thatcher had been forced out of office and the poll tax was dead - killed off by 18 million people who refused to pay this unfair, unjust tax. 20 years on we need the same kind of mass campaign, the same kind of political leadership to prevent the savaging of our public services, by whoever wins the general election on May 6th”
““All of the major parties in this election will be standing on a program of offering cuts, cuts and more cuts. Cuts in the public sector, cuts in benefits and cuts in schools all to pay for the economic crisis of their making.”
“We reject the idea that it is the most vulnerable in society who should pick up the tab for the mismanagement of others. Our young people and students, our pensioners and our low paid have already suffered enough. It’s time that the bankers, the bosses and the politicians who got us into this mess paid their fair share.”
Glasgow South – Brian Smith
Brian Smith (40) is the candidate for the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Glasgow South. He is a local government worker in Glasgow and lives in the Castlemilk area of the city. He is a prominent trade unionist, being the branch secretary of Glasgow City Unison.
Brian is a leader of the Defend Glasgow’s Services campaign, which was set-up by Glasgow Unison and community activists in response to the savage cuts planned by city council. Brian is a longstanding socialist and a member of the International Socialists and Solidarity.
“The four main parties in Scotland are not going to defend jobs and services with all seeking mandates at the forthcoming General Election to make cuts in public spending.”
“It is therefore left to trade unionists, socialists and local communities to lead the defence of jobs and services. That’s why we need a voice that defends workers rights and puts forward an alternative to the bosses crisis. The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is that voice and I would urge people to get involved today and support us in the General Election.”
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey – George MacDonald
George MacDonald is a postman and an ex-telecoms workers who has lived in Inverness for many years.
George is a member of Solidarity, an active trade unionist and has been a leading light in campaigns for affordable housing, against privatisation of services and for fair fuel prices.
“All of the establishment parties in this election agree ordinary people should face massive cuts in jobs and services to pay for the bailout of the banks; we say no!”
“All of the establishment parties are tainted by the expenses gravy train. If elected, I am committed to taking only a skilled workers wage. Only Solidarity, standing as part of the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is committed to the values of democratic socialism, independence for Scotland, green jobs to save the environment, peace and real redistribution of wealth and power from the super rich to you and your families. On that basis, I ask for your vote.”
Midlothian – Willie Duncan
Willie Duncan, 27, is the Solidarity - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for Midlothian .
Willie has lived in Midlothian all of his life and is well known in the local community as a socialist activist. Willie is the chairperson of the Lothian’s Solidarity branch and has been a Solidarity member since the party’s foundation in 2006. He is an NHS employee and is a member of Edinburgh Unison. Willie has a degree in Media and Cultural Studies and away from politics, he enjoys watching films and is a passionate football fan.
“I am standing in this election because we want to give people in Midlothian an opportunity to vote for a party that says no to cuts in public services.”
“ Midlothian Council has announced millions of pounds worth of spending cuts – including the closure of vital amenities such as Dalkeith Community Centre.”
“I believe that people in Midlothian deserve better. If you want to register a protest against public services in our community, I would urge you to support my campaign and give your support to Solidarity – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.”
Motherwell and Wishaw – Ray Gunnion
Ray Gunnion has been a trade union and community activist in his local area since 1974. He is a retired Principal Teacher of History and a former EIS Council member. Ray helped lead successful campaigns against the poll tax in Lanarkshire.
The RMT Council of Executives and the local Motherwell & Wishaw branch of the RMT has endorsed Ray as a candidate.
Rail workers leader Bob Crow says,
“I am delighted to have Ray as part of our team of socialists and trade unionists fighting against the proposed cuts and attacks on offer from all the other parties. Ray has a tremendous track record of fighting for working class communities over many years and has played a key role in defending essential local services including the three A&E units across Lanarkshire.”
Ray is the Lanarkshire Socialist Alliance representative who is standing for Scottish TUSC at the General Election.
“STUSC is standing to offer workers, trade unionists and young people a socialist alternative to the parties of the rich.”
“STUSC is supported by important leaders of the trade unions including those who have been taking part in strike action recently. They include Bob Crow of the RMT, Janice Godrich and Chris Baugh of the PCS Union and Brian Caton of the Prison Officers Association. Many other trade unionists with important positions at a national and local level are also supporting the new coalition.”
All trade union members are standing in a personal capacity