by Niall Mulholland, East London Socialist Party
Cruel Tory policies are causing a cost-of-living crisis in Newham, East London, one of the poorest boroughs in the country. And the Labour council is passing on those attacks.
Over 50 attended an Enough is Enough meeting in East Ham on 24 November. The meeting was supported by Newham Trades Council and Newham Resists. The latter are anti-cuts campaigners, including the local Socialist Party branch.
Carel Buxton chaired the meeting. She’s from Newham Socialist Labour, many of whom were perfunctorily expelled from the outrageously suspended Constituency Labour Party.
Carel lambasted the Tories, but she also correctly laid the blame with the Labour council, which has carried out years of cuts and disastrous ‘regeneration’ policies.
Socialist Party member Louise Cuffaro, secretary of Newham National Education Union (NEU), spoke in a personal capacity. Louise described the endless financial stress and pressure of workplace conditions on school staff in the borough.
Yet victories are possible. Striking NEU members from Calverton primary school recently won a dispute against bullying senior management (see ‘Victory for Calverton school strike: “We won everything. Striking works!”’).
The meeting also heard from local activists, food bank campaigners, a young classroom assistant, the Save Queens Market campaign, and Ferdy Lyons, a Unite union hospitality rep and Socialist Party member.
I brought greetings from the trades council. We’re busy attending the many local picket lines of striking workers. The trades council supports a needs-based council budget, as does Newham Resists, which would see mass resistance to central government-imposed cuts.
Socialist Party member Lois Austin has stood for mayor as a Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate. Lois welcomed the meeting and Enough is Enough action points. She added, to applause, that “Enough is Enough, is not enough… we also need a political alternative to the Tories and right-wing Labour”. We agreed to come back in the New Year to plan more concrete action.