Vote against council cuts

Last week teachers throughout the country demonstrated and took strike action against education cuts. Meanwhile the healthworkers’ unions are still dragging their feet in opposing their pay offer. The communist campaign against attacks on jobs and services has received much support. But you can go one step further: vote Communist on May 4 and join us in fighting back. Demand what we need, not what capitalism can afford

MANCHESTER is facing a £1 million cut from its secondary education budget. Although Poundswick Junior School won extra funding last week, it turns out that this will be at the expense of secondary schools. The story is the same throughout the country, as the government refuses to fund the teachers’ meagre 2.7% pay ‘rise’.

Tom May, Communist candidate for the Dallow ward of Luton told us that “The schools are so bad here that anyone who can afford to is going outside the area. What we need is a united campaign throughout the country.”

The fightback is beginning. Last week teachers in Derbyshire, Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley, Nottinghamshire and Devon took one day strike action against budget cuts and redundancies. They were supported by parents at rallies and demonstrations. In Rotherham most schools were closed and in Nottinghamshire, where 300 teachers’ jobs are threatened, three quarters of schools were closed. In the first action for 10 years over 2,500 teachers in Devon came out on strike action.

Even the normally ‘moderate’ Association of Teachers and Lecturers has now announced a ballot for industrial action against increased class sizes.

But the action has been followed by Labour and Tory both pledging to continue education cuts.

Education secretary Gillian Shephard, in a cynical attempt to stave off action, told headteachers that education would become a priority when the economy grew.

We know the Tories will make workers pay for their crisis as long as we let them. Labour shadow education spokesperson David Blunkett, in promising not to reverse the cuts, proudly announced: “We have to be the first government in recent history that delivers more than it promises.”

This will hardly be difficult since Labour is offering nothing except more attacks on the working class, more cuts and more closures.

Blunkett moaned that education costs £28 billion a year in England and that Labour could not be expected to reverse the cuts ‘immediately’.

This is certainly the logic of a system which is ruled by the market and which puts profit before need.

Communist candidates in the elections demand that we put people before profit. There should be no price on workers’ health or education. While technology has vastly improved the possibilities of healthcare and advanced education, working class people are denied the use of it. Apparently it costs too much. So teachers and healthworkers are unemployed while schools and hospitals are run down.

All the main parties promise cuts and bemoan a lack of money. Labour blames the Tories and the Tories blame the economy, but all councils are cutting councils.

The rich are getting richer while workers’ pay is slashed.

Managers and directors are awarded huge pay rises, while workers are laid off, services closed down and prices jacked up.

Communists are standing in the local council elections to oppose these attacks on the working class. We cannot promise to balance the budget better than Labour or Tory, because the budget is not big enough.

Workers need their own Party to organise against attacks on our class. 

A Communist vote is a vote against all cuts and a signal that the task of reforging that Party is beginning.