Local elections: the TUSC fantasy world

May 25, 2014 at 10:54 am (Andrew Coates, elections, fantasy, posted by JD, Socialist Party, TUSC)

Comrade Osler writes on Facebook:

So TUSC stands 561 candidates and gets 40,000 votes … that’s a little over 70 each. The only successful candidate was a former Labour councillor who ran under an entirely different label.
This is a humiliating defeat that must be demoralising for all concerned, and on any objective yardstick, is actually a *setback* for any attempt to build a rational socialist current in Britain.
So is there an a master plan at work here, or am I missing something?

Comrade Coatesy agrees, adding an interesting French comparison:

There is a strange group in France, commonly known as the Lambertists, the  Parti ouvrier indépendant, POI,  who have been  standing in elections  for a very, very,  long time.

They get derisory votes.

But they do have a few councillors (basically the equivalent of Parish members).

In fact they got over 40 in the last municipal elections (always bearing in mind that these ‘councillors’ represent in many cases communes with three inhabitants and a cat).

TUSC (who are part of rival Trotsykist  tradition) sees to have joined this doomed path.

Great TUSC victory in Southampton

Keith Morrell has re-won his council seat Coxford, standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). Keith was previously kicked out of the Labour Party for fighting against cuts.

He has been decisively re-elected with 1,654 votes, 43%. This is a great result and vindication for his stand, alongside fellow rebel councillor Don Thomas, in opposing all cuts.

Ukip came second with 796 votes, Labour third with 724 votes, the Tories fourth with 500 votes, and Lib Dems last with 168.

The result has lit up the idea that fighting councillors can help build support for a real alternative to austerity. It is in sharp contrast to the close shave for Labour council leader Simon Letts who nearly lost his seat to Ukip after two years of implementing Tory cuts.

The devil is in the detail as they admit from the figures for 100 candidates they got a round total of ….

 50,000 votes.

Do the maths baby.


Meanwhile TUSC themselves (or, to be precise, the main force behind TUSC, the Socialist Party) put a determinedly brave face on their performance:

The complexities of calculating percentage shares in multi-seat contests, especially with the variation in information provided by different councils (over a bank holiday weekend!), is one of the reasons for the delay in collating the results. But as soon as we can we will post up a comprehensive seat-by-seat and council-by-council report on how all the TUSC candidates fared.

What is clear from the results so far, however, is that ‘the party that doesn’t exist’ for the national media (TUSC still doesn’t appear in the BBC’s website’s guide to the English council results – see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26434025 ) has made its mark and prepared the ground for broader and deeper electoral challenges in the future.


  1. Local elections: the TUSC fantasy world | OzHouse said,

    […] May 25 2014 by admin […]



  2. Andrew Coates said,

    We wait the No2EU results this evening with eager anticipation.

    Even one of the candidates (Eastern Region) for this folly who lives locally has been quiet about this.

    • Howard Fuller said,

      Hardly surprising, there was no visible campaign and in any case most people who are that anti-EU would opt for UKIP surely?

    • runner500 said,

      Beaten into 10th place by the Pirate Party in the NW, and less than 32,000 votes nationally ….

  3. Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

    All true, but what’s the alternative? Vote (or even join) the scummy Labour Party? Why would anyone anyone want to support their oppressors.

    One day – the UK will be shaken up, probably by War – and then the stasis will be removed. Might be a good outcome, might be bad outcome. Might be in 5 years, might be in 50 years.

  4. Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

    In fact, the ‘fantasy world’ of the title of this post, is lived in by those LP members who actually think they are socialists.

    The sole purpose of the LP is to get elected. Some LP MPs are more right than a few Tory MPs. Some LP policy is more right than the LDs. A ‘flip-over’ when the LP is generally seen as more right-wing than the LDs and even, possibly, the Tories could happen although presently unlikely.

    My sneak preview of discussions in the LP ‘War Room’ on Tuesday:

    ‘We did better than UKIP but that’s not the way it’s reported. UKIP is a lesson to us. Whilst the EU is important, the endless TV interviews with Basildon types, and their usual ‘I’m not a racist, but…’ for why they voted UKIP, shows us the way.

    It is vital that we position ourselves as the main racist party whilst maintaining at least an illusion of defence of things like council housing so it will be: the Tory racists (UKIP) versus the Labour racists (us) – even if we too shy to admit to this publically.

    In Newham, where there are few bigots, we won all the council seats. The only social difference between them and Basildon is their views on race. When we run with our new slogans outside London (and Manchester, Birmingham etc – everywhere UKIP did badly) of ‘EU need to leave’, ‘Why don’t you Bulgar off’, etc. we will win in Essex as we win in east London.’

    • Jim Denham said,

      “In fact, the ‘fantasy world’ of the title of this post, is lived in by those LP members who actually think they are socialists….”

      Oh dear, oh dear. Someone who lacks even a basic grasp of the a-b-c’s of working class politics.

      Educate yourself in the history and traditions of our movement, Southpaw:

      • Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,


        Starts off with “There is no Communist Party in Great Britain as yet, but there is a fresh, broad, powerful and rapidly growing communist movement” and also mentions “British workers still follow the lead of the British Kerenskys or Scheidemanns (i.e. Labour) and have not yet had experience of a government composed of these people—an experience which was necessary in Russia and Germany so as to secure the mass transition of the workers to communism.

        I think that is pretty much proof that this article by Lenin is of its time – nearly 100 year ago.None of the conditions in the above apply now.

        LP members are traitors and part of the enemy

      • Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

        Hartlepool. Labour since 1964. #UKIP just took 39% of the vote. Labour second on 31.1% / . #UKIP tops poll in Yorkshire&Humberside. Wins 3 seats.

        Above complied from recent Tweets. Doesn’t that make UKIP fulfil exactly the criteria that Lenin mentioned about the 1920 LP in the extracts I quote above.

        use of out-of-context (or obsolete) quotations from the classics, as per Denham’s above – was a practice I had thought had been rightfully abandoned.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Ehhh…a rather fundamental difference between Labour and UKIP: the Trade union movement.

  5. Jim Denham said,

    Of course times change, and some aspects of Lenin’s analysis no longer apply; but its essence does. The fact that workers have had many experiences of Labour in government since Lenin wrote that is not, IMHO, crucial: lessons have to be learned and re-learned, over and over again. Lenin’s position on Labour remains fundamentally sound.

  6. Walton Andrew said,

    Jim – “fundamental difference . . . the trade union movement”. Would that be the same trade union movement that Labour reported to the police, for Unite having the temerity to try to recruit people to the party in Falkirk, in order to advance the union’s interests? The same trade union movement whose link to the Labour Party has been largely severed post-Collins report? The same trade union movement which has no say at Labour conference, as conference decisions are ignored? Isn’t the obvious conclusion, regardless of Lenin’s up-to-the-minute political analysis, that we need to build a socialist alternative to endless austerity? Isn’t TUSC the best chance we have in the UK of doing just that?

    • Jim Denham said,

      “Isn’t TUSC the best chance we have in the UK of doing just that?”

      If it is, we’re all stuffed.

  7. Simon B said,

    Andrew – yes, yes(up to a point), yes(conference policies have always been ignored), no(there won’t be endless austerity, there’ll be a boom at some point, long before TUSC has any impact at all), no.

  8. Walton Andrew said,

    Simon B – a boom for who? Even in the good times, it isn’t the workers who see the benefits. As for an end to austerity – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/age-of-austerity-cuts-will-last-until-at-least-the-end-of-decade-says-david-cameron-7957244.html

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