Thursday, 17 June 2010

North East: unite to stop the cuts

UPDATE: Here is the initial list of signatories:

Dave Anderson MP (Labour), Tony Dabb (NUT rep), Tony Dowling (membership secretary, Gateshead NUT), Paula Holland (curriculum manager, Adult Learning Alliance), Fazia Hussain (Regional Officer, Unite the Union), Martin Levy (Chair, Northern Region UCU), Norman Maines (Unite the Union and branch manager, Victim Support), Barry Purdy (Unite the Union), Rizwan Sheikh (Unison and co-ordinator, Vulnerable Workers Project), Alex Snowdon (NUT member), David Stead (Asst Secretary, Tyneview Park PCS), Nigel Todd (Labour councillor, Newcastle), Mark Tyers (Unison member), Alison Whalley (Green Party member), John Whalley (Green Party member), Steve Whitley (retired union member), Katherine M Yarrow
(All in personal capacity)

A number of local socialists and trade union activists have just initiated this open letter, as a way of starting to bring together an anti-cuts coalition in our region. I'll either update or re-post it when signatures are in.

'Building resistance to the cuts and job losses – an open letter

The ConDem coalition government presents its spending cuts as both justifiable and unavoidable. Prime Minister David Cameron is doing his best to convince us that we should quietly acquiesce to a cuts programme that will affect “our whole way of life.”

We are told that we have to ‘rebalance the economy away from a reliance on government jobs’ and we are ‘too dependent on the public sector for jobs.’

We keep getting told we are all in this together and should therefore share the burden. But the financial crisis was the fault of the bankers, and the politicians who deregulated the financial sector to allow them free rein. When in trouble, the banks received generous bailouts to the tune of a staggering £850bn.

We are not ‘too dependent on the public sector for jobs’. These jobs are vital to the functioning of our society. We cannot afford to see them slashed and our public services weakened beyond repair.

We reject the idea that working class people must pay for a crisis they didn't create. We reject the current blind acceptance that “we’re all in this together” and that we – and that always means ordinary working people, of course, not the rich - have to accept changes that will affect “our whole way of life.”

Workers in Greece, Spain and elsewhere are already showing that it is possible to fight back. We need similar resistance in Britain. We call for a coalition of trade unionists, campaigners, community groups and public service users to campaign for a different set of priorities to that imposed by this bankers' coalition.

We should collectively tell the bankers and the ConDem coalition that we can't pay for their crisis - and we won't pay for it.'


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