National Health Action party to contest Eastleigh by-election

The National Health Action party will field a candidate in the Eastleigh by-election following the disgrace and resignation of leading Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne.

 The election comes in the immediate aftermath of the Francis Report, which gives an indication of the threat to high quality health care when management and professionals in the NHS are distracted from patient care. This is a situation that will be replicated time and again by the relentless government pressure for a massive £20 billion of cost savings and the implementation of its unpopular and divisive Health and Social Care Act.

It comes hot on the heels of the government decision to implement proposals from a Special Administrator for massive NHS cutbacks in South East London, including the closure of vital services at Lewisham Hospital, using the dictatorial powers of the “Unsustainable Provider Regime” to ride roughshod over the protests of tens of thousands of local residents and health professionals. A £300m war chest has been put aside by the NHS regulator Monitor to finance similar interventions as up to 60 other trusts run into financial crisis around the country.

The NHA party candidacy will also be a first electoral test for the government’s Health and Social Care Act, which was hatched up by the Conservatives, but driven through last April only with support from Liberal Democrats like Chris Huhne in the Commons and decisively in the Lords.

Party co-chair Clive Peedell, a cancer specialist from Teesside, said: “We believe the Eastleigh by-election offers a huge opportunity to radically alter the nature of our broken political system. For too long the three main political parties have betrayed the trust of the UK public in a tide of political sleaze and dishonesty. “The LibDems in particular have betrayed their grassroots supporters by supporting a Conservative-led coalition that is undermining and privatising our public services with no democratic mandate, and pushing forward an austerity package that will cause long-term damage to our country.”

Fellow co-chair Richard Taylor, who twice successfully contested the Wyre Forest constituency and served as an Independent MP on the basis of the popular local concern at the rundown of Kidderminster Hospital, added: “Our new party has been formed by frontline healthcare professionals to fight back against political sleaze and defend the    NHS and public services from increasing commercialisation and privatisation, and to campaign for a fairer, healthier and more just society. “We are open to all who share our concerns, and we will call on the people of Eastleigh to support us and take a united stand against a political class that has put its own narrow self- interests before the ordinary citizens of this country.”


  1. This candidacy, in a seat where Labour stands no chance of winning, could focus national, attention on the attack on the NHS, and help build the campaign.

    I had hoped that all socialists would therefore support this, and was disappointed to learn that TUSC also intend to contest the election. Since they stand no chance of winning, and very little chance of gaining even a halfway-reasonable vote, this can only act as a spoiler, undermining a campaign which might otherwise have made a significant contribution to defeating the attack on the NHS.

    I hope that TUSC will recognise the potential of the NAHP candidacy, and decide to devote their efforts in this by-election to a united campaign.

  2. This is a good example of how single issue campaigns with real social roots will pop up in the absence of a meaningful political alternative. The recent demonstration in Lewisham was proof that there is a much stronger willingness to defend the NHS among the people who rely on it than among the politicians who want to carve it up to hand over to the likes of Richard Branson.

    We can predict with absolute certainty that TUSC’s vote will be pitiful and its entry into an election campaign where a credible radical challenge has already been made is divisive. The sensible thing, in terms of posing a real electoral challenge to the Tories and Labour, would have been for TUSC in Eastleigh to have offered to fully support the NHAP campaign in defence of one of the British working class’ major gains.

    This would not require any principles to be broken. The NHAP is well to the left of Labour on health and taxation. It says it wants:

    “Public provision of good quality health and social care fairly to all members of the community, free at the time of need

    A health service financed wholly from progressive contributions of citizens according to their ability to pay i.e. by a fair tax system. ”

    Another good thing about it is that anyone can join, even if they are members of organisations, and immediately has the right to vote.

    “Full membership of the party is open to all who share its aims, subject to a subscription that has been decided by the executive committee. Full members may attend and speak at meetings of the party and also have the right to vote at the AGM.”

    That’s an advantage it has over some of its rivals in this election.

  3. Last month TUSC got 19 votes (<1%) in a council by-election in a middle-class ward in Wirral. Eastleigh is a similarly middle class area, where the Labour vote has declined to less than 10% (it's bedrock is just 6% in the 2009 European Election). UKIP have been scared off standing Farage because it is seen as a battle between the two Coalition parties – Farage had previously been a candidate in this constituency. The Tories have chosen a right wing anti-EU candidate and if they win, the terrain will move sharply to the right and give encouragement to the Tory attacks on the welfare state (the reverse of what happened in 1991 when the Tories lost the Ribble Valley by-election and abandoned the poll tax). Many voters will surmise that an improved Labour vote will be at the expense of the LibDems and is more likely to lead to a Tory victory. The stakes are very high and it will be a very short campaign as polling will be on 28th February. A big protest vote for the NHAP will reduce the Tories ability to attack the NHS and will encourage people nationally to follow the Lewisham campaign and set up local campaigns in their areas.

    A campaign by the newly formed NHAP is far more likely to make a national impact and to win voters alarmed at the attacks on the NHS equally from all three main parties, as they all have an equally rotten record on privatisation and cuts. The Green Party are not standing and it would be better for TUSC to do likewise in order to get a united voice against the cuts. There are other occasions and better seats where a TUSC candidate will be important. There will be local elections here in May and TUSC can build to stand candidates as part of that and a good NHAP campaign should lead to that opportunity opening up. Natalie Bennett, Caroline Lucas, Dave Nellist, the RMT National Council and all the other forces of the left, should head to Eastleigh to back the NHAP campaign. The stakes are very high and a united voice by the left behind NHAP would have a much bigger impact than a divided one.

  4. The NHAP campaign has got underway in Eastleigh today and the first news is that a prominent NHS figure and former Liberal Democrat activist has resigned to join the NHAP and denounce privatisation and attacks on the NHS.

    “Dr Graham Winyard, who was also the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England & Wales, accused politicians of all parties of betraying the NHS and said the mid-Staffs scandal was the direct result of meddling and bullying by both Labour and Tory governments.

    Dr Winyard , who is the ex-Chair of Winchester and Chandlers Ford Liberal Democrats, is calling on the constituents of neighbouring Eastleigh to vote for the candidate representing the National Health Action Party in the by-election at the end of the month.

    … The full statement from Dr Winyard said:

    Politicians of all parties have betrayed the NHS. Targets and markets do not motivate staff nor make them more caring. The scandal of mid-Staffs is the direct result of 20 years of top-down meddling and bullying by both Labour and Conservative Governments. Endless reorganisation distracts the NHS from improving patient care. We all know this and the Coalition promised an end to top-down change, when seeking our support at the last election. They then steamrollered the most radical and expensive set of changes the NHS had ever seen, ignoring all advice. The only people to benefit are the private sector. The voters of Eastleigh have a unique chance to demand a return to the original values of the NHS by voting for the National Health Action party.”

  5. I do agree that this election campaign is a good opportunity to expose the 3 main parties for their privatisation policies of the NHS. Rather than put up a TUSC candidate, who is likely to command little support in Eastleigh, a campaign to save the NHS, especially after the devastating report on Mid Staffs, could not have come at a more opportune time.
    In South Essex there is a move by the East of England Strategic Health Authority to have some pathology services for GPs provided by pathology departments in local hospitals,with all the advantages of relatively quick and easy access to a tried and tested service, transferred to Bedford. Bedford is over 80 miles away, the laboratories do not have accreditation and will be run by a partnership of the private company, SERCO together with 3-4 NHS hospital trusts. This will lead to unnececessary delays in processing the blood samples and obtaining the results of tests. The diagnosis and treatment of some patients will be adversely affected and in a few cases lead to the death of the patient.
    The local Southend Echo newspaper started a campaign against the transfer of services and to date has over 4,000 signatures. 118 consultants at Southend Hospital, past and present have signed a letter to the Minister of Health,calling on him to veto the transfer. Over 90 GPs have signed a petition opposing the transfer and the consultants in pathology in both Basildon and Southend have written to the local Clinical Commissioning Groups(CCGs), who have to sign the contract, opposing the transfer.
    Our local Southend Against The Cuts group to whom Southend KONP are affiliated,have played a prominent part in the campaign against the transfer. The few people who have supported the transfer are the management in the CCGs and the odd Tory MP.
    I wish we had a by-election in Southend and not just Eastleigh, where we could stand an NHAP candidate!
    For articles in Southend Echo , here are links to 2 articles news/southend10206611.90 GPs support Echo campaign/ news/southend10211173.Southend councillors grill health chiefs who want to move blood tests

  6. To my mind the single most important thing TUSC could do to build its own organisation on the ground in Eastleigh and further afield, would be to announce loudly and publicly that it is standing down and supporting the NHAP candidate instead. And then REALLY support the NHAP candidate.

    TUSC could then put out its own literature and call for a vote for the NHAP, working alongside local NHS campaigners. Further, it could use its TU credentials to try to talk to local health workers and their union branches. It should try to get health workers onto the NHAPs public platforms wherever possible.

    If TUSC is really serious about being (part of) a new party of the left then that is the way to pose the question concretely and with greater resonance than by standing its own candidate in splendid isolation from the real movement on the ground.

    If ‘we’ have any influence, anywhere within TUSC surely that is what we should be arguing?

    We have to hope that the Peace Party might stand down, the NHA candidate stood because the GP did not want to bother to stand a candidate so a bit of pressure through the right channels might also prompt the local Green Party to give public support to NHA. If TUSC were to do likewise, that might give a bit of a boost to the campaign- possibly a four way press conference could be organised putting the message that the NHS is the key issue in this election.

  7. The choice of John O’Farrell as the Labour candidate might attract some of his showbiz mates to the constituency but he is an appalling choice poltically, whatever his merits as a comedy writer.

    The academy programme that Gove is using to destroy state education and hand it over to the private sector is a Labour creation. It will be hard for people like Farrell to convincingly object to too much of what Gove does. He is well known as a strong supporter of the Lambeth Academy, one of the first of New Labour’s Academies in 2004, that paved the way for the Tory/LibDem privatisation programme. It is owned by United Learning Trust, a Christian academy chain, and O’Farrell has served as both Chair of Governors of the Lambeth Academy and on the Board of United Learning Trust.

    In effect he supports in education what the Tories are doing to the NHS and I hope that the NHAP include this in their arguments against him.

    • Speaking on Radio 4 on Sunday, Michael Portillo said that Labour could win: no Tory government has won a by-election since 1982 (holding Beaconsfield in Feb and gaining Merton in May, after the Malvinas war).

      To me, this means the NHAP has everything to play for. Labour don’t have a “loyal” vote of any size in the constituency and if they do win, it will be a reflection of voter volatility, which can favour other (especially anti-cuts) forces too. This is especially the case in by-elections, as who forms the government is not one of the issues.

      I think it’s a pity the NHAP appears to be standing under the rurbic “National Health Action”: the word “Party” signifies a certain seriousness (except in the case of the case of the Monster Raving LP) and a determination to stick around (including the Monster….)

    • Not only is John O’Farrell a strong supporter of Academies, he appears to have no sense about feminism or sexism.
      According to last night’s Evening Standard, his new book has a prescription for “an unusual remedy for the country’s economic woes” to “Pimp Out Kate”. Apparently, he says in the book:

      “American businessmen. Wealthy Arabs. They’d pay a fortune to give Kate Middleton one. I know I would if I had the dosh. This geezer might have actually come up with the solution to Britain’s national debt.”

      Now, I have no truck for the Evening Standard or for Kate Middleton herself, but to talk about rich people paying money to ‘give Kate Middleton one’ and ‘I know I would if I had the dosh’ displays a complete absence of understanding about the way in which women are treated as sexualised objects for exploitation by men in society. Even as a vaguely satirical joke about the upper classes, it’s a completely inappropriate comment and one that needs to be challenged.

  8. SR should be supporting TUSC in this election.

    We are reliably informed that TUSC has accepted SR’s application to join TUSC.

    How bizarre if SR’s first action since hearing the news of our acceptance into TUSC (albeit news as yet informally transmitted)is to support a party that is standing in effect in opposition not just to the four neoliberal parties (Con, LibDem, Lab, UKIP) but is also standing against TUSC.

    As members of a coalition I would have thought it axiomatic that SR should be in Eastleigh, together with SP, SWP, ISN and RMT comrades- our partners in TUSC- supporting the TUSC candidate.

    TUSC is standing increasingly widely, with some very poor results (including my own as general election candidate for TUSC in Brighton Kemptown in 2010, but also some very creditable results.

    Were TUSC not standing (and it really doesn’t matter much who announced first) then I would support the current majority SR line of supporting the NHAP. But TUSC is standing, and it is standing on a socialist united front platform.

    Now however pleasant, comiitted, left, etc the NHP candidate might be, the NHAP ain’t socialist… it’s more of a popular front, rathert than a united froont. And we have to ask ourselves, which party standing serves best the interests of the working class?

    Many in SR argue that a victory for this(single issue, pan-class) party, the National Health Action Party, a non-socialist party (which presumably is not calling for widesopread workers’ control of industry, withdrawal from imperialist wars for example)would be the best result for the working class, by strengthening the anti-austerity movement.

    We have to ask how much the victory in 2005 in Wyre Forest of a similar campaign (electing Dr Richard Taylor as MP for Wyre Forest over the health Service issue) ultimately benefitted the working class. While many of us cheered that event, ir did not lead to the building of a socialist left of Labour Broad Party, let alone an anti-capitalist party, let alone a revolutionary Marxist party.

    And that is what TUSC does do, it does precisely that, imperfect though its current functioning/ procedures/ internal democracy are, and however much some in SR might disagree with SWP and SP on issues and organisational principles.

    TUSC is THE Left of Centre electoral force in England and Wales today, bringing together the largest and some smaller groups on the Marxist Left, with the RMT trade union, and with leading (and rank and file) members of other unions such as PCS and POA.

    Yes, TUSC will not get as many votes as the NHAP, which will have the implicit or explicit support of some of the media, as a `safe for capitalism’ radical option. TUSC is not `safe for capitalism’. As such I urge that the Marxist Left in britain including SR officially back the TUSC campaign in Eastleigh, thereby incidentally, supporing our SR and SP and SWP and ISN and RMT comrades in neighbouring Southampton and Portsmouthwho have worked in recent years to build TUSC in that area.

    Actually, to my mind, it beggars belief that SR is currently supporting NHAP against TUSC. We, in SR, should be in the thick of TUSC campaigns and working withing TUSC nationally to democratise it and strengthen it.

    How can SR possibkly be expected to be taken seriously in TUSC if its first action is to oppose TUSC in the Eastlkeigh byelection, oppose local SR and TUSC activists in the area and join a popular front type campaign over a united front type campaign?

    Dave Hill, Socialist Resistance
    TUSC candidate since 2009 in local, parliamentary and Euroelections. Sometimes chair of Brighton TUSC.

    • There are lots of things I could take issue with in Dave’s comment, but I will just deal with three.

      The first is how the decision to stand was taken by TUSC. Of course, we don’t know for certain, but it seems that it was not taken by any properly-constituted body of the organisation. It may even be that the SWP wasn’t consulted, in which case there may be some interesting consequences, as the SWP normally has a better ‘nose’ for the right decision than the SP.

      Secondly, Dave says TUSC is “THE left-of-centre electoral force in England and Wales today”. I think it is better to use the term left of Labour, as that party itself would claim to be left-of-centre. Clearly, the Greens are also to Labour’s left, and far stronger electorally than TUSC. The NHAP, if it takes off, is also likely to be stronger and so is Respect. But even so, this attitude to TUSC could act as a barrier to its further expansion. If it is to pose itself as the only option, then it will miss the opportunities thrown up by the current volatile political situation.

      Finally, the comparison with Wyre Forest is not valid, in my opinion. That was a campaign around a specific hospital (2001, not 2005), whereas the NHAP is campaigning against the whole privatisation-reorganisation plan for the NHS – and austerity in general. (It is waiting until it has a conference before it adopts a full political programme.) Furthermore, the by-election takes place in the middle of a huge economic crisis, with Labour supporting cuts. With this clear dividing line, a large, explicit anti-cuts vote in this by-election would provide a big boost to working class resistance across the country. Incidentally, this is why this by-election is a national issue. For this reason, I think a socialist approach can’t be determined simply by local considerations, or by the personal merits of the various “left of centre” candidates.

    • I do think that a victory or gaining a large number of votes by the NHAP,would strengthen the anti -austerity movement, which represents a threat to the Con Dem government. We in SR and the other left wing groups will have a wider audience to put forward the case for socialism. We will have this opportunity presented to us as the NHAP will be able to reach much wider audiences than we are able to in their campaigning. They will be exposing the austerity policies of the government and in particular its privatisation of and huge cuts to the NHS.They will also be able to expose Labour for the policies of privatisation of the NHS when it was in power and raise the question of accountability in so far as Labour has promised to abolish the Health and Social Care Act when it is in office.

      On the issues of privatisation and fragmentation of some of the pathology services in Southend, the anti-cuts movement in Southend(Southend Against The Cuts),whose core is the trade unions and the campaigning organisation,KONP have played a vital role in the campaign. Southend Pensioners Campaign have also supported our campaign. The local paper ,Echo initiated the campaign of petitions, most likely due to pressure from its readers.The Scrutiny Committee of Southend Coucil hauled in the management of the Southend Clinical Commissioning Group for agreeing in principle to the transfer. To my amazement, Tory and Lib Dem councillors as well as Independents condemned the CCG and demanded they return to the committee in a month’s time with answers to all the questions raised by the councillors about the transfer. The number of members of the public signing the Echo petition, online as well as in the streets is 7,000 at the last count.

      The NHS commands the support of millions and if ever there was an issue on which to fight the government, it is the privatisation of the NHS and deep cuts the government is inflicting onits budget. But it not only the NHS which is an issue but the austerity policies of the Con Dem government as a whole. That is why I expressed the wish that Southend have a by-election with an NHAP candidate in place, and not just Eastleigh!

    • In my post, I said

      TUSC is THE Left of Centre electoral force in England and Wales today, bringing together the largest and some smaller groups on the Marxist Left, with the RMT trade union, and with leading (and rank and file) members of other unions such as PCS and POA.

      I should have said

      TUSC is THE Left of Labour electoral force in England and Wales today.

  9. Socialist Resistance hasn’t yet taken a formal position on this by election but we have a policy of supporting credible left of Labour candidates where there they are standing. In this case some of us think that is the NHAP candidate and others think it’s TUSC. We encourage supporters to have their own opinion and state it openly.

    Just to clarify our relationship to TUSC. We have been applying to join it for more than three years now and, in early November last year, after asking several times, were eventually asked to present the reasons we should be allowed to affiliate as an organisation. So far we have not had any formal response. So it is hard to argue that we should be bound by the decisions of an organisation that still hasn’t told us if we’re allowed to join it. There is also the small problem of how you can democratise an organisation that appears to be reluctant to let you join it.

    In any case, when Kate Hudson was a Respect candidate in Manchester she was correctly supported by the SWP. No one suggested kicking them out of a very loose coalition for exercising their own judgement. When we were in Respect we were free to openly disagree with that organisation’s leadership on several occasions and there was no suggestion that this was anything other than how democratic parties function. This was at a time when four or five or our supporters were voting members on its leadership.

    What’s under discussion here is really what is the best electoral tactic to weaken the Con Dem attack on the NHS and other public services. The Lewisham demonstration showed that the NHS is an issue which can mobilise large numbers of new people and, as Rob points out above, the best support TUSC can offer to weakening Labour and the Con Dems is to support the National Health Action Party.

    Quite how helpful phrases like “popular front” are in the absence of mass Communist parties is another discussion.

  10. Lewisham People Before Profit will be giving full support to the HAP in the campaign and it is regretable TUSC are standing. However in talking with Pat Siskorski last night at out 80+ health steering general meeting, Darren Proctor is a good trade union miltitant and socialist and should be supported if HAP were not standing.We will be making a financial contribution to local campaign,sendind people down, with cars to help and loaning equipment. TUSC will get another terrible vote and this will be a further set back.

    • That’s good news Nick. The experience and good work of Lewisham People Before Profit in supporting the excellent broad based NHS campaign there is an important example for other localities. It’s therefore very significant that People Before Profit are supporting the NHAP in Eastleigh. However, it’s confusing that a leading member of the Socialist Party in Lewisham has claimed in public that People Before Profit ‘are part of TUSC in Lewisham’.
      Perhaps you could reassure Dave Hill about whether you are worried about whatever relationship you have with TUSC being endangered by supporting NHAP? Socialist Party members have complete control over the mechanism for nominating TUSC candidates but also have their own Socialist Party electoral description. Apart from the fact that there were no TUSC leaflets on the recent massive Lewisham demonstration, it is perhaps even more indicative of the SP’s approach to not building TUSC, that in the recent by-election in Lewisham they proposed not a joint TUSC/PBP campaign, but a joint Socialist Party/PBP candidacy.

      It is certainly true that Darren Proctor is an excellent RMT militant and according to his election nomination although he does not live in Eastleigh (unlike the NHAP candidate), he is eligible to stand in the forthcoming Hampshire County Council elections on Thursday 2nd May and therefore can be nominated as a TUSC candidate that we can all support in those important elections where public sector cuts will also be to the fore.

  11. Assume we’re all agreed there is a crying need for a political alternative to New New Labour (or should we say ‘One Nation Tories’) of which O’Farrell is the candidate. The clever, clever people in NNL (and not just them) believe he has a chance of winning, mainly by taking the votes of the Libs – that is why he was chosen – and perhaps some ONT’s. So the apparent question will be: for or against the Tories. UKIP will pare away some of the Tory vote so (at least in the thinking of NNL) it could be a close result. In such a situation the choice for the left comes down to supporting the NHAP – presumably taking votes from NNL and possibly the Libs, thereby improving the Tories chances or supporting TUSC (with all its undoubted drawbacks) in a fairly painstaking campaign to lay the ground work for a political alternative. I can’t see how supporting NHAP (what does it represent other than a rearguard local action when the overall battle was lost when Bliar came to power) with the apparent purpose of preventing both the Condems and NNL from being elected is a viable option: one of them will win so you will have Tories or One Nation Tories (Libs or NNL). [To those who argue that a Labour victory will strengthen the fight against the Tories: it won’t, it will strengthen the ONT’s]. SR is right to try to join TUSC but it should follow the logic of its argument and support it.

  12. Lewisham PBP called for a vote for TUSC in the recent GLA elections and some of our members,have been supportive of a local TUSC launch, but we are not part of TUSC nationally. I have come to the view that TUSC is a failing project and the Kate Hudson/ ACI seem to have legs as it is being built on a much broader basis.

  13. I have just posted the following on the Eastleigh Socialists Facebook site


    All socialists should support Daz Procter, the candidate of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). TUSC is a coalition of the main Marxist / socialist groups in Britain (the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party, and, thus far, Socialist Resistance is so far being invited to join. Also, very importantly, The RMT trade union led by Bob Crow, quite possibly the most radical and the most successful in standing up for workers’ pay, conditions and interests, is a member of TUSC. As are both leading members and rank and file members of other trade unions such as the PCS, the POA and the NUT just to give a few examples.

    Voting for any of the austerity parties (New Labour, Lib-Dem, Conservative) or the xenophobic right-wing Tories in the UKIP is unquestionable for anyone who believes in equality, social justice, workers’ rights, state provision of public welfare, education and health services and renationalisation of basic utilities and services such as the railways. And although the NHAP (National Health Action Party) are probably very nice people, and will have some support from the capitalist Press and Media, they are, basically, a single issue party, they do not support the socialist principles and policies outlined above supported by TUSC. And unlike TUSC, they are not trying to build a socialist opposition to the austerity neoliberal parties.

    Socialists (such as some in Socialist Resistance, my own party, for example, and, no doubt others) who urge support for the NHAP are to my mind delusional in thinking that voting for, campaigning for the NHAP will be a long-term blow in the interests of equality and socialism. The previous victory in 2005 of a similar campaign in Wyre Forest had some short-term gains, but did it usher in a leftwards or socialist surge/ growth? Not on your nelly! Whereas working to campaign for TUSC is working for the development of a mass socialist vote. VOTE TUSC!

    • “TUSC contacted NHA in January, but they had no response.”

      This is a silly ‘excuse’ by the Socialist Party. SR contacted TUSC in 2010 about becoming members but bizarrely didn’t get a reply or consideration of their request until 2012. They are still awaiting a reply to the presentation at the TUSC meeting in November.

      I sincerely hope the NHAP don’t have the same postal service or email server as TUSC, but in this day and age, don’t you think it just might have been possible for TUSC to pick up a telephone when they heard the NHAP were standing and try to discuss the matter? The NHAP had a mobile phone number of their representative on their website since last December’s Press Briefing in December. Certainly Channel 4 News and the BBC had no trouble getting hold of them. Where there’s a will, there’s a way … as they say.

      • Reading my copy of this week’s Socialist Worker,and not a mention a mention of the Eastleigh by-election or a plug for TUSC. Let’s remember the SWP are nominal but important members of TUSC. What sort of coalition is TUSC when one of its significant and important patterns fails to promote a candidate in a Parliamentary election. I know the SWP are involved in a significant fractional struggle but surely we must read this as a rejection of the. The unwise decision of the SP leadership to stand a candidate against the NHAP.A poor vote for TUSC, behind some of the novelty candidates will hopefully result in an ‘SDP moment’ and a rethinking on the whole TUSC project and a move towards a more democratic broader and inclusive project.

  14. I spent a day in Eastleigh supporting the HAP and called to a working class cafe to warm up. I was the last person to have the Saturday special if sausage and mash, the worker’s in the cafe than wiped the board clean. This must now be the action of the RMT executive regarding TUSC. The terrible vote of TUSC.

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