I’m sure many on the left are now familiar with the infamous ‘son’ of the hopeless NO2EU project, TUSC or Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. This ragtag bunch is the latest effort at ‘left unity’ organised by the Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party and other ‘left’ groups who deservedly shouldn’t get a mention.
From the start I was critical of this coalition, much in the same way I was critical of NO2EU. The far-left cannot continually expect to form these coalitions weeks before an election and expect a breakthrough. Elections are, by and large, a costly business, and anything but a suitable playground at attempting left-unity. If TUSC were serious about making an entrance on the political scene they should have started months a go, the fact they did not suggests they are not taking this election seriously, neither will they be taking voters concerns seriously and neither will they be offering a positive agenda to voters.
At this point I would say that I have nothing against those activists involved in TUSC…but I do. The reason being? Standing against Green Party candidates, some of whom have been selected for months, who openly identify themselves as being socialists or firmly on the left.
In Brighton Kemptown, Dave Hill, a one time right-wing Labour “moderate” and East Sussex councillor, is standing against Ben Duncan, whose politics, I would say, are on the left. Ben has been out and about in the Kemptown constituency since before he was selected, representing Queen’s Park residents on the city council. It’s madness that the far-left in Brighton have taken the decision to stand against Ben, rather than support his efforts.
In Greenwich and Woolwich TUSC have taken the decision to stand against Andy Hewett, a prominent member of Green Left and the Campaigns Co-Ordinator on the Green Party Executive (GPEX).
TUSC, as most Socialist Party endeavours are, is a futile attempt at playing politics. What do they expect to achieve? Do they really intend on winning a seat? I think not, they don’t even have any trade union backing. Yes, they have the support of trade unionists, but so does Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens and probably even the Tories. A name is not enough by any means.
As always, the coalition will fail to do anything. In the wake of a crushing defeat the partners will be arguing amongst themselves on who was to blame for the failure. It will further lead to mistrust and antagonism between the far-left sects and will probably be a massive step back for the Socialist Party’s aspirations for a new Labour Party.
In short, TUSC is silly politics for amateurs.