Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition flyer in Gillingham South

I felt it only fair that after I reviewed the leaflet of the Independents and LibDems I should cast equal light on Jacqui Berry's election pamphlet which was delivered yesterday.

I am surprised as to how impressed I am with Ms Berry's proposition. From her photograph I would say she is quite young and from the text she is very passionate, possibly from personal experience about cuts.
She is very direct and to the point and I find myself agreeing with her on many of her points and I admire her passion.

I worry about the way cuts are being carried out, and job losses should be kept to an absolute minimum. I also feel massive empathy that the bankers and big business (and the rich) should make more of a donation towards the damage that has been caused and not the working classes who already struggle with day to day costs of living.

I also agree that a massive job creation scheme is necessary and in my opinion I think we should go back to constructing industries, ships etc.

I also worry about pensions... People of my Grandfather's generation are in a good situation but the current generation, myself included, could find themselves in serious problems when they are in their formative years and I agree that the pension system needs to be looked at seriously,

I especially agree with her belief in renationalising the railways and I'm sure many of my fellow commuters will agree too! The companies that run it do not care how they treat us as they hold a monopoly.

My only problem is that unfortunately I think we need to make cuts over the next few years. The Debt is high but the large deficit is making it bigger at a scary rate and it needs to be fixed now, this parliament. We cannot hand a massive spiraling  debt to our Children. The projects, such as renationalising the railways and banks as well as housing projects are amazing and I agree that they are the way forward but we don't have the money to do it at the moment.

But Thank you  Ms Berry. I sincerely admire your flier and passion! You've also made me think, something which is always a good thing and something a candidate should do and next time I run (not a paperless as I am this time) I hope I can do the same.


  1. Hi Chris, First of all thanks for taking the time to review the leaflet, we worked really hard on the design and the content, so it good to know people read them, and agree with them!

    I wanted to come back on the issue of deficit reduction.

    It is not the case that this is a record deficit. We had a much much bigger deficit after the second world war, and the way out of that was not austerity, it was through job creation. It's not hard to see that people working, earning money, and spending it on goods and services boosts the economy.

    The governments cuts, however you look at it, will add a further half million to the dole queue, compounding the crisis and potentially bring about another recession. Its not the case that a wide spread program of nationalisation and public works is a nice idea that we cant afford to do. They are necessities that we cannot afford not to do.

    Indecently, the labour government took such glee in attacking members of the PCS union that they implemented a program of 30,000 job losses in HMRC that now staff are physically unable to collect the 120 billion stashed in offshore accounts by the super rich every single year. A recruitement drive in HMRC and a strategy to recoup that money would more than plug the national deficit.

    I also wanted to comment on my age. Yes, I am younger than the average candidate, 23. I'm a nursing student. We are seeing up and down the country recruitment freezes implemented, vacancies left unfilled and short staffing across the board, which is unavoidably going to impact on patient care.

    However, nationally TUSC are standing quite a few young candidates. In Gillingham North, James Feist is the youngest local election candidate in the country for any party, having turned 18 a few days before the close of nominations. This is no co-incidence. Young people are seeing their futures being cut. We are the first generation since the war to be worse off than our parents. Government ministers talk about reducing jobs through natural wastage as a fairer way to reduce the deficit (to be honest I think its just easier and cheaper than implementing redundancies). However, these are jobs that are being taken away from the next generation, particularly with the increasing pension age and we face a real danger of being a lost generation, unable to get work, unable to afford to leave home, and priced out of higher and further education. When alls said and done, thats the reason I'm standing for TUSC in gillingham south. Its the future of an entire generation we are talking about and we cant afford to say we cant afford it.

  2. Hi Jacqui,

    That's not a problem, if I'm honest it was my pleasure. I'd seen a poster in one a resident's window in Valley Road (or was it Livingston- Can't remember!) and wondered when I would see a leaflet. You have beaten the Tories and Labour who have still not materialised!

    I hope you didn't take it as a slight to say you looked young. I turned 30 last year and somehow slipped into stereotypical middle age and think everyone looks young now a days. I think it is a good thing, and I think I've mentioned it on these pages somewhere that I think younger people need to pay more attention to politics and get involved. It can not become controlled by the surmounising of grey old men! It is also a mark of how passionate you feel and how deep the crisis, that people like James Feist and yourself are standing.

    It is indeed a lost generation. Out of my friends that went to Uni with me I'm the only home owner! That was only because of unfortunate circumstances, my Grandfather passed away and left me a share of his house. Renting is a trap that is very difficult to escape from as you will never put together enough for a deposit on a mortgage and jobs are scarce as employers want expirience not qualifications... Degree holders are ten a penny.

    As for the Post war deficiet, I fear things were different then. The mass of ex-servicemen returning home in need of work and the lack of a dole combined with the war damage, and need to export equipment to a shattered Germany that needed rebuilding meant there was work and if you didn't work you starved. Now I fear that people's attitudes have changed and they will not want to get off the dole and multinational companies do not want to invest in British labour. Still I think it is worth a try! It is the only way to get this country back on track! We no longer produce things for ourselves and rely on imports which is no way to carry on. At the same time I think some fat trimming is in order.

    My mum was a nurse for many years and I completly agree with you that patient care must not be compromised for even a moment and cuts in nursing staff should not even be contemplated nor pay frozen. (as a 22k earning museum staffer working in London I'm going to have trouble affording things in 3 years too!)

    I fear I have rambled somewhat! I do wish you luck in your campaign and for the future, especially in Nursing! Will you continue to campaign in Medway after the election (should the worse happen and you don't get in?)


    PS, May see you at the count. (I'm standing for Luton and wayfield as paperless)