Tagged: Ellen Wilkinson

‘I’ll cut my pay in half if I win’ – TUSC Jarrow election candidate

MPs should be content with pay packets a third of the size of those they get now, according to a socialist bidding to become Jarrow’s next representative at Westminster.

Norman Hall thinks it’s outrageous that our Parliamentarians are set to receive salaries of £75,000.

The semi-retired software engineer believes that puts them out of touch with ordinary working people.

That’s why the 59-year-old, of Gateshead, has pledged his support for proposals for MPs to receive no more than the salary of the average skilled worker.

He said: “That would mean they receive between £25,000 and £30,000 and are living the same lifestyle as the people they represent.

“It would help them to directly understand the issues that affect working people.”

Mr Hall, representing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) at the general election on Thursday, May 7, is also campaigning on an anti-austerity platform.

He said:

“All of the six major parties are parties of austerity.

“They are all in favour of cuts. Our stance is simple. We are saying no to austerity.”

This is the first time that Mr Hall has stood for Parliament, but he has made two bids to become a councillor in Gateshead.

Originally a member of the Labour Party, he became disillusioned with what he says was its “lack of support” for the miners during the strike of 1985 and 1985 and joined the Socialist Party, and it allied with trade unions to form TUSC in 2010.

The union coalition plans to stand in more than 120 seats across the country in May, including Washington and Sunderland North, North Tyneside and Newcastle East.

Mr Hall, a married stepfather of two, said:

“The coalition is exactly what it says on the tin.

“I’m well aware of Jarrow’s heritage stretching back to Ellen Wilkinson, and in 2011 I was involved in the Youth Fight for Jobs, which marked the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow March.

“I’m from Wallsend, and it shared with Jarrow many of the problems that stemmed from de-industrialisation.

“In terms of what support I’ll receive, that’s somewhat up in the air, but it’s clear that people are disillusioned with the mainstream parties. We are here to give the working class an alternative voice, one against austerity and against the cuts that took place under Labour and the Tories.

“It started under Alistair Darling, who made ordinary people pay for the banking crisis. The working class needs a new voice.”

TUSC opposes all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions and rejects increases in council tax, rent and service charges to “compensate for government cuts”.

The party also supports nationalisation of the banks and the financial system, is against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and all secret austerity treaties.

The other candidates standing in Jarrow on May 7 are: Stephen Hepburn (Labour), Stan Collins (Liberal Democrat), Steve Harrison (UKIP) and David Herbert (Green).

Source – Shields Gazette, 16 March 2015

Crusade march to stop the ‘privatisation’ of the NHS begins in South Tyneside

Hundreds of people gathered to give a rousing send off to the crusade launched by a group of North East mums protesting against the “privatisation” of the NHS.

One of the organisers, call centre worker Joanna Adams, 41, said she was “totally taken aback” at the turn out at their starting point, Jarrow Town Hall in South Tyneside.

There must be seven or 800 people here,” she said. “It shows how many people care about the NHS. It’s really moving. It shows the majority of people are decent human beings, not the self serving and greedy people some would have you believe.”

Those taking part in the ‘People’s March for the NHS’ are to follow the historic Jarrow Crusade route of 1936 when over 200 men – and local MP Ellen Wilkinson – marched to the Houses of Parliament to protest about the lack of work.

The march this time is in response to government legislation they feel is leading to the privatisation of the NHS.

At the town hall send off speeches were given by politicians, union officials and Lizi Gray, the great granddaughter of one of the original marchers.

It was a lovely symbolic gesture,” said Joanna.

Then, to the strains of the Proclaimers song ‘I’m Gonna Be (500miles) which the Scottish duo “gave” to the campaign and is now being used as their signature song, they set off.

The group will actually be walking 300 miles and are due to arrive at the Houses of Parliament on September 6, in time for Prime Minister’s Question time that day.

The idea stemmed from a group of 11 Darlington mums who wanted to highlight the damage caused by the Health and Social Care Act which has led to the increasing privatisation of the NHS

The idea was floating around for a while – it seemed such a crazy idea – then in March we decided just to do it,” said Joanna.

As the marchers headed on their first leg to Chester-le-Street with many of those who originally come to give them a send off actually joining in, she added: “This is what British values are. We’re generous, we care about equality and justice, something that isn’t acknowledged. There is such a thing as society.

“They talk about choice, well this is our choice. We want the NHS. We want public services properly funded. We own it and they have no business trying to take it away from us.”

Source –  Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 16 Aug 2014

New book offers fresh look at Red Ellen (Ellen Wilkinson)

ON THE MARCH ... late MP Ellen Wilkinson during the 1936 Jarrow Crusade. Below, author Matt Perry.

ON THE MARCH … late MP Ellen Wilkinson during the 1936 Jarrow Crusade.