Report from the TUSC Steering Committee, 27th August 2014
PRESENT: Mike Sargent (RMT); Paula Mitchell (SP); Pete McLaren (ISN); Charlie Kimber (SWP); Will McMahon (ISN); Clive Heemskerk (Nominating Officer); and Dave Nellist (Chair).
TUSC’S REGISTERED DESCRIPTIONS
A briefing paper had been circulated on relations with the independent anti-cuts councillors in Leicester and Hull. It was agreed to endorse the arrangements regarding next year’s elections outlined in the report and, arising from this, to add Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts as a TUSC registered description. This would be used with emblem No 3, TUSC Against Cuts
DISCUSSIONS WITH OTHER GROUPS
It was hoped that, by the next meeting, separate proposals for Daymer and TUSC supporters on the NUT executive to select representatives from amongst themselves to sit on the TUSC steering committee would have been confirmed
PREPARATION FOR THE 2015 ELECTIONS
(i) Directory of seats
Clive Heemskerk had circulated a ‘Directory of local councils with elections in 2015 and parliamentary constituencies’, and it was agreed to send it to TUSC election agents, and to place it on the TUSC website.
(ii) ‘Appeal for candidates’ broadsheet
The TUSC A3 broadsheet appealing for candidates to come forward for 2015, circulated before the meeting, was agreed with some drafting amendments, for an initial print-run of 30,000.
(iii) Amending the TUSC parliamentary candidate application form
The draft of a new TUSC parliamentary candidate application form, circulated before the meeting, was agreed after a couple of wording amendments and will be posted on the website.
(iv) Follow-up to the proposal for a National Election Fund
There was considerable discussion about the need for a national appeal, to pay, amongst other things, for any TV broadcast, as well as the need to encourage local fund raising towards the £1,500 minimum each TUSC Parliamentary candidate would need. After hearing from constituent organisations it was confirmed that a 2015 National Election Fund would be launched, including for national publicity costs and possible payments towards parliamentary deposits, but with details to be finalised at the next meeting.
(v) The 2015 election platforms
The 2015 local election core policies platform was agreed as it appeared in the draft ‘appeal for candidates’ broadsheet. It was agreed work needed doing on updating the general election platform: this would be an urgent priority at the next SC meeting.
(vi) TUSC election conference
It was agreed that a TUSC election conference similar to this year’s format would be organised for either the 24th or 31st of January. Clive Heemskerk was authorised to book a venue and produce an initial notice leaflet before the next SC meeting.
DISCUSSIONS WITH OTHER ORGANISATIONS
(i) Correspondence with Left Unity
Left Unity’s reply to TUSC’s letter of July 7th was circulated to the meeting. In it, LU Nat Sec Kate Hudson explained that LU would be prepared to meet with TUSC once it had developed its electoral strategy, but only to discuss clash avoidance, not to be part of a left coalition as TUSC had suggested. There was some discussion on the implications of this, especially as it was LU Conference policy to be part of the largest possible left challenge in the General Election, and that LU had never, at any level, rejected the possibility of being part of any left coalition. It was felt every effort should be made to make the left more united. Following the discussion, it was agreed to send a response that, while welcoming LU’s intention to “avoid standing in the same place where possible”, expressed our disappointment that they were “not planning to enter into any electoral coalition” either through participation in TUSC or the creation of a new umbrella – with the aim to send an agreed text to Left Unity before their national council meeting on September 20th.
(ii) Letter to Tower Hamlets First
A draft of a letter to Tower Hamlets First to explore the possibility of opening a dialogue with them – circulated before the meeting – was agreed without amendment.
The finance report circulated at the meeting was agreed.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
It was agreed that the date of the next Steering Committee should be Wednesday 1st October, at Unity House, with a 4pm start.
Pete McLaren 30/08/14