George Barratt is an independent socialist councillor in Barking and Dagenham.
He was a Labour councillor. But when he refused to vote for the ruling Labour party cuts budget he was unceremoniously expelled.
Here, George explains why he’s backing Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates in the London elections on 3 May.
“I am supporting the TUSC list of candidates for the London Assembly because the stunning victory of the Respect Party in the Bradford West bye-election clearly demonstrates that the ordinary people of this country want an alternative to the almost identical politics of the three major parties.
This is a time of real hardship for many working families with frozen wages and rising unemployment. Young people leaving college and university face the prospect of either joblessness, unpaid internships or mindless MacJobs. The possibility of buying their own accommodation is becoming increasingly remote.
New Labour based its policies on the idea that working people were becoming upwardly socially mobile and more middle-class. New Labour wanted to capture the floating voter in marginal constituencies. But the reverse is now the case because these floating voters in marginal constituencies are becoming worse off. They also face debt problems, redundancy and house repossession.
We now need political representatives who are more in tune with the needs of ordinary working people. I was expelled from the Labour Party because I did not go along with the Labour Council automatic rubberstamping of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government reduced budget for local authorities.
But the encouraging thing is that, since I was expelled, a group of local people have sprung up beside me because they too think that we need to fight back against the Tory-Lib-Dem cuts and stale and complacent Labour Party councillors. We now have an energetic and enthusiastic Barking Against the Cuts group with plans to expand our influence in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
We have been inspired by the Respect Party victory in Bradford West and hope that TUSC candidates can repeat the victory in the London Assembly.”
Independent Socialist Councillor
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham