On the 20th October 2010, this Tory-Lib Dem Government declared war on Public Services, Public Sector workers and the Welfare State. The Comprehensive Spending Review sets out, in black and white, plans for a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary working people and the most vulnerable in society, to the wealthy. It is also a massive transfer of responsibility from central and local Government, to unaccountable private companies, interested only in making profit out of our Public Services.
It is estimated that 1.6 million jobs are set to go. Those who don’t, at this stage, face redundancy, will still face a battle over pensions, pay and working conditions. This constitutes a generalised attack on the Public Sector, Service users and workers in general across Britain.
In response, local campaigning groups have been springing up all over the country. Local demonstrations have come together to protest and trade unionists, community campaigners and service users are beginning to come together to coordinate action and build campaigns to resist all cuts and privatisations.
AIMS OF THE CAMPAIGN
Medway Against the Cuts (MAC) stands shoulder to shoulder with these campaign groups and all Industrial and Community action in defense of jobs and public services. We will provide solidarity, support and leadership where it is needed across the Medway towns and seek to link together all campaigns into a united, active, campaigning organisation.
ACTIVITY AND MATERIAL
Attempts made by Cameron, Clegg and Osborne to convince us that ‘we’re all in this together’ have had a limited impact. Nevertheless, there is a need for MAC to present a clear alternative to the cuts agenda. We will produce our own independent material; leaflets, petitions and posters, which will challenge the idea that cuts are ‘inevitable’ and show how an alternative can work. All supporters of the campaign have the responsibility to distribute our material as widely as possible – through workplaces, colleges, universities, our trade union branches and through our own public activity. We will aim to have public activity, involving as many supporters as possible, every week.
An important part of presenting an alternative to the cuts agenda and building wider support for anti-cuts campaigns will be our approach to the press. We will send out press releases advertising our events and supporting action taken by campaigns and trade unions and invite the press to our activity. We will have a Press Officer to oversee this work.
By asking local Trade Union branches and community campaigns to make a donation with affiliation to the campaign and by raising individual donations on our public activity we will raise the money to pay for costs of the campaign. We will set up a bank account and elect a Treasurer to oversee our finances.
As real concrete cuts are revealed and their effects are felt, campaigns will spring up across the country. MAC will be able to offer support for these campaigns and link them together into a general anti-cuts movement. MAC will play the role of a steering group, elected to reflect all organisations and campaigns fighting the cuts. MAC will have a delegate-based structure, which will grow as campaigns develop. We will ask each organization to send delegates to each of our steering group meetings. Each delegate will have full voting rights in steering group meetings and every decision will be voted upon. To reflect the need to incorporate individuals into the steering group, we will offer an ‘individual delegate’ system, where individuals can affiliate to the campaign and have full delegate rights. Each individual delegate will be asked for an affiliation fee in the same way as we would ask supporting organizations.
We will have fortnightly steering group meetings, as well as regular public meetings and activities.
= The role of the secretary will be to inform supporters of meetings and activities. The Secretary should attend all meetings of MAC and the MAC steering Committee.
= The Role of the Treasurer will be to keep account of all money received and banked in the name of MAC. They should make a statement of the finances of MAC at the steering committee meetings. They will also be a signatory to the bank account.
= The role of the Press Officer will be to inform the press of MAC’s public meetings and activities.
= The above roles will be held by elected individuals from the steering committee. The Chair will ensure meetings are conducted in a proper manner. This will be an open, rotated position, not held by any of the other elected officers.
= Fight all cuts and privatisation in public services that have a detrimental effect on the lives of ordinary people.
= Support all action against cuts and attacks on pay, pensions and working conditions.
= Support the TUC’s policy of Just Transition.
= To help coordinate campaigns and action against cuts and privatisation.
= To present an alternative to the cuts agenda in our material and from our platforms.
= To offer practical solidarity to all workers forced to take industrial action.
All elected officers and representatives of MAC should stand for and defend the principles outlined in this programme. From contributors to our material, speakers from our platforms and in interviews with the press, MAC will offer a united alternative to all cuts and support all genuine campaigning organisations.