Hugo Pierre, TUSC candidate for Poplar and Limehouse, made the following statement on Eric Pickles imposing indefinite direct rule on Tower Hamlets Council:
‘The Tories, backed by a cowardly Labour Party (publicly slammed by Mawrey, the electoral commission judge), have organised a coup against Tower Hamlets Council. Not in a million years would they ever win control of our council through democracy (without Lady Porter style gentrification on the most corrupt scale), so without guns but with a senior police officer and commissioners, they have placed us under a dictatorship.
‘As with any dictatorship, the interests of working class families – white, Bangladeshi and black – will be trampled on. This dictatorship will move to implement £25 million cuts to the Council’s budget in the most brutal style. They will attempt to move against our nurseries, our mental health services, our children’s homes, our youth services and our schools with a plan of privatisation and cuts.
‘And let’s be clear – if the election on June 11th for Mayor doesn’t produce the election result the establishment, pro-austerity parties want – that dictatorship will attempt to remain in place.
‘Workers in Tower Hamlets now have to organise the fightback to bring democracy back into our borough. To win that campaign we need stand now on opposition to all cuts! We need elected representatives that will do what they say: fight against cuts, vote against cuts and fight tooth and nail against austerity. And we can offer hope: our campaign must pledge to build Council housing to end the waiting list crisis; introduce rent controls and a licensing scheme for private landlords who make millions in Tower Hamlets, and bring together a movement in the borough for £10 an hour minimum wage with the trade unions.
‘I appeal to trade unions and all ‘rebel’ councillors nationally to come together to discuss a national strategy to defeat the cuts. Pickles’ coup against Tower Hamlets Council is a warning to any council that might think of raising its head and fighting the cuts. We need all those prepared to stand up against the cuts to link up nationally, in a movement that unites working-class people and the trade unions.’
‘On 7th May the establishment parties want Poplar & Limehouse to back a dictatorship – Vote to defend democracy in Tower Hamlets, vote against cuts, vote to defend our services, vote TUSC!’
Poplar and Limehouse TUSC public meeting
Tuesday 5 May
Chrisp St Idea Store