PCS have intervened in the Croydon North by-election by inviting candidates to sign up to five pledges:

1. To support PCS campaigns against public service job cuts and for an alternative to economically damaging austerity policies.

2. To support the PCS campaign for fair pay and a living wage.

3. To support the PCS campaign for fair pensions for all; including calling on the government to protect public sector pensions ensuring that they’re not linked with the state pension age, that the government addresses pensioner poverty and that companies are prevailed upon to ensure they fulfil their pension obligation to staff.

4. To support the campaign for publicly delivered welfare services and programmes based on dignity and support for those unable to work.

5. To oppose unpaid work experience placements which exploit young jobless people, and discourage employers from genuine job creation and paying fair wages.

Ben Stevenson, the Communist Party candidate has responded as follows:

I wholeheartedly pledge support for all five policies identified by PCS. Furthermore, I consider them to be the primary issues to be put before the electors of Croydon North. The current economic crisis was not caused by ordinary working people, but they, including members of PCS, are being made to pay for it with an austerity programme involving cuts in public sector jobs, worsening of terms of service, and reduction in, and privatisation of, public services. The attack on public sector pensions has more to do with fattening up public services for privatisation than in any conceivable cost saving. The callous treatment of young jobless people and the proposals for older workers to work until they drop or be forced to live on subsistence-level welfare when they cannot work must be exposed and opposed. The claim that “we are all in it together” is a blatant lie, as is Labour’s counterposed policy of “Yes to cuts,  – but let’s take a little longer”.  But there is an alternative: it’s called socialism.

At the time of posting this entry, neither the Greens nor the Labour Party have responded. The Tories and their Lib-Dem lackies are, of course, silent.

Croydon Communists to Contest By-election

News Release

Croydon’s Communists pledged to step up the fight against coalition cuts today as local members confirmed that Communist Party National Secretary Ben Stevenson will stand in the forthcoming Croydon North by-election.

Mr Stevenson, who is also active on Croydon Trades Union Council, said: “We’ve had two years of coalition cuts to jobs, pensions and public services which has only further weakened Britain’s economy. And worse is to come as 80% of the cuts planned have yet to take effect.

“Working people are sick of slimy professional politicians who are more interested in toadying up to the super-rich and spivs in the city, and feathering their own nests, rather than representing the interests of those people they were elected to serve.” he added.

“I stood in 2010 to make the argument, that whatever government was formed it would be working people who would be forced to shoulder the burden of the capitalist economic crisis. But even we couldn’t have predicted the scale of corruption, greed and double-speak of this coalition government, who are clearly using the crisis as cover to destroy the NHS and the other gains made since 1945 through the welfare state.”

The Communist Party will campaign in Croydon in opposition to coalition cuts and EU austerity measures, putting the case for alternative policies that would place the burden on the super-rich and big business via progressive taxation; investment in manufacturing, green industries and housebuilding; and renationalisation of the rail network and energy companies.

Mr Stevenson pledged to “challenge the collective amnesia that exists in Westminster – as it does in nearly every centre of power in Europe – and remind them that this economic crisis wasn’t caused by public sector workers, unemployed young people or the millions of pensioners condemned to poverty.

“The programme of cuts being pursued by this illegitimate and undemocratic government isn’t going to help drag Britain out of recession, create jobs and provide the kind of future that the hard-working people of Croydon North deserve.”

Instead Mr Stevenson said: “they deserve better than this government or the lacklustre ‘Tory-lite’ response being offered by the Miliband-Balls ‘purple’ Labour plan of exactly the same policies dragged out over a couple more years. There’s a ‘battle for ideas’ taking place right now – and the Communist Party aims to be leading that fight.”


 Notes to editors:

  1. Press officer: Chris Guiton 07854 129732
  2. Ben Stevenson is 28 years old and National Secretary of the Communist Party. Since moving to Croydon from his native Birmingham in 2005, he has been heavily involved in local labour movement politics through the Croydon Save Our Schools Campaign, the campaign against the Beddington Lane Incinerator and the Croydon Trades Union Council’s Executive Committee.
  3. The Communist Party was founded in 1920 and is part of an international movement involving millions of people in more than 100 countries across the globe.