Thursday, 29 April 2010

Visteon pensioners protest outside the Welsh assembly

Photo from yesterday's Visteon pensioners protest outside the Welsh Assembly in support of Bethan Jenkins AM's sponsored debate on the issue. It comes days after Unite committed to take Ford on legally to get justice for pensioners in Swansea, Belfast, Basildon & Swansea.

Photos from Mike Gard


Rob Williams, Swansea West 'Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition' candidate has urged trade unionists and community campaigners to join the Swansea Trades Council march and rally to protest against public sector cuts this Saturday. Rob said: -

'The three Party leaders in tonight's television debate all agree that whoever gets elected there will be massive cuts in public sector jobs and services. I would urge public sector workers, private sector workers, service users and community campaigners to join us on the May Day march so we can send out a message to these 'out of touch' politicians that if they come for our public services after the election they will have a fight on their hands'!

If they want to now what to expect if they attack our public services then watch the TV reports coming from Greece where millions have taken to the streets to protest against the savage cuts. That's what will happen here if these politicians try and make ordinary people pay the price for the bankers' crisis. If they bring Greece to Britain then we will respond with the same determination as the Greek workers'.


South West Wales May Day March & Rally

(Organised by Swansea Trades Council)

Saturday, May 1st,

Assemble 11/00am, Guildhall Green. Swansea

March down Oxford St. for 12/00pm rally at Castle Square.

Speakers from UNISON, PCS, UNITE, UCU and other unions, campaign groups & anti racists.

Swansea Uni hustings

Started 3 days of trade union negotiations yesterday with Linamar over my members terms and conditions and ultimately the future of the plant so I was unable to attend the election hustings at Swansea University.
Fortunately, Ross Saunders, our TUSC candidate for Cardiff Central was able to stand in for me as a replacement and as expected did an excellent job.
All the other candidates dutifully repeated their opposition and disapproval of tuition fees, education cuts and supported the need to retain front line services in the public sector.
It makes you think which parties actually got rid of the student grant which the majority of the candidates benefited from when they were at university.
It makes you think who brought in tuition fees in the first place, which parties are cutting education funding and which parties are going to massacre our public services and jobs.
In a pre-election period all the main parties will say anything to be 'popular' and to get elected. As Ross pointed out 'its like selecting a candidate because of their hairstyle' as they will not tell you their real programme and agenda if their party becomes part of the next government.
It's all appearance, distortion and downright lies!
Ross received an enthusiastic reception because we put the blame for the economic crisis at the doors of the billionaire bankers and the capitalist system they and their political servants defend.
We want a socialist alternative where education is free from nursery to university. Where the priorities for higher education are the development of the students not the profits in the bank balance of the universities.
Where graduates are debt free after leaving university and have a fulfilling job that is a reflection of their efforts and not end up on the scrap heap with the rest of the 1 million under 24's in the UK today.
For young people that objective is not just worth voting for its also worth fighting for! Join us before and after this election in building a new socialist alternative to the old, corrupt, main parties of capitalism. Join the Socialist Party now!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Reminder!! - Swansea TUSC election rally

7.30pm, Tuesday May 4th
Railway Club, Wind St

Swansea May Day Rally and March

May Day Rally and March
Called by Swansea Trades Council
Add to your Facebook Events

Assemble Swansea Guildhall - 11am
Rally at Castle Square 12pm
  • Protect Public Services!
  • Stop the cuts!
  • Defend Jobs & Services
  • End Privatisation
  • No to racism and facism
Speakers from public and private sector trade unions

May 1st is international workers day, chosen over 100 years ago to commemorate the struggles and gains of workers and the trade union movement.

Today there is the threat of severe post election cuts in the public sector, and the recession hitting public and private sector workers alike. All workers and the public as a whole need to demonstrate the same determination and solidarity that won us gains in the past to defend public services and workers rights today.

We need money for jobs and services, not to bail out the banks. We call on everyone to join the trade unions of Swansea to celebrate May Day and fight for a decent future.

Bring your banners!


Monday, 26 April 2010

10 days to go - still campaigning!!

Ten days to go and another hectic week of campaigning in front of us.
Last Saturday saw another large turnout of supporters in Swansea city centre where we got a great response from the general public. Hundreds of leaflets dished out for our election campaign as well as a leaflet advertising the May Day rally next Saturday against public sector cuts. We need everyone to come along, assembling 11/00am on Guildhall Green and then marching to Castle Square for a rally at 12/00.
On Sunday we had two groups out leafleting up Townhill and Mayhill. This really was a political 'exercise' which as well as spreading our socialist alternative kept us fit by running up and down hundreds of steps. It also kept us alert and on our toes dodging the numerous breeds of dogs who obviously don't appreciate the difference between socialist campaigners and the others!
Sunday evening I attended a hustings organised by Killay church with around a hundred in attendance. All the candidates, apart from the BNP, were represented and the whole event was well run and enjoyable. I had the chance of explaining our socialist programme to an audience that perhaps would not normally have the opportunity of hearing something so radically different to the mainstream parties. I would like to believe that even if we only convinced a handful then at least it will make others think a bit more about what else is on offer apart from an agenda of cuts.
One of the questions that was asked at the hustings was whether 16 year olds should have the right to vote. I agreed they should lower the right to vote from 18 down to 16. Quite appropriate really because we have just sent of a pile of our election material to sixth formers in Olchfa School who are holding a mock election on May 6th because they want to engage students in politics by showing them what the different candidates in Swansea West stand for. Hope it goes well for them and I am sure our socialist programme will get a big echo amongst the youth of Swansea.
For those students who are 18 or over then Swansea University will be holding their own hustings on Wednesday, May 28th at 1/00pm in the Callaghan Lecture Theatre. Because I work full time and will be engaged in trade union negotiations to save jobs at my plant it is unlikely I will be able to attend. Nevertheless, Ross Saunders, our TUSC candidate in Cardiff Central will be standing in for me and will do a brilliant job in convincing students why they should support a socialist candidate.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

BBC News - Dave Nellist on the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition

The BBC news Daily Politics Election Special interviews Dave Nellist:

Click here to watch the video online

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

BNP hide their banner

It appears the BNP are standing under another name in the election in Swansea - "support our troops, bring them home". If this is the case, don't be fooled - the racist BNP are using this name as a cover for their racist policies. They're trying to exploit the genuine feeling amongst working-class people that British troops are dying for nothing in Afghanistan. Does this mean they are afraid to fight under their own name?

The Socialist Party has campaigned against the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since they began. I didn't see the BNP in 2001 after 9/11 when you had to have real political courage to oppose the invasion in the face of the media onslaught. In fact, it's the BNP's anti-Muslim agenda that helps to legitimise the Afghanistan war and occupation. Racist division makes it much harder for working-class people to fight for a better life. Only through socialist unity can ordinary people stop the slaughter in foreign wars as well as achieve real jobs and decent housing.

But it is New Labour who opened the door to the far-right, racist British National Party’s success. The people who have benefited most under Labour are big business and the super-rich. The rest of us have seen skilled jobs replaced with part-time, low paid exploitation; privatisation destroying the NHS, Royal Mail and other public services; council housing sold off so virtually no one has access to it and private rents going through the roof.

The BNP claim they support “British workers” – nothing could be further from the
truth. They just want to exploit people’s anger. They want to slash public services just like the Tories, New Labour and Liberals. In Huddersfield BNP councillor Roger Roberts has called for 1 in 4 council jobs to be cut: “I’ve always advocated that you could get rid of 25% of council staff and no-one would notice.”! Huddersfield examiner 17/9/09

The BNP claim they are not racist. But allowing non-white people to join is not because the BNP have changed their ideas. In fact the leaders and the organisers of the BNP are worse than racists, they are white supremacists and neo-Nazis who will use racism, sexism, homophobia or any other kind of prejudice to divide working people and make it harder for us to resist attacks from the bosses.

But instead of answering the BNP’s divisive lies, Labour and the other main parties
have made them look more respectable by whipping up racism and scapegoating migrants for the crisis in jobs and housing caused by their pro-big business policies. Like Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking who tries to blame migrants for the shortage in housing instead of building new council homes.

We need to build a mass movement to unite people to fight for a better future for all. Mass expansion of public housing, the right to work at a living wage, free education and defend public services from the slash and burn policies of New Labour, Tories, Liberals – and the BNP.

New workers’ party needed

Calling for people to vote for the main three parties to stop the BNP is not enough to stop them getting elected. The reason the BNP won two seats in the European elections is because the Labour vote collapsed. Working people need a real alternative to both the BNP and the three main parties.

Youth Fight for Jobs

One in five young people are unemployed. Whilst the politicians look after the richest, young people and workers will have to organise together to protect ours. Youth Fight for Jobs is backed by three national trade unions and has organised demonstrations, nationally and locally, to fight for our right to a future.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


With Swansea higher education students returning to Swansea university and Swansea Met this week for their final term, Rob Williams, Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition candidate for Swansea West, came out firmly against higher education cuts and demanded an end to tuition fees. Rob said: -

Todays' students are being financially burdened with massive debts of around £20,000 when they graduate. All the main candidates in Swansea West benefited from free education when they attended university in the past. None of them were forced to pay tuition fees and they all received generous student grants.

Now all the main parties have pulled the ladder up on this generation of students who face poverty in university and a lifetime of debt when they leave!

I am absolutely opposed to all top up and tuition fees which will make it even more difficult for working class and middle class students to be able to afford to go to university. Loans should be abolished and a living grant restored for all students, as was the case when our prospective parliamentary candidates attend university. I am a firm believer that education should be free to everyone from nursery to university. We will be campaigning at both Swansea universities to stop any proposed higher education cuts and to end student poverty by restoring free education'.

That's the programme to inspire young people to go out and vote and Rob Williams, Swansea West TUSC, is the only candidate genuinely defending students and young people.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Vote on 6th may for Ross Saunders Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Candidate Cardiff central

Vote this coming May for a real change. Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition are fielding over 40 candidates all across the United Kingdom. Ross Saunders is standing as a candidate in Cardiff Central and Rob Williams is standing in Swansea West. Show them your support and say no to the status quo presented by Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. For more information on the coalitions policies be sure to check out and follow Ross' blog at

Reminder!! - Swansea TUSC election rally

7.30pm, Tuesday May 4th
Railway Club, Wind St

Lib Dems - another Big Business party

Looks like the Lib Dems have benefited from Nick Clegg's performance in the leaders' debate. It says everything about the dire state of politics that Clegg didn't really say much but has come out so well. Didn't hear him call for troops out of Afghanistan, stop privatisation etc. In fact, what I did hear was him commit to the same cuts to public services as the Tories & New Labour!

The spike in support for the Lib Dems show that people are crying out for a real alternative. Imagine if the unions were spending the millions we now give to New Labour on a party that stood on a radical socialist programme which was advertised on thousands of billboards?

By the way if you want to know how radical the Lib Dems are, ask all those who are facing cuts from Swansea Council which is under their control. Its the same programme of cuts put forward by all the other councils. But you can do something about this one - come on the Swansea Trade Union Council May Day demo on Saturday May 1st. Starting at 11am from the Guildhall to Castle Square.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Reply to Evening Post Editorial - workers united to defeat public sector cuts

I work in the private sector and despite attempts by the mainstream parties and the media, private sector workers don't support cuts in the public sector. We don't exist in a bubble. My workmates' family and friends are the very teachers, civil servants and council workers who are facing the chop. Don't forget we also depend on public services. In fact if workers in the public sector are able to win victories and stop these attacks it will give all workers a boost. It'll give them the confidence to fight as well. I'll be on the march because employers, councils and governments alike want workers and working-class communities to pay for the crisis caused by the bankers and speculators in the city. They all want to create a false division because they know it weakens workers.
The march starts at 11am from the Guildhall to Castle Square

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


The Labour and Lib Dem candidates for Swansea West blame each other for the vicious education cuts in Swansea.

Rob Williams, TUSC candidate for Swansea West said: -

All the main parties have a responsibility for the vicious cuts in education across Swansea. The Lib Dem led coalition on the council has implemented these cuts because the Labour/Plaid coalition in the Welsh Assembly has cut funding to local authorities because the Westminster Labour Government has slashed public spending to pay for the bankers economic crisis. Talk about passing the buck, it makes you feel dizzy!!

At least the Tories are a bit more open as they have confirmed that if elected they will have an emergency budget within 50 days to map out their proposals for massive cuts in public services.

None of the main parties have the will, determination or principles to say we will not pay the price for the billionaire bankers and stand up and fight for our public services. These meekly mouthed, spineless politicians only desreve voters contempt not their support'!

camapigning 12 months a year....not just at election time!

Nice photo and small report in today's Post of our TUSC campaign stalls in Oxford Street last Saturday.
Of course our Socialist Party stalls are a permanent feature in the city centre every week of the year and not just before elections like the other parties.
We campaign on issues directly affecting ordinary people as well as supporting workers in struggle.
This year, so far, we have had stalls supporting striking civil servants, Troops out of Afghanistan, Defending Public services, Opposing the BNP, Youth Fight for Jobs and supporting the railworkers.
Not bad for a small party with limited resources compared to the bigger establishment parties with their glossy leaflets and unlimited funds. But there you go, we actually believe in standing up for ordinary people and we actually have principles that are not for sale! Help us build a socialist alternative, don't sit back during this election campaign, help us fight back!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

workers' MP on a workers' wage!!

Another election leaflet posted through by Royal Mail and no doubt a lot more to come. Smaller political parties, like the Socialist Party and the coalition we are standing under in this general election (TUSC) will never be able to compete for publicity with the main parties.
The establishment parties haven't got and don't need the activists on the ground to hand deliver their leaflets like we do. They just dip into their massive piggy banks and pay Royal Mail to do it for them.
TUSC will get just one 'free' leaflet drop by Royal Mail in Swansea West which is paid out of the £500 deposit we have to pay for the privilege of standing!
Big Business and the trade unions finance the main parties to the tune of £millions. We have to rely on contributions from our own members and supporters who make a big financial sacrifice for us to stand in elections because we offer a genuine socialist alternative and we are different to the rest of them. If you want to help our campaign by making a donation then please contact me because we definitely won't be getting any money from the 'fat cats'!
We are different because we actually want to make everyone's life better and not just for those who happen to get elected into parliament!
That's why myself and all Socialist Party members who are standing have pledged, if elected, to just take the average skilled wage and donate the rest of our income back to the socialist and trade union movement. If you want to represent ordinary people then you should live the same lifestyle as them. Our window posters proudly proclaim that I will be 'A Workers' MP on a Worker's Wage' - that's putting your money where your mouth is and we have done it before and we will do it again! Give me a buzz if you want one of our window posters.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Legal aid for for fiddling expenses - can you be serious?!!

You might think I'm making this up but 3 MPs caught fiddling their expenses have been given legal aid to defend themselves. They're all on a basic salary of £65,000 but they can use taxpayers money to make their case. Tell that to the Visteon pensioners (I'm one of them) who need the backing of their union Unite to take on Ford in the courts to get their full pensions. How do the BA workers or the rail workers feel when the legal system has denied them the right to strike despite having massive votes in favour in recent ballots? Talk about one law for them and another for the rest of us!! Saying that, they reckon that there's about £25billion unpaid taxes - mainly from the rich while the poor are made to feel like scroungers. Where's the adverts for tax avoidance, like the ones for benefit fraud.

If all this hypocrisy makes you angry - don't get mad get even - vote TUSC in the election and join our campaign


Defend jobs & services - Fight for workers' alternative!

As the main Parties launch their Election Manifestos the majority of electors will treat their promises with a mixture of cynicism and disinterest.

Rob Williams, Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition candidate for Swansea West said: -

'All the media attention will surround the empty promises put forward by the main Parties when they launch their election manifestos. In complete contrast to the cuts agenda put forward by all the establishment parties TUSC has a programme that can enthuse and inspire ordinary people to come out and vote for a socialist alternative. Our key demands include: -

* Public Ownership, not privatised profit.

* Jobs, not handouts to bankers & billionaires.

* No cuts - quality public services.

* Decent pensions and benefits.

* Solidarity not war.

* Protect our environment - stop global warming.

* Repeal the anti-trade union laws.

* For a democratic socialist society.

'Now that would be 'real change' and a 'real choice' instead of of the 'same manifesto' in a different coloured package that the main parties are offering! People are sick of sleaze, sick of empty promises and sick of politicians who look the same, sound the same and do nothing for us! Why are all the main parties saying that we have to pay for the economic crisis with massive cuts? We didn't cause the crisis, it was billionaire bankers, rich speculators and incompetent politicians. Make the bankers pay not us is my message and top of our manifesto'!

For a full version of the TUSC election manifesto visit

Good week end of campaigning.

Saturday morning we hit the city centre with three campaigning stalls set up in Oxford Street, around a dozen supporters and me on the megaphone.
We were highlighting the fact that whoever forms the next government there will be massive cuts in public sector jobs and services.
TUSC are the only ones saying we should not pay for the bankers crisis! We gave out hundreds of leaflets and dozens signed up to our campaign to 'Save Jobs & Services'. The Evening Post photographer turned to take a few pics of our activities and hopefully we will get it in the Post this week.
On Sunday we were campaigning around the Sandfields and around the Brunswick Street area. Although quiet as you would expect on a Sunday morning we received a warm response and at least voters will know we are standing and offering a socialist alternative to the main parties.
We also came across a handful of BNP members giving out their divisive and racist literature down the Sandfields and that is why it is important for us to be out counteracting that poison. Our weekly Socialist Party meeting, open to members and supporters, will be discussing how to defeat the BNP this Thursday. Get in touch if you want to come along.
Another busy week ahead so if anyone wants to help on our stalls during the day or leafleting and canvassing in the evenings then let me know.

Sunday, 11 April 2010


281 British military personnel have now been killed in Afghanistan, with the latest casualty, tragically from our own doorstep in Swansea.
The Evening Post has asked in an editorial on Friday, 9th April that local candidates respond by making their views public on their position towards the on going war in Afghanistan.
Rob Williams, Socialist Party member, standing as a candidate in Swansea West under the banner of the ‘Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition’ said: -

‘It’s horrific that another young life has been lost and I send my condolences to his family and friends.
My position and that of the Socialist Party has been unequivocal since the occupation in 2001.
Afghanistan was invaded after 9/11 to boost the power and prestige of George Bush and US Imperialism.
Like Iraq, Afghanistan had no direct part in the terrorist attack that destroyed the twin towers.
Like Saddam Hussein, the Taliban were also originally financed and armed by the US and Britain!
It was the wrong political decision By Blair to send British Troops into Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place! This war is NOT being fought in the interest of ordinary people here or in Afghanistan.
There should be an immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops and the Afghan people must be allowed to determine their own future.
The best way to support our troops is to bring them home now!
This war, in which Blair and the Labour Government backed fully in order to appease Bush and US Imperialism, has been a total disaster.
As well as 281 UK personnel losing their lives it is estimated that 30,000 Afghans have been killed and 3.7 million refugees forced to flee to Pakistan and Iran. Last year the head of British forces in Afghanistan gloomily talked of another 40 years of occupation before there will be stability!
We need to support Afghan workers and poor peasants away from the reactionary Taliban and help them develop their own independent political voice. Under a socialist plan of production the country’s raw materials and key industries could be nationalised and investment used to develop the economy away from the production of opium.
United by their common interests, workers and peasants across Afghanistan could defeat the Taliban by creating a multi ethnic defence force that would undermine sectarianism.
A democratic socialist government of Afghanistan as part of a socialist confederation of the region offers the only solution to the horror of endless war.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

We shouldn't pay for the bankers' crisis

'I fully agree with the 75% of the electorate who do not support cuts in public services to pay for the bankers crisis. Unfortunately all the main parties support a public sector pay freeze, attacks on our pensions and a machete to be taken to public services. Why should ordinary people be forced to pay for a crisis that was caused by billionaire bankers, speculators and a big business friendly Labour government? All the main parties agree that whoever forms the next government public sector cuts will be deeper and broader than the Thatcher government made!

As a start, instead of throwing billions of pounds at the bankers and rich speculators I would demand a massive programme of public works to get our young people working, keep our civil servants in jobs to collect the £100 million in unpaid tax from the big multi-nationals, cancel the PFI debt and end the war in Afghanistan.

Not many voters would disagree with those demands, only the main political parties, who are completely out of touch with ordinary people'.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

No Choice Election

In the press today all the main Party leaders claim they are offering voters 'change' or 'choice' in the election
In reality there is little choice between the main Parties.
In Swansea Council the Lib Dems and Independents Coalition are slashing jobs and services. The Welsh Assemblys' Labour/Plaid Coalition is just meekly accepting the Labour Governments budget cuts. None of the establishment Parties are prepared to stand up and fight for our public services.
At least in Swansea West and 41 other constituencies around the country there will be a real choice for voters!
As part of the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition I will be campaigning to defend public services and undermining the sleaze of MP's by pledging to be a Workers MP on a workers' wage. That will be a real choice for voters in Swansea West!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Election is on.....finally!!

The worst kept secret is finally out - the general election will be on May6th!
Browns' decision to call the election today is quite ironic for many trade unionists, especially members of the rail workers union the RMT.
They should have been starting four days of industrial action today but were stopped by a high court judgment and have to go back and re-ballot their members. It was Thatchers' anti union laws which allowed this to happen, yet we have had 13 years of a Labour Government that could easily have repealed this anti union legislation. Of course if you are a government that looks after big business and doesn't support workers fighting to defend their terms and conditions, then like New Labour you are happy to keep anti working class laws on the statute books.
Brown slagged off the BA workers and called their action 'deplorable' yet his election campaign will be financed by my union UNITE to the tune of £4million!!!!
You have to pinch yourself to make sure you are not dreaming, or more correctly, having a nightmare.
Part of my campaign is to get unions to dissaffiliate from Labour and use their members cash to build a new workers party that will look after our interests and not undermine them. That's why standing as a TUSC candidate is an important begining down that road.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Visteon pension protest in London March 31st

A year ago yesterday, my ex employer Visteon went into administration throwing hundreds of car workers on the dole in Belfast, Enfield and Basildon and jeapordising ex-Visteon workers pensions.
Visteon was hived off from Ford in 2000 and its workers told by Ford that their terms and conditions, including their pensions would be protected. Lies!
Those sacked Visteon workers had to occupy their factories and after a bitter dispute forced Ford to pay a decent redundancy package.
Unfortunately the Visteon pensioners have not been bailed out by Ford in the same way and have instead seen their pensions drop dramatically under the Pension Protection Fund.
We have organised several meetings for the Swansea Visteon pensioners over the past year or so with a regular attendance of over 100. That is how strong the feelings are that our pensioners have been ripped off by Ford and some are losing up to £350 a month!
We had two coach loads from Swansea travel up and joined another 300 protesters from Belfast, Enfield and Basildon.
I addressed the rally outside our union headquarters and at Parliament Square. I also went into Downing Street as part of a delegation to hand in a 2000 signature petition.
We were not allowed to march on the streets so the demo took to the pavements of London and with our banners, 'Fraud' baseball caps and T shirts which made a big impression on bemused tourists and the general public.
We want our union UNITE to take Ford to court because they have lied to us and washed their hands of ex-workers who have given their lives to this company. The union has said they will make a decision on April 14th and in the meantime we will continue to put pressure on both our own union and Ford to get the justice our pensioners deserve.