As part of our coverage of 2016 local elections, we have invited all candidates from Northfield district – Kings Norton, Longbridge, Northfield and Weoley wards – to send in 500 Words describing themselves and their campaign.
This from Clive Walder, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for Longbridge ward:
I am Clive Walder, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for Longbridge. I was born 56 years ago in Brighton. I have lived in Birmingham for 21 years. I am currently employed at the call centre at Digbeth Coach Station. I previously worked for BT where I was a union rep for over 30 years and am currently Chairperson of the Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester branch of the Communication Workers Union. I am experienced at representing members at disciplinary hearings and grievances. I believe in defending the interests of people in the workplace and am a passionate believer in fairness and equality. I was a Labour member of East Sussex County Council from 1989 to 1993 where I was a leading campaigner against the Poll Tax. I was expelled from the Labour Party during this period for campaigning against its transformation from a workers’ party to a pro big business party.
I believe that by far the most important issue at this year’s election is the enormous cuts in local government finance and services. I believe that the government is presenting the bill for the greed and recklessness of their mates in the City to ordinary working people. I am extremely disappointed that there has been no real resistance to this from our Labour council. We have a weak and divided government who can only get away with their wholesale attacks on services because Labour councils refuse to resist them. If elected to the council I would refuse to vote for any cuts or privatisation and would work with council workers and the wider public to resist cuts. I would support industrial action by council workers and any civil disobedience by service users and members of the public aimed at defending jobs and services.
The recent Panama Papers revelations prove that there is more than enough money to reverse all the cuts this government has made. We should be demanding the collection of the avoided and evaded tax and for the prosecution of tax dodgers.
Time and time again history had proved that a united people can force governments to retreat. If people coming on to the streets can overthrow dictators in Egypt and Tunisia we can knock back this weak and unpopular government.
Despite not being a member of the Labour Party I was enthused by Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Leader and would look forward to a Corbyn government instituting genuine reforms in the interests of working people.
I am the only candidate who pledges to vote against all service cuts and would be prepared to lead a campaign to take on the government rather than attacking the citizens of Birmingham.