Reasons to be cheerful in 2014!

lila brik

Many people feel isolated and depressed about the constant onslaught on our civil society by the Con/Dem government but you can do something about it! There are plenty of campaigns to get involved in. Here is my selection for 2014……

Living in the north with a Labour dominated council is like being in a one party state. Whilst publicly blaming the Tory government for the cuts they are making they gleefully sack workers, privatising public services and imposing council tax on some of the poorest people.
Opposition to these councils has not come from the bigger, more well-known organisations such the Peoples Assembly but it is locally based organisations with activists linking up with the people who are being most affected by the cuts.

This was noticeable on the 5 November anti-austerity events in the Greater Manchester area. The Peoples Assembly had produced flashy leaflets to rise the masses but Tameside against the Cuts showed the way in taking the protests to those people who need an organised group to defend them against benefit cuts. Made up of Green Party activists and unemployed people they have organised pickets of the Job Centre, workfare organisations, shops that use claimants instead of paid workers and also picketed Council meetings over the abuse of Council tax.

TAC are not alone in their use of direct action, there are other good examples in the Bedroom Tax campaign and Salford against the Cuts.

Tameside against the Cuts

Tameside against the Cuts

The Frack Off campaign in the northwest has taken off at Barton Moss as local people have challenged the rights of Igeus to pursue the rush for shale gas. Activists, with the support of the local community, have camped out to highlight what is going on there. Support for them is growing but a high level of police has seen increasing arrests. They are calling on people to show their opposition to fracking and to join the next demo on 12 January. For further details see

Barton Moss Day of Action -photo thanks to Salford Star

Barton Moss Day of Action -photo thanks to Salford Star

Support local radical press...including the Salford Star and Manchester Mule. They are run by volunteers, with little money apart from donations, and stand alone in exposing the corruption in political life.Read them and if you can send them a fiver. If you are involved in a campaign such as Keep Our NHS Public it is very difficult to even get a letter in your local paper, never mind get a reporter to one of your events. We can use social media but there are still many people, particularly poor people, who have no access to the internet, so we need to look at other ways of contacting people, including old media such as paper leaflets and slogging around estates distributing them.

Various NHS campaigns across the Greater Manchester area. Small groups of people leafletting hospitals, opposing the closure of Trafford A&E, protesting at the threats to mental health beds, going to desultory Clinical Commissioning Groups meetings, holding public meetings. It is inspiring to be part of these campaigns but we need more people to get involved. Also why are the union members and staff in these hospitals, GP surgeries, not active in at least trying to save their own jobs? I understand their despair but are they really going to stand around whilst their jobs are cut, their wages reduced and they end up working for Virgin? Join KONP at

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About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
This entry was posted in anti-cuts, human rights, Manchester, NHS, political women, Salford, Tameside, trade unions, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Reasons to be cheerful in 2014!

  1. Christine Clark says:

    We just need more people to get doing stuff because doing stuff defeats doing nothing.

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