|Liverpool Labour confidential email|
The following is a repost from the Combat The Bedroom Tax blog. It is clear from this and my recent interview with Kensington and Fairfield councillor Louise Baldock that: a) there are significant divisions within the Labour Party over the Bedroom Tax, b) even those most anti-Bedroom Tax (often also tied to housing associations) have nothing to offer people desperately struggling to make ends meet:
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Subject: Invitation to South Liverpool Bedroom Tax Campaign Group MeetingImportance: HighSensitivity: ConfidentialFrom: Baldock, LouiseSent: 20 March 2013 22:10To: Dean, AlanSubject RE: Invitation to South Liverpool Bedroom Tax Campaign Group MeetingSensitivity: Confidential
Hi Alan,I don’t mind writing back but that is not what they really want.
They want to see one of us there, to shout at us and get angry and let of some of their steam.I could go and see them, into the lions den, into the angry nest, if none of you want to go yourselves and I can see why you wouldn’t want to, although I’m not a south Liverpool councillor and have no brief(?) for the city’s strategy over welfare benefit management.
Unfortunately our answers to their questions are not great because our national party have not got their  right on this yet – as I have said many times and the Mayor has said too.
I’m not sure how it could be in any way constructive other than to stop it from looking like we are not scared to face them.
Answers would be something like this if you are happy with them then I can send them to the questioner on behalf of you all? but they will slate us for not turning up.
What are your doing and what do you intend to do to prevent Liverpool residents from being evicted from their homes
Labour Councillors in Liverpool have established a grassroots members’ campaign which has been called out nationally to demand that the Government abolishes the bedroom tax and which calls upon the Parliamentary Labour Party to commit to abolish it when they are able to form a Government. We have funded this campaign ourselves personally most of the expense being in the establishment of a network(?) where tenants can share their stories and where Labour campaigners can access campaign materials to use in their local groups/areas(?).
We also unanimously passed a motion in the Town Hall which you may have read about in the Liverpool Echo a few weeks ago.
You will be aware that the council itself has no housing stock, all homes having been transferred through stock transfer some years ago under the Lib Dem administration. That said, many Labour councillors are members of Housing Associations, either independently or as appointments from the local authority, and they will be party to discussions about how each association can best manage the bedroom tax and the introduction of universal credit paid directly to tenants to minimize the threat to tenancies. Some of them may well be discussing non/eviction policies. Some of them are also discussing, with our support, measures to help fund the cost of moving, or support with caretaker services to make it easier to do so on the day.
|Grassroots bedroom tax demo – 30th March|
Cllr Baldock, patronisingly, is absolutely right when she says, “into the lions den, into the angry nest”. Around 12,000 tenants’ lives are being thrown into chaos in Liverpool as a result of the bedroom tax, and Liverpool Labour Councillors cannot even be arsed, other than to save face, to turn up because it wouldn’t be “constructive”?!?
Do we even want them representing us? Isn’t it about time we began taking matters into our own hands? No matter who sits in these positions of authority & power, they will always betray working class people. Their interests are not the same as ours even if they have been a lifelong Everton supporter or grew up on a council estate in Halewood. This will be proven time and time again, as opportunists and careerists, some maybe with initially good intentions, get swallowed up by the State and its’ allegiance to business.
This weekend, tenants from Merseyside will be converging on Liverpool to discuss, co-ordinate, share strategies, tactics and skills in order strengthen the fight against the bedroom tax. And regular meetings continue to take place across the city, with a recent Beat the Bedroom Tax Bailiffs workshop being the highlight of the week so far.
Community resistance, without politicians, is the strongest way to combat the bedroom tax.
Thanks to JOD for transcribing the full email.