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We need...A Future That Works

5 September 2012

On Saturday 20 October hundreds of thousands of people will come together to make clear their opposition to the UK GovernmentÂ’s failed austerity policies, which are blighting the lives of millions. Over the following pages we look at why we desperately need an alternative and how you, your family and your work colleagues can be part of the demand for a future that works.

A future that Works

Real damage to people’s lives is being done day after day. We cannot simply wait until an election in two and a half years time by which point the problem may be much bigger. As part of a growing coalition – including many of the economists who backed Cameron before the election – we need to force change from this Government and send a clear message that we will expect a real alternative from Labour.

Fight the Horror Cuts of Cameron, Osborne and McNulty

Whether it’s the slash and burn policies which have targeted the whole range of public services we rely on, or the specific cuts to the railways proposed by McNulty, we need to send a clear message that this will not be tolerated.

The McNulty Report seeks to reduce £1 billion of government investment in the railways through cutting jobs and services. Rolling stock leasing companies alone saw profits of £1 billion last year. Ending the fragmented structure supported by the government would save a further £1 billion. It seems that the government supports all ways of cutting costs in the railway – except reducing profit and returning our railways to public ownership.

Investing in rail – for jobs and growth

As Manuel Cortes writes (page 9), the return of growth to the economy is the only show in town for paying off debts and providing for people’s needs. The railways are one of the most obvious areas for large-scale investment, often mentioned by commentators alongside the idea of a massive house-building programme. As explained on page 16, the low cost of government borrowing makes this the ideal time to reverse the effects of decades of underinvestment.

There are the smallest of hints that some in government may be starting to grasp the fact that investment is vital to re-grow the economy, if not on the scale required. Sadly, they want the credit for the ‘the biggest investment in rail since the Victorian era’, but behind the spin, the majority of the £9bn figure claimed by transport ministers is actually made up of previously-announced programmes, some of them reaching back to the last Labour government. Re-announcements and long term plans won’t get people back into jobs – real and urgent spending on the many planned but un-funded network improvements would.

TSSA Families on the demo

Pledge to join the march

Huge protests aren’t really built by the central organisers, but by the thousands upon thousands of people sitting at home and deciding whether to come or not. Even if you’ve never done anything like this before (and most of those in the TSSA block last time hadn’t) now is the time to make a stand – to protect your own job and public services and to say we need an economy that works for the millions, not the millionaires. Fill out the form on www.tssa.org.uk/october20march or write to us to let us know you’re coming. Branches pledging to bring over 10 activists can have a free TSSA banner centrally printed for use on the day.

A family fun day... of horror

Our theme for the day will be opposing the ‘Horror Cuts’ (see the poster on the next page). The march is just before Halloween, so why not bring a mask or fancy dress? We will have face-painting for kids, a horror-themed fancy dress competition, music, free lunch packs and a range of social events afterwards.

Share why you’ll be marching: enter the prize draw Tell us why you’ll be joining the demonstration in under 30 words and we’ll enter you into a prize draw to win one of two fabulous TSSA Tolpuddle Festival t-shirts. We’ll be publishing many of the responses on the website, so this is a great chance to highlight services threatened by cuts that are dear to you.

Send us your reasons on www.tssa.org.uk/october20march or write to the ordinary address.

TSSA Families on the demo 2

Spread the message

Use the poster on the following pages for your work or community noticeboard, but also think about how you can share the news about the march. Why not write to your local paper explaining why you’re supporting the event, or if you’re going as a group why not take a photo and try and get a story out of it.

You can also find easy ways to share news of the day online via www.afuturethatworks.org.uk, including twibbons for your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Follow @futurethatworks for updates and use the hashtag #oct20.

Just getting going for 2013 – the ‘year of horror’

Whilst the march looks set to be the biggest in years, this will just be the start of our actions – against the cuts and for Better Rail in 2013. We’ll be ushering in action against McNulty’s slash and burn prescription with a ‘year of horror’ – starting with a launch event on Halloween – 31 October. See details of how you can get involved on p15.

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