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Monday 26th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

by Steve Sweeney in Liverpool

CALLS for a “so-called progressive alliance” which includes the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists were scotched by transport workers yesterday.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes told delegates at the union’s confrence that the only progressive form of government in Britain would be a Labour one that “brings together social democrats and Marxists.”

And he referred to new polls that show Labour overtaking the Tories and “riding high” at 46 per cent in voter approval. Jeremy Corbyn’s personal ratings as a would-be Prime Minister are also rising ahead of Theresa May’s amid her car-crash public appearances.

“Something is happening,” Mr Cortes said referring to the continuing surge in support for Labour since the general election two weeks ago.

But he warned against proposals for a “so-called progressive alliance” that would include the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Such an “anti-Tory” coalition — which also included the Green Party and Plaid Cymru — was suggested for the general election and local elections under which there would be an agreement to stand only one “progressive” candidate in each constituency.

“How can you have a progressive alliance with the Liberal Democrats, the people who held up the last government who attacked working people?” Mr Cortes asked delegates.

He reminded conference of the Lib Dems’ role as the Tories coalition partners, with which they increased tuition fees and colluded in dismantling the NHS and workers’ rights.

And pointed out that until recently the party was led by Tim Farron, who was criticised during the election for refusing to say whether he believed gay sex to be a sin.

Mr Cortes stormed: “There is nothing progressive about the Liberal Democrats.”

Turning to the SNP, he said: “This is a party that has cost tens of thousands of jobs and wrecked public services in Scotland.”

Mr Cortes criticised the SNP for a “national scandal” over Calmac ferries where they used EU laws to allow private companies to bid for the publicly run franchise.

In 2016, TSSA said that leaked papers revealed that the SNP government had colluded with Calmac to interfere over union negotiated pay deals.

“What chance would we have if we got into bed with these people in bringing rail back in to public ownership?”

“There can be no false dawns, no progressive alliances,” Mr Cortes said as the union reinforced its support for a Labour government.