As I write Labour and the Greens have published their "alternative budgets" for Brighton and Hove City Council. There are some positives in there - not blowing a million on removing a cycle lane and not making a gimmicky 1% cut in council tax, and putting some of the money into services. But it is really about moving some money about - it is not going to stop £26 million of cuts.
Although Labour and Green councillors talk about opposing cuts (well a bit, in the case of Labour), in reality they won't VOTE against them.
The Green Party councillors unfortunately buy into the notion that they cannot resist. Both Bill Randall and Jason Kitcat say they "have to" set a "balanced budget".
Essentially this is because the Greens and Labour do not have a perspective of building a national movement linking up with service users and council workers to refuse to implement cuts being imposed by a weak coalition government which has no democratic mandate for what they are doing.
Instead these councillors see their role as "social workers" making the best of things, trying to mitigate the worst effects.
What are they going to do when the ConDems come back for more....and more...?
The picture above shows the Wisconsin workers occupying the state Capitol - what an inspiration. But even the Democrat members of the State Legislature there are taking more direct action than most English councillors who identify themselves as on the left. They have left the state so that they cannot be forced to attend meetings to make them quorate so that Walker's cuts and union busting get voted through.
The "left" councillors here are not being asked to leave Brighton - just to put their money where their mouths are.
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