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Sutton & Cheam

Sutton & Cheam is a Greater London constituency. The seat was created in 1945.

The current member of parliament is the Liberal Democrat’s Paul Burstow who has represented the constituents since 1997.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Sutton _ Cheam

For more information, click here to visit the Wikipedia article.

Candidates

Pauline Gorman

Background
I am a retired teacher and have lived in Sutton for 25 years. After graduating with a degree in Economics, I taught Maths and IT in Comprehensives and Special Schools for 35 years. I was the NUT rep (shop steward) in several schools and local committee member for various Associations, helping with finance and casework. We had many campaigns – for better pay and lower class size, and against SATs etc.

As a teenager I joined CND in the 50s and went on the Aldermaston March with them. My interest in politics broadened out – I joined the Labour Party in the early 60s and was co-agent in both General Elections. We won a significant victory in Brighton at that time. After Harold Wilson’s newly-elected Labour government refused to end UK participation in the Vietnam War I joined the Socialist Party. And I finally left the Labour Party in the 1990s or rather, it left me by abandoning Clause 4 (calling for nationalisation of the major means of production). I have now joined TUSC and have been a candidate in Sutton local elections as well as the PPC.

Over the years I have participated in many campaigns where I have felt strongly about the issues involved, including for example: The miners’ strikes, Grunwicks, Pensions, the Iraq War, and against fascism and racism.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
We need representatives who’ll stand up for working people, not just the establishment. We have an economic system that looks after the wealthiest and most powerful, and so we have currently got self-serving, greedy and corrupt politicians trying to board that gravy train. All Socialist Party candidates for TUSC will accept only a worker’s wage if elected. The rest I would donate to working peoples organisations to help them campaign for the things we need. I would consider myself subject to the right of immediate recall by my constituents if they so wish – I wouldn’t want to continue without their support anyway. I would keep public accounts and hold regular public meetings in the constituency.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
I am a retired teacher and I have lived in Sutton for nearly 25 years. I have joined in local campaigns, especially those which we have sadly needed to keep St Helier Hospital open. In schools, I represented my members as NUT union rep for 35 years and helped with casework and finance as their local committee member. I am a socialist and have clear views on how society is run now and how I think it should be run instead. How many of the other candidates are able to offer exciting and ambitious policies and concretely explain how we are going to make them a reality? Who else is saying working people have the right to decent quality jobs, homes and services and that we need to unite ourselves against the powers that be in the big corporations and the Establishment and fight to change things? TUSC is! I pledge to stand up for the millions, not the millionaires. Unlike the other parties I am not representing the failing free market and ultra neo-liberal austerity merchants. It’s time we did something about it, and that’s why I’m standing.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
Good question! Actually, I’m sure he believes he has tried to help people by joining up with the Tories but it will have been on the margins. We note that before the election he voted against tuition fees but that changed when he got a Cabinet post! His voting record on Welfare and Benefits is shameful. Future generations face being worse off than previous generations, and major change is needed not work on the margins. If MPs don’t work for fundamental change from where the economy is they end up only working for the wealthiest – they are going along with what the system is doing and doing us harm in the longer run.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
For those at the top, Yes! For the 99% of us, No. Wages are down, 700,00 are on zero hours contacts and we’re all having to borrow more. Services are going. We’ve had libraries, fire stations etc for centuries – now we’re told we can’t afford them. Rents in London are going through the roof (!), and we have at least 3 food banks in Sutton – a disgraceful situation!

Listen to politicians and you’d think the crisis was caused by too many lollipop ladies and firefighters rather than the financial system collapsing. They’re making us pay for their crisis. The government has made £80 billion in cuts, and guess what? In the same years, bankers and finance bonuses have added up to…Yes, £80 billion. That sums it up: pain for us, protection for the wealthiest. Austerity is wrecking many economies and a prolonged (depressionary) era faces us. But it needn’t be that way. We need public ownership of the banks and finance houses that have made billions out of poverty and despair and for all the main necessary services to be publicly owned and controlled by ordinary people.

5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
Migrant workers play a crucial role keeping our public services running. At the same time government cuts are destroying our public services, schools and homes while more and more people are using them, leading to inevitable resentment. That is why we need a united campaign for homes, public services and jobs for all.

To UKIP or the Sun I say ‘Stop blaming migrants for the crisis in Britain – a crisis created by the economic system and the bankers at the top’. To bosses I say ‘we’ll stop you seeking ever cheaper, easy to exploit labour as a way of pushing down all our wages’. We’ll build homes and pay decent wages to all workers – £10 an hour minimum. The bosses want cheap labour but they don’t want the bill to provide decent homes and jobs for all. We can stop the employers dividing us by getting organised to fight for decent wages and conditions for all.

6. Many people are concerned about the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
Some council, and private sector, workers haven’t had pay rise in 10 years while the cost of living has soared. The cost of energy can be brought under control by renationalising the energy companies, introducing price controls and investing in cleaner, greener and more efficient electricity generation methods. Rent controls are an urgent necessity with private landlords taking advantage of the lack of supply and ripping off tenants. We will stop this. And a £10 an hour minimum age is needed now not £8 in 2020 planned by Labour.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
The NHS is the pride of Britain, and literally a life-saver. The election of the Tory government saw adverts across the United States business pages inviting private firms (who’ve messed up USA’s health care) to come and get a share of our £100 billion budget. TTIP is their way of “protecting these investors” against democratic policy changes in the UK. We would stop and reverse privatisation within the NHS, cancel PFI, repeal the Health and Social Care Act, & pay NHS staff decent wages! Let’s kick out private companies leeching off the NHS.

Unfortunately New Labour pushed the process of privatisation by stealth. Only TUSC, as socialists, can be trusted to defend a public NHS. We think the pharmaceutical companies should be nationalised and run to meet the needs of patients, not shareholders. There is as high as a 12-15 year difference in life expectancy between wealthier and poorer areas in Britain. Social change and a more equal society itself will also generate better health.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
We would create more jobs by reducing the working week without loss of pay and share out the work, we would make cheap loans available for small businesses to expand and we would invest in a major eco friendly house, hospital, and school, building programme, tackling the shortages and creating many jobs at the same time. We would ban zero hours contracts and offer a triple guarantee: an education, an apprenticeship or a job.

In the sixth richest economy on the planet we should be able to organise society so that people’s needs are taken care of once they leave school. We would pay for this by introducing a levy on the £800bn lying idle in the vaults of British big business which they are refusing to invest and we would also crack down on the estimated £120bn tax avoided and evaded by the wealthy each year. And £100 billion could be diverted from Trident renewal which we certainly don’t need.

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
There aren’t enough socialists in parliament and working class women and men are not sufficiently represented. Parliament and the government should reflect the communities represented but the electoral system we have doesn’t and we think that we need to look at how the system can be changed so that it can more fairly reflect different politics and types of people that make up the population. We might need to look at the hours that the Commons sits to enable more participation.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I voted against joining the Eu in 1975 but not for the reasons Enoch Powell gave but because the EU is a bosses club and lacks democracy. We reject the narrow nationalism of Tory and UKIP opposition to the EU. The establishment parties are only arguing over how best for the wealthy to rule, in or out of Europe.

The EU is the free market gone mad and it’s messing up the European economy because it’s designed for big companies, not the working peoples of Europe. That’s why it’s also an undemocratic stitch up – for instance if any of its people vote to reject an EU policy they’re ignored and told to vote again until they get the ‘right’ answer We’re for uniting Europe, but on an equal and socialist basis, the existing system is impoverishing many and breaking up Europe. As such we oppose the EU and its Lisbon treaties.

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