Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nominations for Lambeth accepted

The nominations for our 3 candidates standing in Lambeth were handed in at Lambeth Town Hall at 12.30 this morning and have been accepted. They were for:

Oliver Bond (Clapham Town ward)
Adam Buick (Larkhall ward)
Danny Lambert (Ferndale ward)

We won't know for definite who the other candidates are until nominations close at 4pm on Thursday 24 April, but it is already fairly certain that Labour, the LibDems, Tories, Greens, UKIP and (except in Clapham Town)TUSC will be standing. It remains to be seen if there will be any other parties (the English Democrats have stood in Lambeth before) or Independents.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Batting for socialism at the Oval

The premature hustings duly took place this morning. The LibDems and Labour were out in force with all their candidates for Oval ward present as this is a marginal ward split 2 Labour 1 LibDem. Other parties represented, though not by any of their candidates, were the Tories and TUSC. Embarrassingly, we had to share a table with the Tories. No sign of the Greens or UKIP. We are not contesting Oval but, as we are contesting Larkhall down the road, were allowed a couple of minutes to answer questions, along with the other parties, put by an audience of 50 outside and explain why we were standing. There was not much we could say about uncollected rubbish bins or broken park railings but were able to point out that what a LibDem leaflet called "luxury flats for absentee billionaires" that the Labour Council were allowing to be built on the riverside rather than houses or flats for ordinary people was what happens under capitalism where production is for profit not to satisfy people's needs.

Afterwards a Labour Party member came up and said he used to read the Socialist Standard but said that he was in the Labour Party because it was "the mass party of the working class" and which was therefore where socialists ought to be. Recognising this as the classic Trotskyist case for "entryism", I introduced him to the TUSC representative (James who is standing for them in Ferndale, so are we) and listened to a member of Militant putting across the same sort of arguments for not being in the Labour Party as we used to put to them in the 1980s when they were in it. Actually the Labour member turned out not to be a Trotskyist but a member of the revived Labour Representation Committee, a left Labour pressure group which, according to wikipedia, includes John McDonnell MP, Owen Jones and former Lambeth Council Labour leader Ted Knight.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A premature hustings

Although nominations are not even open let alone closed, a sort of hustings is being organised at the Oval tomorrow, Saturday.

We are not standing there but are in not-so-far-away Larkhall and the organisers say we can be there with other non-Oval candidates. So we will be. We still have some leaflets left over from the Vassall ward by-election last year and part of the Oval is in Vassall ward.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Non-Brits welcome

Still continuing to get the 10 signatures for Ferndale ward. We've got 6 but there's no hurry or worry. We'll get them all by the weekend.

Once thing that's noticeable from the electoral register is the number of electors with a G against their name. This means they are EU Citizens who can vote in local (but not parliamentary) elections. A couple have signed our papers. They make up over 10 percent of the electorate in this part of London. In Larkhall ward, for instance, there are 1541 out of a total electorate of 12333, or 12.5%, which is 1 in 8. No wonder UKIP don't do well in these parts. UKIP would of course disenfranchise them. Our inclination would be in the opposite direction: that all workers, wherever they come from, should have the vote ...

Friday, April 04, 2014

Trotskyist intervention

We now know some of the others who will be standing in the wards we are contesting. The crypto-trotskyists of TUSC have announced that they will standing candidates in Lambeth in the Bishops, Ferndale, Herne Hill, Larkhall, Oval, Princes and Vassall wards.

Their candidate in Ferndale will be James Ivens and in Larkhall Alexander Betteridge. They will be urging a vote for No2EU in the European Parliament elections that will be held the same day. In stark contrast our leaflet will be advocating a write-in vote for World Socialism.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Two down, one to go

Two of us went out this afternoon to get the signatures to nominate our candidate in Clapham Town ward (the one where our premises are situated, at 52 Clapham High Street, but which also goes to the border with Wandsworth) and got them in an hour or so.

The ward left is Ferndale, just across the road and down to Brixton.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Collecting the signatures to stand

The electoral register which will be used for the elections (European and local) on 22 May became available yesterday. We picked up copies for the three wards we will be contesting in Lambeth and began collecting the signatures of local electors to be able to stand (ten per ward). We got them for one ward (Larkhall), started on another (Ferndale) and will get them for Clapham Town on Friday. The nominations papers can't be handed in till after 14 April but it's as well to get this chore over as soon as possible.

One street seemed to have a high level of political understanding. On being told that we were socialists the person understood straighaway that we were not the Labour Party. So did the next person who replied "no thanks, I'm a Labourist". It is true that this particular street is one of those we have leafletted regularly since the last local elections in 2010.

Another person referred to Farage as "Forage", not that UKIP is not going to find many votes in this area. We don't know whether they will be contesting this ward (Larkhall) but they will be contesting Ferndale where their candidate will be Elizabeth Jones who we debated against last Wednesday at our premises in 52 Clapham High Street and who lives in the ward.