Friday, April 29, 2016

News from the South Western Front

Today's Richmond and Twickenham Times has a full page on the six candidates standing in the South West constituency. Unfortunately it is about who I am rather than what the Party stands for. The information on our candidate was not supplied by us but was taken from wikipedia. The nearest it gets to saying what we stand for is where says I am a "speaker and writer about a moneyless and wageless society". We have agreed, though, to supply a photo for the online version despite that for us it's "the case not the face" that counts, on the grounds that a "face" will attract more people to read what's underneath it than just plain text. But don't worry, the chosen photo shows a Party banner in the background saying "Abolish the Wages System".

The same paper's online edition also carried a report on the hustings in Twickenham on 12 April (where the candidate's face can also be seen). It's here.

The Surrey Comet only has a page on 5 of the 12 candidates for mayor and nothing on who's standing for the GLA but we can't really complain as they had published two letters from us. The Liberal candidate will have more reason to as she's never been mentioned and the UKIP candidate might not have liked being reminded on the front page that he once denounced the "gaystapo" (on the other hand, maybe he accepts that any publicity is better than none).

We have now finished distributing our quota of one-third of the 30,000 election manifestos and only have an 1000 or so, found at Head Office, left to do. By chance they have been distributed more or less equally between the three boroughs of Kingston, Richmond and Hounslow. This was not the plan as the intention was to concentrate on Hounslow where the branch meets. 11-12000 is slightly more than a token coverage as it's only about 4% of the total number of postal drops in the constituency.

A hundred were distributed in Oxford as on a visit there for a William Morris event (saw the room in University College where Morris gave his first talk as a socialist entitled "Art under Plutocracy", part of which we first republished in 1907 as Art, Labour and Socialism) I noticed that nearly all the streets near where I was saying had houses displaying "Vote Green" or "Vote Labour" posters in their windows. They all got the only leaflet I had with me (our GLA manifesto). Assuming that those displaying posters are among the 5% of the population said to follow politics this is a self-selected target and 100 delivered to them should be the equivalent of 2000 delivered to all doors. It will also serve here as a reminder that, after contesting both the Euroelections in 2014 and the General Election last year in Oxford, we are still around. More of the leaflets will be distributed at the Mayday trade union event in Oxford on Saturday.

Tomorrow we will be having a street stall in Kingston but not in Brentford as announced.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A voice from the back...

Rather than my usual ramblings, one of our members sent in a report from the Friends fo the Earth Hustings for the North East Constituency
I attended the hustings meeting yesterday, eventually! I turned up at St. Mark's church just before the advertised time, but there was nothing happening there apart from a Thai wedding. Ciamak turned up shortly after me, and we stood around wondering what to do, when a young fellow came along who was also looking for the meeting. To cut a long story sort, he phoned around and eventually found out that the meeting had been moved to a hall around the corner. We entered the hall to find it well-filled and the meeting in progress. It seems we were the only ones who weren't told about the change. Unfortunately, the acoustics were poor and I was having trouble hearing what some of the candidates were saying even though they spoke into microphones. Bill was OK in this respect, as were the UKIP, Labour and Green candidates. Some of the other candidates were fairly sympathetic to what Bill was saying about dealing with the root causes of environmental damage being down to the seeking of profits. I suspect that they thought socialism was a good idea, but way off in the future, and we have to deal with major problems here and now. The UKIP candidate, Freddy Vachha said the problems of environmental damage in London was caused by too many people living there (which is probably partly true), but offered no solution, other than "pulling up the drawbridge". He didn't address the reasons why so many workers are coming to London, e.g. for economic and political reasons, which would have led him to the conclusion that the solution lies in a worldwide approach, rather than a parochial one. However, he was an impressive speaker who disabused some of the other candidates of their pipe-dreams and solutions which they wouldn't be able to deliver on. The format of the meeting--asking what the candidates would do for them--didn't lend itself to developing the discussion along broader lines. This meant that certain subjects, which didn't necessarily require a political solution weren't discussed, e.g. The use of bottled water and the consequent recycling millions of bottles; The leaving on of lights in large buildings overnight etc. Bill caused a bit of an uproar when he said that if you don't want a classless world of common ownership then he doesn't want your vote! Because I arrived late, I missed the introduction, and wasn't sure who all the candidates were representing--they had their names only on hand-written name-plates. The was a conspicuous lack of black faces in the audience, apart from a colleague of Labour candidate Jeannette Arnold.
Much better than I could have put it. (from here.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Leafletting yesterday

West London members were out again yesterday running street stalls in two different parts of the South West constituency.

In Feltham 3 members, helped for a while by a bored balloon seller, handed out leaflets outside the Shopping Centre. At first we set up stall inside the Centre but were requested to move on by security staff who said we required permission True as the Centre is private property (an increasing trend with these places), so we moved just outside on to the pavement of the High Street.

Some political discussion. With a UKIP member and a Kurdish leftwinger who spoke about the collapse of state capitalism in Russia and told us how the Kurdish militias were defeating ISIS. Someone else told us she never voted as politicians were all the same and never did anything for ordinary people. We said we agreed and that it was because they were running capitalism whose economic laws forced them to put profits before people. She asked us what we would do for people. When we replied "nothing" and that people had to do things for themselves she took our leaflet. A skinhead draped in a flag of St George, it being his day, sang "You are the left wing, We are the right wing" as he passed by. We told him we could see that, but we couldn't identify which football club he supported.

Chiswick was quieter than a fortnight ago with people more interested in the EU referendum than the London elections. A sympathiser who went to Kingston thinking it was this Saturday we'd be there (it was last Saturday) reported that the Leave and Remain leafletters were out again. So, when we are there next Saturday we'll come armed with a good supply of our "EU Referendum - An Irrelevant Sideshow" leaflet.

Friday, April 22, 2016

One More Letter

Letter published in today's Surrey Comet (but sent to its sister, free paper, the Kingston Guardian) under their heading "Profits first":
MP Siobhan McDonagh is right to point to the loopholes in the government's 'Living Wage' law (Surrey Comet, April 8). Employers aim to make a profit and the more they have to pay in wages the less there is for profits. So they can be expected to try to get round any law that increases their wages bill, either by cutting other payments as you report B&Q have done or by not employing so many low-paid workers. This is how capitalism works and why it needs to be replaced by a system based on common ownership and democratic control where people would no longer depend for a living on being paid by an employer.
Adam Buick, Socialist Party candidate GLA South West constituency.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jacqueline: Door to Door in Streatham area

Sunday 3 April 2016 (4.00-8.00) Palace Road, Lupin Close, Probyn Road, Lanercost Road, Lanercost Close, Kinfauns Road, Kingsmead Road, Northstead Road (350 leaflets): Excellent feedback, good leafletting

Monday 4 April 2016 (6.30-9.00) Amesbury Avenue, Barcombe Avenue, Hillside Avenue, Hillside Road, Elmsworth Street (800): Very long roads, usual bullshit of "I'm a socialist don't want a leaflet".

Tuesday 5 April 2016 (4.30-7.15) Cricklade Avenue, Downton Avenue, Nuthurst Avenue, Normanhurst Road, Wyatt Park Road, Daysbrook Road (500)

Wednesday 6 April 2016 (6.00-7.30) Wavertree Road, Barstow Crescent, Palace Road (125): Disappointing few leaflets, few houses, locked tower blocks

Thursday 7 April 2016 (6.30) North London Branch at Tufnell Park: 6 members in all, designated areas, 2 members leafletted election leaflets (100+) and advertising talk NLB (100+)

Friday 8 April 2016 (6.00-8.30) Weir Road, Radbourne Road, Hydethorne Road, Haverhill Road, Burnbury Road (400): leafletters dream roads, 4 doors/ 4 letterboxes per entrance, very long roads, encouraging sounds from area, usual Labour nonsense - poster in window "Labour fighting for Britain" or something similar, todays leafletting made up for Wednesday's disappointing leafletting

Going to concentrate on roads in/ around this area, all roads since started leafletting have posted 1 leaflet per door, rarely 2, leafletted 2,000+ leaflets, have precisely 500 leaflets left

Tuesday 12 April 2016 (2.30-5.00) Cambray Road, Midmoor Road, Telferscot Road, Fieldhouse Road, Glenfield Road (500): very fast leafletting, mainly 4 doors/ 4 letterboxes per entrance, no leaflets left

Thursday 14 April 2016 (morning) Hazelbourne Road, Englewood Road (200)

Friday 15 April 2016 Gaskarth Road, Honeybrook Road, Rudloe Road (250)

Sunday 17 April 2016 Cathles Road, Dagnan Road, Yukon Road, Cubitt House (325) loads of accessible flats

Monday 18 April 2016 (5.30-7.30) Clarence Crescent, Thorncliffe Raod, Kingswood Raod, Felsberg Road, Dumbarton Road, Doverfield Road, Lyham Road, Thornbury Road, Valentine House (400+)

Tuesday 19 April 2016 (morning) Bonneville Gardens, Cautley Avenue, Lessar Avenue, Lynette Avenue (200+) (afternoon) Leppoc Road, Caldervale Road, Franconia Road, Elms Road (200+)

Wednesday 20 April 2016 (1.00-4.30) Abbeyville Road (142 silly Labour Poster vote Labour, leafletted 2 Q&A leaflet), Crescent Lane, Tableer Avenue, Allnutt Way - Flats and Notre Dame Estate (crap low letterboxes/brushes, due to severe backpain/ sciatica had to abandon rest of Notre Dame Estate - large estate accessible), Park Hill, Dryden Close, Briarwood Road (poster vote Sadiq Khan shite, 2 x Q&A leaflet) (400)

Total leaflettting 4,500+: Have finished my leafletting have approx 800 leaflets left which I will leaflet when I can, need time for self, just got my cycle back after repairs

Fraternally Jacqueline

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another Saturday's stalls

West London members were out again yesterday with two street stalls in different parts of the South West constituency.

Brentford turned out to be a bad choice as there weren't many passing by, so we moved on to Hounslow and gave out leaflets, sold the Socialist Standard, made a few contacts, even got a £5 spontaneous donation, and engaged in discussions with workers from eastern Europe including one from Russia who agreed with us. That's the second week running that we've been in Hounslow, so people there will be beginning to note our presence.

The stall in Kingston went on as planned despite the cold (8 degrees centigrade). Both the Remain and the Leave campaigns were leafletting, so we changed our tactic and gave out our election leaflet inside our one on the referendum headed "An Irrelevant Sideshow. The Socialist view on the EU referendum". This provoked a discussion with three young supporters of staying in. They put us on the spot a bit when, after we had said that one minor benefit of being in the EU was the free movement of workers and the relaxing of border controls and couldn't see any benefit to workers from leaving, they said why not vote to stay in as an out vote would take this benefit even if minor away. We had to reply that for us the over-riding issue was capitalism or socialism and that, in or out, capitalism and its problems would still continue. They turned out to be Labour Party members from Leatherhead in Tory Surrey, so they must know what it is like to be in a small minority faced at election times with an alternative (Tory or LibDem) both of which they reject. An Out supporter told us he was going off to live in Bulgaria, apparently not realising that this might not be so easy if his side won.

Next week it's Chiswick again and Feltham but if Feltham turns out to be like Brentford it could be Hounslow for a third time.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Another letter

In today's Richmond and Twickenham Times under their heading of "We Own it"
George Galloway (RTT, April 8) is right to pick up on Sadiq Khan's promise to be "the most pro-business Mayor ever". This shows that Labour, even under Corbyn, still wants to be seen as better managers of the capitalist system than the Tories. But capitalism can never be run for the benefit of those who, in Galloway's words, "work for businesses". This is why it needs to be replaced by a system based on common ownership and democratic control not production by profit-seeking businesses.
Adam Buick, Socialist Party candidate GLA South West constituency