Friday, May 04, 2018

Junction ward result

Here it is (counted this morning) in Islington

Lab 2391
Lab 2236
Lab 2192
Green 621
Green 389
LD 331
Green 326
LD 289
Con 280
LD 271
Con 262
Con 256
Martin (Soc) 52

This result confirms that we do better Labour safe seats.

Borough and Bankside result

Here it is, declared at 4.15 this morning:

LibDem 1258
LibDem 1257
LibDem 1197
Lab 746
Lab 739
Lab 693
Con 207
Con 201
Con 180
Green 158
Green 147
Green 122
Womens Equality Party 118
Parkin (Socialist) 27

In view of the smaller electorate and lower turnout 27 votes here is a larger percentage than 28 in Barnes.

For the record, the TUSC candidate in North Bermondsey got 62 votes so, despite their pretensions, they are still playing in the same league as us.

Barnes result

Here it is, announced at 4.30 in the morning:

Brandreth (Con) 2017
Hodgkins (Con) 1919
Palmer (Con) 1985
Emerson (LD) 1539
McKee (LD) 1486
Albon (Green) 1058
Enright (Lab) 234
Patel (Lab) 185
Lever (Lab) 153
Buick (Soc) 28

Turnout was over 50%. This ward was exceptional in that it is the only ward in Richmond where the Tories won all 3 council seats. The LibDems won at least one seat in every other ward. The Greens' alliance with the LibDems (under which they stood aside in some wards in return for the LibDems only contesting 2 seats in others) gave them 4 seats.

Elsewhere, we know that in Borough & Bankside ward in Southwark the LibDems won all 3 seats and that our candidate got 27 votes. No further details yet. Islington's votes are being counted this morning.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

All over bar the voting

North London branch report that they had distributed by last Saturday all of the 3000 leaflets they needed to cover Junction ward in Islington. West London had also distributed 3000 by last Saturday, mostly in Barnes ward but all in the Barnes area of Richmond. South London distributed between 1000 and 2000 of the 2000 they ordered, all in Southwark but not all in Borough & Bankside ward which contains many council blocks which cannot be accessed easily. A couple of hundred were distributed yesterday at a May Day rally in Clerkenwell, which is actually in the borough of Islington though of course most of the marchers will have come from all parts of London, not that that really matters. A few replies to the leaflet (which contained a cut-off Freepost reply coupon) have already been received.

In Southwark one of the Tory candidates in London Bridge & West Bermondsey ward has died, meaning that the election there has had to be called off and will now take place on 14 June. As this is the ward next to the one we're contesting any leaflets left over could be distributed there.

Tomorrow two of our candidates, since they live in their ward, can "vote for themselves for a change"; which is what we advocate all voters to do.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

With the farmers in Barnes

Two members at the stall in Barnes yesterday. We started early as the Tories and LibDem/Greens (with a joint stall) were already there when we arrived at 11.30. Finished early too, at 1pm, when the Farmers Market ended and they went.

Some passers-by told us they had already received our leaflet through their letterbox. A Tory backwoodsman told us to "go back to Russia". We suggested that they did as Russia was now capitalist even by their standards as opposed to the state capitalism it was with the USSR. Another, a rather more up-to-date, Tory remembered an active SPGB group at UCL in the 1980s. Met a couple of Labourites. They are standing here but are not running any sort of campaign and will only have put up candidates to give their supporters a chance to vote for what they want -- a quite legitimate reason, one of the reasons we are standing too. As Eugene Debs put it, it is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.

Afterwards, we distributed some of the surplus leaflets in another part of Barnes not in the ward.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

LibDem-Green Election Pact

As we suspected from the LibDems putting up only 2 candidates and the Greens only 1 for the 3 council seats in Barnes ward (four years ago they each put up 3 candidates), they have done an electoral deal. As this is sort of historic in terms of conventional politics, we record what an item in a leaflet distributed in the ward says:
Greens Back Lib Dems to WIN
The Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have decided to work together to help bring an end to eight years of Conservative misrule. In twelve areas there will be three Lib Dem candidates and no green candidates. In Barnes, South Richmond and Ham, Petersham & Richmond Riverside there will be two Lib Dem candidates and one Green candidate.
Of course this is just two reformist parties getting together and won't make any difference to solving problems the excluded majority face under capitalism or to the way capitalism operates, and must operate, to put profits before people. As an outgoing LibDem councillor, Penny Frost, noted in another leaflet distributed in Ham, Petersham & Riverside ward:
Even housing associations are now more interested in speculative development than in looking after their elderly and vulnerable tenants.
What do you expect? That's the way of the capitalist world.

Friday, April 27, 2018

The case not the face

Here is the article and photo from yesterday's Southwark News mentioned in the last blog:

By contrast, today's local Richmond paper, The Richmond & Twickenham Times (which has become a real rag compared with what it used to be), has nothing whatsoever on the elections. When they mentioned them a couple of weeks ago they got their facts wrong and had to publish a correction last week (they said there were no Labour councillors in Richmond whereas there were two, defections from the LibDems to Corbyn, though it's true there won't be any after next week).

Thursday, April 26, 2018

More hustings

Southwark seems to be the place. Last Thursday our candidate, Kevin Parkin, attended a hustings organised by the Bankside Residents Forum. He reports that it was an acrimonious meeting with the Labourites and LibDems playing the blame game about housing. He was able to make the point that in a capitalist society houses are built for profit not social use, hence the problems. On Monday morning this week there was another hustings, organised by the Southwark Pensioners Action Group. Our candidates always get a good reception at such meetings; quite a few leaflets handed out.

Today's Southwark News has photos of all the candidates, including ours standing next to our logo (a compromise between competing points of view in our party between those who say we should supply a photo when asked and those who say we should only send a logo -- in Lambeth we used to provide a photo of Danny Lambert speaking off our platform with the website address showing). Also, a short statement of what we stand for: a society of common ownership, democratic control, production to satisfy people's needs not for profit, and the principle "from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs".

No report of hustings in Islington or Richmond. Leafletting has continued in both places. In fact whole of Barnes ward except for some mansions (and blocks of flats you can't get into) has now been leafletted. 400 of the 3000 ordered left over but branch members should be able to distribute more at the street stall in Barnes (Church Road) on Saturday from 12 noon to 2pm.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Housing Crisis Hustings

Hustings last night in Peckham, organised by the Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations, with speakers from Labour, LibDems, Greens and us. The Tories were invited but apparently are boycotting all hustings. About 40 people present. The main theme was housing, a major problem in Southwark due to demand for housing near the Thames with easy and quick access to central London driving up land prices, so making it profitable even for the council to encourage up-market housing projects proposed by developers. This has given rise to criticism of "social cleansing". In fact the hustings was filmed by someone making a film on the subject.

Our candidate, Kevin Parkin, said that we had nothing against tenants association -- he himself was vice-president of his local one -- anymore than we were against trade unions; but they were only defensive organisations for workers under capitalism; the solution to problems workers faced could only be found within socialism; the housing problem, for instance, arose because under capitalism houses were built for profit.

Councillor Peter John, the Labour Leader of the Council, conceded at one point that councils could only tinker with the problem as long as they had to rely on profit-seeking businesses to build houses; to get (so-called) "affordable housing" (80 percent of the market rate, still unaffordable for most people in an area of rising land prices) they had to do deals with developers which allowed these to make a profit.

This is true. Having to provide social housing reduces their profits, so if pushed to provide too much the "developer" can simply walk away, resulting in no "affordable housing". Peter John said this could only be rectified by national legislation to allow councils to build houses themselves. This of course (though he didn't say so) would still involve paying money to capitalists as the money to finance this would have to be borrowed from the money market.

The LibDem representative, Tim McNally, billed as "a former Councillor and Cabinet Member" was completely demagogic, promising to stand up to the developers and accusing Councillor John of being in bed with them, as if the LibDem/Tory coalition, of which he was a Cabinet Member, that had run the council from 2006 to 2010 hadn't had to behave in the same way. For instance, here is what a what a Tory former Cabinet Member of that coalition, the one in charge of Housing, Kim Humphries (now, incidentally, himself a Developer -- the revolving door operates at local council level too),said at a hustings for the 2008 Greater London Assembly election in April 2008:
Councillor Humphries was surprisingly honest. He was against having a quota of "affordable housing" in all new housing developments as this could sabotage such schemes. In other words, would reduce the profits of the developers who would take their money and invest it somewhere else where they could make a bigger profit.
The Green representative wanted people to be nice to each other.

The SWP were selling "Socialist Worker" outside the venue.