Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Approved at last

Royal Mail finally approved yesterday our election communications for Battersea and Islington North. They buggered us about by requesting a second change which they missed the first time. Their incompetance will mean that we will miss the deadline by which the Royal Mail centres guarantee delivery before election day. No doubt there will be delivered by then but there is no guarantee. The manifestos are being printed at the moment and will be delivered to the centres on Tuesday 30 May for distribution to households after that.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Election (mis)communication

We've had a problem getting approval for the election leaflets that Royal Mail will distribute to all households in the two consituencies. It's because the words "Election Communication" were too small (9pt instead of 10pt). This is being resolved but has delayed printing and so distribution. But they will be well before election day on 8 June, maybe even next week.

We're talking of 57,000 in Islington and 60,000 in Battersea.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The runners

We now know the list of candidates in Islington North and Battersea.

There are 10 candidates in Islington North:
Keith Angus (Lib Dem), Susanne Cameron-Blackie (Independent), James Clark (Conservative), Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), Michael Foster (Independent), Keith Fraser (Ukip), Knigel Knapp (Monster Raving Loony), Bill Martin (Socialist), Andres Mendoza (Communist League) and Caroline Russell (Green).
In Battersea there 7 (not 6 as we stated):
Chris Coughlan (Independent), Lois Davis (Green), Richard Davis (Lib Dem), Marsha De Cordova (Labour), Jane Ellison (Conservative), Danny Lambert (Socialist), Eugene Power (Ukip)
You can also follow the Islington campaign on twitter:

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Here we go again

No sooner are the local elections over and a general election is on us. In London, we'll be contesting Islington North, as last time, where Jeremy Corbyn is also standing, and Battersea, south of the river. We have chosen Battersea rather than our usual Vauxhall as there are plans, for the next election (now postponed till 2022), to merge half of Vauxhall and half of Battersea into a single constituency into which our Head Office on the north side of Clapham High Street will fall. So, we want to introduce ourselves to the electors there, though we have already stood in the area in the 2012 Greater London elections but there's no free postal distribution for those. We also stood in the council elections there in 1906.

The candidates are, respectively, Bill Martin and Danny Lambert.

The nominations papers (and the £500 deposit) for Battersea were handed in at Wandsworth Town Hall this afternoon. It appears there will only be 6 candidates, the usual suspects (Tories, Labourites, Liberals, Greens and UKippers) and us. So a straight fight with them.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

The result

Here it is:

White (LibDem) 955 (43%)
Dokimakis (Labour) 573 (26%)
Chandler (Con) 567 (26%)
Purvis (Green) 71 (3%)
Morris (Peace) 38 (2%)
Buick (Socialist) 12 (1%)

The turnout was 29%, i.e abstentions got 71%. The Peace Party vote is down from 105 four years ago.

Our percentage (0.5) is par for the course. Scaled up to the size of a parliamentary constituency it's the equivalent of 150 to 200 votes.

It remains to be seen what replies we got to our leaflets.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Last street stall

Six members and sympathisers, 4 from Surrey, turned up in the intermittent rain yesterday to hold our final election stall in Guildford. With more handing out leaflets we distributed more. Only 200 or so remain, to be distributed in the university halls of residence. Not much else to do before polling day on Thursday.

Our election non-pledge

On 21 April the Guildford edition of the Surrey Advertiser published a list of candidates standing in Guildford town with statements from some of them. We were among a number who just had a mention of the candidate's name and party. This week's edition included belated statements from those left out, under the heading "County council election pledges". Ours stated:
I am standing to raise the issue of the need for the shared and democratic ownership of the Earth’s resources, with all goods and services produced for use, rather than for profit.
The current crisis in social care in Surrey is a pressing example of why this change is necessary. Its root cause is today’s outdated system where finance determines what can, and cannot happen.
Socialists suggest a better way. At a time when we can easily feed, house and care for every human on the planet, it no longer makes sense to use money to ration access to what we need, especially not to the needs of the most vulnerable.
I am standing to make the point that local problems arise from the economic system of production for profit that exists everywhere and that they cannot be solved unless this system is replaced by one based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, and access for all to what they need on the basis of 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
Of course this was not an "election pledge" since we don't do these. We are not promising to do anything for anyone, merely putting a proposition before electors. If they want the change from capitalism to socialism this is something they must do for themselves, not by trusting in leaders.
The candidates' statements from both 21 and 28 April can be found here on the site of Get Surrey, the paper's online version.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Guildford hustings

Forty people at this, organised by Guildford in Europe, yesterday evening, one sympathiser from over the border in Hampshire. Report here. And what candidate said here. Got a copy of the Peace Party candidate's election manifesto, which is not being distributing generally. In fact the Greens don't seem to be doing that either. So only the Tories, LibDems, Labour and us are leafletting the whole electoral division.

We nearly ran out of our leaflet, even though we decided to give some streets with big houses, a long drive and two 4x4s parked on it a miss on the grounds that we would be casting pearls before swine. We should be able to complete leafletting by the weekend with 300 extra emergency leaflets based on this editorial from the February 2016 Socialist Standard.