Friday, May 22, 2009

New Cross Hustings Report

In the end Simon represented the Party. We got the time wrong and arrived half-an-hour early and were surprised to find that a bottle of beer (as opposed to lager) cost £4 in the bar of the students union. It would seem that Goldsmiths College doesn't have a very effective student union.

The other participants were Joseph Healey (No 4 on the Green Party list), Onay Kasab (No 6 on the No2EU list), Sherif Malak (No 6 on the Jury Team list who explained that it was a coalition of independents, financed by ex-Tory Sir Paul Judge) and a young woman called Jemma from the Tory party (their prospective parliamentary candidate for Deptford : career politicians have to start fighting a hopeless seat for their party before being offered a winnable one).

There was virtually nobody in the audience except those who came with the speakers, some idiot having decided to organise a meeting for students in the middle of the exam period. The idiots turned out to be the local branch of Militant, to promote their member who was candidate on the No2EU list cobbled together by Bob Crow, the RMT leader.

As they miscall themselves "The Socialist Party", there were leaflets handed out saying that the Socialist Party supported the No2EU list. We of course made clear that this was not the case and that we were presenting a list in these elections opposed to Bob Crow's. Better, before the meeting we leafletted the nearby local council ward which has two Militant councillors. Now, they're going to have to re-leaflet it themselves to explain that they are not the Socialist Party.

The Green candidate claimed to be a socialist too (an "ecosocialist" one) but at least he stood firm and insisted that the free movement of people throughout Europe was a good thing. Simon also denounced the restrictions imposed by capitalist States on where we can go. The No2EU candidate was in a difficult position here as his list, as supporters of the "British Jobs for British Workers" strikes, is implicitly against this. In fact, one person in the audience took him to task for his nationalist approach. He had to admit that No2EU was not the best choice of name if you're claiming not to be a nationalist.

Afterwards in discussion with the Militants we were accused of being "utopians" for not demanding "something now" (something other than socialism, that is). Where have we heard that before?

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