Saturday, May 16, 2009


One thing that happens when you stand for election is that you get lobbied by interest groups who ask you questions saying their members will take them into account when deciding how to vote. Maybe.

Our candidates have received two so far. One was from the Electoral Reform Society conducting "a research project on the diversity of the candidates standing". This consisted of questions to elicit your age, gender, whether you're disabled and your "ethnicity". Those of our candidates will have answered this last by ticking the "other" box and writing "Human Being" or "Member of the Human Race". This is because we consider such questions (all too common on forms now) as unscientific and politically dangerous and divisive and in accordance with the policy re-affirmed at our 2000 Conference:
"For the coming census in 2001 the Party adopt the same policy regarding the question on so-called "race/ethnic origin' as for the 1991 census, namely that members and others should be urged to answer 'Other – Member of the Human Race'."
This may distort the results of the survey, but they shouldn't ask such questions or record the results.

The second was from the Public and Commercial Services Union asking if we supported their demands for better pay and conditions, etc (obviously, we said yes, but that it's up to the workers involved, not us, to see how to go about this). They also had a question on "race" under the heading "A fascist free zone for civil and public services" explaining that "the prison service and the police service are currently allowed to ban staff from being members of far-right groups" and asking:
"Do you support an extension of this ban to other civil and public services?"
To which we replied:
"We are opposed to all bans and prescriptions for merely holding particular views. This is a dangerous precedent which has been, and could be again, extended to people regarded as critical of capitalism. So, no, we don't support the extension of the ban on "being members of far-right groups" to the civil and public service generally, obnoxious and dangerous as their views are. That's not the way to deal with them."
The way to deal with them is to confront their ideas and try to convince them that they are wrong, not to ban them (or kick their heads in).

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