Saturday, May 30, 2009

Radio interviewed

Yesterday afternoon BBC Radio London phoned to say they wanted to do a telephone interview with a candidate in ten minutes. I happened to be there helping to stuff the June Socialist Standard into envelopes. I'm not quite sure what the interviewer made of the answers to her questions.

What is your party? The Socialist Party is an independent political party that has been going since 1904. We stand for socialism as a society of common ownership, democratic control and production for use not profit. Socialism has never been established anywhere and certainly not in Russia.
What will you do for Londoners? We're not standing just for Londoners, but for working people everywhere.
What will you do if elected? We're not going to be elected but if we were, we wouldn't be able to do much more than use the European Parliament as a platform from which to broadcast socialist ideas.
What can Europe do to help Londoners in the economic crisis? Nothing. Nobody can. Capitalism goes through economic crises every now and again as part of its normal functioning. There will always be crises as long as there is capitalism and production for profit. When unemployment has risen enough and driven wages down enough, then the recovery will begin. That's the way the system works.
How would socialism stop economic crises? Because there would be production directly for use and not for sale on a market for profit. It would be impossible, inconceivable, that production would stop while people still needed things.
Do you think your party will benefit from the MP's expenses scandal? Maybe a few people who used to vote Labour will vote for us.
What reaction have you had while canvassing? We get the impression that people are not very interested in these elections. And they're right. Whether Britain is in or out of Europe, or whether we use the £ or the euro, doesn't make any difference to their daily lives. Europe is remote, just like the Westminster parliament, and people know they have no control of what happens.
Why do you think this is? Because they really haven't any control over what happens. Neither have the politicians. Nobody controls or can control the way capitalism works.
When you are out canvassing what do you say you will do for people? We tell them we can't do anything for them. We don't promise them anything. We say that if they want socialism they've got to act for themselves. We can't establish it for them.

Obviously, all this won't be broadcast. We'll see what gets left when an edited version is broadcast by BBC Radio London on Wednesday (3 June)on its Drivetime programme between 5pm and 7pm on 94.9FM.

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