Ban the Bomb (and all weapons)
Three members supported our candidate, Danny Lambert, (one out of the list of eight the Socialist Party is fielding in London) at a meeting organised by CND at Friends Meeting House, Euston, on Friday night.
Seven other candidates were also present, notable exceptions being representatives of the Tory Party and UKIP who were "too busy" engaging in electoral activities. The BNP were also absent having been denied an invitation by the "democrats" of CND.
Each candidate had three minutes to introduce their party's case -- in seven cases out of eight how they were going to make capitalism work in the interests of us all and to convince those present that nuclear weapons should be scrapped (with the exception of the Labour Party candidate who considered they had kept the peace for sixty years and the Lib Dem candidate who merely considered that Trident should not be replaced).
Our candidate argued that wars arose out of the competition built into capitalism over markets, trade routes, raw material sources, investment outlets and strategic points to protect or secure these. Banning nuclear weapons, even if it was possible under capitalism which he doubted, wouldn't make any difference to this as all the wars since 1945 and those still going on with their terrible carnage and destruction had been non-nuclear. Socialists were opposed to all wars and all weapons of war and only socialism could make wars impossible and end the waste of armaments, nuclear and non-nuclear.
The audience, mainly composed of members and sympathisers of CND, then had an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates, who had a further three minutes each to reply. A second session of questions were allowed and then the candidates had four minutes to wind up their arguments; Danny having the final word as, alphabetically, the Party was the last out of those present, UKIP having missed this chance.
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.
I'll Hust and I'll hust, and hust again...
Well, me and three others went along to the Hustings in Crouch End last night. It was in a Methodist church, so, I said, it meant the Christian Party's logo was on prominent display.
The audience amounted to about 20 people, including two journalists, three of our members, and companions of the other seven candidates present, and possibly four members of the public.
The format was the chair spoke for 10 minutes at the begining, we each had two minutes to introduce ourselves, in turn, followed by questions from the audience, which we had one minute each to answer.
The chair wasn't very strict on the questioners, so two of our members managed to make mini speeches out of their questions - almost what other organisations would call an "intervention" in the meeting.
I pointed out that although there were eight candidates present (all parties by BNP - who weren't invited - Tories and UKIP) there were only two parties - various factions of the capitalist party, and the socialist party (yay us!).
The most interestign thing was the Labour candidate. She was an effective politician, putting a clear Labour case, and getting the knife in to her rivals (as she should, elections are about accentuating the choices available). Interestingly, though, she also put in a spirited defence of capitalism, as the only system we've got. I kindly reminded her that that is a Conservative idea (l'espirit d'escalier
later made me realise I should have said Tory).
There was what I can only describe as a fool from the Jury Team, promising to simply convey the opinion of Londoners to Europe, as if the point of elections isn't to find out what the opnions of the electorate are and to sort majority from minority.
Given that the Christian Party candidate announced how that now he had bathed in the blood of the Lord to overcome his gay urges, he could now love the gays and lesbians but hate gayness and lesbianism; and that everyone else said, that, to quote myself, who chooses to agitate genitals with you is irrelevent, then it's unclear which view the Jury team would transmit to Europe.
As as been mentioned here before, Jury Team are an anti-Party Party funded by a Tory - parties clarify positions, give accountability and choice to the electoral system. Non-partyism is usually a breed of conservatism. Why bother turning up to say you have no policies?
Labels: Christian Party, European Elections, Hustings, Jury Team
Last night's PPB by the No2EU party was as bad as expected. A litany in which various people (mainly known Stalinists but also including Tony Benn and ex-Militant Labour MP Dave Nellist) chanted "No to the EU". As to positive policies, I think I heard Bob Crow echo UKIP and call for the "return of our sovereignity" and for "more investment in public services". Someone else called for the renationalisation of the railways and for "restoring Britain's fishing rights". If you missed it, you can see it here
. Fortunately, the word "socialism" was never mentioned so at least there should be no confusion between this and the nationalist and timid reformist programme advocated.
28 seconds of fame
Today's substitute for a Party Political Broadcast (which we've never had) can be seen and heard here
if you watch it today or tomorrow morning (it will be moved elsewhere later).
Select top report 'BBC London' - 'see the latest programme in full' and it opens up in a separate window. It comes after an item about car-sharing and another item about a proposal to use the site of the former Ford factory in Dagenham to build (another kind of) prison.
Well, the unfortunate necessity of having to work means I've not had much keyboard time of late.
Although, I did get round to penning a guest post at Labourite and former Trotskyist Dave Osler's blog
- plugging our stump speech. Check it out. Interesting debate follows.
Tomorrow I'll be at:Thursday 28 May from 7.30 at the Methodist Church, Middle Lane, N8 (ie
Crouch End). Each candidate will have 2 mins to introduce themselves
but that all candidates will get a chance to answer all the questions,
then 2 mins at the end to sum up.
Saying much the same thing again.
Labels: Blogs, European Elections, Hustings
Out leafletting yesterday with another comrade in the Shepherd's Bush area, we came across a rare thing -- election leaflets put out by one of the 5 independent candidates standing in this election (actually, this one is a "no description" candidate), Haroon Saad. It looked as if someone had driven down the street throwing them out of the car window. On closer inspection though, what they done was to put them under car windscreens. Unfortunately, it had rained heavily overnight and the next morning the car owners had simply thrown the leaflets on the street. What does he stand for? Don't ask me. He gives a website address
. Which is actually quite well done, with music and all (so better than us), but tells us a lot about him but not much about what he stands for. Himself, by the looks of it.
Today at 11.30 in the morning BBC London Region TV are coming to film some of our candidates canvassing outside our offices in Clapham High Street. If you want a walk-on part come along. Otherwise you can see the outcome on the regional news at 1.30 and 6.30. If it's also broadcast after the 10 o'clock news, you can stay tuned to watch the No2EU or No2
EU (No squared to Europe) Party Political Broadcast at 10.35 and see how far they (the Communist Party and Militant electoral coalition) go in their bid to steal votes from UKIP and the BNP.
This morning, I caught the 393 up to Stoke Newington, to join in an unusual hustings. The format was meant to be like speed dating - electors would spend three minutes with each candidate, and ask a uniform set of questions to score them against. The trick was, we weren't to say which party we were from, they had to guess from our policies.
Let's just say it wouldn't have been hard for them to work it out from what I said.
Below are the "stock" questions they suggested (people could make up their own), and the replies I sort of had in my head.
Q1:What can you do as an MEP that can make a difference to pour lives?
A: Nothing. We're not making any promises, if you vote for us, you're the one making the promise to work towards abolishing capitalism and the wages system.
Q2:If you had the power what one EU law would you change and why?
A: None. We're going to parliament as rebels and not reformers, changing one law here or there is ineffectual, especially and until we have a mass movement for the abolition of capitalism and the wages system.
Q3:Given the current distrust of politicians what will you do to restore public confidence?
A: Mothing. We don't want to be ruled, and we don't want leaders. Only you know how to run your life properly, and so we seek a truly democratic society in which you don't have to place faith in leaders.
Q4:Would you be happy to publish you wages and expenses?
A: Yes. Our party is an open party, all our meetings are open to the public, and our delegates in the European Parliament would be fully answerable to our members, and would only take workers' wages.
Q5:What would you do as an MEP that would have an impact on climate change?
a: Nothing. You'll need to join the worldwide movement for socialism that will turn our environment into common property so that we can all look after it, instead of seeing it degraded in the tragedy of the commons that is capitalism.
Of course, the conceit never worked. I only talked to about seven people, onhe insisted that capitalism was a set of rules, and we need a set of rules to deal with immigrants coming to Hackney and depriving the locals of homes. Bizarrely, he had a strong West Indian accent... An old lady asked my marital status and if I had a maths qualification. Another lady talked about her freind's diabetes prescription problem 9I said all socialism can do is get us access to doctors and provide them with quality drugs and information, I'm not a medical expert, so I steered clear).
Anoteh feller turned out to be a journalist, with a blog of his own
and we just chatted.
The theme of this election seems to be that there tend to be more candidates than electors at hustings, by the end this one did reach about ten electors, but still...
Labels: Hackney, Hustings
The ballot paper
Someone, no doubt entitled to a postal vote, has put up a picture of the ballot paper for London. Don't know if this is supposed to be allowed but anyway it can be seen here
. (Click to enlarge).
Those who like to follow leaders have a choice between "Christ's Lordship" and "LEADER: ARTHUR SCARGILL".
Those who want socialism can see clearly where they need to put their X.
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?
The Scargill Labour Party broadcast
Did you see this on BBC1 TV at 6.55? If not, you can see it here
What a laugh, with Ricky Tomlinson blaming all the problems of capitalism on membership of the EU as if non-EU countries haven't been affected by the same problems. Withdraw from the EU and everything will be rosy in the garden! The good news is that there is no danger of their message being confused with ours. The bad news is that because they misuse the word "socialist" some people might confuse what we stand for -- a world of common ownership, democratic control, and production for use not profit -- with the petty Little England nationalism they spew out.
People like these calling themselves "socialists" is a cross we have to bear.
First hustings meeting
We've been invited to a hustings tomorrow, Thursday 21 May, at 6.30 pm in the Stretch Bar, of the Students Union of Goldsmiths University, in Dixon Road, New Cross (near the mainline station). Hopefully, our anomymous friend from Catford will be able to get there easier than to Clapham. Anyone else is welcome too, I imagine. It's organised by the Public and Commercial Services Union, Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Council, and the South West London Anti-Fascist Group.
The message sent to get people to attend says:
Join us to put election candidates on the spot.
Vote for fair pay, quality public services and decent jobs and free education for young people.
Make your vote count and keep the fascist BNP out of Europe.
London EU candidates will be in the student's union Stretch bar at 6:30pm next Thursday 21st May to answer YOUR questions.
Your opportunity to ask the candidates questions about what they would do for you in Europe.
Find out which party to vote for to keep the fascist BNP out of Europe.
Our candidate is going to have to explain that the main issue in this election is not, as this suggests, how to keep the BNP out, but capitalism and its failure to meet human needs properly.
If people really think that the priority is to keep the BNP out then they should vote tactically for one of the parties likely to get an MEP, ie Tory, Labour, Liberal, Green or UKIP. Voting for anyone else (and there are 13 other lists or individual candidates) will increase the BNP's chances. This will include us insofar as we get votes from people who might otherwise have voted, say, Labour or Green. I hope I don't have to explain to the meeting why this is so under the D'Hondt (a famous Belgian) Rule used to apportion the seats. But of course the priority isn't to keep the BNP out, it's to get rid of capitalism.
Anyway, tactical voting is stupid. As Eugene Debs once said, it's better to vote for something you want and not get it rather than voting for something you don't want and get it.
Leaflets, good and bad
The election leaflets that the post office are going to distribute for free have been delivered safely to the 3 mail centres concerned, even if they arrived an hour out of time due to, apparently, delays on the M3 on their way from the printers in Dorset. The post office say they'll still be distributed within 7 days, probably from tomorrow.
The areas (actually parliamentary constituencies) which will be getting them are: Ealing Central and Acton, Holborn and St Pancras, Bethnal Green and Bow, and Vauxhall. In all 240,000 will be delivered.
Meanwhile outside these areas members and sympathisers are distributing a further 30,000 by hand.
I've only had the Greens and Liberals leaflets put through my letter box so far. As you'd expect, they're pretty wishy-washy, not to say pathetic. But at least the Liberals are not beating the anti-EU drum like all the others. The Greens are promising "warm homes and new jobs" as if these had never been promised before or saying where the money's going to come from (the printing press, no doubt).
While distributing our leaflets I've come across those of UKIP and the BNP. Their John Bull nationalism is just laughable. The UKIP has a photo on the front of Churchill giving a V sign while the BNP's gives a list of famous British military victories: Trafalgar, the Somme, Dunkirk (a victory?), D-Day, the Falklands.
I've also had to do the sort of election agent's work we don't normally do. A sympathiser said he wanted to get on the electoral register (today was the last day) and a member wanted a postal vote. That's two more votes -- from socialists of course.
Well, the rain didn't stop me leafletting the Tufnell Park area, this morning. It was fascinating to feel how similar the area is to Clapham, when you begin to leaflet it. Most of my leafletting has been done in South London these last few years, and I always thought Tufnell Park was different, but once you start to plod up and down them stairs, the similarities start to abound - especially when I find the quiet out of the way council estates that I normally wouldn't walk into.
Well, I cleared 400 this morning, my feet ache, and I've another 600 in a box to clear (plus a few write-in vote leaflets I'm taking up North tomorrow).
I'm here at HO doing a couple of little extra duties - I've just sent a guest post to a blog (will keep you posted if they publish it) and I'm waiting for someone from an archive to look at a few things. Fun, fun fun.
Labels: Blogs, European Elections, Leafletting
Meetings and meetings
This morning I braved the cold and the wet to speak at Hyde Park - this time armed with a bundle of our freshly printed election leaflets to hand out. Not many people hung around in the rain to listen, but I did get interviewed by someone saying they were from the French media covering the Euro Elections over here. International stardom here I come.
This evening we had our "formal launch" meeting, or, rather, two of our candidates, Pat Deutz and Trsitan Miller standing up and speaking for an hour or so, followed by coffee and cakes (still going on downstairs here in Clapham).
That is, throughout the day, our candidates and speakers have been putting the simple case for common and democratic ownership. Hopefully, some of the work will see light in other forms.
Just to return to the leaflets, they do look good, nice and clear with a simple message and legible writing (well above the standards many other parties put into their literature). Should be going through letter boxes in our Royal Mail mailout sometime this week.
We've had a fewe invites to hustings/meetings, more details on when where shortly, no doubt.
Tommorrow, I'll start shoving leaflets through letrter boxes myself - you can find my thoughts on that joy passim
on this blog.
Labels: European Elections, Leafletting, Meetings, Speakers' Corner
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).
Went to the election agents meeting with the Returning Officer in Lewisham Town Hall at Catford yesterday. (I can see what they mean when they say that the London transport system is destined to get workers into the centre and not to get people from one point in the South -- or North -- across to another. It took me over an hour-and-a half to get from Clapham to Catford. Glad I don't have to do it again).
We were told the details of the vote and count. The ballot paper will be a long strip and coloured pale yellow. An enlarged version will on display in all polling stations so that people can look at it before they cast their vote. It is well set out so that voters will be easily able to identify the parties. We're down under our full name of "The Socialist Party of Great Britain", near the end of the party lists. Immediately above us in "The Labour Party" and below us "United Kingdom Independence Party". We're the only party without an emblem (because a committee of the whole party has not been able to agree on one). UKIP's emblem is a £ sign.
The count won't take place till Sunday 7 June as other EU countries won't be voting till them, but the turnout should be available early evening on the Friday.
In London the votes will be counted in the 32 boroughs and then collated centrally. So, we'll get a breakdown of our vote by borough.
Another interfering millionaire
In today's Times
there's a Populus poll on how people are thinking of voting. According to the paper's political editor, Peter Riddell,
Just one respondent backed the Jury Team, the new independent grouping and challenger to mainstream politics, set up by Sir Paul Judge, the former Conservative chief executive.
So we now know what JT on the BBC's list of candidates stands for. After James Goldsmith and the Referendum Party and Declan Ganley and Libertas, we now have another millionaire
setting up his own party. As we said, political democracy under capitalism is distorted by the fact that some voters are more equal than others because they have the money to stand candidates to express their own personal views.
The old Tory Rottweiler Norman Tebbit
has called for a protest vote against the big main parties for the European elections, in the light of the recent corruption scandal. He calls for a vote for minor parties, but doesn't specify which (possibly, given his anti-EU views, he thinks this is a move which would benefit UKIP).
Regardless, if anyone out there feels the urge to heed his call and vote for the Socialist Party in London, our message to you is clear. Don't. We don't want your vote. If you think it's a protest vote, we don't want it. If you think it'll send a message to the big parties, we don't want it. If you would oridinarily vote for Labour or the Tories, we don't want it. We don't want your vote.
We stand to enable any and all who would join the struggle to abolish capitalism to be able to signal to their fellow workers that that is what they want to do. We stand for the sole purpose of emancipating the working class, not soft-padding the chains. We only want the votes of those who understand what socialism is, and actually want it and are prepared to do something about it.
We're not leaders, we're not looking for followers, we're only standard bearers.
Take Tebbits proposal and stick it in the right place.
Labels: European Elections, Norman Tebbit
How not to stop the BNP
in is yesterday's Times
The British National Party is both an ideological disgrace and hopeless in practice. The main parties must do more to encourage voting in the European elections.
We can agree that the BNP is an ideological disgrace and is hopeless in practice (though the ideology of the main parties is not up to much and they're pretty hopeless too). But we can't agree that voting for one or other of "the main parties" would be a way of discouraging the growth of the BNP.
That would be to ignore the lessons of history, particularly of Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Then, the failure of the democratic, reformist parties to make capitalism work in the interest of the wage and salary working class (an inevitable failure given that capitalism can't be reformed in this way), in particular to prevent a deepening economic crisis, opened the way for anti-democratic parties advocating dictatorship and racial discrimination to blame political democracy, not capitalism, for their problems, with, in Germany, some ssuccess but disastrous results.
There is of course no prospect of the BNP coming to power in Britain but it can certainly grow stronger than it currently is. Naturally, people are concerned about this, but what the Times
and others are urging is that the answer is to vote for one or other of "the main parties" (apparently, it doesn't matter which). But since it is the failure (and, at the moment, the blatant corruption) of these parties that allows BNP propaganda to make some headway, more of the same is not going to stop the BNP. It is more likely to encourage it.
In the end the only effective way to counter the BNP is to confront its arguments directly by pointing out that it is capitalism -- not immigration or immigrants or Muslims or Poles -- that is the cause of the problems workers face. That's what we do all the time and why we say a vote for any of the main parties, as a vote for capitalism, is worse than a wasted vote.
They've corrected it at last
The BBC have now published
the complete list of candidates for the London region. But they've got one of our names wrong: James Martin has become James Carter. But I can't be bothered any more. And it doesn't matter anyway since it's the case not the face that counts -- fortunately.
Sunday in the Park
Most Sundays during the summer, some party members go to Speakers' Corner
at Hyde Park to try and put the message out. During the election campaign, you've a fair chance of running into two or three of our candidates up there, myself included.
Yesterday, was nearly murdered by the pollen from the trees, which didn't help me speak for an hour and a half, but I soldiered on. An odd incident occurred, someone got up as an Italian politician (with translator, poster board and film crew) started speaking. He claimed to be a member of Berlusconi's party, but was more probably a spoofer - his policies were to cut taxes, build on parks, British only public transport and more breasts on the BBC. Come to think of it, that list is just as mad as any serious politicians.
The interesting thing was how the regulars to the bearpit responded. Although Speaker's Corner can reach sublime heights of argument, it is also capable of reaching the sublime idiocy of carnival, tearing down pomp and pose with purposely nonsensical questions. Serious politicians don't go there, for that reason. There is a chance, however, that my mention of myself as a genuine European parliamentary candidate might now appear on an Italian satirical programme...
Labels: European Elections, Satire, Speakers' Corner
They've done it again
Missed out candidates they don't consider important, that is. So I've just emailed in this complaint to the BBC news website:
Just listened to the 6 o'clock news on Radio 4 which referred listeners to your website for details of candidates for the European elections. Found here for London but this is by no means complete. 5 Party lists and 5 independent candidates have been omitted. For full list see here.
There is no excuse for this. You need to rectify it quickly to avoid being in breach of the Representation of the People Act.
Adam Buick, Election Agent, The Socialist Party of Great Britain.
Let's see how quickly they put it right.
The official list of candidates
The Returning Officer for the London Region, at Lewisham Town Hall, has published
the full list of candidates on the council's website.
There are 14 lists and 5 independent candidates.
The 14 lists (in the order they will appear on the ballot paper) are:
British National Party -- Protecting British Jobs
Christian Party -- Proclaiming Christ's Lordship
English Democrats -- Putting England First
No2EU : Yes to Democracy
Pro Democracy : Libertas.eu
Socialist Labour Party (LEADER ARTHUR SCARGILL)
The Green Party
The Labour Party
The Socialist Party of Great Britain
United Kingdom Independence Party
Yes 2 Europe
Political comment follows separately.
Labels: Candidates, European Elections
Some are more equal than others
This morning I bought the Irish Times
to see what's going on there re these elections. It had an article
about Libertas, who are standing a list against us in these elections here in London. Now I know who they are. It is anti-Lisbon Treaty list funded by the same Declan Ganley who financed the No Vote campaign in the Irish referendum on the Treaty.
For a democracy to be genuine everybody should have an equal say but, under capitalism, some -- those who have loads of money -- are more equal than others as they can afford to buy time, and finance, candidates to express their views. Ganley isn't the only capitalist doing this in these elections. The UKIP campaign is being largely funded by the millionaire Stuart Wheeler. And in the 1997 General Election here Private Eye
's "Goldenbollocks", Sir James Goldsmith, set up and paid for the Referendum Party.
Some of those on the Libertas list have been recycled from the now defunct Referendum Party. It's doubtful if they would be paid as much to speak as the £50,000 the Irish Times
reports Ganley paid Lech Walesa, but, after the election is over, it will be interesting to examine the Libertas list's source of income in detail. In any case, their intervention in this election pollutes it. Having said this, the election procedures are still adequate enough to allow a socialist majority to express its will and get its way.
Labels: European Elections, Libertas
Change you can't believe in
It's a little known fact that Old Etonians represent an excluded minority, long persecuted and barred from office. At least, that is the message of David "Vote for change
" Cameron. Taking President Obama's campaign message, and using it to get Conservatives elected is the latest phase in the silliness that began with Hague's "Conservative revolution" campaign ten years ago.
At a European level the Tories aren't well placed to make any change. They've withdrawn from their European Parliamentary bloc (the European People's Party
). They're going to try and set up their own bloc Movement for European Reform
. Essentially, leaving the biggest grouping in the Parliament to set up their own potemkin party.
Of course, for our fine feathered revolutionary Tories, they're content to see the European elections solely as a referendum on Gordon Brown's government. Polliticking games to get their arses on Government benches. The Party of peopel "born to rule" want to get back in their rightful place. That's the change they can believe in.
Labels: Conservative Party, European Elections, European People's Party, Movement for European Reform
Well, I was on the bus t'other night, and I came across the Green Party's fake newspaper they put out at elections times. You may recall I mentioned how they cunningly accept advertising to pay for it, which will help them keep individuals names from being donors, if nothing else, since a commercial service was received. It rather, though, dents their claims of not being in hock to big business, since clearly instead they are in hock to small/green businesses. Ho hum.
I also noted that they put the legal bit "Published and promoted by..." that indicates it is election related material in the smallest font humanly imaginable.
They re-iterate the water weak EU reasons for voting. They can't put anything as strong as "because you can get what ou want by voting" only the much weaker "you can have a say" - well, I could have a say without voting, voting is about having an effect. You can't, though, have an effect by voting for any politician who is committed to keeping capitalism and the rule of wealth.
Which is, of course, precisely what the Greens do support. Although they are against big business, that only means they favour the little variety, and still support the market system. Their radical pretensions only really put them just to the left of the lib-dems. More another day.
Labels: European Elections, Green Party, Leaflets
More anti-EU than thou
One of the declared aims of RMT leader Bob Crow's narrow nationalist "No2Eu" list is to "keep out the BNP". They've evidently decided that one way to do this is to out-BNP the BNP on opposition to the EU. They have declared that, if elected, Bob Crow won't take his seat. They criticise
the BNP for not taking up this position:
The BNP claims to oppose the European Union but its leader, who denies the holocaust took place, can’t wait to get on the gravy train and link up with other fascist parties from Italy and France in the European parliament.
Our position is that the EU is a essentially a trading arrangement between various European states and governments which is irrelevant from a working class point of view. While we don't of course support it we don't oppose it more than we oppose capitalism in general. We don't make a single issue of opposing it and certainly don't oppose it like Bob Crow and his supporters (mainly Militant and the Morning Star) on narrow nationalist grounds. Our alternative to the EU is not an independent Britain with its own currency but world socialism and no currency.
Oh, and, yes, if elected we would take our seat.
Labels: Bob Crow, European Union, Militant, NO2EU
It's been noticed
in France that we are contesting "les élections européennes".
Labels: Blogs, European Elections