Sunday, May 02, 2010

Daniel in the Lions' Den

Yesterday the campaign continued. The Socialist candidate, Danny Lambert, was at this event in Parliament Square and witnessed effigies of Brown, Cameron, Clegg and Griffin being hung, drawn and quartered and danced upon. He commented to a couple of others watching the spectacle that this gave the impression that these individual politicians were personally responsible for the problems capitalism causes whereas it was the system and that, if these individuals really were executed, someone else would take their place. One, a press photographer, said he had covered a number of such events and that this was the first time he'd heard something sensible said about them. After that, Danny talked to the demonstrators and handed out our election leaflets suggesting that those in Vauxhall who agreed with a classless, stateless, moneyless society of common ownership and democratic control (as some of those there would have done -- that's why he was there) to show this by casting a vote for it. He wasn't lynched by the assembled anarchists and anti-parliamentarists, but he would have been the only parliamentary candidate there.

We were also present up the other end of Whitehall at the official London Trades Council Mayday rally where we ran out of leaflets to give out.

Meanwhile, south of the river in Vauxhall, we had stalls in Clapham High Street and in Brixton. In fact, all of our leaflets for the national and local elections in Lambeth have now been distributed. All that remain are for distribution in Kentish Town ward in Camden.

A procession of Hooray Henries and Henriettas down Clapham High Street with a loud hailer and blue balloons was booed and jeered at by passers-by. And a UKIP candidate from a neighbouring constituency was seen emerging from the gay bar next to our premises, but she can't have known unless UKIP has now decided to go after the gay as well as the climate sceptic vote.

Friday's South London Press had an 8-page pull-out election guide. The trouble with this paper is that it covers 3 boroughs (Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham) and 8 parliamentary constituencies and so, as we've found out before, doesn't give detailed reports on the candidates in each. We were simply mentioned as one of the candidates standing in Vauxhall, for the "Socialist Party" (Ian Page standing in Lewisham Deptford for Militant was referred to a "Socialist Alternative", the name they're registered under with the Electoral Commission).

There was a news story on another page headed "Left-wing parties divided over unity" which commented on the fact that in Camberwell and Peckham there were three "far left candidates" (Scargill's SLP, the WRP and the Alliance for Workers Liberty) and that in Vauxhall "two left-wing candidates are also going head to head" (Workers Power and us). I suppose that's how it must appear. After quoting Jeremy Drinkall who said "it's a shame, but it's not decisive for us", the reporter went on:
Vauxhall's other leftie candidate is Daniel Lambert of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. A spokesman said the party had no hope of a seat, but was using the election to spread its message of workers control.
Actually, he said "message of common ownership and democratic control". Of course that wasn't all he said because he also said that it wasn't a problem for us since while we stood for socialism the Workers Power candidate stood for reforms of capitalism. Still, this was probably the best we were going to get. Daniel still hasn't recovered from being called a "leftie".

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