Friday, January 18, 2013

The post mortem

Three of us went to the count yesterday evening from 10.30 to midnight and, like everyone else there, were victims of the cuts, as the Returning Officer and Chief Executive explained that there was no money to provide for the usual tea and coffee and sandwiches, not even for the counters (a bit surprising UNISON put up with that).

Here's the official result from the Lambeth Council website (they round to the nearest whole figure).

This is the sort of vote that Labour used to get in the mining valleys of South Wales and the North East, as LibDem voters deserted to Labour rather than to the Greens (as the Greens had expected). The UKIP vote confirms once again that xenophobic parties do badly in this sort of area where people whose parents and grandparents came from different parts of the world have lived together and mixed for a couple of generations. "Fascism" is not the threat some people like to claim it to be. TUSC did not do as well as they had expected. Their campaign was based on trying to blame the cuts on the local council, but Labour were more successful in getting people to blame the government. But at least TUSC, as the combined forces of Militant and the SWP, will be satisfied that they avoided the indignity of being beaten by the SPGB, though they are still in the same league as us. Our vote corresponded to what members speculated it might be -- between 20 and 50.

But we didn't contest primarily to get votes, but to publicise the case for socialism and, from this point of view, can be quite satisfied. We leafletted the ward three times, given equal time on the Brixtblog (which reproduced the Big Smoke video interview), and had our views discussed seriously on various blogs:

Statement on Brixton blog (including Big Smoke video)

Hustings report

Candidates 30 seconds on unemployment

Urban 75

Vote UK discussion forum

We should be back again, here and in some other wards, in the local council elections. in May 2014. In the meantime, we will extend our four-monthly newsletter distributed from Larkhall and Ferndale wards to Brixton Hill.

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