Saturday, April 12, 2014

Batting for socialism at the Oval

The premature hustings duly took place this morning. The LibDems and Labour were out in force with all their candidates for Oval ward present as this is a marginal ward split 2 Labour 1 LibDem. Other parties represented, though not by any of their candidates, were the Tories and TUSC. Embarrassingly, we had to share a table with the Tories. No sign of the Greens or UKIP. We are not contesting Oval but, as we are contesting Larkhall down the road, were allowed a couple of minutes to answer questions, along with the other parties, put by an audience of 50 outside and explain why we were standing. There was not much we could say about uncollected rubbish bins or broken park railings but were able to point out that what a LibDem leaflet called "luxury flats for absentee billionaires" that the Labour Council were allowing to be built on the riverside rather than houses or flats for ordinary people was what happens under capitalism where production is for profit not to satisfy people's needs.

Afterwards a Labour Party member came up and said he used to read the Socialist Standard but said that he was in the Labour Party because it was "the mass party of the working class" and which was therefore where socialists ought to be. Recognising this as the classic Trotskyist case for "entryism", I introduced him to the TUSC representative (James who is standing for them in Ferndale, so are we) and listened to a member of Militant putting across the same sort of arguments for not being in the Labour Party as we used to put to them in the 1980s when they were in it. Actually the Labour member turned out not to be a Trotskyist but a member of the revived Labour Representation Committee, a left Labour pressure group which, according to wikipedia, includes John McDonnell MP, Owen Jones and former Lambeth Council Labour leader Ted Knight.

No comments: