Thursday, February 26, 2015

A TUSC rally? Lambeth Town Hall 25 February

We distributed a leaflet announcing our candidate Danny Lambert for the Vauxhall constituency to people on Acre Lane and Brixton Hill as well as to about 100 trade unionists protesting against  Lambeth Council cuts yesterday. The trade unionists were representing unions such as UNISON, GMB, and campaigns such as Save Our Schools, Save Our Libraries in Lambeth Borough. Also people from Stand Up to Racism and Fascism were there. The Green Party was in evidence calling for Save Lambeth Libraries. The Labour parliamentary candidate for Epsom and Ewell spoke at the demo as did the ex Lambeth Labour Councillor Kingsley Abrahams who was basically kicked out of the Lambeth Labour Party because he would not vote for cuts.

But it was a TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) show. The TUSC parliamentary candidates Unjum Mirza (Streatham) and Steve Nally (Dulwich and West Norwood) spoke at the rally. The large TUSC banner was in evidence. Steve Nally usually stands in Vauxhall for TUSC but has been moved away so that he doesn't oppose the Labour MP Kate Hoey who is a member of the RMT trade union Parliamentary group (RMT are a funder of the TUSC). TUSC are a front for the Trotskyite SPEW political party, of which Steve Nally is a member, as is the UNISON rep who spoke at the protest yesterday. TUSC are also supported by rival trots the SWP. TUSC/SWP shared a stall at the protest. The SWP locally are holding meetings in Brixton in March on Syriza, Climate Change and Selma to Ferguson.

I saw a Left Unity supporter who are standing a candidate in Vauxhall where we are standing.

Will TUSC/SWP supporters in Vauxhall vote for rival trots Workers' Power who are essentially Left Unity in Lambeth?

For the record the SWP endorsed former Lambeth Labour council leader Steve Reed at the Croydon North by-election in 2012 which is staggering considering for years the SWP in its front organisation Defend Council Housing was bitterly opposed to Lambeth Council housing policies under the leadership of Reed!

TUSC's Steve Nally said to those gathered outside Lambeth Town Hall that we should "look to Greece" (ie Syriza) for inspiration which is strange considering the Syriza government has made a deal with the Eurozone and is going to continue with austerity economics when it was elected on an anti-austerity platform...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stop the £90m Cuts Lambeth Town Hall 25 February

We will be outside Lambeth Town Hall at 6pm on Wednesday 25 February for the Anti-Cuts demo organised by trade unions such as UNISON, GMB, UNITE, and the NUT. We will be distributing a leaflet announcing that our candidate Danny Lambert will be standing for the Socialist Party of Great Britain in the Vauxhall constituency.

Lambeth Discussion Group

We have set up a new group in Lambeth comprised of members and sympathisers to support the General Election campaign in the Vauxhall constituency. Our candidate will be Danny Lambert.

The new Lambeth Group had it's first meeting on 12 February attended by several members and even more sympathisers. It was decided to hold election/literature stalls in Clapham High Street, and possibly stalls in Stockwell and in Brixton. A leaflet will be produced to be distributed at tube stations in the constituency. It was agreed to contact the Pirate Party, Whig party and Green Party candidates to enquire about debates between our candidate and their candidates.

The next meeting of the Lambeth Discussion Group will take place at 52 Clapham High Street at 7.00pm on Thursday 12 March when candidate Danny Lambert will speak on 'Why I Won't Make a Good MP.'

Friday, February 20, 2015

And now the ex(?)-Trots

One of the handful of Left Unity candidates in the general election will be standing in Vauxhall. Their candidate here is Simon Hardy, formerly of Workers Power, the Trotskyist group who stood in Vauxhall in the last general election in 2010 (and got less votes than us). He has moved on from orthodox Trotskyism but still seems to have a soft spot for Lenin.

Meanwhile the Green Party candidate in Vauxhall in 2010, Joseph Healy ,has also joined Left Unity and is calling on people to vote for Simon Hardy rather than for his successor as Green Party candidate, Gulnar Hasnain.

TUSC is not standing as the sitting Labour MP, Kate Hoey, is a member of the RMT Parliamentary Group and TUSC don't want to alienate RMT. Steve Nally, who we've come across in various local by-elections in Lambeth, has been shunted to the other side of Brixton High Road to contest Dulwich and West Norwood for TUSC.

Friday, February 13, 2015

After the Pirates the Whigs

Talk about back to the 18th century but the Whig Party has been revived and will be standing in Vauxhall. Their candidate will be Waleed Ghani. More on the revived Whig Party here.

For those who don't remember their school history, in the days before the extension of the vote to the industrial and urban midddle class in 1832, the Whigs were the least reactionary section of the landowning ruling class as opposed to their more reactionary section, the Tories. They later became absorbed into the old Liberal Party.

Not sure what we could debate with them. Perhaps: That the 1832 Reform Act should have extended the franchise to the working class? Or: Were the Chartists wrong demonstrate on Kennington Common in 1848 to demand One Man, One Vote?

William Morris had something to say about them (he didn't think much of them). Or, to hear it read, go to:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Another letter.

Another letter has been published today:

Dear Friend,

an election must be coming. Jeremy Corbyn has been appearing in print around the shop calling for rent controls as a means of curbing the housing crisis. Rent controls, though, have never worked, and never will. They are an attempt to fix the market, and market rates will out, with landlords either letting their stock go to wreck or withdrawing from the market to protect their profit rates.

The only solution to the housing crisis is to build enough homes for all; but the market is patently failing to do this, and never will. If there were enough homes for all, how could a landlord collect rent?

No one can help taking up space, or needing shelter, and no-one should have it denied them because of market whims. Just as no-one can help falling ill, and should not have health care denied them because of market whims. We need housing free at the point of use.

The only way we can get this is through the common ownership of the wealth of the world. Anything less will always see profit (and rents) put before people's need.

Bill Martin Socialist Party Parliamentary Candidate for Islington North.

In the Islington Gazette no online letters page, but there is an e-edition here.