Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Guildford hustings

Forty people at this, organised by Guildford in Europe, yesterday evening, one sympathiser from over the border in Hampshire. Report here. And what candidate said here. Got a copy of the Peace Party candidate's election manifesto, which is not being distributing generally. In fact the Greens don't seem to be doing that either. So only the Tories, LibDems, Labour and us are leafletting the whole electoral division.

We nearly ran out of our leaflet, even though we decided to give some streets with big houses, a long drive and two 4x4s parked on it a miss on the grounds that we would be casting pearls before swine. We should be able to complete leafletting by the weekend with 300 extra emergency leaflets based on this editorial from the February 2016 Socialist Standard.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Street Stall in Guildford


We were in the High Street opposite Tunsgate Arch again today. A "town ranger" asked if we had permission from the council to hold a stall. We said we didn't need one and anyway this was election activity. She took a photo of a proof of who we were (a Party membership card) and said she would check with her boss. Nothing happened so presumably her boss understood the position. We were accosted again by god-botherers who told us that only Jesus could bring about what we wanted. We replied that he couldn't even if he existed (which he doesn't) as only humans can improve the only life they have, this one on Earth. A busker having a rest read our leaflet and told us he agreed with it, saying he knew about getting rid of money from Zeitgeist. Somebody bought a Socialist Standard.

We will be back again on Mayday, Monday 1 May.

It looks as if we underestimated the number of leaflets needed to cover the whole ward or, rather, the printer printed less than the 3500 we ordered, only 3000.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Our case in 125 words

The online paper, The Guildford Dragon, phoned on Wednesday afternoon to ask for a 125-word statement concentrating on local issues plus a photo by the end of the afternoon. This was published yesterday here:

http://www.guildford-dragon.com/2017/04/20/take-pick-guildford-divisions-candidate-lists-scc-election/


Scroll down to Guildford West. Here's what it says:

I am standing to make the point that local problems arise from the economic system of production for profit that exists everywhere and that they cannot be solved unless this system is replaced by one based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. The main issue facing Surrey County Council is a lack of funds to provide decent care for the elderly and vulnerable but also to even keep the street lights on. Most of its funding comes from central government, and the “Great Recession” following the “Crash of 2008” required the government to cut back on its spending to relieve the pressure on profits. These cuts have now trickled down to local level. That’s why capitalism is to blame.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Line-up for Brexit hustings

The organisers, Guildford in Europe, have finalised the speakers. They list them as (Dokimakis is our Labour opponent in Guildford West):


Conservatives: Bob Hughes

Greens: Mark Bray-Parry

Labour: George Dokimakis

LibDems: George Potter

Peace: John Morris

SPGB: Adam Buick

Guildford in Europe County Council Election Hustings

Guildford Institute, Ward Street Guildford

Tuesday 25 April 7.15 – 8.30pm

Also in the on-line newspaper, The Guildford Dragon, here.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Peace Party promises

One of our opponents in Guildford West is the Peace Party, a party which imagines that wars, the threat of war, and preparations for war can be ended without ending capitalism.

Here is their manifesto for these elections. Note in particular their implied support for capitalism, albeit reformed:

Sound business environment including the regulation of business operations

Sunday, April 16, 2017

First street stall in Guildford

We had a literature stall in the High Street yesterday opposite Tunsgate Arch. Gave away leaflets and talked to people. Afterwards we distributed leaflets door to door in the constituency. We've covered about a third of it now, with 2100 of the 3300 leaflets we had printed remaining. Only political reaction we got was someone who handed the leaflet back saying "I don't want anything to do with the government, they're all corrupt", a view shared no doubt by many of the 75% who won't be voting in this election.

We will have another stall next week, same place, same time (12 noon to 3pm) and one on May Day.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

First leaflets distributed

750 leaflets were distributed today in the western part of the constituency. Some other signs of political activity: one Labour poster and someone returned a leaflet saying he didn't want it as he was National Front (unless he was still living in the 1970s he probably was). This is definitely not part of the Stockbroker belt. Also, the LibDems had been distributing leaflets for their candidate, the outgoing councillor Fiona White. The usual it's a two-horse race stuff aimed a potential Labour voters, stating:
It is a clear choice between hardworking Fiona White and the Liberal Democrats or four more years of Conservative chaos
.
Anybody would think that they hadn't been in a coalition government with the Tories for 5 years.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Manifestos have arrived

3500 copies of our manifesto arrived today. Here's what it looks like:





It's the same wording as in the Party's manifesto for the 2014 Euroelections. We decided to use this as our appeal is aimed at those interested in ideas rather than in potholes, street lights or cycle lanes.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Reconaissance

Visit to Guildford yesterday to see if anyone else was holding a stall at Tunsgate Arch. No party was but there were a couple of church people handing out a leaflet on healing which said they were there every Saturday 1-3 pm. They didn't have a stall, but there shouldn't be a problem in us having one (first, next Saturday).

Took the occasion to look at the constituency and distribute 400 or so general leaflets (our election manifesto is not being delivered till Monday). The Labour Party had been in the same streets earlier with their pathetic "Say NO to 4.99% Council Tax Increases" leaflet. Met the Tory candidate, Adrian Chandler, who was going from door to door canvassing for votes. He's already a local borough councillor but doesn't stand much of a chance of cumulating two mandates as in 2013 the Tory candidate finished fourth with only 16% of the vote (but there's no UKIP candidate this time). Part of constituency is on a hillside, which is going to be a bugger for door-to-door leafletting (wouldn't want to be a postman there).

Friday, April 07, 2017

All the Surrey candidates

Today's Surrey Advertiser has a full page with the names of all the candidates standing for the 81 electoral divisions of Surrey County Council. Apart from us, the only vaguely "radical" ones are TUSC in Staines and two Peace Party candidates in Guildford (one standing in the same division as us). But they are reformists of course.

Couldn't help noticing the name of one of the UKIP candidates in Surrey Heath -- Piotr Jerzy Farbiszewski -- and wonder which other camdidate there UKIP supporters will be voting for. Incidentally, no UKIP candidates at all standing in Guildford, so that must means they won't be at the Brexit hustings?

Brexit hustings

A bit surprising in a local election but we and all the other parties standing candidates in Guildford have been invited to a hustings organised by the pro-EU "Guildford in Europe" group. More on them here. It will be on Tuesday 25 April at the Guildford Institute, Ward Street, Guildford GU1 4LH, from 7.15 to 8.30. Each party will be allowed 5 minutes to put over their position. The local paper, the Surrey Advertiser, will be publicising and reporting the meeting. We've probably still got a few of our EU referendum leaflets somewhere.

By the way, we are not complaining about this issue being raised in a local election. Far from it, as we're raising the issue of world socialism. The obscene scandal of cutting back on care homes for the elderly and vulnerable and the turning off of street lights, planned and implemented by Surrey Council, do derive ultimately from the workings of the world capitalist economy. Capitalism in an economic downwturn, as following the Crash of 2008, requires governments to cut back on their spending to relieve the pressure on profits. As most local council money comes from the central government, so they have to cut back too. Profits before people, that's the way capitalism works and the only way it can.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Our opponents

The list of persons nominated for Guildford West has just been published. Apart from us there are 5 others:

Chandler (Tory), Dokimakis (Lab), Purvis (Green), Morris (Peace Party) and White (LibDem).

White is the outgoing councillor. The Peace Party is a christian-inspired pacificist party, based in Guildford, which regularly contests elections there, including the last General Election. They are on the ballot paper as "The Peace Party - Non-Violence, Justice, Environment". Last time in the Surrey County Council elections in 2013 they got 105 votes (5%). They are also standing in Guildford South West. There is no UKIP candidate (no point anyway, now they've won the referendum).

In the rest of Surrey, there is one other candidates using the word "socialist" on the ballot paper: TUSC in Staines. In a by-election for the ward last year they got 33 votes (1%).

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nomination accepted

The nomination papers for our candidate, Adam Buick, were handed in at Guildford Borough Council offices this afternoon and accepted. So we're on the ballot paper, with our emblem.

The artwork for the manifesto, with the same wording as the one for the 2014 Euroelections when we contested the South East Region, has arrived. We only need to change the colour from blue to orange.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Election Time Again

Not in London but over the border, in Surrey. The English County Council elections are taking place on Thursday 4 May and West London branch has decided to stand a candidate in Guildford, which is only about 20 miles from Kingston, chosen because it is a university town.

Activity so far:

Letter published in the Hounslow Chronicle (17 March )in response to one from someone in the ex-Militant Tendency signing himself "Staines and Surrey Socialist Party":

Socialists will have candidate
Paul Couchman (Your Say, March 3) says he wants to build "the Social­ist Party in Staines and Surrey" and hopes that there will be Socialist candidates in May's County Council elections.
The good news is that there will be. The bad news, for him, is that it will not be his party, ie the old Mili­tant Tendency under the usurped name of our party which has existed since 1904. We shall be standing on a straight socialist programme of the common ownership and demo­cratic control of the means of pro­duction, with production for use not profit, not for mere reforms to capi­talism as he wants.

The 10 signatories for the nomination paper were collected yesterday in the chosen electoral division of Guildford West. The Labour Party had already leafletted the ward to introduce their candidate (George Dokimakis). It seems that Corbyn's takeover of the Leadership has made no difference whatsover at local level as the leaflet's slogan is "Say NO to 4.99% Council Tax increases". Very leftwing. UKIP and the LibDems will no doubt be using that one too.

Literature stalls planned in the centre of Guildford for Saturday 15 April, Saturday 22 April and Monday 1 May.