Showing posts with label Lambeth Council. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lambeth Council. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Hustings in Lambeth next Tuesday

The lively local online paper, the Brixtonblog, is organising a hustings next Tuesday 13 May of all the parties putting up candidates for Lambeth council. Details can be found here.

They have also offered parties standing in the 5 Brixton wards (Brixton Hill, Tulse Hill, Herne Hill, Coldharbour Lane, and Ferndale) space on their blog for a 300 word statement. We have already sent ours off.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Statement of persons nominated

These for Lambeth can be found here. We're standing in Clapham Town, Ferndale and Larkhall wards. As you'll see, it's us and the usual suspects (Labour, Tory, Liberal, Greens and newcomers UKIP) plus, in Ferndale and Larhall, TUSC.

Those for Junction ward in Islington can be found here. Same usual suspects except without UKIP (perhaps because they consider it too Irish, but one of the Tory candidates is called Michael Collins). No BNP either as there was in the by-election last year.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Voting begins

Those that applied for postal votes for #vassall ward by-election, you should have rec'd by now, pls send back before 28th (election day)
So Says the Lambeth Democracy Team. So, if you've got your ballot paper in front of you, and you've come here to check us out after reading our leaflet: "Hello!" This is your chance to make history: you can start a revolution. No leader can do it for you. You have an awesome weapon in your hands. Just use it: refuse to give your consent to parties that will allow the status quo to continue. Vote for yourself: vote socialism. (Also, today is the deadline for applying for proxy votes, so you can ask someone else to vote for you for a change...)

Friday, November 08, 2013

We spoke too soon

Out leafletting today we can across another LibDem leaflet and what did it say? "It's Labour or Lib Dems here. Tories out of the race here!". The usual it's a two-horse race stuff, in this case to try to cadge Tory votes. In other parts, it's used to get Labour voters to vote LibDem to keep the Tories out. Anything to get votes.

Other leaflets we picked up were the Autumn 2013 issue of Lambeth Labour Rose and a copy of Lambeth Housing Activists. This is sponsored by "Unite Community" which is a section of the Unite trade union for "people who aren't in regular paid work and community activists", an interesting union initiative. It has some harsh things to say about Labour-run Lambeth Council. For instance, on the council's eviction of 'shortlife' tenants:
Lambeth has proven itself to be a cynical and ruthless Authority, showing little regard or concern for some of its most vulnerable inhabitants.
and
Wat the ... ? So, in reponse to austerity caused by a global crash caused by rich bankers and property speculators, the council has brutalised these communities to give some lovely buildings at knock down prices to ... rich bankers and property speculators.
Strong stuff (we'll let pass the fact that the crisis was caused by the operation of capitalism not "rich bankers").

We must have distributed 1500 of the 5000 leaflets so far. More this weekend and next week.

Monday, October 28, 2013

We are standing

It's been decided. We will be standing a candidate in this by-election. The Socialist candidate will be Danny Lambert.

The 10 signatories to nominate were obtained this afternoon and the nomination papers will be handed in tomorrow morning.

Two of those we asked mentioned if we had anything to do with Russell Brand who in a BBC interview with Jeremy Paxman last week called for a revolution to establish an "egalitarian socialist society". We replied not exactly, but we will be contesting this time under the slogan "Revolution the only solution". One of the signatories revealed that he had voted for us in a previous election.

The manifestos are already at the printers and the 5000 will be delivered later this week or early next week. Then we start distributing them with the aim of delivering them all by 13 November when the postal ballot papers will be sent out.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Redistributing misery

Lively hustings meeting last night with all the candidates (but with the Tory arriving half way through) and much heckling. Ninety people present (which is more that you usually get at a hustings for an election to parliament). Maybe it's this part of Brixton or maybe a local election generates more interest amongst a minority. In any event, the Brixtonblog is to be congratulated for organising it.

The Labour candidate was in a hopeless position, trying to blame the ConDem government for the cuts but defending the way Labour-run Lambeth Council were implementing them. The LibDem candidate was also in a hopeless position because she was unable to criticise what the government was doing and the effect this was having locally and was reduced to extolling her own virtues. No wonder the Tory turned up late as what could he say (beyond, as he did, that they hadn't done much leafletting or canvassing as Tulse Hill was not an area where they were strong on the ground)?. The Green Party candidate didn't really follow through his strong case that "right across Lambeth Labour is pursuing a programme of evictions in order to sell housing to developers and profit from high property prices" (he didn't even switch his mobile phone off).

The UKIP candidate was more prepared than last time (she was also their candidate in the Brixton Hill local by-election in January), specifically targetting Labour rather than Tory voters, presumably in pursuit of some UKIP national strategy for inner London and Northern cities; interesting display of populism, though. The TUSC candidate put across their single-issue "No cuts" campaign and got denounced by UKIP as "Bob Crow's fan club". The Independent candidate explained his case against the Labout council's plan to move him and his fellow residents from their sheltered housing and sell off the land to developers. Our candidate said that it was capitalism, not the government or the local council (or the EU), that was responsible for the problems facing people in Tulse Hill (and elsewhere) and that the other parties' claims to be able to solve them were just empty promises worth nothing as many non-voters already understood.

What the Green Party had called "Labour's programme of evictions" turned out to be one of the main issues of the meeting. It really is the case that the Labour Council has decided that, to raise money to try to compensate for the cut in grants from central government, it will sell off part of its land and housing stock to private developers. This of course involves removals and evictions. This was not popular with the audience which gave the poor Labour candidate a hard time (she'll probably still win, though).

Local councils do have a choice, not to not make any cuts, but to decide how to apply them. It's as if the central government (which is responding to the current economic crisis by cutting its spending so as to give profits, the life-blood of the system, a chance to recover) has said to local councils: "you've got to make cuts, but you choose where to make them". Lambeth Council has decided to sell off some of its housing assets. It may well be true that this will provide them with some money to avoid cuts elsewhere but at the cost of bringing misery to those affected. They could have chosen not to do this, but they would then have had to make more cuts than otherwise and impose the misery on someone else.

That's the sort of choice of redistribution of misery you have to make if you assume responsibility for running capitalism at local level. Not even the TUSC policy of the council refusing to make any cuts and acting illegally would work. The central government would just send in a commissioner and impose the misery anyway. Quite simply, there is no way under capitalism in an economic crisis of avoiding cuts and the misery they bring; one way or another, in one form or another, they will be imposed. It is good that people don't like this but discontent and protest is not enough. The only way out is to get rid of the capitalist system and replace its minority ownership and control and its production for profit by common ownership and democratic control and production to meet people's needs. As one persistent heckler, a socialist, put it, get rid of the system.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another local by-election in Lambeth

Due to the sudden death of a Labour councillor, a sudden by-election has been called for 25 July in the Tulse Hill ward of Lambeth council. As this is next door to Brixton Hill ward where we contested a by-election in January, we will be putting up a candidate in this by-election too. Our candidate will be Adam Buick. The nomination papers have already been handed in and accepted. Nominations close tomorrow at noon and it will be interesting to see what the line up will be.

Tulse Hill ward is a safe Labour seat and is part of the parliamentary constituency of Streatham. This is the second by-election in this ward since the last full council elections in May 2010. The result of the last by-election, in July 2010, was:

Labour 1235 (52%)
LibDems 745 (31%)
Green 256 (11%)
Tory 94 (4%)
UKIP 36 (2%)

The turn-out was 21% (which is pronably about what it will be this time too).

The breakdown for the ward (not counting postal votes) in the Greater London Assembly elections in 2012 when we had a candidate in thee Lambeth & Southwark constituency was:

Labour 2233 (64%)
Green 518 (14.8%)
Tory 345 (9.9%)
LibDems 242 (6.9%
Socialist 95 (2.7%)
UKIP 59 (1.7%)

So 95 people in the ward have already recently cast a vote for socialism when given a chance to vote for one or other of the pro-capitalist parties. One of our aims in contesting will be to make contact with them. Leafletting has already started.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Update

A couple of interesting items in today's South London Press.

On page 8 there's a feature article entitled "Lack of job opportunities sees dole queue lengthen". According to this,
Over the past four years the number of people claiming Jobseeker's allowance in Coldharbour ward has almost doubled from 661 to 1,078. The numbers have also risen in Ferndale ward with 406 unemployed people four years ago compared to 594 today. In Brixton Hill there are considerably more people out of work, from 384 four years ago to 611 today.
By coincidence (or not) these were the three wards where, relatively speaking, we did best in the GLA elections in May.

On page 18 Streatham MP Chuka Umunna has a column headed "Bright pupils let down by the coalition". It is illustrated by a photo of a students' demonstration against the cuts in which can be clearly seen someone selling ... Socialist Worker. I don't suppose he's too pleased but, then, the SWP probably voted for him at the last General Election.

In the meantime Lambeth Council has put up the list of candidates for Brixton Hill together with their photos.

Tomorrow the Executive Committee will be adopting the election manifesto. On Monday we'll be leafletting the ward again. Meet at 52 Clapham High Street at 12 noon.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Online publicity

We haven't contested a council by-election for a number of years. (The last was in 1996 in Clapham Town ward of Lambeth when we got 20, or 0.7%, the equivalent of 200 in a parliment election). But that was before the internet took off.

This time we've been invited to a hustings on Thursday 10 January organised by an online Brixton newspaper, the Brixton Blog. More details (time, venue) later.

Also, the Council have asked for a photo of our candidate to put on their website, as a means of publicising the election (they probably expect a low turn-out), which they will tweet to those who follow them.

Who would have thought that a local by-election would provide such opportunities to publicise socialism?