Vote socialist where you can on 1 May

Submitted by martin on 8 April, 2008 - 2:51 Author: Colin Foster
Dave Nellist

Forty socialist candidates will be standing in the local government elections on 1 May, under the umbrella of the Socialist Green Unity Coalition.

The Alliance for Green Socialism is standing 13 candidates in Leeds, and a scattering elsewhere. The Socialist Party, this year, will focus its effort on winning re-election for its best-known elected local councillor, Dave Nellist in Coventry, and is standing 12 candidates elsewhere. The Democratic Labour Party is running a number of candidates in Walsall.

The Alliance for Workers' Liberty (AWL) and Solidarity have joined with the AGS, the Socialist Party, the Democratic Labour Party and others in the Socialist Green Unity Coalition, and will support our socialist coalition partners' candidates.

Also in the spirit of pressing for maximum left unity, collaboration, and dialogue, AWL is backing the SWP/Respect "Left List" in the London mayor and Greater London Assembly elections, despite the fact that the Left List's platform is not really socialist.

"Throughout the main English-speaking economies, earnings disparities have reached extremes not seen since the age of The Great Gatsby... The [dominant] model of capitalism looks tarnished and an awkward question hangs over the free market process..." That is the Financial Times, no less, on 8 April.

Who will ask that awkward question and provide answers? We should have been able to run more socialist candidates! To get more, we need more left unity and more activists on the left.

These are the main themes from the two biggest parties' pitches for 1 May:

One: "Giving people more opportunity and power over their lives... Making families stronger and society more responsible... In a world where our economy is richer but our society is poorer, we must recognise that we're all in this together and not allow anyone to be left behind... Strengthen the ties that bind society together... Making Britain safer and greener".

Two: "Our starting point is, and always will be, the struggles and the hopes and ambitions of hard-working families... Safer and cleaner streets... Every community in England to have its own dedicated neighbourhood police team patrolling the streets... Better value for money... Greener spaces... Better deal for young people... Healthier communities".

Which is Tory and which is Labour...? The lack of political substance in the differentiation between the two pitches highlights how Labour has disenfranchised the working class. It has cut off the channels by which trade unions and local Labour Parties could democratically shape Labour Party policy.

Because of the remaining, very strained, links between Labour and the labour movement, AWL members will vote Labour where there is no socialist candidate, and Labour no.2 in London.

Quiz answer: One is Tory, Two is Labour.

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