theses on the 2010 general election and its aftermath – for discussion

Dave Spencer sets out some points for discussion at our December 12th aggregate meeting. In the spirit of openness we want to publish as much material from our internal debates as possible.

1. No matter who wins the 2010 General Election, the working class will be under attack to pay for the economic crisis. There will be more unemployment and more cuts in public services – possibly on an unprecedented scale since World War 2.

2. Over 12 years of New Labour government, “the Left” and the Trade Unions have failed to organise an effective working class opposition. This has to be a failure of historic proportions and needs some analysing.3. Where attempts have been made over the 12 years to build broad alliances (e.g. SLP, SSP, Socialist Alliance, Respect) – they have been sabotaged by the bureaucratic and sectarian politics and organisational methods of the Left Groups. Remember in the 2001 General Election the Socialist Alliance fielded 98 candidates and the SSP fielded 72 candidates. Both the SA and the SSP were wrecked by the SP and SWP. The principle “If we can’t control it, we’ll destroy it” has ruled. Conclusion? These groups are a barrier to building any working class defence or any working class organisation.

4. There will be campaigns built to fight back against the attacks on the working class. We need to be involved in these, broadening them out, networking at local, regional and national level. It is highly likely that the Left Groups will form campaigns on single issues over which they will try to maintain control. We must resist this on the basis of support only for organisations with democratic control from below.

5. As an organisation it would be useful for us to have experts or to make ourselves experts on the various public services, as well as manufacturing sectors – for example the NHS, Education, Housing, Transport, Social Care, Waste Disposal – Energy, Computing, Cars, Steel etc etc.

6. We should not accept the argument from the government or from local Councils that there is no money. After all New Labour have spent £1.3 trillion of our money to bail out the banks. They are also conducting a war in Afghanistan and plan a new generation of Trident missiles. As part of a fight-back we can draw up a list of cuts in these activities as well as cuts in PFI projects etc.. We can also suggest stopping tax loopholes for the rich.

7. In the course of defending public services we should start debates within the campaigns on how these services should properly be run — with the workers concerned and with the public – raising the question of democratic workers’ control and self-management. After all some members of the public will argue that some public services are crap – which they are. How to improve them?

8. A difficult issue to handle is that of anti-social behaviour and crime — which is likely to increase with people getting more desperate and will be raised in campaigns and residents’ groups. We need a discussion on this issue and how to handle it.

9. In the General Election itself, we should not support the positions: ”Vote New Labour to keep the Tories out” nor “Vote anything but the BNP.” It is possible that there may be some individual candidates worth supporting. These may be New Labour, independents, or Greens. The basis on which we should support candidates is that there will be a broad organisation built from the election campaign to start campaigning after the election.

One thought on “theses on the 2010 general election and its aftermath – for discussion

  1. No one in any large volume is prepared to vote other than Labour or Conservative. People don’t really want a change because they keep supporting very long established parties that although they change leader etc. the core specifics stay the same. It is a two parties system – no offense to any independents… you might become elected in your constituency but you barely have any weight as far as country-wide decisions are made.

    It is pretty much the british people have got used to being ripped off and abused – they don’t trust none of the newer political parties and although alot of people voting for them over the last 20 or so years, and neither of them delivering on promises, people stick to the same LOYALTY and continue to vote the same. Occassionally, people decide to swap but if they don’t prefer the new change they go back.

    Conservatives are lost. They base alot of their promoted policies now, as the same as Labour BUT “do it better”, “tougher”, “more strict” etc. … and thats all nonsense. One of the major issues right now is the economy, in specific – jobs and unemployment.

    Conservatives want to keep Labours welfare policies but make them more stricter or should I say more tougher to claim. They didn’t create their own policy from scratch or even attempt to research what works, what doesn’t work and see what can be improved.

    Currently, all Conservatives in particular do is try to argue with Labour and say they are better. That is more school playground than grown up politics. Some people appear to like that.

    Until people realise that:

    a) the current parties cant be trusted


    b) there is an alternative

    There will not ever be any progress made.

    Over the last few days just from seeing news clips on TV, not researching or looking into it deeper I noticed:

    a) a woman got an out of court settlement when police refused to take her allegation of rape seriously advising her it was a “non-crime”. I thought rape was one of the most serious crimes.

    b) a boy was killed by a dog in similar circumstances to a previous case in roughly the same area. Police received a tip off over 6 months previously saying their was an illegal dog present there and the police refused to follow up such complaint. Resulted in a preventable tragic death

    c) 2 people extradited to cyprus to serve a sentence for “manslaughter” for being passengers in a vehicle that killed a young man. The driver was sentenced for 15 years and the 2 passengers were cleared of any blame. Cyprus High Court overruled the original decision and sentenced the 2 men in their absence. The men appealed and lost.


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