only solidarity can stop their attacks

editorial of The Commune

The General Election did not provide the ruling class with a mandate to slash public services. In the Prime Ministerial TV debates the party leaders shied away from outlining plans for cuts, knowing that doing so would risk electoral disaster. The result of the election was itself inconclusive.

Yet the new coalition government is confident in its offensive against the working class. As David  Cameron arrived in Number 10 on 11th May, he announced that Tory-Lib Dem Britain would be one where “we do not just ask ‘what are my entitlements?’, but ‘what are my responsibilities?'”. This masks an ideological war against our living standards. Continue reading “only solidarity can stop their attacks”

the general election: the view from scotland

by Allan Armstrong

The General Election results on 6th May came as somewhat of a surprise. This did not lie in the failure of the Tories to win an overall majority; the Lib-Dems inability to make their much-heralded breakthrough; the collapse of the SNP surge; nor even in New Labour making a limited recovery, especially in their London, Scottish and northern English heartlands. What was surprising to most was the increased level of voter participation, especially after the mounting anger and public disgust over Westminster sleaze.

Can the increase in electoral participation be put down to the wider interest created by televised debates between the three main party leaders? Quite clearly, despite all the media hype, especially around the ‘Clegg phenomenon’, the final division of votes, between the mainstream parties, bore little relationship to the initial opinion polls. Continue reading “the general election: the view from scotland”

anti-fascism and the BNP in barking and dagenham

by Glyn Harries

At the May 2010 Barking and Dagenham council elections, the BNP lost all their 12 Councillors, all previously elected in 2006. And their national party leader Nick Griffin, who it was suggested would take the Parliamentary seat, only came 3rd, and petulantly walked away declaring Barking and London ‘finished’.

But away from the headlines the actual results in Barking and Dagenham show the BNP nearly doubled their vote from 2006 to 2010, though where they had stood previously their vote did decline slightly. I have used their highest votes in each ward. While it is good news to see the Councillor parasites of the BNP wiped out, the Hope not Hate victory claims are as ever deeply flawed. Continue reading “anti-fascism and the BNP in barking and dagenham”

no choice on may 6th

by Danny Ryan-Smith

With an election with less choice than ever shambling across the horizon, most of our time not spent working seems to be dominated by the question of elections, or specifically- who should we vote for?

With even capitalist media and the introduction of presidential style debates unable to drum up excitement among the general public for a contest that most of us see as largely a race between three identical parties, the time has come that we face the reality that nobody can be a substitute to represent our own needs and interests but ourselves. Continue reading “no choice on may 6th”

flying the flag for socialism in scotland

Ewan Robertson, Scottish Socialist Party candidate in Aberdeen North, contributes to our ongoing debate on participation in elections

I am a postgraduate student at Aberdeen University (MLitt Latin American Studies), and I am a member of the Scottish Socialist Party and Republican Communist Network, and an active supporter of the Tripping up Trump campaign.

In this short piece I’d like to explain firstly, what the approach of the SSP is to the 2010 General Election and how we have a fundamentally different approach to the election than the other parties, and secondly, why in my view it is useful to stand in elections in general. Continue reading “flying the flag for socialism in scotland”

3rd may london forum: should we vote?

Our next London public forum will see a debate on whether we should support candidates for Parliament. The meeting takes place three days before the general election, from 7pm on Monday 3rd May at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street.

Many on the revolutionary left and labour movement are advocating the re-election of the Labour government. So should we tag along with Gordon Brown, vote for ‘socialist’ candidates, or have nothing to do with electoral politics? Join the debate. The discussion will be led off by Danny Ryan-Smith (The Commune) and Andrew Fisher (LRC). Continue reading “3rd may london forum: should we vote?”

‘we are fighting for now and for our future’

editorial of issue 13 of The Commune

As The Commune went to press the news media was dominated by coverage of the 6th May General Election. Both in mainstream politics and among the left there is much discussion of the policies of Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems.

Yet in reality there is little choice in the election. Parliament does influence our lives, and yet barely half of registered voters will vote. There is widespread disillusionment but no alternative in the election.

We believe that workers’ self-organisation is a far more important means of changing society. PCS, RMT and Unite members are all organising to stop the cuts planned by all three major parties. Continue reading “‘we are fighting for now and for our future’”