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Monday, 7 May 2012

A comradely approach

As members of the socialist party we are well aware that labour after gaining big victories and control of lots of councils and gaining lots of seats are riding on a high right now. Let them celebrate. But also be under no illusion the level of support they really have. With voter turnout last week hovering around the 30 percent mark a victory for labour last Thursday is no ringing endorsement of them or their policies of a cuts light package.

Labour members and even those on their left may be feeling encouraged by these results but what will they do with their newly found positions of power. Will they fight the cuts and refuse to pass on Tory cuts?

These results cannot be taken as an endorsement of New Labour or of Ed Miliband and his policies.
His personal ratings before the election stood at -41%! It was primarily a massive rejection of the Con-Dem government and especially of the savage cuts.
There was nothing in this election campaign of the enthusiasm witnessed in France where the left, particularly the Left Front of Mélenchon, fired up millions of working people with radical policies and a glimpse of changing society.
All that Miliband offers, at most, is a change of curtains: "The more things change, the more they remain the same."
Will newly-elected or strengthened Labour councils pursue a policy of resistance by refusing to implement the cuts? Up to now, they have unfortunately aped the Tories and Liberal Democrats by acting as transmission belts for the government's attacks on working-class people.
But if they were to take a stand - even at this late hour - in refusing to implement the eye-watering measures coming down the line, then the anti-cuts movement would be prepared to form a united front with them. If, however, they don't, their new-found 'popularity' will rapidly evaporate.
In reality, working people expressed on the doorstep, on television and in newspapers their complete exasperation with 'all the main parties', who are perceived to be 'all the same'.
This mood has not been dissipated by these elections. This is indicated by the turnout of 31%, the lowest for 12 years.
In other words, the worse the economic and social situation gets, the less the mass of the population is prepared to engage in politics.
If New Labour was really offering something new - a fighting anti-cuts programme allied to the idea of changing society - then working people would come out in their droves to support them.
But, in fact, the votes of all the main parties went down but New Labour just decreased less than the Tories or Lib Dems.
Previous Tory and Lib Dem voters did not swing over to New Labour but tended to abstain. The unavoidable fact is that 70% of the electorate are disengaged on a local level from politics.
They do not believe that what happens in these elections has a major bearing on their lives. This is a very dangerous situation for the capitalists.
The seeds of new riots are being sown. The poor, disenfranchised, jobless young people and working class generally are increasingly excluded from real democratic participation through their own mass party. They will then seek to express themselves by other means as we saw last august with the riots.

But as far as going forward goes we are happy to work with others who oppose all the cuts. We do not hold a open door invite all policy in and collaborate with those who are making the cuts as that gives out totally the wrong message a popularist approach as some taken the left can be very appealing but as we know there are no shortcuts in the class struggle those who opportunistically jump in bed with those who are making cuts will be punished in the end.

But as the socialist party we will always take a comradely and a friendly welcoming stance to others. We realise as the cuts continue to bite and labour do little to nothing to resist the cuts and offer an alternative more will be drawn to the likes of the socialist party and we will be happy to welcome anyone over to our ideas. Taking a friendly approach to those who may have been labour, voted labour all their life but will feel betrayed or already do we understand and are happy to talk to you and show you a alternative can be posed and the cuts are not inevitable as labour tell you there is something we can do and that is to fight. As the old saying goes you win nothing if you don’t fight if you do you has at least a chance of winning.

So if you are interested in finding out more about us or just would like more information or to join please check out
www.socialistparty.org.uk
And www.socialistparty.org.uk/join

The coalition we are apart of which we stand in elections is TUSC the Trade Union and Socialist coalition
Who are openly socialist and proud to be so you can find out more about them at www.tusc.org.uk

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