The local elections just gone were not an endorsement of the labour party or of its leader Ed Miliband. Ed described the results of labour reconnecting with the voting public. This couldn’t be further from the truth if he tried.
Take Harlow where Ed Miliband visited to proclaim a labour victory and to have a pop at the Tories the local labour vote could only muster a win out of 30% of people who bothered to vote. Over 71% of people registered to vote in Harlow did not bother to come out of their homes to vote for labour or any of the major captivity parties either.
It is an absolute fabrication of labour to spin this as a vote for labour and a big wave of people supporting them again. Quite frankly it is further evidence of the disengagement of politicians with ordinary people and who can blame people with a all parties standing for cuts reluctant cuts, slower cuts or fairer cuts all amount to the same thing at the end of the day cuts to jobs and services however much hand ringing they do they are still making cuts. Cuts we as Marxists do not feel are necessary at all.
We are at one with unions such as the PCS and the RMT who have planned out an alternative a reformist position against the cuts and yes the money is there to cover the need to make any cuts to jobs or services. We feel this argument will be born out in time and we are on the right side of the argument.
But it’s all about convincing people it’s about reaching that 71% of people who did not vote or felt the need to vote. They will be being affected now swell but do not feel voting can change anything. We agree to an extent but a vote for someone like TUSC can make a difference we can be that voice on the inside for you offering that working class socialist alterative. Correct we cannot bring about socialism simply by standing in elections but we can certainly use them as a platform to get our ideas across to a wider audience than otherwise we could.
But for labour and Ed Miliband to claim this as a victory for labour in the local elections is way far wide of the mark with such low turnouts apathy was the real winner and for any political party to claim a victory with such low turnouts is pretty poor in stretching reality.
With Ed Milibands approval rating currently sitting at minus 41% and the other major parties leaders at a similar level he can hardly claim he is winning people over and convincing people labour is a real alterative. It simply is not but hey what would be the point if a politician didn’t spin things for their own advantage.
People simply do not believe a politician in a suit any longer they think they are all the same and largely they are. The fact that Ed Miliband is now saying he wont be making any promises in the fear he may break them says it all quite frankly a lack of confidence in his own policies and his own ability to convey them to people.
As Marxists we do not have this problem we are bold in our ideas as we know that we stand on a class basis not looking to run ahead of the class or tag along from behind we look to lead if we can and provide a beacon of hope to those struggling to get by be that in work or not. We are all working class if you have to work to get by. Ed Miliband doesn’t get the idea of class he is afraid of using terms like working class or socialism as they have lost their working class base. People may still vote labour for now but how they can claim to be a workers party any longer is beyond me. There is no working class base in the labour party any longer with the trade union link still there but barely noticed and to be honest the labour leadership only see it as a pot of money they can dig into to fund their election campaigns not to use it to fight for working class interests.
Just this last week we had a fantastic strike by half a million public sector workers with many more in support of them but where were labour ? They could not bring themselves to support this strike and haven’t been able to for a very long time.
TUSC supports workers in struggle and is keen to be there wherever it can lend support. It is time a new workers party was formed and built lets drop any illusions we may have in the labour party but holding a friendly door open to those good comrades still plugging away in the labour party. We think you’re wasting your time and effort and you’d be better working with us in trying to form a new workers party with democracy and trade union and socialist value sat its core.