General Election 2009/10

Tory "people power"?

Author: 

Paddy Dollard

The ex-Etonian Tory leader David Cameron’s promise to lead a people’s revolution against bureaucracy and the state is funny. But only if you think the degradation of British politics into clownish demagogy is a laughing matter.

Thatcher too, promised to “cut back the state” in 18 years of power did the very opposite. Cameron won’t do any better. The most likely consequence will be to let people “start their own schools” — to allow middle class and religious groups to opt out and accelerate the decline of the existing national school system.

Cameron’s talk of “the people” disguises the fact that “the people” is divided into antagonistic social classes. It disguises the fact that the Tories want to “free” only the upper and upper middle classes.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Vote Green or Respect?

Author: 

Martin Thomas

If the April-May 2010 issue of the left-wing magazine Red Pepper is anything to go by, a much-mooted option among the bien-pensant left for the coming general election is to vote Green or Respect.

A much-mooted option among the bien-pensant left for the coming general election is to vote Green or Respect.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Taking SCSTF onto the streets

Author: 

Martin Thomas

We ran a Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists stall at the Angel, Islington, on Saturday 3 April.

We got a positive response from the big majority of those who stopped the talk, and a couple of people leaving contact details for further news about the campaign. Some passers-by asked how they could register to vote.

One young man was indignant: "Don't you think it's time for a change?", but turned out not to be a Tory loyalist after all, and open to discussion.

Report of a Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists stall at the Angel, Islington, on Saturday 3 April.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The left and the labour movement in the General Election

How should the working-class left respond to the general election and the cuts that are likely to follow, whichever party wins? Solidarity spoke to a range of activists (all in a personal capacity) from across the left. We will continue the discussion in future issues.

Make the unions assert themselves!

Maria Exall is a vice-chair of the Labour Representation Committee, and a member of the national executive of the Communication Workers’ Union and of the TUC General Council.

How should the working-class left respond to the general election and the cuts that are likely to follow, whichever party wins? We spoke to a range of activists (all in a personal capacity).

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

What is the Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists?

We pose the questions in the form of a dialogue.

Q. What is the Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists?

A. It is an attempt to maximise the socialist presence in the general election.

Q. How?

A. By running an election campaign wherever we have people, whether or not we have a socialist candidate.

Q. That sounds like a whimsical or “Irish” joke, an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

A. It is neither a joke nor an oxymoron, but an attempt to grapple with the contradictions.

The Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists is an attempt to maximise the socialist presence in the general election.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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NUT political fund: "vote to stop the BNP" is not enough

Author: 

Joe Flynn

The left in the NUT almost universally celebrated the establishment of the political fund as a (limited) success. But the current fund actually hinders rank and file activists from promoting socialist politics — that is, the only politics working class militants should be interested in, the only politics which can secure the liberation of our class.

A political fund which only allows negative campaigning is worse than useless.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

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Tories plan cuts war

Author: 

Jill Mountford

Last year, when the Tories were very confident about winning the general election, Tory leader David Cameron promised “an age of austerity” and boasted he would take “difficult, unpopular” decisions.

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: “After three months in power we will be the most unpopular government since the war.”

As the election approaches, the Tories have toned down their talk. But they haven’t shifted on basics.

Last year Tory leader David Cameron promised “an age of austerity” and boasted he would take “difficult, unpopular” decisions. He hasn’t shifted on basics.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Cuts, cuts or cuts - why vote Labour?

The debate between Alistair Darling, George Osborne and Vince Cable on Channel 4 last night was a reminder of how little the case for voting Labour where there is no serious socialist candidate depends on policy differences between the parties. The choice they put forward was "cuts, cuts - or cuts".

The three argued about details, but they were absolutely united on the case for cuts deeper than those made by Thatcher (this was a specific question from the interviewer). All agreed emphatically that public sector pensions must be slashed back.

On Monday chancellor Alistair Darling and his 'shadows' George Osborne and Vince Cable debated on Channel 4.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Cuts: prepare for the fight after 6 May!

Author: 

Colin Foster

The Financial Times coverage of the 24 March Budget included two key points.


Stop the cuts! Seize control of the banks: click here.
First, the long-term spending plans announced by Alistair Darling are calculated by the Institute of Fiscal Studies to be "tougher than anything Margaret Thatcher imposed... cuts of about 10 per cent in real terms over the three years after April 2011".

Darling, interviewed on the BBC, did not challenge the calculation.

The unions should speak out now against the planned cuts!

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Limp send-off for TUSC

TUSC

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition held a national launch rally for its general election campaign in London on 25 March.

To me it seemed a desultory, tired, going-through-the-motions affair.

The last "big" left election-campaign launch I attended was the one for the SWP's 2008 campaign for Lindsey German as "Left Alternative" candidate for mayor of London. The 2008 rally was a shoddy event, run on false bravado. (German ended up with 0.68% of the vote).

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition held a national launch rally for its general election campaign in London on 25 March.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Salford: why I'm challenging Blears

David Henry is standing in Salford in the general election. He was selected as a “community candidate” by the “Hazel [Blears] Must Go” campaign, but is now standing under the banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. He spoke to Solidarity.

How did you become a TUSC candidate?

The “Hazel Must Go” campaign was founded before TUSC was even conceived, by a diverse group of people who aren’t particularly party political, and they remain dominant in the campaign.

An interview with David Henry who is standing in Salford in the general election under the banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

We can beat the Tories

Author: 

Editorial

Some opinion polls have the Tory lead as low as two percent. On balance the polls suggest Cameron will have a small, but workable majority. But the Tories have been pushed back, and clearly can be pushed back further. That is good.

It is vital to defeat the Tories — but it will be a hollow victory if we do not couple it with a fight for the labour movement to take on and defeat Brown.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

A socialist how-to for the election

Author: 

Rhodri Evans

Take a busy street corner in a big city. A hundred adults pass by. Statistically, how do they relate to the general election?

Forty of them won't vote. In fact, more like fifty or sixty. The 40% non-voting rate is among electors, and quite a few people in cities are not on the electoral register. Young people are more likely to be out on the streets than older people, but vote less.

Take a busy street corner in a big city. A hundred adults pass by. Statistically, how do they relate to the general election?

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We can beat the Tories! John McDonnell talks about SCSTF

McDonnell

Author: 

John McDonnell MP

We're faced with an avalanche of cuts in public expenditure and public services if the Tories get in, and, to drive that through, almost certainly an attack on trade union rights and civil liberties such as we haven't seen since the Thatcher period.

If we stand by and let the Tories get in, flanked by the fascists marching on the streets, we're letting our society be undermined for decades to come, as it was under Thatcher. Everything we do now must be focused on keeping the Tories out.

"We can mobilise people to defeat the Tories only showing them that there is an alternative..."

Publications: 

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John McDonnell MP backs Socialist Campaign to Stop Tories and Fascists

McDonnell

Author: 

Martin Thomas

John McDonnell MP has backed the Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists.

John McDonnell MP has backed the Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The AWL and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

Over the last few months we have commented in Solidarity on the talks between various leftists and left groups on working together in the General Election. And comment is all we have been able to do, because those talks were held behind closed doors. We, and others have been excluded from the “process”. The information we had about the talks was limited to the bits and pieces that “leaked” out. Now, what has emerged, is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Our assessment of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, made up of the Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party and others, that intends to stand a number of candidates in the upcoming General Election.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The left and the labour movement in the General Election

How should the working-class left respond to the general election and the cuts that will inevitably follow, whichever party wins? Solidarity spoke to a range of activists (all in a personal capacity) from across the left. We will continue the discussion in future issues.

Inspire members with the confidence to fight back

Jerry Hicks is an activist in the Unite union and aims to become a candidate in its 2010 General Secretary election.

A range of activists from across the left discuss how the working-class should respond to the General Election and the cuts that will follow whichever party wins.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

College cuts: "we should focus on what unites us"

Author: 

Jenny Sutton, College of North East London UCU & Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) PPC for Tottenham

My college is facing £2.5 million worth of cuts, which would critically damage our capacity to provide decent education for our community. Now the UCU (University and College Union) branch has voted unanimously to ballot for strike action in the event of compulsory redundancies.

Jenny Sutton, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate in Tottenham at the upcoming General Election, explains how she sees the campaign linking up with the fight against cuts in further education.

Publications: 

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Trade Unions: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Hung parliament after the General Election? Whoever wins power, organise to fight the cuts!

Author: 

Editorial

A few weeks ago it seemed almost certain that David Cameron’s Tory Party would win the election and win a big enough majority in Parliament to push through a savage programme of cuts and privatisations. Now the polls show the gap between the Tories and Labour is closing. A tiny majority for the Tories or a hung Parliament is widely predicted.

We advocate a Labour vote combined with organising working-class forces to fight whoever wins the election, Labour or Tory. Socialists must insist against both the Tory and the Labour Parties that money for public services can easily be found by raising across-the-board taxes on the wealthy and big business.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

AWL election campaign: why we are standing and our policies

For a working-class voice in Parliament! For a workers' MP on a worker's wage!
Support our socialist candidate against Harriet Harman!
Elect Jill Mountford in Camberwell & Peckham

Why we are standing in Camberwell and Peckham in the 2010 general election, and our policies.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

A new initiative, the Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists, attempts to resolve the dilemma facing socialists in the May election: what should we want the outcome to be?

What government of the available possibilities do we want to emerge from the general election?

Of course we would like a workers’ government — a government that would serve the interests and needs of the working class as the Tories and the Blair-Brown governments have served the bankers and the rest of the capitalist ruling class.

That is not an option.

A new initiative, the Socialist Campaign to Stop the Tories and Fascists, attempts to resolve the dilemma facing socialists in the General Election. It proposes that the left in the unions — and in the Labour Party, such as it is — and in independent socialist organisations, should unite to conduct as big a campaign as we can muster for a Labour vote. We should combine that with educational and preparatory work against New Labour, and an attempt to organise working-class forces to fight whoever wins the election, Labour or Tory.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

AWL Peckham and Camberwell election campaign

AWL member Jill Mountford is standing in the Camberwell and Peckham constituency whose sitting MP is the prominent Labour MP Harriet Harman.

Over the last few weeks AWL members and our supporters have leafleted most of the constituency, and are building for our second meeting on a local estate.

AWL member Jill Mountford is standing in the Camberwell and Peckham constituency whose sitting MP is the prominent Labour MP Harriet Harman.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

The left and the labour movement in the General Election

How should the working-class left respond to the general election and the cuts that will inevitably follow, whichever party wins? Solidarity spoke to a range of activists (all in a personal capacity) from across the left. We will continue the discussion in future issues.

We need to lift our gaze up from the mire of party politics

Andy Littlechild is Chair, RMT London Underground Engineering branch and a member of the Solidarity Federation.

How should the working-class left respond to the general election and the cuts that will inevitably follow whichever party wins? 'Solidarity' spoke to a range of activists from across the left.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

The left and the labour movement in the General Election

Faced with the prospect of a Tory government and little or no left-of-Labour presence at the polls, how should the working-class left respond to the general election and the cuts that will inevitably follow, whichever party wins? Solidarity spoke to a range of activists from across the left. We will continue the discussion in future issues.

Working-class political representation means a socialist voice

Nadine Houghton is an organiser for Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Council and a member of the Socialist Party.

Faced with the prospect of a Tory government and little or no left-of-Labour presence at the polls, how should the working-class left respond to the general election and the cuts that will inevitably follow, whichever party wins?

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

General Election: why we need a socialist campaign to stop the Tories and fascists

Author: 

Editorial

“We are not getting excited about the election.” (Duncan Hallas, a central leader of the Socialist Workers Party, in Socialist Worker, on the eve of the 1979 general election which gave power to Thatcher’s Tories.)

We need not an indolent, passive "vote Labour" posture, but an active socialist campaign that combines stopping the Tories and fascists now with a simultaneous fight against Brown and New Labour — now, and after the election, whether Brown loses or wins.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Unite to stop the Tories and fascists!

Author: 

Maria Exall, CWU National Executive (personal capacity)

David Cameron’s Tories are preparing an assault on the working class if they gain power in the General Election that will be held within the next few months. It is clear that, if elected, they will institute massive cuts in state spending that will devastate public services and working class living standards.

David Cameron’s Tories are preparing an assault on the working class if they gain power in the General Election that will be held within the next few months. Socialists and trade unionists should call for a Labour vote and work for a Labour victory. Our commitment to the working class demands that.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The dynamics of the 2010 General Election

Author: 

Tom Unterrainer

Under the banner of the obvious (“A Year for Change”) David Cameron has ushered his party, the media and “political classes”, if not the rest of us, into full election mode.

The Tories have issued a draft manifesto, scheduled news conferences, the unveiling of posters and new internet campaigns some five months before the expected election date on 6 May. Labour has begun to enter the fray — but unless Brown experiences a Damascene conversion he has little new to say, and none of it positive.

An assessment of how working-class politics will shape and in turn be shaped by the result of the upcoming General Election, whether a Tory victory or some form of minority government.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Socialist candidate Jill Mountford to stand against Harriet Harman in Camberwell and Peckham

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

In many ways, the coming general election does not seem an inspiring one for socialists and militants. Faced with the choice between a discredited, right-wing, anti-working class Labour government and a revived Tory party, some will be tempted to sit it out. Things are made worse by the fact that there are few left Labour candidates, and that the main “left” coalition outside Labour (the “son of No2EU” effort) looks very thin and shaky politically.

Do not despair, however. There is something positive you can do in this election.

Workers’ Liberty member Jill Mountford is standing in the south London constituency of Camberwell and Peckham against New Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman in the upcoming General Election. Jill is everything that Harriet Harman is not: a socialist, feminist, trade unionist and welfare state activist over twenty five years, she is a workers’ candidate who has pledged to take only the average worker’s wage, donating the rest to labour movement and campaigning organisations.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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