Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/294/13989
Local election campaign: Anti-War? Anti-Privatisation? Vote Socialist Alternative!
The first of May, or May Day, is international workers' day. This year it will be a day of mass anti-war protests worldwide. Here in England and Wales, it is also the date of the local council and Welsh Assembly elections. In most seats, this will mean a Hobson's choice of the three major parties.
It is not apathy that means only a minority will vote in these elections, it is the lack of anyone worthwhile to vote for. All of the big three parties have been responsible for endless cuts and privatisation of public services wherever they have been in power at local level.
They are also all in favour of this brutal war - enthusiastically in the Tories' and New Labour's case - more regretfully in the case of the Liberal Democrats. Nonetheless, Charles Kennedy has made it absolutely clear that, now troops are on the ground, he supports the onslaught on Iraq.
By contrast, Socialist Party members, standing as Socialist Alternative, are demanding immediate withdrawal of the troops - the best way of supporting 'our boys' is to bring them home. New Labour has just found an extra £1.75 billion for the war - a 70% increase in their war spending - whilst they continue to refuse any significant pay increases for public sector workers. Our candidates will campaign on a socialist programme that includes:
- End privatisation.
- No privatisation of the Post Office, the NHS, education or any other public services.
- End the role of the private parasites and renationalise all the privatised utilities under democratic control of working-class people - the people who use and work in these services.
- The council tax to be replaced by a progressive local income tax - which instead of taxing poorer households more heavily than the rich, as the council tax does - would tax the rich most heavily. Anyone earning under £10,000 a year would not pay any local income tax.
- End low pay. For a minimum wage of £8 an hour. No exemptions.
- No more blood for oil. Get the troops out.
We are standing candidates in Newcastle upon Tyne, Stockton on Tees, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Pontefract, Leeds, Barnsley, Merseyside, Worcester, Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Stevenage, Swindon and Bristol. We are also standing two candidates for the Welsh Assembly - Dave Bartlett for Cardiff South and Penarth and Rob Williams for Aberavon.
If you would like more information about our campaigns contact Hannah Sell (020 8988 8767.)
In The Socialist 4 April 2003: