Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/483/2307
Save our NHS campaign fields five candidates
SAVE OUR NHS are standing five candidates in the local elections for South Lakes District Council in Cumbria. Recently the local Labour Party admitted that they are so unpopular, they are standing fewer candidates than the Save Our NHS group!
Anti-cuts candidate and member of NHS-SOS candidate in Kendal, Andrew Billson-Page, spoke to the socialist about the situation:
"The Labour Party here are a spent force. It's because they don't work hard, are run by ex-Tories and are more bothered with meaningless personality battles than actually trying to do something to improve their communities. The Save our NHS group had a defection from Labour last year - you would have thought they would learn from this - but they don't want to talk to us or any other campaign group. They just sit around feeling sorry for themselves.
"Traditional Labour voters are turning to the 'nice' Lib Dems as an alternative, which is one reason why we are determined to make a stand. We're trying to campaign for the future of our hospital, but also against hypocrites in the council and to give the opportunistic Lib Dems a run for their money.
"We are broadly a left-wing group (including people of many political backgrounds) - fighting cuts in the NHS and in council services, keeping rural post offices, anti-privatisation of our hospital, etc. While this is largely a protest, we hope that we're also building for something long-term.
"The lack of Labour candidates shows that, in real terms, we're now the third biggest 'party' in the area. Given that Labour have given up locally, it's presented us with an opportunity to fill that void and work towards creating a new left-wing alternative in the long term."
In The Socialist 19 April 2007:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party editorial
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis