Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25929

Posted on 3 August 2017 at 10:12 GMT

Labour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project

Socialist Party member Ellen Kenyon Peers is the artist behind imaginary socialist MP 'Ana Key'

Socialist Party member Ellen Kenyon Peers is the artist behind imaginary socialist MP 'Ana Key'   (Click to enlarge)

The Socialist Party, formerly the Militant, today condemned Labour MP Vicky Foxcroft for reporting a local student to the police - over an art project which proposes socialist policies.

Foxcroft - who nominated Blairite Owen Smith to challenge Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity leadership in 2016 - is seeking action against the artist behind imaginary MP "Ana Key." Socialist Party member Ellen Kenyon Peers, the art student in question, has now been expelled from the Labour Party over the project.

Ana Key 'represents' the currently non-existent south London constituency of Deptford and Greenwich for the Socialist Party and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). Her website includes proposals for building new council homes, capping private rents and making roads safer for cyclists.

The Socialist Party opposes the heavy-handed actions of Vicky Foxcroft and the Labour Party bureaucracy. Rather than policing artistic expression, they should take up the urgent class issues their fictitious colleague champions.

On housing, for example. Foxcroft's local council, Lewisham, has 9,500 households on the waiting list. Meanwhile it has a total of 57.1 million in housing budget reserves and 55.6 million in capital receipts reserves.

The art project Foxcroft is attacking proposes building 10,000 new council homes over five years. TUSC - which includes transport union RMT and the Socialist Party - has repeatedly made the point that councils have enough in reserves to start solving the housing crisis now.

End austerity

In fact, councils could end austerity tomorrow by spending reserves, using borrowing powers and building a campaign to win the funding back from Westminster.

Even establishment commentators are counting the Tory government's shelf life in months, not years. Councils could end Conservative rule quickly by defying austerity diktats on the basis that their reserves could be replenished under an anti-austerity government led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

This combative, creative approach would follow that put forward by the Socialist Party's councillors in Lewisham - Ian Page from 1994 to 2010, and Chris Flood from 2003 to 2010. Theirs was the only consistent opposition to cuts and privatisation.

Conversely, Vicky Foxcroft was happy to raise her hand for austerity budgets as a Lewisham Labour councillor between 2010 and 2014.

And on education, too, Foxcroft should follow the Socialist Party's anti-austerity example.

Forest Hill School, in a neighbouring constituency under the same local authority, faces a 1.3 million budget shortfall. The council has a total of 162.6 million in general fund reserves.

Staff, students and parents are campaigning against brutal redundancies and funding cuts. Local National Union of Teachers activist James Kerr, a Socialist Party member, said: "Socialist Party members and trade unionists have backed the Forest Hill strike.

"We've called for a legal deficit budget to save jobs, and intervention by the council - including meeting their obligations on redundancy payments.

"The new local MP has helped raise the campaign's profile. Vicky Foxcroft should put her weight behind it too.

"The last local MP, Jim Dowd, did nothing for the campaign. If anything, he was more of a conceptual art project than Ana Key. Imagine if we'd had an MP who'd backed it from the beginning.

"Vicky Foxcroft is in the next constituency over, but the attacks on Forest Hill will have a knock-on effect on her own constituents. Constituency boundaries are no barrier to campaigning MPs. She should stop sitting on her hands."

Militant, the Socialist Party and TUSC

The Socialist Party's forerunner, the Militant Tendency, had three MPs who were known for their active backing for local and national campaigning.

Dave Nellist, Terry Fields and Pat Wall only took the average wage of a skilled worker in their constituency, and donated the rest of their salaries to workers' struggles. They also used their parliamentary positions as platforms to build these campaigns.

Although Ana Key is a personal art project, not solicited by the Socialist Party or TUSC, the attention it has drawn to socialist politics is welcome.

TUSC national election agent Clive Heemskerk said: "We've had more calls in a short time from the press about this art project than we had when TUSC was the sixth-largest party in terms of candidates in the 2015 general election. This is an indictment of the establishment media's attitude to anti-austerity ideas and socialist politics."

Ellen Kenyon Peers, who is a member of Lewisham Socialist Party and studies art locally, said: "Instead of attacking an artist, Vicky Foxcroft should be attacking the Tories.

"All the 'constituents' who wrote in to Ana Key with issues were aware beforehand this was an art project. They wanted to see the issue of homelessness in Lewisham seriously raised.

"This art project wouldn't even have been necessary if Vicky Foxcroft was concerned with defending working-class people with campaigning policies. But she's done nothing - except attack the left."


'Ana Key' will be speaking at Socialism 2017, the political event of the year for socialists and all those drawn to socialism and fighting austerity in the aftermath of Corbyn's general election challenge.

Other speakers include:

It is taking place on 11 and 12 of November at the Institute of Education, 20 Bedford way, London, WC1H 0AL.

See www.socialism2017.net for more info.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Lewisham:

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: Grenfell fire - No justice, no peace!

triangleForest Hill School demonstration

Student:

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

triangleWhat we saw

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Labour:

triangleCorbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

triangleSocialism 2017: Organising to fight back

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Austerity:

triangleIs cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

triangleNo more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

Art:

triangleSkipton show proves draw of socialist art

Anti-austerity:

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: NHS in Meltdown - What can be done?

Socialist Party:

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: How can socialists support upcoming strikes?

Council:

triangleUSA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

TUSC:

triangleToo much to cross the Mersey

Budget:

triangleTories on the brink - kick them out!

Housing:

triangleStrike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

Militant:

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleHousing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

Cuts:

triangleWe're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

Labour Party:

triangleSocialism 2017: ideas to change the world

South London:

triangleLedbury tenants fight for decent homes

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleSurveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/11/17

Sheffield

Sheffield Eastern Ave Job Centre strike ends

16/11/17

Virgin

Virgin train workers vote for strike action over pay

15/11/17

Students

March for free education! We demand a future!

15/11/17

Plymouth

Plymouth PCS members fight relocation threat

15/11/17

Virgin

Virgin train workers ballot for strike action

15/11/17

Carlisle

Carlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit

15/11/17

Haringey

Corbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

15/11/17

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I started to question whether there was a better way"

13/11/17

Manchester

Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

10/11/17

RMT

Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

10/11/17

Merseyside

Huge support for strikes of bus drivers and train guards

10/11/17

Socialist Party

Highest ever ticket sales for Socialism event

9/11/17

Pay

Serco - not fit for purpose

9/11/17

Rail

Fight to keep guards on trains continues despite setback Aslef deal

8/11/17

Birmingham

Brum meeting celebrates centenary of 1917

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle15 Nov March for free education! We demand a future!

triangle15 Nov Tories on the brink - kick them out!

Socialism 2017

triangle14 Nov Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back

triangle13 Nov Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

triangle10 Nov US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangle10 Nov Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

triangle10 Nov Europe in crisis, revolutionary winds in Catalonia

More ...

triangle20 Nov Birmingham Central Socialist Party: How can socialists support upcoming strikes?

triangle21 Nov Cardiff Socialist Students: Socialism and the struggle for LGBT rights

triangle21 Nov Birmingham South East Socialist Party: NHS in Meltdown - What can be done?

triangle21 Nov Sheffield North Socialist Party: The causes of capitalist crisis

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2