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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 April 2005

Vote Socialist on 5 May

Don't just vote - get active!

THIS IS the last week of the general election campaign but a lot of people switched off a long time ago.

Not because they don't care or because they're not angry.

Socialist Party's Birmingham Northfield candidate Louise Houldey calls for Rover's nationalisationIt's clear from talking to people on the doorsteps that there is deep-seated opposition to Blair on a raft of issues from privatisation to low pay, from attacks on our pensions to war in Iraq.

The Socialist Party's Birmingham Northfield candidate Louise Houldey calls for Rover's nationalisation

But that's unlikely to be reflected in the turnout or in the result on 5 May.

And it is not hard to work out why.

According to a poll carried out by NOP in February, only 21% of people thought there was much difference between the main parties.

Who do you vote for?

Who do you vote for if you are opposed to private companies making profits out of our health service, education system and other public services?

Who do you vote for if you want to end low pay, increase pensions and want the interests of ordinary working people to come before those of big business and the rich?

Or if you are opposed to war in Iraq and think the money should be spent on services rather than killing innocent Iraqis?

None of the three main parties - that's for sure.

Phil ClarkeIn some areas you can vote for a socialist alternative.

 In some other constituencies small radical parties are standing to the left of the establishment parties.

Phil Clarke, Socialist Party candidate in Brighton

But for the most part, at a national level, this is a no choice election.

If, as looks likely, New Labour win again it will not be because there is huge enthusiasm for their policies.

While large numbers of people will not bother to vote at all, others will resort to the 'nose peg' vote - voting Labour because the thought of a Tory government under Howard seems an even worse prospect than another dose of Blair and New Labour.

More attacks

But whether it's Blair or Brown in Number 10, a third term Labour government will mean even more attacks on public services through privatisation and job cuts, especially when the economy worsens.

More and more of the health service and education will be opened up to the privateers and there will be a further onslaught on our pensions and what is left of the welfare state.

It will be a Labour government even more ruthless in defending the profits of big business at our expense.

"There is no longer a mainstream anti-business party" crowed the Financial Times in its editorial (26 April).

And that is the key issue for working-class people in this election and after.

Key Issue

Dave NelllistThere are three establishment parties competing to do the bidding of big business but there is no mass party nationally voicing our concerns, standing up for our interests.

Dave Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party Councillor: "We are standing to give voters a chance to elect candidates who will represent the millions not millionaires."

That is why we are saying - vote socialist where you can but also get organised, get active and get involved.

The fightback needs to start now, in the workplaces, communities and amongst young people to defeat the attacks New Labour are planning to launch against us from day one of being re-elected.

One million public sector workers showed what is possible a few weeks ago when they threatened to strike to defend their pensions and forced Blair and Brown to back off.

But there will be no let-up in the struggle as long as the party in government represents big business and the capitalist system.

That is why any serious fightback has to include the building of a new working-class party which puts the needs of the majority before the profits of a few.

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Election campaign pages

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In The Socialist 28 April 2005:

Vote Socialist on 5 May

Fighting the jobs massacre in Birmingham

Election Feature

Standing for socialism in Scotland

Leicester NHS phone in - socialists v. the rest

Needed - a new party for working people

Big business scuppers Jamie's school dinners

Britain's so-called 'booming economy'

Mukhtar Mai - a rape victim in search of justice in Pakistan

End world poverty

Why we celebrate May Day

Stalinism, socialism and capitalism

Labour's the problem not the answer

Usdaw - Need for change at the top


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