Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/390/4415

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 April 2005

Fighting the jobs massacre in Birmingham

Louise Houldey: 'Nationalise Rover - Socialist Alternative' candidateLouise Houldey is standing in Birmingham Northfield constituency as the 'Nationalise Rover - Socialist Alternative' candidate in the general election. Clive Walder spoke to her about the campaign.

Why did you decide to stand in this general election?

I was horrified at Longbridge closing and the fact that all the mainstream parties washed their hands of the matter and of the people of this area. I wanted the voters of Northfield to know that there are people who won't accept this jobs massacre without a fight, and to acquaint working-class people with an alternative to the established parties' acceptance of 'slash and burn' economics.

What are your views of the three mainstream parties?

None of them have anything to offer Longbridge workers or working-class people in general. I wouldn't expect the Tories to care about redundancies and I know that the Lib Dems are pretend Tories who have cut and privatised local services where they control councils.

My greatest contempt is reserved for New Labour. A lot of people really thought that Blair would improve their lives after 18 years of the Tories but it hasn't been like that. If anything, many people probably feel more alienated from society and more demoralised and disenchanted than ever.

No one believes that public services have got better and they've seen themselves priced out of the housing market and their kids offered a choice of massive student debts or working for not much more than the minimum wage. All this while the fat cats get even fatter.

The BNP are standing in this constituency, do you think they offer a real alternative to working people?

Their candidate has said nothing about the crisis at Longbridge and their councillors in Stoke have voted for the same council tax rise as all the other parties. Some of their members approached Socialist Party members doing a campaign stall and rubbished the idea of nationalising Rover. All they had to say was that the unions had ruined the factory in the '70s and '80s and that's why the place closed.

All the BNP can offer is an appeal to protect 'British Culture', presumably the culture of passive acceptance of redundancies as well.

They have contested the last two local elections in my ward and they have polled noticeably fewer votes in the areas where the Socialist Party has actively campaigned. Socialist ideas definitely do undermine support for racism and the BNP.

What future do you think the area has if Longbridge does actually close?

Bleak. Longbridge is by far the biggest manufacturing employer in the city. There is nowhere else for skilled workers to go; most of the other big factories have either massively downsized or closed. Kids on my estate will have nothing to look forward to. I think there will definitely be a rise in crime in the area as more and more people, particularly youth, become demoralised and feel life has nothing to offer them.

What are your views on the 150 million retraining package announced by the government?

I think that's a cynical PR exercise. What's the point in retraining people for jobs that aren't there. It would be far better to invest that money in continuing production at the factory.

By that I don't mean that the existing owners get yet another subsidy from the taxpayer. The government should take the factory over with no compensation for the 'Phoenix Four' - get the workers to draw up a business plan based on knowing either what cars would sell or working out other ways to use their skills.

I see no reason why railway rolling stock, buses and other commercial vehicles can't be built at Longbridge.

As well as campaigning for the nationalisation of Rover, I want to use this campaign to explain the need for a socialist alternative to the capitalist free market system and to build the Socialist Party.

Election campaign pages

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


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


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 April 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangleBin strike: council humiliated in court battle - but war isn't over yet

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: What is Socialism?

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Care under Capitalism

Jobs:

triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

triangleBalloting members on the pay cap

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleBoeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

BNP:

triangleWhy I joined: "I hope that more and more people are going to join the Socialist Party and the fight to end inequality"

Election:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

Socialist:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

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