Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/437/5177

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 April 2006

Anti-cuts alternative confirmed in Berlin city elections

BERLINERS WILL have a clear opportunity to vote for clearly anti-cuts and anti-'neo liberal' candidates in the forthcoming 17 September city elections.

Robert Bechert, Committee for a Workers' International

This was confirmed by a two-thirds majority (81 votes to 33) at a weekend congress of the Berlin WASG (Election Alternative for Work and Social Justice) that finalised its decision to stand independently.

The Berlin WASG has been under enormous pressure from the national leadership to stand jointly with the Linkspartei.PDS (Left Party/PDS - former East German Communist Party) but has consistently rejected this unless the PDS changed its policies and ended its coalition with the social-democratic SPD in Berlin.

Since 2001 this Berlin coalition has been in the forefront of the neo-liberal offensive that has been cutting living standards throughout Germany.

The PDS and SPD Berlin coalition took the initiative in breaking national wage agreements to enforce wage cuts amongst its own workers. It has carried out a systematic privatisation campaign, even selling off the city's traffic lights!

The Berlin WASG's position of no rotten deal with the Berlin PDS has been constantly attacked by the national WASG leadership as putting in jeopardy the planned merger between the WASG and PDS.

The Berlin WASG majority was not against having a joint election list with PDS but argued that it could only be on a principled anti-cuts basis, including rejecting a coalition with the SPD.

While the Berlin PDS, the National Executive Committee of the WASG and a minority within the Berlin WASG reached agreement on a programme which was presented as a possible compromise, this document did not even exclude further privatisations while avoiding the issue of coalition and so was rejected by a majority of the Berlin WASG.

An important factor in the Berlin WASG's principled position has been the role of Socialist Alternative (SAV, the CWI in Germany). Lucy Redler, a leading figure in both the SAV and Berlin WASG, was elected as the Berlin WASG's top election candidate with 79.1% of the votes.

Afterwards the national WASG leadership voted by 8 to 5 not to carry out its initial threat to try to withdraw the Berlin WASG's application to stand in September's election.

This weekend's national WASG party congress will now see sharp debates around questions of political orientation and party democracy. It is most likely that a majority of delegates will reject any measures against the Berlin party members. However it cannot be ruled out that the right-wing may still attempt to take measures against the Berlin WASG.

Significantly most of the minority in favour of a joint candidature with the PDS walked out of the Berlin WASG's congress when they lost the vote. This walkout included members of Linksruck, the grouping linked with the British SWP, who have formed a bloc with the WASG right wing. Linkruck's leader voted with the right wing minority on the WASG national executive in favour of attempting to block the Berlin WASG standing.

A recent opinion poll indicated that 12% of the electorate consider voting for the vote WASG in Berlin, including 18% amongst under 30 year olds and 15% amongst those households earning less than 1,000 euro per month.

The challenge in the next five months is to mobilise the potential support for a party clearly rejecting the ruling class's offensive against living standards.

The continuing national media publicity given to the debate in the Berlin WASG is an indication of how a successful anti-cuts election campaign could play an important part in building of a new all-German force that can both defend living standards and challenge capitalism.

Lucy Redler, a leading figure in both the SAV and Berlin WASG, was elected as the Berlin WASG's top election candidate.

WASG is the new left-wing political formation launched in January 2005. It was established in opposition to the neo-liberal attacks of the then social democratic party (SPD) government and the bosses.

It is a broad anti-capitalist electoral alternative which contains a variety of left-wing currents. The Socialist Party's counterpart in Germany, Socialist Alternative (SAV), actively participates in WASG.

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


In The Socialist 27 April 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

S.O.S NHS!

Hewitt 'isolated from real world'


Socialist Party election campaign

Socialist ideas strike a chord


Education feature

Good quality schools for all, not just the few


1926 General Strike

Workers taste power by Peter Taaffe


Environment: Nuclear power

Is Blair leading Britain to nuclear catastrophe?


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Building the campaign


Socialist Party workplace news

Defend jobs and services

Public services not private profit

Taking the profits and running

Rail unions unite to defend pensions


International socialist news and analysis

Fears of revolution force concessions in Nepal

War looms after Colombo bombing in Sri Lanka

No more tears sister

Anti-cuts alternative confirmed in Berlin city elections

High School students threatened with suspension for antiwar activity


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 April 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

WASG:

triangleThe United Front today & the Left in Germany

Berlin:

triangleBerlin: 8,000 school students strike

Election:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

SAV:

triangleBerlin hospital strike

Germany:

triangleGermany: Election results in political earthquake

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/10/17

Cleaners

Justice for Tube cleaners demo

11/10/17

Salford

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts

11/10/17

Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

11/10/17

Carlisle

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

11/10/17

Green

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

11/10/17

Fire

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

11/10/17

Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

11/10/17

John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

11/10/17

Orgreave

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

11/10/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

11/10/17

Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

6/10/17

Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

5/10/17

Runcorn

Too much to cross the Mersey

4/10/17

Royal Mail

Set for national strike action

4/10/17

London

Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

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

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

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