Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/352/5819
European and local elections 2004
Blair Takes A Battering
Build A New Workers’ Party
MOST PEOPLE who went out to vote last week, mainly to punish Blair and New Labour, had no illusions that the outcome of the elections would improve their lives.
Immediately after the election results interest rates were hiked up, hitting anyone forced to borrow money - for mortgages as well as basic essentials.
Throughout Europe a pattern emerged of people using their vote to protest at the policies of the parties in power.
In fact, the higher turnout in the elections in Britain and the battering given to Labour would indicate an even greater anger against this government than many in Europe.
Of course most people - around 60% - did not vote at-all, believing that all politicians are a waste of time and cannot be trusted. They saw no party standing that was worth going to the polling station for.
From a party originally set up to give working class people a political vote, the Labour Party has managed to dissuade millions from voting at all.
The European and local elections were an opportunity to protest against Labour's policies, including the war against Iraq, the state of the health service, the education crisis, tuition fees, the dire lack of affordable housing, low pay and ever increasing working hours and privatisation.
The TUC demonstration this weekend will highlight the great pension robbery.
While people know what they are against, none of the established parties can offer an alternative. The worsening conditions that we find ourselves in are caused by big business and their drive for profits - the capitalist system.
The socialist alternative, put forward by Socialist Party members in the elections, received a favourable response in many areas.
We achieved very good election results and strengthened our base in many communities. By speaking to thousands of people on the doors and streets we recruited new members and spread the ideas of socialism.
There is the basis in England and Wales for the creation of a new political alternative - a mass party of the working class.
There are over seven and a half million trade unionists in Britain today, with many more potential members. The majority of the unions they belong to pay millions of pounds of their members' money to a party that encourages low pay and attacks on workers' conditions.
The Socialist Party will continue our campaign for the unions to break from Labour and to begin the process of building a new party which will represent the interests of working class people and not big business and their cronies.
In The Socialist 19 June 2004:
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