Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/594/8170
Campaign for a Salford workers' MP
OVER 100 local residents packed into the Link community centre on Wednesday 16 September for the second meeting of the 'Hazel Must Go' campaign in Salford.
Al McElroy, Hazel Must Go campaign and Salford Socialist Party
Film crews from various networks clamoured to cover this event, following on from a series of television and radio interviews with the campaign's secretary, Socialist Party member Steven North.
The campaign began after the local Labour Party refused to deselect the unpopular incumbent, Hazel Blears, an MP in the frontline after the MPs' expenses scandal.
She is rightfully vilified for her role in voting for the war in Iraq, the £76 billion Trident nuclear missile replacement, closures of maternity wards and post offices and for allowing homes in the area to be sold off for private greed.
A speech from Martin Bell, a former independent MP, was well received despite the clear political differences between him and the majority of those in attendance, as he offered constructive advice and support for the campaign's efforts to prepare to stand an independent, community-based candidate in the coming general election.
Despite the vain efforts of a Blearsite Labour Party member to derail the discussion, a variety of socialists, left-wingers and people of previously no political affiliation spoke with conviction on the need for a grassroots, bottom-up community campaign to challenge the Labour Party in the area.
This is the first time in recent history that the area has been declared a marginal seat by Labour.
Those in attendance voted to adopt an eleven point plan of socialist inspired principles for potential future candidates to follow.
This included the demand for MPs to receive only the average wage with reasonable expenses; better public services; homes and jobs for all; and a defiant 'no' to racist and divisive politics.
An ultimatum was issued to Blears to stand down by 31 October, Halloween, after unanimous consent was gained from those in attendance.
The challenge for the campaign now is to find a suitable local candidate who will fight for the needs of the working class people of Salford,who feel failed by mainstream politicians and the system.
In The Socialist 23 September 2009:
War and occupation
Postal workers strike
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reviews