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Hoe Street ward by-election
There Is An Alternative
THE SOCIALIST Party in Walthamstow, east London, is standing in a council by-election in Hoe Street ward on 18 November. Socialist Party candidate Louise Thompson spoke to the socialist.
"I'VE BEEN active in housing issues for 20 years. As a socialist I've been saying at meetings that we need to stand for the council because none of the main parties do anything for us. They just accept the government saying the council can't have more money.
That's ridiculous, why can't they? They have money to spend on the war with Iraq and to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.
We are standing as part of a broader campaign against privatisation and cuts. This Labour government and the council are determined to push through privatisation, of our services, housing and schools at any cost.
The education department is already privatised. Now they're replacing McEntee secondary school with an Academy to be run by millionaire designer, Jasper Conran. None of McEntee's pupils will be able to go there. The government will be putting in £20 million. Why does he get that money while our schools are being deprived of funds and teachers?
Services are being cut, libraries are closing, there are council tax hikes every year.
The campaign is going very well - we're standing in this area for the first time but people are eager to talk to us on the doorstep and are glad that we're putting a socialist alternative to Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
We want to encourage people to think how things could be different. It's capitalism that is the problem. The main parties say there is no alternative to the market. But if we planned things properly, everybody could have a nice home, and a decent education and healthcare and this is the opportunity to have that discussion with people."
In the first week of the campaign Socialist Party members sold over 100 copies of the socialist, raised around £50 fighting fund and met 10 people interested in finding out more about the party.