Karl Vidol, a UCU trade union rep and recent recruit to the Socialist Party in Enfield, won the support of Enfield Community Action Group (ECAG) at a community meeting held at Edmonton Islamic Centre on 29 May. Karl will stand for election in the Southgate and Wood Green constituency, as a candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, endorsed by ECAG.

ECAG, a group – made up mainly of people from a Muslim background – angry about Labour’s unwillingness to oppose the Israeli state’s murderous actions in Gaza, is determined to oppose the establishment parties at the ballot box, and build a voice for our working-class community in the three Enfield constituencies.

Karl’s speech:

I have always been a trade unionist and a socialist. I left the Labour Party because, under Starmer, it’s no longer a party for working people.

Starmer didn’t support nurses and other workers when they went on strike for a wage rise because of the cost-of-living crisis. He told MPs not to go onto picket lines, but welcomes right-wing Tory MPs like Natalie Elphicke into the party.

Labour councils like Enfield have implemented Tory cuts to local services instead of standing up and fighting – demanding the Tories cough up the money for the services we need.

Starmer says there’s no more money for the NHS and Wes Streeting wants more privatisation.

On top of all of that, Starmer didn’t support a ceasefire and said it was ok for Israel to cut off food and medicines to the people of Gaza.

I want to stand in this election as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate, to give a voice to working-class people, including the Black and Asian workers abandoned by Labour. It’s not just about this election, but what happens after too. Working people need their own party, I want to see a new party come about based on the trade unions and community organisations.

Some of the main things I am fighting for include:

  • A minimum wage of £15 an hour for everyone, and decent pay rises to match the increase in the cost of living
  • Stop privatisation of local services and in the NHS and education
  • Full funding for local councils so they can build the council houses and provide the local services we need
  • Fully fund the NHS and education. End tuition fees and increase student grants
  • Renationalise rail, mail, energy companies, water and telecoms under democratic control of workers and service users
  • Tax the rich
  • Immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Right of Palestinians to their own state. Also Palestinian workers and poor need their own party to fight for a socialist Palestine to guarantee jobs, housing, services and a secure future

Working-class people here and in Palestine need their own political voice. That’s why I want to stand in this election. As a first step to building the socialist and fighting alternative we need.

ECAG has adopted a list of key pledges, based on the TUSC general election core programme, and has selected another candidate to contest the Enfield North constituency who will stand as an independent. The third constituency, Edmonton and Winchmore Hill, is currently held by Kate Osamor – who has had the Labour whip restored having apologised following a recent suspension for referring to the genocide in Gaza.

An ECAG delegation, including representatives from the local trades council and Socialist Party, discussed with Kate what she was prepared to do to stand up to the Labour leadership on issues facing the working class and on Gaza. Unconvinced by her responses, ECAG members held a democratic discussion and voted to stand a third candidate in Enfield, Khalid Sadur, as an independent.