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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 June 2014

Survey shows potential for new mass workers' party

Simon Carter

The Tories' much vaunted economic recovery failed to impress the voters in the recent elections. Now, a Guardian opinion poll has found that only 18% of the public believe they are benefiting from this chimera of an upturn.

Answering the question of whether the next generation would fare better only 20% of respondents agreed, while 38% disagreed. Underpinning this pessimism is a majority response (57%) which says "wages lag behind living costs".

Those surveyed revealed a mixed bag of political consciousness when it came to who they considered responsible for their economic anxieties.

Unsurprisingly, given the relentless diatribe against migrant workers by the establishment parties, including Ukip, as well as the mainstream media's anti-immigrant agenda, 46% thought that "immigrants were undercutting British workers".

Blaming immigrants for their economic problems was more pronounced among over 45s and in the depressed former industrialised areas in the north of England.

The absence of a credible mass left-wing political alternative to the pro-austerity, anti-immigrant establishment parties, also explains this high figure.

It reinforces the responsibility of the trade unions to step up their efforts to unionise migrant workers and fight for the proper rate for the job to cut across potential racial and ethnic divisions within the working class.

More positively from a socialist perspective are the poll findings which show 42% blaming "ruthless companies", 38% blaming "rip-off" banks, and 36% blaming the coalition government for the economic crisis.

But before Ed Miliband starts thinking about redecorating No10 he should note that 40% also blamed the last Labour government for their predicament.

One set of findings confirms the long held view of the Socialist Party as to why people would not vote for establishment parties. 44% were turned off by careerist MPs who "look and sound the same", 37% who saw parliamentarians as lining their own pockets, and 26% who couldn't perceive any meaningful difference between the mainstream parties.

These findings reinforce the Socialist Party's strategy of forging a new mass, left-wing alternative party.

The promising intervention of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the recent local elections is an important milestone in the building of such a formation.

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In The Socialist 18 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike back for a living wage

Report shows huge support for taxing rich

Survey shows potential for new mass workers' party

Them & Us

Kshama Sawant to speak at Socialism 2014


International socialist news and analysis

Iraq: Oil war's bloody legacy

Brazil: Upsurge in struggles of workers and homeless


Socialist Party workplace news

How should the RMT maintain Bob Crow's tradition?

Unison local government members want action on pay

Bakers call for 10 minimum wage

Escalation of FBU dispute begins

Lambeth College indefinite strike

Safety Glass workers strike for a real pay rise

Trades council conference: workers won't wait for TUC

Workplace news in brief

Come to the NSSN conference on 5 July


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition campaign reports

Rhydyfelin library saved

Nottinghamshire fire cuts - "pushed to breaking point"

Orgreave 30th anniversary - solidarity and celebration

Birmingham: new Socialist Party branch

Socialist Party Summer Camp 2014


Readers' comments and reviews

"Self-employed" and exploited

Book review: The man who loved dogs

Letters to the Socialist


 

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