Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/815/18778
Survey shows potential for new mass workers' party
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.
In The Socialist 18 June 2014:
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