Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/572/7077

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 March 2009

Rail union launches euro election challenge

 Press conference as RMT launches Euro challenge in 2009, photo by Suzanne Beishon

Press conference as RMT launches Euro challenge in 2009, photo by Suzanne Beishon

AS THE G20 leaders assemble in London this week to discuss the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, even the most casual onlooker must be asking, 'aren't these the same people who got us into this mess in the first place?'

Clive Heemskerk

After all, Gordon Brown boasted at his Mansion House speech before business leaders in 2007 that his New Labour government had helped create "a new golden age for the City".

Press conference as RMT launches Euro challenge in 2009, photo Suzanne Beishon

Press conference as RMT launches Euro challenge in 2009, photo Suzanne Beishon

The millions of people now facing job losses, home repossessions, short-time working and wage cuts as a result of the system's crisis can expect nothing from capitalist politicians. Workers, with no mass political party representing them, will have no voice at the G20.

That's why the announcement last week that the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers' union (RMT) is backing an electoral alliance to contest the European elections in June is so important. For the first time ever a national trade union, the RMT, the most militant industrial union in Britain, is mounting an electoral challenge to New Labour, under the name No2EU-Yes to Democracy.

Press conference as RMT launches Euro challenge in 2009, photo Suzanne Beishon

Press conference as RMT launches Euro challenge in 2009, photo Suzanne Beishon

This is a temporary coalition for the European elections only. Its platform concentrates on opposition to the European Union (EU) constitution (now re-packaged as the Lisbon treaty) - which enshrines free market economics into EU law - the EU's pro-privatisation directives, and the anti-trade union and 'social dumping' rulings of the European Court of Justice. But still, it represents another step towards rebuilding working class political representation, absent from Britain since the 1990s' transformation of the Labour Party into the completely capitalist New Labour.

Predictably, some media coverage tried to paint the RMT's move as 'narrow nationalism'. But RMT general secretary Bob Crow was clear in his response: "We want a workers' Europe, not the bosses' EU", he said. Workers in Britain, he went on, "have more in common with workers across Europe than we do with Freddie Goodwin and other bosses", who have gained from the EU's pro-market policies.

Press conference as RMT launches Euro challenge in 2009, photo Suzanne Beishon

Press conference as RMT launches Euro challenge in 2009, photo Suzanne Beishon

Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist, a Labour MP in 1983-1992, also spoke at the No2EU press launch, pointing to the threat of the far-right BNP picking up protest votes in June. "But now workers alienated by the mainstream capitalist parties have their own candidates to vote for", he said. He also explained how measures such as the part-privatisation of Royal Mail, the first step to its complete sell-off, are linked to EU directives to introduce deregulated markets into public services.

Also on the press launch platform were the vice president of the Indian Workers Association, Avtar Sadiq, a representative of the Morning Star newspaper, and the deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party, Hannah Sell, who gave the backing of the Socialist Party to the coalition.

June's Euro-poll will be the first electoral test in Britain since the economic crisis dramatically escalated in October last year. Now we will have a chance to vote for a workers' alternative.

Find out more about No2EU-Yes to Democracy at www.no2eu.com
Read the Socialist Party statement: 'The European elections and working class representation'

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 25 March 2009:

Capitalist crisis: Make the bosses pay!

March for jobs!

Map of Youth March for Jobs route


Socialist Party editorial

Tide of job losses must be fought


Socialist Party election campaign

Rail union launches euro election challenge

An appeal from Bob Crow

No2EU Financial Appeal pdf

NO2EU Supporter appeal pdf


Socialist Party campaigns

Students need a mass fighting organisation

Credit crunch hits home

Campaign for a new workers' party

MPs - an honourable profession!

Fast News


Socialist Party feature

The uncaring care sector

Pay for your own vetting


Socialist Party marxist analysis

State repression in Britain

Keeping (illegal) tabs on us


International socialist news and analysis

France: Three million take to the streets in national strike

Canada: "Fighting back makes a difference"

Mass demo in New York against budget cuts

Scotland: International Socialists conference a big step forward

Dundee Prisme occupation: Workers remain defiant

Stop the slaughter of Tamils: London campaign meeting


Socialist Party workplace news

Nom-dom jobs slasher

New allegations hit Unison's right wing

Unison Four to face further hearings

Wales: United battle needed to stop college cuts

Fighting for justice for cleaners!

PCS Land Registry jobs and pay campaign

Workplace news in brief


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 March 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

No2EU:

triangleObituary: John Pickett - 1954-2017

triangleElection appeal - don't delay!

triangleLondon NO2EU - Yes to workers' rights public meeting

triangleElection appeal: help us make history

triangleEastern region NO2EU election meeting

Election:

triangleLabour leadership election: Starmer wins but the fight for socialism goes on

triangleEnd of the Corbyn era - Organise to fight for socialist policies

triangleEnd of the Corbyn era

triangleCouncil cuts could cost Labour another general election

Rail:

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

triangleSocialist Inbox

triangleCancel the franchise, not our trains

Socialist Party:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The Constituent Assembly

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: 'The Class the Party and the Leadership'

EU:

triangleAs coronavirus crisis intensifies, class antagonisms deepen

Labour:

triangleClass collaboration and worker militancy in World War Two Britain

Britain:

triangleImmigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite

RMT:

triangleTransport union RMT demands action for coronavirus tube safety

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

8/4/20

Workers

A day in the life of a frontline worker

8/4/20

Minimum wage

The minimum wage must go up! Fund coronavirus workers, not bosses' profits!

8/4/20

The Socialist

Getting the Socialist out safely under lockdown

8/4/20

Finance

Coronavirus crisis finance appeal

8/4/20

May Day

May Day greetings: we need to fund independent workers' media now more than ever

8/4/20

Welsh Assembly

Where's the PPE Welsh Assembly?

8/4/20

Trade union

Things will never be the same again

8/4/20

London

Anger as London local authorities bulldoze through powers to discipline workers

8/4/20

Bin workers

Victory for Medway bin workers

8/4/20

Unite

Socialists in Unite meet via Zoom: Struggles continue in the workplaces

7/4/20

Usdaw

Usdaw - the Activist issue 84

2/4/20

Royal Mail

Collective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries

1/4/20

Bus

Bus drivers halt sackings - now restore our pay

1/4/20

Children

Fully fund hospices to care for vulnerable children

1/4/20

Coronavirus

Help us continue to fight for workers and socialism

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999