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From: The Socialist issue 581, 27 May 2009: Protest at MPs' sleaze

Search site for keywords: Democracy - Sleaze - No2EU - MPs - Election - Europe - Dave Nellist - Bob Crow

Protest at MPs' sleaze: Vote No2EU - Yes to Democracy

Protest at MPs

Click to enlarge

The coalition that we've assembled in the last few weeks for this election is campaigning against privatisation, against low pay, against MPs' 'expenses' and the gravy train. We're against the export of jobs and factories from Britain and the use by multinationals of large numbers of non-union agency workers.

Dave Nellist Socialist Party councillor, Coventry

But it's people's anger and bewilderment that MPs could have so much brass neck to claim in the way that they've been doing, that will be the dominating factor.

We come to this election with clean hands. All our candidates, if elected, will not have anything to do with the gravy train - we want to derail the gravy train. The Socialist Party candidates in this election have publicly pledged that if elected we will live on the same standard of living as the people we represent.

In my case, for nine years I was an elected member of parliament and I took the same wage as a skilled car worker in Coventry in the 1980s. I have done that - it's not an empty pledge.

No2EU candidates Dave Nellist (second left) and Bob Crow at the launch of the No2EU manifesto, photo D Carr

No2EU candidates Dave Nellist (second left) and Bob Crow at the launch of the No2EU manifesto, photo D Carr

I think that that might resonate with working people. And we might well be surprised by the number of people who welcome the chance to vote for us, given the sterile nature of this election.

We also have a longer term agenda. In the Socialist Party we've been arguing for many years that a new independent voice for working people needs to be built, that's rooted within the trade union movement.

We hope that all the coalition parties involved in No2EU will meet together soon after the 4 June election, to look back at the experience of working together, to learn from that, to build from that, so that we can become much bigger and do even better in future elections.

Bob Crow and other No2EU candidates and supporters launch their manifesto, photo D Carr

Bob Crow and other No2EU candidates and supporters launch their manifesto, photo D Carr

I'm standing for No2EU - Yes to Democracy because I believe that people need a choice on 4 June. Why would they support the three main political parties - Liberals, Conservatives and New Labour? All of them support the European Union, all of them support illegal wars, all of them support keeping the anti-trade union laws.

Bob Crow RMT transport workers' union, general secretary

What we'll be doing is giving hope to those people out there who feel completely dispossessed, many of whom face enormous deprivation. Voting No2EU - Yes to Democracy on 4 June means you can say to these pro-big business parties that they don't represent working-class people.

People are so disillusioned with those parties that they are considering voting for the racist BNP. The fact of the matter is that the BNP's support is a result of these three main political parties making people feel like they've got no hope whatsoever in Britain today. Our job is to give people hope.

No2EU candidates and supporters launch their manifesto, photo D Carr

No2EU candidates and supporters launch their manifesto, photo D Carr

I'm in favour of Europe, but I'm totally opposed to the EU - there's a difference. Don't let people be fooled that the EU is speaking for Europe. We are speaking on behalf of the average working man and woman, whether they be in France, Germany, Poland, Latvia or Ireland. We've got things in common. We want jobs, we want a national health service, we want pensions, we want decent education, and we need a world where we can live without fear. These things are easy to say, but hard to achieve.

On Thursday 4 June No2EU is about working people coming together and saying that we're fed up with being told that we have to be privatised. We're fed up with democracy being taken away from us and handed to unelected commissioners in Europe.

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