As UK Elections Approach, a ‘Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory’ is Launched

Collage smallPublished: 20 April 2015
Intro by TSN Editor

On May 7th 2015 there will be a General Election in Britain. After five years of unpopular austerity attacks on living standards and welfare benefits this is a chance to get rid of the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition. Normally an election victory for the Labour Party should be guaranteed. However, the opinion polls now show that the Conservatives and Labour have equal levels of support. This incredibly weak position is a result of Labour’s commitment to maintain the Austerity programme, albeit at a slower pace. Labour accepts the neo-liberal propaganda and promises to ‘balance the books’. Above all, they desire to appear as ‘responsible’ before the electorate. Yet consistent surveys show that the majority of voters would support a more radical position.

This is further demonstrated by the fact that the most popular politician in this election is the leader of the Scottish National Party who is campaigning on a platform against austerity. However, Labour seems more concerned to please the financial industry and the right-wing media rather than the working people of Britain. It is really to them that they want to appear ‘responsible’, not the British public. Indeed, the Labour leader has admitted that a more radical programme would be more popular with the voters, but he doesn’t “want to make promises he can’t keep”!

Nevertheless, it is vital that the Conservative-dominated coalition government is thrown out by the British people and a Labour-led government elected in its place. Labour is proposing some important improvements in the minimum wage, in rent controls, on energy bills, and to end the notorious zero-hour employment contracts. Their campaign promises to prioritise working people and to stop their living standards from falling further. Above all, a Labour government in these changed circumstances will not be like its pro-business counterparts in the boom years 1990s and 2000s. It will be a government facing stark choices and open to pressure from the ranks.

To give an idea of the potential for revolt from below we publish here a statement from a section of the Left inside the Labour Party. The statement was initiated by the Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory” and can be found at their website: https://socialistcampaignforalabourvictory.wordpress.com/sign-the-statement/

Socialist Campaign For a Labour Victory

Another Tory government ? ruling by themselves, with the Lib Dems or, worst of all, in
coalition with UKIP ? would be a disaster for the working class. As socialists, we want a
Labour victory, not because we support Labour’s current position ? a softer version of
austerity and anti-migrant politics ? but to throw out the Coalition, and because Labour is
linked to workers’ basic organisations, trade unions. If the unions choose to fight, they can
change Labour?s direction.

We don?t want to ?hold our noses? and vote Labour as a lesser evil. We want to combine
campaigning for a Labour government with making clear working-class demands, to boost
working-class confidence, and strengthen and transform our labour movement so it is fit to
fight.

We must challenge the idea that the working class should pay for the capitalist crisis through
increased inequality, lower pay, job insecurity, workplace stress, draconian ?performance
management? and cuts to services. The labour movement should be championing every
working-class fightback against the bosses? drive to squeeze more and more profit out of our
work and our lives.

In place of the dog-eat-dog, exploiting society of capitalism, we socialists are fighting for a
world of collective ownership, equality and sustainable planning for people?s needs, not
profit. We want to spread these ideas in the working class and among young people.
A socialist transformation of society is not immediately on the cards. Socialism is only
possible when a majority of workers are convinced and organised to make it happen. But if
we work to strengthen the left and working-class struggles, and reinject socialist ideas into
political debate, we can push Labour to shift course and deliver at least some positive
changes for the working class.

Whether on the Living Wage or the NHS, free education or zero hours contracts, rail
renationalisation or fracking, we need to up the pressure on Labour. We need to advocate
radical policies like reversing all cuts, taxing the rich and taking the banks into democratic
public ownership. The labour movement should aim for a government that serves the working
class as the Coalition serves the rich.

We are fighting for democracy in the Labour Party so that working-class voices, muffled by
the New Labour machine and union bureaucracy, can be heard.

We need a labour movement responsive and accessible to the working class in all its
diversity, fighting bigotry and oppression. We oppose Labour’s shameful accommodation to
anti-migrant agitation by UKIP and other right-wingers. British and migrant workers have the
same interests. We support freedom of movement and equal rights for all. We want workingclass
solidarity across Europe and the world.

In the run up to the election, we are building a network of socialists to carry out this fight.
Help us, get involved!

Add your or your organisation’s name to this statement by visiting our website here or ‘Like’ us on our Facebook page.

Our Demands

As part of fighting for a socialist alternative to capitalism, we are fighting for the labour movement to
campaign around a ?workers’ plan? of demands in the interests of the working-class, such as:

  1. Stop and reverse the cuts. Make the rich pay to rebuild public services. Tax the rich! Expropriate the banks!
  2. A decent income for everyone: attack inequality and precariousness. Tax the rich, curb high pay.
    Nationalise companies that axe jobs; create decent, secure jobs in the public sector. Wage rises that at least match inflation for all workers. Raise the National Minimum Wage to the Living Wage. Full, equal rights for part-time and agency workers; ban zero hours contracts. Stop the war on the poor, unemployed and disabled: decent benefits. Good pensions for all, public or private, at no older than 60.
  3. Rebuild the NHS. A comprehensive public health service providing high quality care for all, not a logo above a marketplace of profit-making companies. End outsourcing, marketisation and PFI. A free, public social care system.
  4. End privatisation and outsourcing. Expand public ownership, starting with the railways, Royal Mail,
    the energy companies and other utilities, under democratic and workers’ control.
  5. Stop scapegoating migrants. Freedom of movement and equal rights for all. End deportations and
    detention.
  6. Promote workers? rights. Scrap the anti-union laws. Introduce strong rights to strike, picket and take solidarity action, and for union recognition and collective bargaining, in individual units and sectorally.
  7. End the housing crisis. Build millions of council houses. Repopulate empty homes and estates; take
    over property left empty; tax second homes; end the sell-off of public land. Control rents.
  8. Free education. A good local, comprehensive school for every child. Abolish ?free schools?, academies, grammar schools, public funding for religious schools. Reverse cuts in FE. Scrap tuition fees, a living grant for every student. Reverse cuts to Sure Start, invest in early years education.
  9. Strong action for equality. Crack down on police and state racism. Ensure and make real civil rights for LGBT, black, disabled people and women, and expanded social provision and redistribution to fight inequality. Universal, free public childcare and nursery provision so no parent is forced to choose between work and care. Ensure equal pay and a Living Wage for all. Free abortion on demand.
  10. Slash military spending: scrap Trident. Aid for working-class and democratic movements around the world, not support for dictatorships and imperialism.
  11. Drive down carbon emissions. Public investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Stop fracking. A public, integrated transport system with radically reduced fares. Workers? plans for a just transition to a sustainable economy.
  12. Expand democracy. A federal republic of Britain: abolish the monarchy and House of Lords. Votes at 16. Re-empower local government. Extend civil liberties and rights to organise and protest. Disband MI5 and special police squads, disarm the police. MPs should only be paid a worker’s wage.

We need to transform our unions so we stop just adopting good policies on paper and start fighting
effectively for the interests of the working class ? in strikes and struggles, but also by putting forward a
working-class political alternative, including demands on Labour. What we can win depends on to what
extent we can convince, organise and mobilise people to fight, and in the process renew our movement and change it for the better.

We will prioritise support for Labour candidates who advocate these kinds of policies and represent a voice of working-class opposition within the party.

Initial signatories (many more added since):

Campaign for Socialism Scotland
CWU Greater London Combined Branch
RMT Bakerloo (London Underground) branch
RMT Central Line East (LU) branch
RMT East Midlands Central branch
Julie Ward MEP
Ian Hodson, National President, Bakers?, Food & Allied Workers Union
James McAsh, London Young Labour Committee
Maria Exall, CWU Greater London Combined Branch Secretary
Gill Kennett and Dean Kirk, Hull Red Labour councillors
Paul Holmes, Kirklees Unison secretary
Janine Booth, Secretary, Central Line East branch RMT, and Co-Chair, TUC Disabled Workers? Committee
Liam McNulty, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP Youth Officer
Andrew Berry, Unison Labour Link Committee
Omar Raii, UCLU External Affairs & Campaigns Officer
Jamie Green, former NUS London convenor, Unite activist
John Moloney, Department of Transport PCS activist
Becky Crocker, RMT Women?s Advisory Committee Chair
Jon Rogers, Lambeth Unison branch secretary and Unison NEC
Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison branch chair
Rida Vaquas, Young Labour Under 19s officer
Jenny Lennox, Walthamstow LP, NUJ and Unite member
Dave Osler, vice chair, Shacklewell Branch, Hackney North CLP
Tony Byrne, RMT East Midlands Central branch chair
Katie Kokkinou, NUS London committee
Camila Bassi, Sheffield Hallam UCU
Tom Harris, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy executive
Daniel Cooper, NUS National Executive
Anita Downs, Unite rep at Lewisham Hospital
Beth Redmond, NCAFC NC, left candidate for NUS President
Chris Marks, PCS North West Organiser
Pat Murphy, National Union of Teachers executive
Liam Conway, NUT executive
Clive Protheroe, RMT Bakerloo branch chair
Ross Marshall, Secretary, National Station Grades Committee, RMT
Clive Boutle, Chair of Alexandra Branch Labour Party
Dave Kirk, Unite the Union NE204/4 branch secretary
Pat Markey, Northampton Labour Party member and NUT activist
Hannah Thompson, Lewisham West and Penge CLP
Pauline Bryan, Campaign for Socialism Scotland
Andrew Coates, Branch Chair, Unite, LE 1/860
James Elliot, NUS National Executive Committee
Owen Mooney, Chair of Scottish Labour Students
Daniel Randall, Bakerloo Line RMT
Jane Stewart, Chair of Unite Women?s Committee and Unite EC member
Ross Quinn, Chair of Wirral Unite branch 9515 and President of Wirral TUC
Elaine Jones, Equalities Officer Unite branch 6/522
Stuart Jordan, Unison activist
Max Shanly, Young Labour National Committee
Andrew Fisher, LEAP Economics
Chris Ford, LRC and Ukraine Solidarity Campaign
Simon Hewitt, Hendon CLP
Jill Mountford, Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign activist
Sacha Ismail, Workers? Liberty
Austin Harney, Barnet TUC, PCS
Andy Dudley, Chesterfield
Dermot Rathbone, Co-Chair Hull People?s Assembly Against Austerity, Local Government Candidate, Tranby Ward, East Riding of Yorkshire County Council
Rick Evans, Red Labour North Warwickshire
Jeff Hazel, East Ham branch RMT
Jack Hudson, BECTU rep, National Theatre
Vicki Morris, LRC National Committee, Unison at University of Nottingham
Ilyas Aziz, Pakistan Centre Nottingham manager
Russell Carr, PCS branch organiser, Tate Galleries
Hannah Wood, Leyton and Wanstead CLP, RMT East Ham branch
Andy Forse, Great Holm, student activist at Oxford Brookes Uni
Robin Carmody
Raquel Palmeira, NCAFC LGBTQ rep
Ewan Gibbs, committee member, Glasgow University Labour Club
Pete Radcliff, Broxtowe CLP
James Doran, Unite Community Darlington
Logan Williams, Unite the Union and Left Unity, Exmouth
Jason Hill, Stoke North CLP, Musicians? Union
Joseph Cairns, Newcastle under Lyme CLP, RMT
Joseph McCluskey, CWU member, Stoke South CLP
Adrian Finney, London Transport RMT
Sally Cannell, Lewisham NUT
Ian Malcolm-Walker, UNISON & Bournemouth West CLP
David Forman, Harlow TUC Secretary
Isobel Urquhart, UCU, Harlow Socialist History and Politics Group organiser
Ajaz Majeed, London
Freddie Scale, London
Charlie Hindhaugh
Vicky Hayward, Women?s Officer, RMT London Transport Regional Council
Sean McGovern, Unite National Executive, TUC Disabled Workers? Committee Chair
Dan Nichols, Unison LFEPA
Clive Bradley, screenwriter and Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners activist
Mark Catterall, Labour councillor, Todmorden
Rosie Huzzard, student and Unison activist, Sheffield
Yemisi Ilesanmi, socialist feminist, LGBTQ activist and blogger
Joe Rayment, Unison activist and Council candidate in Bath
Liam J Liburd, Labour Party activist, Sheffield.
Tanju Çakar, NCAFC NC Disabled Rep
Councillor David Knaggs, Leicestershire
Barnaby Marder
Alex Bennett, NUM, Midlothian CLP
Jim Malone, FBU, DTUC and Dundee East CLP
Andrea Dudding, UNISON, York
Rosie Morland, London
Philip Lewis, Camden unison, Hornsey and Woodgreen CLP
Ed Armston, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP and Unite
Lauren Gilmour, Secretary, GMB Young Members Network
Tom Barstow, PCS, Manchester
Chris Spence, Newcastle under Lyme CLP, Political education officer, Chair of Local Campaign Forum, Parish Councillor, GMB Union
Eleanor de Max
Matt Wells, PCS branch 001026
Paul Penny, RMT London Transport LGBT Officer
Harris Coverley
Graham de Max, GMB and Gedling CLP
Chris Ellison, Felsted, Unite
Nick Toms, UNITE ? Streatham CLP
Alan Theasby, Middlesbrough, Unite Community
Pat Yarker, UEA UCU
Ed Whitby, Newcastle Unison Convenor, Northern Unison Labour Link Committee
Dan Higginbottom, Sheffield NUT
Pete Keenlyside, CWU, Manchester Withington CLP
Margaret Graham, Unite and Edinburgh Southern CLP
Luke Cresswell, South Suffolk Labour Party chair
Max O?Donnell Savage, student activist at Sussex University
Asher Mohammed
Robert Fine, UCU
Robert Morgan
Pete Owen, Newcastle-under-Lyme CLP
Tom Neilson, Labour Councillor in North West Leicestershire
Andy Paterson, Falkirk East CLP
Zandra Waterford, Unison
Tim Cooper, Nottingham Unite Community treasurer
Keri Smith, NUT, Torfaen CLP
Joe Day, Manchester Labour Students and Candidate for Torridge District Council
Ella Thorp, Unison Northern Labour Link Committee
Glenn Brown, RMT Central Line East branch chair
Rory Scothorne, UCU Sussex, Edinburgh South CLP
Lauren Mitchell, Unite Union, Red Labour Nottingham, Hucknall Branch Labour Party
Ronne Randall, Nottingham
Tony Short, Unison Transport Greater Manchester secretary
Christy McMorrow and Alice O?Driscoll, Co-Chairs, Sheffield Labour Students
David Hamblin, GMB National Young Members Network, Cardiff North CLP, Secretary of Cardiff Trades Council, Red Labour
Vijay Jackson, Secretary of the Hastings Youth Council, Editor of the Hastings Independent Press, and Founder of Hastings Anticuts
Liam Gibbons, Bradford West CLP
Ingrid Green, Unison, Nottingham
John Husband, King?s Lynn
Peter Hospidales, Milton Keynes
Veronica Killen, UCU NEC, Hexham CLP
Professor Ruth Aylett, Heriot-Watt UCU Committee member
Edward McWilliams, Stockport
Edd Mustill, Unite NW/0152M
David Avery, Unite
Mick Bowman, UNISON Northumberland County, Newcastle North CLP
Stephen Wood, LGBT Officer, Wakefield District Unison
Kim Tunstall, Unison, Manchester
Andrew Birchall, Unite, Wigan
Cathy Nugent, editor, Solidarity
Dave Cooke, Unite, Gloucester
Dave Green, Fire Brigades Union National Officer
Mark Still, RMT, London
Mick Sidaway, Norwich RMT branch chair
John Leach, RMT London Transport organiser
Esther Townsend, Bexley local government Unison
Christopher Finneran, Manchester
Daniel Durkin, Manchester
Pamela J Thomson, Altrincham
Curtis, Unite, Manchester
Josh Petzoldt, UCL Unison
Peter North, London Transport RMT
Peter James, ASLEF, Barnsley
Steve Gurdler, ASLEF
Dean Forsyth, ASLEF (Jubilee East 272), Southend CLP
Aaron Golightly, Bournemouth
Kerry Waters
Martin Corrigan-Atkins, RMT, Weymouth
Andrew Jones, ASLEF, Mansfield
Darran Brown, ASLEF, Chorley
Michael Yates, ASLEF Worksop Branch Chairman, Bolsover CLP
Ceri Kennedy, Peterborough RMT

3 thoughts on “As UK Elections Approach, a ‘Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory’ is Launched

  1. No armed police or security services. Great idea comrades. Free tickets for ISIS terrorists and bank robbers to do their worst? I despair at the ridiculous posturing of the so-called “left”.

    • And they wonder why the overwhelming majority can’t possibly vote for them, far easier to claim every deluded excuse to blame for their lack of widespread support and instead seek stealth methods (that ironically MI5 would be proud of) to gain power. Some of us remember Militant of course that destroyed leftist cohesion and these are simply Mk2 versions. But above all its so sad that good socialist ideals are totally overwhelmed and made a laughing stock by those zealots with no concept of reality in the real World, that relentlessly remove all opportunity for those of us less deluded beings from trusting even the apparent moderates amongst them when Shadow Ministers sign such garbage.

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