Posts Tagged ‘europe’

Simple guide to the European elections

May 13, 2014

On May 22nd, we will be offered a choice of who to elect for the European Parliament and in many places there are also local elections.

 

No2EU Yes to Workers’ Rights

 

No to austerity. Oppose all cuts.

Will defend and restore trade union rights.

Renationalise the NHS, Post Office, and energy companies.

For a fully-integrated, publicly-owned transport network.

Exit left from the European Union. The EU cannot be reformed in the interests of workers.

No to the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).

For a federal, socialist Europe.

No to racism and fascism.

For socialist policies to solve environmental catastrophe.

For an international struggle of all working people against capitalism.

 

Greens (mixture of soft-left, centre, soft-right). Green Left is an ecosocialist group within the Green Party.

 

Pro-EU.

For the environment and renewable energy.

For an increased income for poor workers.

No to the TTIP.

In power (Brighton Council), the Greens have still carried out cuts to services.

In power, the Greens have gone into coalition with mainstream parties, betraying their own principles (Ireland, Germany).

Greens tend to favour small business over large business, but have no strategy for getting rid of capitalism altogether.

The Green Party encapsulates a wide variety of political positions, from both left and right viewpoints. They have tried to portray themselves as neither left nor right wing, but purely environmentalists.

 

Labour / Conservatives / Liberal Democrats

 

All three main parties are in favour of cuts and privatisation.

Labour has done nothing to reverse Tory policies, Thatcher’s anti-trade union laws, or the privatisation of the railways under John Major, for example.

All three parties have already destroyed much of our NHS.

They are all in favour of academy schools or free schools and want to end comprehensive education.

They all back tuition fees for students (despite promises to scrap fees made by both Labour and Lib Dems in the past).

Labour, Lib Dems and Tories are all right-wing parties.

They are all officially pro-EU (to a greater or lesser extent) – however Tories and Labour are split on this issue.

None of them, in my opinion, are worth voting for. In local elections, a vote for TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) is an effective protest vote.

 

The far-right

UKIP are not a protest vote. They are part of the political establishment, being a right-wing split from the Tories. UKIP do not represent the interests of ordinary people. They are dangerous in seeking to blame immigrants for the nation’s woes, when in fact the real enemy is the banking sector, capitalist greed and financiers who were responsible for the banking crash of 2008. None of this was caused by poor immigrant workers, who actually contribute to our economy.

If you oppose Brussels and want to cast a protest vote, support No2EU Yes To Workers’ Rights.

Letter sent to my local Lib Dem branch

May 25, 2009

It is the Lib Dems’ fault for putting a freepost address on their leaflet . . .

Dear Sirs

I recently received with some interest a newspaper from the Lib Dems in Leicester. It claimed that you had been campaigning to stop the closure of post offices. In fact, the Lib Dems are championing the European Union which has driven through the privatisation of our postal service, which has led to the closures. I was on a campaign to save Bishop St Post Office, which comprised of the Socialist Party, the Green Party and the International Workers of the World. We gave leaflets out to all post offices affected and raised a petition with thousands of signatures. I did not see the Lib Dems campaign on this issue once.

I was also involved with the Save Our Schools campaign in the Leicester South bye-election in 2004. It was the Lib Dems, in partnership with the Tories, whom you (rightly) say are the “dirtiest party” that pushed through the closure of vital schools. If you had any principles, how could you co-operate with your political enemies in this fashion, or are you just careerists like the other main parties, with no real concerns for your constituents?

Your newsletter also fails to mention the recent expenses scandal, where Lib Dems were just as embroiled as Labour and the Tories. I think that all three main parties are morally and politically bankrupt of ideas. I think we need a new workers’ party to represent ordinary people. That is why I am supporting the RMT’s NO2EU Yes to Democracy initiative in the European elections, as it is an historic step forward in this direction – the first time since 1906 and the founding of the Labour Party that a major trade union has put forward the need for real political representation for ordinary people. I am surprised that the person who put the paper through my door failed to notice the A3 poster in my window!

I also noted the fact that, if you give a £10 donation or more, then you automatically become a member of the Lib Dems unless you opt out. I think this is a disgraceful attempt to inflate your membership figures.

Andrew Walton
Leicester Socialist Party

No2EU Yes to Democracy campaign

April 10, 2009

No2EU – Yes to Democracy electoral alliance launched

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The RMT (Rail Maritime and Transport Workers’) trade union has launched an electoral party for the European elections. It is the first time a trade union has offered an alternative to the main parties, since the RMT helped found the Labour Party itself in 1906. When the Labour Party was formed, workers had the choice of the Tories or the Liberal Parties, neither of which represented their interests. It used to offer an alternative voice in Parliament, funded by the contributions of ordinary people.  

Why do we need a new party?

Fast forward 100 years and we are faced with the same situation. None of the major parties offer the working-class anything. New Labour can only point to the minimum wage, but how can a family survive on this? They have done nothing to stem the loss of jobs, yet have bailed out financiers in the city. Like the Tories before them, Labour is mired in the stench of sleaze and corruption, with cash for questions, dodgy PFI deals and MPs rolling in their expenses and second homes while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet.

It is not surprising, therefore, that come the European Elections,  turnout will be low as people realise that voting for bureaucrats in Brussels is not going to improve their day to day lives. The EU has been responsible for demands to cut public spending and has pushed the same neo-liberal agenda. Hardly surprising when those in control across the continent like Sarkozy, Merkel, Berlusconi and Zapatero have all sold out those who elected them; whether from a left or right political tradition, the trajectory of mass parties has been the same – a lemming-like rush to neo-liberalism, which has resulted in economic catastrophe.

I believe this campaign is critical. Without it, the anger of workers who have lost their jobs, of families who face an uncertain future and of students who will be repaying a mountain of debt could result in protest votes for far-right parties, who have no real solutions and seek to blame all ou problems on immigration. The reality is that we all need to unite together  in order to fight for better conditions for all workers. This is what the trade union movement has always stood for.

What does it stand for?

The RMT campaign calls for international workers’ solidarity against a bosses’ European Union. Its candidates will refuse to join the EU gravy train and instead the campaign will host a conference to discuss the way forward for working-class political representation. Socialist Party councillor, Dave Nellist said, “Now workers alienated by the mainstream capitalist parties have their own candidates to vote for”.

The campaign needs funds, however, as unlike the main parties it has no rich backers. Please support it by clicking on the link below and giving what you can afford. We can’t afford to carry on down the same failed path of cuts and privatisation, which is all that the main parties have to offer.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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