After No2EU: a slate in the general election?

Submitted by martin on 29 August, 2009 - 9:55 Author: Mike Davies

Mike Davies is the secretary of the Alliance for Green Socialism, one of the groups that joined the No2EU coalition at the Euro-elections in June. He spoke to Martin Thomas.

Click here for more background.
As I understand it, the groups involved in No2EU have been discussing a follow-up for the general election...

The first thing to say is that we don't think of it as a follow-up to No2EU. We think of it as a plan for the general election.

Things look possible. There have been meetings, and fairly soon we'll know whether a joint effort is possible.

Who has been involved in the meetings?

Basically, the people who were involved in the Euro-election campaign [the Communist Party of Britain, the RMT, the Socialist Party, and the AGS]. We want to get an idea of what we might be able to do with the people who have recently worked together. If we can agree on a project, then we would hope to widen it out.

Of the groups that have been involved in No2EU, the CPB has written most about its plans for the general election, in an article by Robert Griffiths in the Morning Star of 8 June. He seems to suggest not so much a slate as a “kitemark” operation, in which the People's Charter [launched by the CPB in late 2008] would be used to give a “kitemark” of approval to a variety of candidates, both Labour and others.

I haven't read the article. The CPB have been involved in the discussions, but no, that’s not the direction we’re going in. If we do something, it will be an electoral coalition, not a kitemark operation.

It will not just be an umbrella, as the Socialist Green Unity Coalition was in 2005. [Candidates from the Socialist Party, AGS, and AWL ran under different electoral descriptions, but all subscribing to the SGUC as an umbrella with a common basic platform, some common press releases, and so on]. It will be a list under a single electoral registration.

On what scale? That is difficult to say until we have agreed some sort of outline framework. But I'd say, not hundreds of candidates, but not just ten or twenty either.

In the North-West, there is talk of an electoral umbrella or kitemark operation involving Green Party people, George Galloway's Respect, the Socialist Party, the SWP, and other groups, around the People's Charter. How do your discussions relate to that?

We haven’t discussed that. At this stage, there are any number of things floating around, many of which will come to nothing.

No2EU was explicitly an one-off operation for the Euro-election. Is the new plan for another one-off operation for the general election, or something permanent?

Permanent is a long time. But this is not conceived by the AGS as a one-off operation. No-one has suggested describing it in that way.

As regards the platform for a possible general-election coalition, have you been discussing on the basis of developing from the No2EU platform, or from the People’s Charter, or starting anew?

We have been discussing a new platform. It is too early to say how it will turn out. From the point of view of AGS, it will have to include a very significant environmental component.

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