I am standing in the general election in the south-east London constituency of Camberwell and Peckham, against New Labour deputy leader and loyal New Labour hack Harriet Harman. I am standing to assert a workers’ voice in politics and build the fight for a workers’ government.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says he wants £23 billion of cuts. Yet this huge figure, involving deep cuts in the public sector and a massive attack on the living standards of millions of workers, will take him only one sixth of the way towards his stated goal of halving the deficit.
In other words, this is the tip of the iceberg. There are vast cuts to come, unless we stop them.
The debate between the three main parties is limited to exactly how deep the cuts should be, and yet some opinion polls show that a majority of people oppose all cuts. That majority, or large minority, cannot express itself easily, because with the rise of New Labour the working class has lost even the limited political voice it once had.
We need to insist that the labour movement mobilise workers and communities to oppose every cut. We need to demand that the bosses and the rich are taxed to pay for the jobs and services people need, and back our demands up with a serious campaign of both political and industrial action that can win. We need more working-class socialist candidates prepared to stand up and fight for these things.
Our goal should be a workers’ government — a government based on the organisations of the labour movement which serves the working class as New Labour has served the bosses and the rich and the Tories, with renewed brutality, plan to.
In other constituencies, where there are not solid socialist candidates, we should vote Labour, but also fight for the unions to reassert themselves against Brown and Darling. Candidacies like mine give a chance to express that message clearly.
The Tory conference this week makes our campaign even more urgent.
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