The AWL has launched this appeal to socialist and working-class organisations and activists. So far the response from the SWP (Socialist Workers’ Party) and SP (Socialist Party) at national level has been negative, but many individuals have signed it.
In the 2009 Euro elections, the fascist British National Party increased its percentage of the vote and won two seats.
If UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s claim that he reaped £2 million in expenses in his last term as a Euro MP is a model, that means millions extra for BNP funds. UKIP polled second with 16 percent. The right-wing nationalist English Democrats won mayor of Doncaster. The Conservatives are clearly heading for power.
After more than a decade of attacking working-class people, Labour’s vote collapsed. And yet there was no substantial socialist election campaign to offer an alternative.
Racism and reaction are on the rise - as shown not just by the election results, but by incidents like the recent anti-Muslim rioting in Luton. All this must be serious cause for alarm.
In order to reach workers and young people angry about the crisis and the mainstream parties’ pandering to the bankers and bosses, we need to build something like the Socialist Alliance — the coalition of the main activist-left groups and many unaffiliated socialists which in the 2001 general election stood candidates in 98 constituencies - as one step towards a new working-class political party.
Otherwise the right and far right will continue to gain from the anger and despair.
The left should unite in a Socialist Alliance to put forward working-class socialist answers to the crisis: jobs for all workers; open the books; nationalisation under workers’ control of firms cutting jobs; full nationalisation and democratic control of the banks and finance system. We should fight for independent working-class representation in politics, and for a workers’ government, based on the organisations of the labour movement.
We should unite in day-to-day action in support of struggles like Visteon; the schools actions in Glasgow, London and Barrow; and the Tube battle over jobs, pay and union rights; and to organise the left and the rank and file in the workers’ movement.
The working class needs to reject and fight nationalism and racism. Workers can only deal with the crisis by organising together across ethnic backgrounds, across differences of origin and across borders. The crisis is creating huge pressures towards protectionism and the raising of economic barriers between countries. We need a united socialist voice for working-class solidarity and unity across Europe, to take on the bosses and level up towards decent jobs, services and rights for all — fighting for a Workers’ Europe.
We the undersigned:
• Call on the activist left groups, including the SWP, Socialist Party, and Scottish Socialist Party, to meet to discuss setting up a new Socialist Alliance;
• Pledge to support efforts to create local Socialist Alliances.