Socialist challenge to New Labour in London elections

London Socialist Alliance press release

The newly formed London Socialist Alliance has announced that it intends to stand over 100 candidates against New Labour in the forthcoming London council elections.

The Alliance is a broad based democratic organisation which has brought together leftwingers from across the capital who are disgusted with the policies of Tony Blair’s New Labour Party.

In recent years Labour councils have forced through massive rises in Council Tax and rents, introduced changes in essential services such as meals on wheels, homecare and day centres. They have sacked thousands of front-line staff and closed down hundreds of vital community services.

In the past it was easy to blame the Tory government for these actions. Now that Tony Blair is in power these excuses cannot be used. Yet the attacks on vulnerable Londoners continue.

The LSA says enough is enough. It’s time to fight against the cuts and present a genuine working class alternative. This is why we are contesting the elections - to offer working class people throughout London the opportunity to vote for real socialist candidates who will fight to defend their interests.

The Alliance has the backing of Euro MEPs Ken Coates and Hugh Kerr

Draft minimal electoral platform submitted for discussion by the London Socialist Alliance

Where no Socialist Alliance candidate is standing, we urge voters to support any candidate who can support the following minimum demands. Anyone that cannot do so deserves no support from the working class:

Resolution on London referendum unanimously agreed by CPGB members’ aggregate March 8 1998

1. Blair’s proposals for a powerful directly elected mayor and a weak Greater London Authority are an integral part of his project of reforming the constitutional monarchy system. However unlike Scotland there is no mass movement in London, latent or otherwise, which is committed to, or yearns for something higher. There is not even a sentiment for the return of the GLC.

2. The May 7 referendum, because it contains only one pre-set take-it or leave-it question, is rigged, designed to get the ‘democratic mandate’ the government wishes for. Those on the left who stand for the maximum democracy under capitalism have no official opportunity to test support for their ideas through the official referendum. The CPGB will therefore call for a boycott of Blair’s London referendum.

3. Boycotting a rigged referendum is not the same as boycotting normal bourgeois elections. There is no contradiction between urging a boycott of the May 7 referendum and standing candidates for the local elections on the same day nor fighting for a leftwing candidate for the London mayor if the referendum gives the government the ‘yes’ result it expects