Socialist voice

Socialist Worker of November 28 urged its readers to campaign for the resolution below in “trade union branches, student unions, community organisations and campaign groups”. We should all back this resolution, but with the amendments suggested (text to be amended in heavy type; suggested replacement in square brackets).

“This branch/group/region


  1. Cuts in public services have continued over the last 18 months since New Labour won the general election. London underground and air traffic control face privatisation. The private finance initiative is being used to undermine the NHS. Pay awards to teachers and healthworkers are at unacceptably low levels.
  2. Tony Blair is pursuing big business policies.
  3. New Labour leaders are trying to silence leftwing opposition within the party while giving the Liberal Democrats a greater say in government.


New Labour’s undemocratic attempts to stop Labour Party members voting for Ken Livingstone to be the party’s candidate for mayor of London even though nine out of 10 Londoners think he should be on the shortlist.


  1. There should be a socialist voice, arguing for workers’ interests, in the London mayor election.
  2. Such a campaign, based on trade unions, Labour Party wards and community groups, could help build resistance to the cuts, job losses and attacks working people face.

Further notes:

  1. Ken Livingstone is calling for people to write in to New Labour headquarters backing his right to stand.
  2. Campaigning journalist Paul Foot is also prepared to stand as a socialist candidate in the election for London mayor, in the event of Ken Livingstone not standing.

Resolves to:

  1. Support Ken Livingstone’s fight to stop the Blairites stitching up the selection of Labour’s candidate for mayor and to write to the headquarters of the London Region of the Labour Party supporting his right to stand.
  2. Back Paul Foot standing for mayor as part of a slate of socialist candidates for the London assembly if Ken Livingstone is prevented from standing by Blair and the Labour Party [Delete and insert: “where such a slate is democratically negotiated and agreed by the left in London”].

Call on New Labour leaders in London to debate their policies publicly with Ken Livingstone, Paul Foot and other socialists and trade unionists [Delete and insert: “the SWP in London to debate its policies openly with other left organisations, socialists and trade unionists. Any united socialist candidate must be prepared to stand on a minimum platform politically endorsed by the left and be adopted democratically at an open meeting where questions can be addressed directly to him/her].”