Our 2022 local election campaign

June 2022 Forums World Socialist Movement Our 2022 local election campaign

  • This topic has 48 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 4 weeks ago by ALB.
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  • #228796
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Weak Bladders of the World Unite, eh, Imposs?

    Is it me or do I get a general feeling that the degree of apathy and indifference prevails about this election cycle?

    #228798
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yes, you are right. Most people don’t bother to vote in local elections. 40 percent is a good turn out. I suppose they know from experience that it doesn’t matter for their daily life who controls the council. Local councillors are in fact little more than elected civil servants charged with spending national money locally and with a bit of discretion on some matters.

    Even so, they still provide us with a chance to get a word in edgeways for those who do take an interest to hear. And our QR experiment will tell us something.

    #228827
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Four members distributed a further 1400 this afternoon which means that most of the streets in the ward have now been leafletted. The few remaining can be done next week or later.

    More signs of some other political activity this time such as a window poster saying saying “Keep Calm and Vote for Any Party but Labour”. Also the manifesto of the Labour candidates for the neighbouring Brixton Acre ward.

    Imposs1904 will be pleased that it is not only Red Fightback that it concerned with toilet matters. Lambeth Labour is too. Their candidates pledge that “we’ll tackle fly tipping, public urination and litter through long term solutions.” Unfortunately this won’t help Imposs1904 as they propose to deal with this not by providing more public toilets but by “increasing police presence”.

    #228830
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    With regards to public urination, my experience is that a long term solution is not exactly what is needed. Usually, at my age, what I need is a very, very quick solution.

    #228835
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    In my research concerning population decline, I note that in Japan adult nappies now outsell those for babies and toddlers.

    #228836
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Meanwhile, that we are standing in Tunbridge Wells gets a mention in the local media:

    https://www.kentonline.co.uk/tunbridge-wells/news/amp/candidates-for-borough-councll-elections-announced-265458/

    #228840
    ALB
    Keymaster

    We have discovered a hustings to which we have not been invited:

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lambeth-community-hustings-tickets-307494082077

    The claim that is only for “major parties” is refuted by fact that the Women’s Equality Party which, like us, is only contesting one ward (as it happens, one bordering on ours), has been invited and given a link to their website.

    We don’t suppose many, if any, will attend their online event but it’s a question of principle. So we wrote asking for an invitation, to which we got the following reply:

    “Thanks for getting in touch. As we already have five confirmed candidates taking part we will need to put Danny on a holding list for the panel. Lambeth Labour are still to reply; we need to hold a spot for them in case they do want to take part, and any more than six on the panel will be unworkable.
    Leave it with us and we’ll come back to you if a space opens up.
    Thank you
    Ben”

    Naturally, this is unacceptable and we have replied insisting on being invited.

    We shall certainly be leafletting their day of action of Saturday 23rd even though it coincides with Conference (but Windrush Square isnt all that far from Clapham High Street).

    #228916
    ALB
    Keymaster

    This evening at 7.30 there is a hustings in Tunbridge Wells to which our candidate Shannon Kennedy has been invited.

    If you see this post in time the hustings can be followed here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BooM1anmSaw

    #228918
    Mike Foster
    Participant

    Thanks for the heads up about the hustings. I’m watching it at the moment (along with 41 other people, according to YouTube).

    #228926
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Now we know all about parish pump politics in Tunbridge Wells described by one of the candidates as a commuter town in the surround of a big metropolitan area.

    Our candidate was able to show that he knew what the issues were and how and why they had arisen and that we favour more democratic participation generally; and, in the discussion about measures to reduce carbon emissions locally, that the problem was caused by a global system that had found burning fossil fuels the most profitable way to generate energy.

    It is difficult to put across the socialist case in a local election since there are some small measures that a council can take to improve daily living to which we would not be opposed but can’t advocate.

    It looks as if online hustings may be a by-product of the epidemic. The whole hustings can still be listened to at the link already given.

    #228934
    ALB
    Keymaster

    According to a news item in today’s papers, the lack of public toilets is indeed a pressing issue:

    “Nearly two thirds of public laboratories have been scrapped by local councils, according to the British Toilet Association. Some 60 per cent have gone, it says. The cost of running a public lavatory can reach £15,000 a year. A community scheme in which businesses open their facilities to the public has been adopted by only a third of councils.”

    Maybe Red Fightback are on to a good transitional demand after all.

    Incidentally, believe it or not, the address of the British Toilet Association is – 2-4 Balloo Avenue, Bangor in Northern Ireland.

    #228946
    ALB
    Keymaster

    We have not been invited to the online hustings in Lambeth this evening. So we have sent them a statement to be read out at the meeting;

    “Statement by Danny Lambert, Socialist Party candidate in Clapham East ward

    I make no apology for raising the nature of the present world economic system – capitalism – in a local election. Local councils have to run things inside the framework of capitalism and that restricts what they can do. They are also restricted in that most of their money comes from central government.

    The priority under capitalism is profit-making. Having to respect this priority means that what the central government can make available for local social services and amenities takes second place. That’s why they are never as good as they should be, in spite of the efforts and promises of the other parties. Capitalism simply cannot be made to work for the benefit of all. Only a society based on the common ownership and democratic control of productive resources can do that.

    If you like to know more about Socialism as the alternative to capitalism, call in at our Head Office in Clapham High Street or visit spgb.net.”

    Details here:

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lambeth-community-hustings-tickets-307494082077

    #228957
    ALB
    Keymaster

    More on the Lambeth hustings to which we were not invited. After being assured yesterday evening, concerning the statement we had submitted, that

    “I’ll make sure this is read out tomorrow”

    this morning we received the following email:

    “A number of relevant questions have come through overnight from residents that we need to prioritise in the schedule for tonight, and so won’t be able to fit the statement in I’m afraid. Sorry about that. I hope the remainder of your campaign goes well.”

    To this feeble excuse — it would only have taken a minute or so read out our 170-word statement — we replied:

    “We note your undemocratic decision to no-platform us, even to the extent of not mentioning that we are standing. We would like to think that it wasn’t made behind closed doors by a small handful of selected insiders.”

    We could have openly called the organisers hypocrites, as called “Lambeth Ref 2002” (www.lambethref.co.uk), they are campaigning for a referendum in Lambeth to end the present system under which a full-time cabinet runs the council and return to a previous system where committees of councillors make the decisions.

    #228959
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    A rather shameful episode by supposed proponents of grassroots democracy.

    #228961
    hallblithe
    Participant

    Hopefully our candidate will be inspired by the late Comrade
    Baritz who on being ‘..banned from entering a meeting of the Social Democratic Federation… climbed on the roof and blew a clarinet down the ventilator shaft, ensuring that the meeting could not continue until he was eventually permitted to take a seat inside’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_Baritz).

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