People before Profit

July 2024 Forums General discussion People before Profit

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #80947
    ALB
    Keymaster

    When I was passing through Feltham in West London yesterday I stopped to buy the local paper to see about the by-election there (caused by the death of a notorious corrupt Labour MP). I was surprised to find it’s this Thursday (so it’s too late for any socialist intervention), but I see there is a “People Before Profit” candidate standing.

    This is a popular slogan, but is wrong from a socialist point of view as it implies the continuation of profits (just as the slogan “Tax the Rich” assumes that there will still be rich people) and only says that these shouldn’t be the main priority, ie it assumes the continuation of profit-making. The appropriate socialist slogan here would be “People Not Profit”.

    They seem to be based in Lewisham but are not Trotskyists. Does anyone know any more about them?

    #87189
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    They seem to be based in Lewisham but are not Trotskyists. Does anyone know any more about them?

     Sounds suspiciously like a front organisation for the ‘Socialist’ Workers Party.  There was a similarly named organisation set up in Ireland five or six years ago called the ‘People before Profit Alliance’ which was established by the SWP.The Community & Workers Action Group of South Dublin (CWAG) joined the Alliance in 2007 and under the banner of the United Left Alliance was successful in gaining the party’s first elected representative, Joan Collins (!) anti-bin tax campaigner and a former member of the ‘Socialist’ Party, in the Dublin South Central constituency.  Nothing at all to do with The Socialist Party of Great Britain (SPGB) of course!

    #87190
    ALB
    Keymaster

    That would be an interesting development as the SWP are still supposed to be in coalition with Militant and Bob Crow in TUSC (Trotskyists United with Stalinist Crow) which is trying to cobble together a list of militant trade unionists to fight the Greater London Assembly elections next April.  It wouldn’t be the first time that these two would-be vanguards have fallen out over which of them is to “lead the working class”.I’m still not convinced, however, that People Before Profit are not genuine reformists who really believe that capitalism could be made to work in the way they propose (as opposed to the insincere reformists that the Trotskyists are with their “transitional demands” which they know can’t be achieved under capitalism).If TUSC and People Before Profit do have rival lists for these elections I would think that People Before Profit would do better as they would be appealing to a wider audience than just trade unionists. In any event, we’ll be standing in at least one area advocating the common ownership and democratic control of productive resources and production solely for use not profit (socialism) and nothing but.

    #87191
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    On this Wiki page, George Hallam, the Profit before People candidate in Feltham this coming Thursday (15th), is described as standing:-“on a socialist platform against austerity cuts and in favour of high rates of income tax for the highest earners.  He was a candidate at the 2010 general election in the Lewisham East seat under the ballot paper description “Community Need Before Private Greed”.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feltham_and_Heston_by-election,_2011However here, on the People for Profit website, we learn the following:-“Lewisham People Before Profit is not a socialist party, although some members of the Socialist Party (sic) are active within it.”http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk/lewisham/information/about-us

    #87192
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    So it is the socialist party then. And no confusion over the name……?!

    #87193
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I wonder what the people of Lewisham would have made of this. Luckily for them it was only distributed in Vauxhall in Lambeth.

    #87194
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I sent an email to the People before Profit contact for Feltham and was surprised to get a reply from the candidate himself, George Hallam. Apparently he knew a Party member when he was in Bristol in the late 70s. Here (with permission) is what he replied:

    Quote:
    I’m George Hallam (the candidate). I’m just off to campaign so I will have to be brief. Are we a socialist party? Let’s just say that we are more concerned with practical actions to tackle some very real problems than we are with labels.  So formally we don’t use that term. Check our manifesto and policy statements to see where we stand.  Quite a few of our members do consider themselves socialists.  We try to take decisions by consensus so there is no great conflict.  We have members who are in The Socialist Party (of England and Wales). In May we stood Ian Page (an SP member and former councillor) as a joint candidate in a council by-election in Lewisham. Ian got 13 percent, 78 votes behind the Conservative if I remember correctly.  Must dash now. Best wishes

    The result of the local by-election can be found here. Page, who stood as a “Socialist Alternative – Lewisham People Before Profit​” candidate, didn’t do too badly.

    #87195
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    The result of the local by-election can be found here. Page, who stood as a “Socialist Alternative – Lewisham People Before Profit​” candidate, didn’t do too badly.

     He was standing on a reformist ticket so what else would one expect at this stage of working-class political consciousness?What saddens me is that the party missed a golden opportunity to contest the Feltham by-election which is taking place today (15th) which would have given the electorate there a genuine choice between all the various reformers of capitalism standing and the socialist alternative.

    #87196
    Brian
    Participant

    After contesting the Saddleworth by-election and the many problems and issues encountered on that occasion they are best left alone. 

    #87197
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Brian wrote:
    After contesting the Saddleworth by-election and the many problems and issues encountered on that occasion they are best left alone. 

     What’s this; another guessing game?  Kindly enlighten the rest of us about “the many problems and issues encountered” and why by-elections “are best left alone”.

    #87198
    ALB
    Keymaster

    That was the by-election in which we got beaten by Mr Blobby. Another unfortunate result in a by-election in Scotland in 2005 (details here) led Conference the following year to vote:

    Quote:
    That no more by-elections be contested as they appear to be a waste of money.

    So we couldn’t have put up a candidate even if we wanted to, but if there had been more time (the Labour Party has rushed the by-election since the MP died only on 10 November and was buried only on 25 November) West London branch would have leafleted the area. The 2006 resolution, however, does not rule out contesting either the general election or regional or local elections, just by-elections. Which is why we will be contesting the Greater London Assembly elections next year.On the face of it by-elections seem a good opportunity to gain some national publicity but the sort of results we were getting turned out to be counter-productive.It will be interesting to see tomorrow morning how many votes George Hallam got and whether he too got his fingers burnt by contesting a by-election for the publicity. 

    #87199
    Brian
    Participant
    gnome wrote:
    Brian wrote:
    After contesting the Saddleworth by-election and the many problems and issues encountered on that occasion they are best left alone. 

     What’s this; another guessing game?  Kindly enlighten the rest of us about “the many problems and issues encountered” and why by-elections “are best left alone”.

    Insufficient time to produce quality leaflets and posters, insufficient members, inability to respond to local publicity, massive area to cover, by-elections usually attract a host of publicity seeking candidates.   The main reason why by-elections are best left alone is because they are one offs.  Whereas our election efforts are a long term strategy where consistent activity is necessary and persistentently  focused on our strengths and not our weaknesses.  Which is the reason why our attention is presently concentrating on the areas around HO.

    #87200
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Seema Malhotra, Labour – 12,639 (54.42%, +10.79%)Mark Bowen, Conservative – 6,436 (27.71%, -6.32%)Roger Crouch, Liberal Democrats – 1,364 (5.87%, -7.87%)Andrew Charalambous, UKIP – 1,276 (5.49%, +3.45%)David Furness, BNP – 540 (2.33%, -1.21%)Daniel Goldsmith, Green – 426 (1.83%, +0.74%)Roger Cooper, English Democrats – 322 (1.39%)George Hallam, London People Before Profit – 128 (0.55%)David Bishop, Bus-Pass Elvis Party – 93 (0.40%)

    #87201
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Well, at least he beat the “Bus-Pass Elvis Party”. I don’t know whether or not he’ll be pleased with the result. We would be if it was us, I suppose, knowing that there were up to a 100 people in that area who had deliberately voted for a classless, stateless, moneyless, wageless world, and we’d go out and try to make contact with them. But he said he was  “more concerned with practical actions to tackle some very real problems”. 0.55% doesn’t seem a very strong base from which to achieve something practical, even if it is par for the course for the percentage of votes Trotskyist and similar candidates get these days.Rather worrying is the fact that the three far right, ultra-nationalist parties (UKIP, BNP and English Democrats) together got over 9 percent of the vote.

    #87202
    ALB
    Keymaster

    People Before Profit’s assessment of their result can be found on their site. Also there are various videos of George Hallam’s contributions at hustings meetings. This is something we could do of course and might be a reason for contesting appropriate by-elections again.. The technical quality is not very good except for him on the economic crisis and who he is. The political quality reveals him to be a common or garden reformist, advocating for instance municipal banks to help local businesses and a revival of the old Giro Bank. The good thing is that he doesn’t mention socialism or claim to be a socialist. It’s a pity others such as the TUSC, Militant and the SWP don’t do the same, ie propose their reforms without claiming to be socialists.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.