Many of you will be asking why The Socialist Party of Great Britain is standing in this constituency in this election — why we should be intruding in the battle between the big political parties and complicating what seems a simple choice between Labour and Conservative, or perhaps Liberal.
You will be going to vote in the belief that your cross on the ballot paper will have some influence in improving our lives, or at least in protecting our living standards. This is understandable — but on what do you base your belief ?
The other parties are bidding for your vote with programmes which may seem to offer some hope of easing, or even abolishing, many of the problems of this country and of the world. Millions of people find these programmes attractive enough to vote for one or other of them. The Socialist Party of Great Britain argues that none of them stands up to examination.
For example, recent elections have been dominated by promises to deal with economic crises — balance of payment problems, inflation, unemployment and so on. Yet these crises keep bursting upon the scene and as fast as the promises are made they are discredited by events.
Yet again; every government comes into power pledged to abolish slums and to eliminate the housing problem. They seem to have it all worked out, with their declarations of intent and their statistics. The result, according to Shelter, is that “today’s housing crisis is a disgrace to any civilised society.”
All the other parties offer plans designed to make war a thing of the past. They ring the changes on appeasement, resistance, diplomatic initiatives. In spite of all these plans the world scrapes through a succession of wars — Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, the Middle East, Cyprus — with the threat of nuclear conflagration hanging over our heads.
It is true that at times some problems are alleviated or even suppressed, but this is only for others to take their place. For example; we are told that our lives have been improved by the development of productive techniques, but we are also faced with the fact that these very developments pollute our environment to such an extent that they may present a threat almost as great as a nuclear war.
Why do other political parties fail ? Why are their promises so ineffective? What causes the problems of the world? The Socialist Party of Great Britain urge you to examine the social system we live under — capitalism.
This is a society based on the private ownership of the means of wealth production and distribution. Private ownership at once divides society into two classes — the owning, or capitalist class and the deprived, or working class. It is the working class who suffer poverty and all it means in terms of bad housing, inadequate medical services, sub-standard food and so on. Capitalism is a society of competition which splits the world into rival nations and power blocs and is the direct cause of modern war.
What Must Be Done?
The Socialist Party of Great Britain puts forward the alternative society. Socialism will be a society in which the whole of humanity, without distinction of race or sex, will own in common all we use to make and distribute wealth. Common ownership means a society without classes, without privileges, without different standards of consumption. In Socialist society everyone will have free access to the world’s wealth and will stand equally in that respect.
Socialism will produce its wealth for human use instead of for sale. This will make it a society of cooperation instead of competition. There will be no frontiers to divide the world’s people. Socialism will be one world, with one people working together for the common wealth.
Socialism will be an efficient world, in contrast to capitalism, where waste and shoddiness are profitable. For the first time, men and women in Socialism will realise their capabilities to the full. Socialism will produce an abundance and at only one standard — the best we are capable of.
Is It All A Dream? How Do We Get Socialism?
The Socialist Party of Great Britain is not another collection of leaders telling you to trust us and promising you almost anything for the sake of winning your vote. No leader can give you Socialism, no clever politician can pull you by the nose into the new society. Neither will it happen by accident.
Socialism must be your work; it needs a conscious political act by the mass of the people, opting for the new society in full knowledge of what it is. It comes to this — only if you understand Socialism and want it, vote for the Socialist candidate.
And that is why The Socialist Party of Great Britain are here in Hampstead at this election We are a political party, hostile to all others, including those phoney revolutionaries of the Left — the Communist Party, International Marxist Group, International Socialists, Workers Revolutionary Party, etc. The Socialist Party of Great Britain is different — we are the political instrument to be used by the working class to transform the world from a chaos of deprivation and strife into an order of abundance and harmony. Your vote is important, to you and to society, because it expresses your choice between the two.