The run-up to an election is a strange time. There is much talk of democracy while in reality a range of tactics is deployed to remove citizens from the electoral roll (the Local Government Association said last year that 5.5 million people were removed when the most recent registers were set up).
There is much talk of the importance of discussing the issues. But when workers want to talk about the impact of the free movement of people on wage levels, this is called “racist” and trade unions actively connive to make it a taboo topic.
There are many references to the importance of involving “the whole country” at the same time as every effort is made to divide and fragment us.
The real issues of peace and war, pay, jobs, housing, planning, industry and sovereignty will not be changed by any decision on 7 May. They will scarcely even figure in the “debate”.
Yes, we should use this strange pre-election time to raise these questions with politicians, but more importantly we have to discuss them in the workplace and where we live.
Here’s a prediction: come 8 May we will have a government committed to the European Union and the free movement of labour, to the continuance of anti-trade union laws, to NATO and TTIP, to the marketisation of the NHS, and to the growth of free schools and academies.
When it comes to Ukraine, every single so-called opposition party from Greens to Conservatives is a paid-up member of the anti-Russia hate club. Working class opposition stopped the government’s planned bombing of Syria. We need to be equally vocal now against anti-Russia warmongering. Ballots don’t stop bombs.
In Scotland, where the referendum resulted in a vote for the unity of Britain, that democratic decision is now being set aside and a new campaign to fragment the whole of Britain into regions is under way. It will continue after 7 May, whoever gets elected.
There is a huge responsibility on those who voted No in Scotland to continue the fight for unity. Equally, the rest of Britain must understand the importance of the unity of Britain. We need to be united in the fight for wages, for planning our future needs, and for peace.
This party will be holding May Day meetings in Edinburgh, Leeds and London (details on page 6). Our theme is British Workers: Unity not Division. Please join us if you possibly can and even more importantly take every opportunity to raise these issues with others in the workplace and elsewhere.
Everything we produce, every part of our infrastructure and welfare is run by workers who understand them better than any politician. Yet we continue the myth that parliamentary parties can “solve” things for us.
We know they can’t and won’t. It is we who must take responsibility.