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The case for socialism (2013 version)

Socialist Party books and pamphlets

The case for socialism (2013 version)

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For workers' representatives on a worker's wage

Socialist Party members who stand for public positions, such as MPs and councillors, including for TUSC, are committed to taking only the average wage of a skilled worker in the area they represent.

We believe that this policy can play an important role in making sure the party develops in a healthy way and that its representatives remain in touch with ordinary working people.

In the past, when we had three socialist MPs, they took only the average wage of a skilled worker. Even the BBC recently recognised this, declaring: "As many MPs rush to condemn proposals to give them an 11% pay rise, few have taken the lead of the former member for Coventry South...

"From his election in 1983 to his deselection by Labour in 1992, Dave Nellist kept less than half his salary.

"Along with two other Labour politicians - Terry Fields, MP for Liverpool Broadgreen, and Pat Wall, MP for Bradford North - Mr Nellist chose to 'get by' on a wage closer to that of the people he represented."

Today in Ireland, our sister party's MP, Joe Higgins, also takes the average wage of a worker. Even the tabloid press has felt compelled to describe him as a socialist 'that money can't buy'.

This is only one factor which would mark out a new workers' party as fundamentally different to the existing order.

Most important is the active involvement of the working class as well as the programme any new party stands on.

Any party which stands against austerity and for workers' rights would be a step forward, but we would argue for it to have a clear, socialist programme.

Labour is incapable of offering an alternative to austerity because it accepts the logic of capitalism.

Miliband's adoption of the Tory slogan 'one nation' reflects Labour's belief that the interests of the 1% and those of the 99% are one and the same.

It is only a question, according to Miliband, of encouraging 'responsible' rather than 'predatory' capitalism.

But no amount of pleading will create a caring, sharing version of capitalism. Worldwide the super-rich have 20 trillion stashed away in the world's tax havens, around half of which is owned by a mere 100,000 people.

This is greater than the national debts of all the OECD countries added together. No tax is being paid on this vast wealth.

In Britain alone it is estimated that 120 billion of tax is avoided or evaded mainly by the rich every year.

Such is the growing anger at tax avoidance and evasion by the major corporations and the super-rich that, at the 2013 meeting of the G8 countries, prime minister David Cameron was forced to pose as 'taking action' on this issue. In reality the measures he proposed were meaningless, and will do nothing to regulate the tax havens, which include Britain!

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