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Socialist Party manifesto 2010
Socialist Party manifesto 2010
Ordinary people have not just accepted the bosses' attacks lying down. Last year cleaners in the HQ of a City broker formed a trade union and fought a successful battle for a pay rise from the minimum wage to £7.20 an hour.
In 2009 unemployed and Socialist Party youth formed the campaign Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) to organise the increasing numbers of unemployed young people. Winning support from major trade unions, YFJ has three successful national demonstrations under its belt.
This year, more than 200,000 mainly low-paid government workers in job centres, tax offices, vehicle licensing and other civil service departments have staged strikes against an attack on their redundancy pay. These workers are organised in the PCS civil servants' trade union, within which the Socialist Party plays a leading role.
There has also been the action of the British Airways cabin crew against union hostile BA boss Willie Walsh and ballots for industrial action by railway workers to defend the safety of the railways.
Students at Sussex University along with their lecturers have staged strike action, occupations and mass protests to try to reverse the management's attack on jobs and courses. The Socialist Party supported all these struggles.
Flooding in the centre of Gloucester, 2007, photo Chris Moore
The UN Climate Panel predicts a temperature increase of six degrees within a century. Already today, 300,000 deaths every year are related to the direct or indirect effects of climate change.
The capitalist politicians' absolute failure to make any progress on tackling the environmental crisis is breathtaking. But socialists are not surprised by this failure. On the basis of the market, and as long as the profit motive rules, the problem cannot be solved.
While pro-big business politicians are happy to use climate change as an excuse to raise taxes etc, they have no real solutions to the problems of the environment. The unwillingness of the Green parties in Britain and around the world to be prepared to break with capitalism has often led them to end up in alliances with the bosses' parties.
The profit motive prevents the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices. To seriously tackle climate change and other environmental problems we need international economic planning and socialist policies. This is the only way of eradicating the huge waste and pollution inherent in capitalist production.
Anti-war demonstration September 2005, photo Alison Hill
The war in Afghanistan is already nearly a decade old. The loss of life of the Afghan people is horrific and getting worse. The death rate among British troops is escalating, with more than 280 killed since the conflict began.
Many generals talk about an open-ended conflict. Afghan civilians live without access to basic amenities like clean water and electricity. Unemployment is rife. This is deplorable. The Socialist Party has campaigned against the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq since the beginning.
The working class men and women fighting in the British army should be brought home immediately. This does not mean we accept that Afghanistan should be left to the reactionary Taliban and corrupt Karzai government.
The track record of the US and British governments, and their support for corrupt puppet politicians and warlords, shows that their agenda is about control of resources, power and prestige. Socialists believe in international working class solidarity.
Through international campaigns, the trade union movement and the Committee for a Workers' International we campaign for the right of the people of Afghanistan to decide their own future. We campaign against the corrupt elites and call for a workers' and peasants' government.
RMT Ggneral secretary Bob Crow addressing RMT anti-BNP meeting in Barking, east London, photo Senan
The far-right, racist British National Party (BNP) claims that it is on the side of working people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wherever its councillors have been elected, the BNP has voted for cuts. In Barking the BNP didn't only vote for the New Labour council's cuts, they proposed extra cuts of their own.
Since BNP leader Nick Griffin was elected to the European parliament (less than a year ago) he has claimed £200,000 in expenses, in addition to his £82,000 salary! So much for standing up for working-class people!
The BNP is a racist party that lays the blame for the problems local communities face - poor housing, privatisation and council service cuts - at the door of ethnic minorities and asylum seekers. This is made easy for the BNP. After all, the rightwing tabloid press regularly stoop to this kind of propaganda. The establishment parties sometimes also attempt to cut across the BNP by echoing their ideas - which instead only fuels them.
By whipping up racism the BNP diverts blame from the real culprits behind the problems of working-class communities - big business, the government and local councils. And when the BNP has been elected it has done nothing to fight for the local people it claims to represent.
The parliamentary system operates so those involved live a rarefied and distant life from those who elected them. Even before expenses, MPs' wages put them in the top 10% of earners.
Expenses put them in the top 6%! Socialists believe that 'representatives' should be just that - representatives. Their living conditions should reflect those of the people who elected them. They should be just as angry as the rest of us about the threat of anti-working class policies such as university fees, privatisation and job cuts.
The Socialist Party requires all of its candidates to commit, if elected, to only taking the average wage of a worker. In the 1980s, Militant, the predecessor of the Socialist Party, had three MPs, all of whom took only a worker's wage. Our councillors and trade union representatives take only strictly necessary expenses, needed to carry out the tasks they were elected to do.
The Socialist Party is standing under the banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC - www.tusc.org.uk).