The Clock Is Ticking
As the days to the election fall away faster than
audience members at a screening of Troy we all need to take a deep
breath and ensure we use these days as effectively as we can. The
urgency is particularly true in those regions where the vote will be
entirely by postal ballot.
Every socialist can make the best use of this time by
deeply involving themselves with those brave left wing individuals who
are organising the election work.
In Scotland building the SSP vote can help build the
momentum that has turned the SSP into a real pole of attraction for the
left north of the border. An increase in their vote will help them drag
leftwing Labour members, kicking and screaming out of the comfortable
traditions of Labour and into the hotter, more principled arena of
socialist community politics.
In Northern Ireland a vote for Eammon McCann and the
Socialist Environmental Alliance (SEA) could help them build on Eammon's
5% share at the Assembly elections and create an alternative to
sectarianism based on the unity of working people in a common struggle
for a better world.
In England the Euro elections give everyone a chance
to use their vote to give a clear and unambiguous anti-war vote. Every
vote that RESPECT gets will push forward the idea that left unity is not
something that should simply be confined to small warring grouplets and
can be something that breaks into new, more fertile territory of wider
sections of the community.
If RESPECT can achieve a good vote that will move the
entire left forward, if it does badly the left as a whole will be set
back and demoralised.
In the council elections getting involved with local
election campaigns can be your chance to build roots, support and
networks with others on the left. There are a number of socialist
cnadidates in these elections, standing under a variety of names,
independent and a few as Labour candidates. We can all use this
opportunity to maximise the left vote locally that can only help build
those community campaigns and influence of the left on the estates that
is so fundamental to building a larger united socialist voice.
The same is true for anti-fascist work. Getting
involved now with local anti-fascists (who will usually although not
exclusively be organised in UAF) will not only help to marginalise the
BNP vote, it will give every activist that involves themselves in
activity the chance to talk to Labour Party members, unaffiliated
progressives, Greens and the like, building useful networks and debating
which way the world is going.
What ever the results of the elections what we do now
to positively move things forward will be remembered in the months
ahead, and if we are to shift the debate for a real and broad socialist
voice its vital that we get involved, do our best and show socialist
unity not just in the abstract but in practice on the ground through our