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Socialist Unity

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Got a comment?

Why not email us with your thoughts?

MARK DUNNELL, SHEFFIELD HEELEY, SOCIALIST PARTY

standing as SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE on the ballot


link / contact details for potential supporters

www.socialistparty.org.uk

email: alistair@sheffieldsocialistparty.info  

 

i.
what do you think is the most important issue in this election?

The lack of political representation for ordinary working-class people. The main parties all support the neo-liberal agenda. New Labour is now an openly capitalist party. The working-class needs a new party to represent its interests.

ii.
why did you make the decision to stand in this constituency and for this party (as an independent)? The Socialist Party democratically discussed and decided at branch, regional and then national level, that we should contest a seat in Sheffield. We chose Heeley because Socialist Party has a record of standing in one ward in Heeley for the last ten years, and we did not want to stand against Respect in Central Sheffield (which would have been our preferred constituency that we have contested before in a general election).

iii.
what kind of vote are you expecting on May 5th?

1-2%, 500-1000 votes.

iv.
aside from the vote what are you hoping to get out of this campaign?

Put across a socialist alternative to a much bigger audience. Give our many newer and young members the experience of campaigning in a general election. Find new members and supporters, who can then be involved in our ongoing campaigns and activities, including local community campaigns and possibly standing in more wards in Heeley in next years local council elections.

v. in your view what is the greatest threat to our civil liberties at the moment?

The repressive police measures and govt legislation being pushed through under the guise of the “war on terror”.

vi.
Blair has taken us to war three times since coming to power (not including the occasional ad hoc bombing raid) in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Can war ever be justified?

Imperialist war can never be supported by socialists including under the guise of the UN and/or “peacekeeping” forces. Socialist Party does support the right of armed self-defense and resistance to imperialist occupation. But not uncritically. As internationalists we have a duty to say which tactics and methods we think advance the cause of resistance and the working class and which are reactionary, divisive and counter-productive. As trades unionists and socialists, we should support those working-class forces that seek to unite on cross-ethnic non sectarian lines the opposition to US/UK imperialist occupation.

vii.
There is very little left to privatise in this country, if you had your way what would be brought into public hands?

All the industries and services previously privatised should be returned to public ownership. No compensation should be paid to fat-cat bosses. Compensation should be available only in cases of proven need. Socialist Party also wants the big corporations and banks to be nationalised so that a socialist government could plan the economy through having control of the decisive sectors of the economy. Medium and smaller businesses would not need to be taken over provided that they met minimum standards in relation to wages, health, safety, environment, workers’ rights, etc. Public ownership would have to be democratically run through workers control and workers management, taking account of the needs of the overall plan, the interests of the working-class as a whole and the environment.

viii.
Some environmental campaigners have started talking about nuclear power as a way to bring down CO2 emissions - what do you think of this?

I’m not an expert, but as long as we don’t know how to deal with nuclear waste then this should be opposed. Certainly in the hands of capitalists there can be no trust over health&safety or long term environmental issues. Instead it would be much better to put public investment resources into a programme of energy production from alternative, non-pollutant sources, such as solar, tidal and wind. And a publicly funded, integrated public transport system would go a long way in cutting emissions from cars etc.

Ix Asylum and immigration will be central issues in this election. What action on this issue would you like to see the next government push through?

 I wouldn’t trust the next government (Labour or Tory) with asylum and immigration policy! A socialist policy would be to lift repressive measures against asylum seekers and for them to have the same rights as British nationals. Trade unions must recruit and organise immigrant and migrant workers so as to prevent their exploitation and them being used to undermine all workers’ rights and conditions, and so cut across prejudice and division. A socialist government would adequately fund public services, build cheap affordable housing and raise the minimum wage which would cut across a lot of the fears of white British workers about them losing out.

x.
What question do you wish was on this list but doesn't appear?

Do you think that public representatives who want to represent ordinary working-class people should undertake to only accept the average workers wage?

YES. I have made that pledge. Only if you live the same lifestyle as the majority of people you seek to represent, will you keep your feet on the ground and stick to your socialist principles and policies.

 

April 2005

 

2005

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For Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~ For Socialism