Monday, 23 November 2009

People Before Profit in the race!

I am pleased to report that Lewisham People Before Profit have agreed a constitution, officers and submitted an application to the Election Commission to register as a political party. Not only has a website been set up, funds raised and a draft leaflet agreed ready for distribution -all of this has been agreed in such a short period of time. Trade unionists, socialists and campaigner's all coming to together to thrash out a broad set of polices and principals. Now the work really begins in our two target wards in Deptford! Hopefully we will have a level of interest and support that allows us to stand additional candidates in more than half of the wards in the borough. A news release is being drafted with already press interest from the Newshopper and South London Press.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Agreements on the left

Green Party members in Birmingham have agreed not to stand against the leader of Respect in the seat she is contesting. Interestingly she is again standing against a former right wing trade union operator and former Lewisham councillor Roger Godsiff -who is still a member of Charlton FC's board! I understand that a number of local Green party branches around the country have also agreed not to contest a number of seats where well placed candidates with a progressive record and with green credentials could do well. I also understand these developments are in the face of bitter opposition by the majority of the Green Party leadership. It will be interesting to see how this develops. In the spirt of such unity I have therefore agreed not to stand in West Lewisham and give the greens a free run -Romanye Phoenix is one of the most left wing and socialist Green Party members in the country. This wil also allow me to give full support to Lewisham People Before Profit in our target wards.

Developments on the left -national and local

In recent weeks a lot has been happening on the left. With only just over 5 months -before the next general election the left needs to get its act together quickly. The RMT union held a well attended conference to discuss the crisis of political representation for the working class. I would estimate well over 250 attended. However it became clear that no new left party is going to be formed by the number of left wing militant trade unions this side of the election. Both the RMT and FBU have strong trade groups of MP's and they are keen to keep these links with these MP's -like John Mcdonald. A coalition of the left is however going to be established to stand as many candidates as possible email for more information.

Respect also held its conference in Birmingham on the 14th November and from the reports I have read it appears to have taken a rightward turn away from seeking to link with the wider forces of the left seeking to build a new broad party. Respect is increasingly becoming seen as a communalist Muslim party. Its level of support outside of a very few areas of the country is no greater than the rest of the far left. It membership appears to have collapsed to only around 500 and is heavily concentrated in only 12 functioning branches.

Locally the developments on the left are much more interesting. A broad coalition of activists and campaigners from those calling for a progressive new secondary school for the north of the borough, tenant and leaseholders activists, trade unionists, and socialists have come to together and adopted a constitition and formed a political party which will soon be registered with the Election Commission. Two council wards in Deptford will be targetted and as many candidates as possible will be standing for "People Before Profit"