Every politician in Britain proudly proclaims himself or herself a democrat.
Yet while millions of people oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the parliamentary consensus is that British troops must remain as occupiers, regardless of what the voters think.
That there is such a gulf between the parties and people tells us much about the limits of the democratic system we live under.
The London Assembly and local council elections in May, however, offer an opportunity for the left to present an alternative vision – one where people come before profits, and where there can be an end to war.
That is the task that Respect’s Left List has set itself. In London, and in towns and cities across England and Wales, the Left List will be offering people a chance to reject the convenient consensus in Westminster, and vote for something genuinely radical.
As part of the campaign we must seek to involve those who have become most disillusioned with the political system, and offer them a party that can give a voice to the voiceless.