The Socialist Alliance launched its general election campaign this week. People across Britain now have the chance to say a resounding no to Tony Blair's pro-market, pro-privatisation policies, and to vote for a socialist alternative.
Over 60 Socialist Alliance candidates in England and Wales will join the 72 Scottish Socialist Party candidates standing in every constituency in Scotland. The candidates are not careerists or bankrolled by millionaires. They are working class people, like those pictured right, who will take only the average working wage of those who elect them.
They include car workers, postal workers, rail and tube workers, health workers, teachers, pensioners, environmental campaigners and community activists. Fellow trade unionists, campaigners and high profile figures have responded enthusiastically to news of the socialist election challenge. Dave Toomer, president of the National Union of Journalists, is one of the many Socialist Alliance supporters in Manchester.
Peter Grant, a branch secretary for the rail union ASLEF, says, 'New Labour have let us down on their promise of an integrated transport policy. 'The Socialist Alliance stands for renationalising the railways and stopping the privatisation of air traffic control.'
George Watson used to be a Labour Party councillor, and is a former branch official in the miners' NUM union at Silverhill colliery. He has put himself forward to fight against defence secretary Geoff Hoon in Ashfield.
'The Socialist Alliance can go from strength to strength. It can breed optimism in communities where the Tories and New Labour have bred despair,' says George. 'New Labour have been in alliance with business, and they've dumped the rest of the people. It is vitally important we have this alternative for those who feel disillusioned with Labour, and which campaigns on the issues which affect working class people.'