Two Socialist Workers Party national delegate meetings last weekend discussed the huge challenge posed by the election. Both were brimming with enthusiasm at the prospect of the biggest and broadest ever left wing challenge to Labour.
There were reports from all around Britain of how the Socialist Alliance and the Scottish Socialist Party can be lightning conductors for the deep disgust people feel at Tony Blair. It is not only felt amongst older, more established Labour supporters and former activists.
The young people and students who attended the recent Globalise Resistance counter-conference tour are just as interested in a left wing challenge to Blair. We live in a world where $60 million in debt repayment is transferred every day from the poorest nations to the banks, where 30,000 children die every day from easily preventable diseases
Many can already see the connection between that world of inequality and injustice, and New Labour's free market, pro-business policies. The Socialist Alliance can make that connection for many more. The question, 'Who can I vote for?' is being asked by former Labour voters at public meetings, campaign groups and union branches everywhere. It is time to get moving. The message of last weekend's meetings-and of this week's Socialist Worker-is that we must all now throw ourselves into campaigning. The vote matters.
A good vote can boost all who want the left to be stronger. We must follow the example of Withington in south Manchester, where Alliance members have already got their first leaflet out to the entire constituency, or the example of Blackley constituency in north Manchester, where they have organised an anti-privatisation roadshow.
We need organisation in wards and constituencies up and running now. If there is not a Socialist Alliance candidate in your constituency or area, still get involved. Why not twin with the constituency you and your workmates can most easily campaign in?
There is no time to lose-whether the election is in April or in May. We want to let Blair know that thousands of us reject his agenda and want genuine socialist policies. You can make a difference in doing that.
Cecilia Prosper, the Socialist Alliance prospective parliamentary candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch, launched her campaign last weekend. She could only do so because of donations by trade unionists, community activists and students. Cecilia and her supporters are delivering election leaflets to every house in the Hackney South constituency.
The Socialist Alliance and the Scottish Socialist Party both urgently need money for this to happen in every constituency where they are taking on New Labour.
Please rush in your donations to the National Network of Socialist Alliances, PO Box 121, Coventry CV1 5DA, phone 020 7536 9696, or to the SSP Election Fund, 73 Robertson Street, Glasgow G2 8QD, phone 0141 221 7714. You can also donate to your local campaign.
Over 200 people came to the launch of Tommy Sheridan and Alan McCombes's book Imagine in central London. Speakers included John Pilger and Socialist Alliance candidate Louise Christian