Socialist Worker

Tories out - and build a real left alternative

Issue No. 2452

Protesting to defend NHS

Protesting to defend NHS


After five years of cuts and racist scapegoating, millions of working class people want to see the Tories get a kicking. 

Seeing David Cameron forced out of Downing Street would give a lift to everyone who has marched against austerity, struck against poverty pay or protested against cuts. 

But if he manages to hang on despite all he has done, many will feel demoralised about the possibility of stopping more attacks.

Everyone who has marched against racism will want to wipe the smile from Nigel Farage’s smug face. If any Ukip candidates succeed it will keep the bashing of migrants in the mainstream, and give confidence to every racist and bigot.

Socialist Worker supporters are among the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates standing in 136 parliamentary seats and in over 600 council seats across Britain.

This is part of building a left alternative to the politicians who all agree on pushing austerity and whipping up racism.

Elsewhere we are also supporting Left Unity, Respect and Scottish Socialist Party candidates, and left wing Green MP Caroline Lucas in Brighton.

The Greens as a party may win votes from people sick of the mainstream politicians, but they are not offering a working class alternative. 

Where there isn’t a left alternative candidate Socialist Worker is calling for a vote for Labour in England and Wales.

Labour is not offering a radical alternative to the Tories. It insists it will pursue “austerity lite” and has joined attacks on migrants. 

Class

But many working class people still see it as the party with trade union roots that represents their class against the public school toffs of the Tory Party. If Labour replaces the Tory government it will boost their confidence to resist racism and austerity. 

In Scotland this picture no longer fits. Labour’s role in blocking with the Tories to defend the union with Britain in the independence referendum has lost it the mass support of millions of workers. 

Many former Labour voters have been attracted by the Scottish National Party (SNP). It has put a popular anti-austerity agenda at the centre of its campaign. But its record contradicts this message.

Much of the left in Scotland even argued for “lending” a vote to the SNP in the general election then standing independently in the Scottish elections next year. 

But building an alternative to Labour that stands against welfare cuts, privatisation and racism can’t wait. We have to start now.

TUSC candidates are standing on a manifesto that opposes all austerity. They and their supporters have been out on the streets and active in local campaigns and disputes. We know that TUSC’s electoral impact will inevitably be limited in this general election. But the campaigns have built roots and networks for the future.

It’s vital to begin to build a united left that can challenge Labour. The left in Britain is still too divided. 

Winning votes for TUSC is part of that. But for socialists the fight against austerity and racism doesn’t end when the next government takes office.

Socialists look to building working class struggles. These can challenge the dominant agenda that demands the poor pay while the rich get richer. 

We have to be ready to build those fights. Both the Tories and Labour have said that they will attack working class living standards in order to balance the budget. We have to be ready to stop them. We need to build opposition rooted in struggle and resistance that says no to scapegoating migrants, privatising the NHS and cutting welfare.

For post-election news and analysis go to socialistworker.co.uk

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