JUST 60 days to go now until the 10 June European and London Assembly elections. Respect supporters are to up the tempo of their election campaign after the Easter holiday. Leaflets, posters, cavalcades, walkabouts, banner drops, press stunts, workplace and community meetings and much, much more are under way across England. In some areas things are even more urgent.
The government is to make voting totally postal in four of the giant Euro constituencies-the East Midlands, North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humberside.
This means that in major towns and cities like Newcastle, Sunderland, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, Leeds and Sheffield all voting will be by post. Yunus Bakhsh is a member of Unison's national executive and is a Respect candidate in the North East region.
He told Socialist Worker, "People will start getting ballot forms weeks before 10 June-it could be as early as mid-May. That means that in these places the elections really take place almost a month earlier than elsewhere. So the 30 days from Easter to mid-May are crunch time for campaigners in these four regions. We need to get cracking now."
Register to vote
YOU STILL have a few days left to make sure you have a vote in the 10 June elections. The registration closes on 13 April, next Tuesday. If you're not sure that you are on the electoral register check with your local council. You can register on the internet by visiting the website www.rollingregistration.co.uk
You MUST ensure the form reaches your local registration office by Tuesday 13 April (details on the website).
If you don't have access to the internet you can phone the Electoral Commission helpline on 0800 328 0280.
'Send a message'
THE MUSLIM Association of Britain (MAB) this week issued a press release urging people to register and use their votes on 10 June. "The significance of participating in such elections cannot be undervalued as it serves as a significant toll to send a clear message from the Muslim community to the entire political spectrum, outlining its full and positive commitment to making a positive change to the British political and social landscape. Make sure that you are registered in good time for the elections. That way, your vote will be far more effective and will result in real change."
MAB director Anas al-Tikriti has stood down from his position in order to stand as Respect candidate in Yorkshire & Humberside.
RESPECT HAS a target of raising half a million pounds and recruiting 10,000 members in less than ten weeks. Respect national chair Nick Wrack says, "With the European and Greater London Assembly elections taking place on 10 June we have very little time to raise the money we need. We are appealing to all our supporters to make the biggest donation possible. We know that many supporters are unwaged, low waged, pensioners or students. But we are putting out an ambitious call, confident that we can raise the cash we need. Whatever you can give, whether it's £5 or £500, every donation will be a blow to Blair and New Labour who think they can take your votes for granted."