Socialist Worker

Labour candidates reject their party

Issue No. 1794

The Labour Party is finding it almost impossible to find enthusiastic members to fight its local election campaign on 2 May. A Guardian article last week gave a glimpse of the widespread disillusion inside the Labour Party:

'MPs and local officials are reporting a shortage of good candidates for the local elections and a declining pool of party workers to campaign for them. 'I think we'll get a stuffing in the elections,' a senior backbencher predicted. 'I'm writing a lot of leaflets myself. I owe it to my colleagues on the council,' said another who expects little or no holiday over Easter. One minister admits that morale is so low in his constituency that his annual party meeting - usually attended by 100 people - could not attract enough this year to hold a quorate meeting. In another part of the country a backbencher reports incidents of nominated council candidates resigning from the party and a shortage of people ready to let their names go forward. The problem seems most acute in city areas where the imminent elections are exposing the lack of committed party supporters. 'Going knocking on doors is not a popular activity at the moment,' a Yorkshire MP said. 'In areas like mine we've lost it completely.''

Thankfully the Socialist Alliance is providing an alternative to the pro-market, pro-privatisation, pro-war stance of New Labour and the other mainstream parties.

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Sat 6 Apr 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1794
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