The government took a drubbing in the local elections. The Tories and Liberal Democrats crashed. But the anger hasn’t gone to the left. At the time of writing
Ukip ate into a series of Tory strongholds. In Essex and Kent in particular
The Liberal Democrats have also suffered heavy losses across the country. Nick Clegg’s party lost control of
Labour has gained Hammersmith and Fulham
Labour is still the main home for those opposed to the government. But it leaves many voters uninspired.
With a wealth of publicity and a political climate where it is apparently compulsory for a mainstream politician to be against immigration
Ukip is clearly dragging politics to the right. It prospered through its fake but carefully-cultivated image as the outsider.
There is less of a Labour collapse to Ukip than some of the media are suggesting or hoping for. And even in
But Ed Miliband said voters looking to Ukip showed “a deep sense of discontent” which may be true but doesn’t offer much hope.
Labour MP Andy Burnham has said Labour needs a tougher line on immigration to stop its northern working-class voters defecting to Ukip. He said
Instead of chasing the racists of Ukip by talking up anti-immigration everyone in the Labour movement needs to build a fight against racism wherever it is raised.
The election didn’t inspire overall with just over one in three people eligible using their vote.
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates fought good campaigns
The problem is that in response the attitude seems to be to pander to the right wing ideas of Ukip.
The results of the European elections are due on Sunday. Ukip are again expected to poll well. Though campaigners are predicting that Nazi Nick Griffin will lose his seat.
Racists have fed off the despair people can feel in the face of austerity and constant attacks for too long.
Building resistance—and the possibility of stopping the attacks—gives a real alternative to that despair. The potential for stepping up the fight against the Tories is there in July with the prospect of a million strong public sector strike
In Rotherham Ukip won 10 of the 21 seats up for grabs in the borough
Ged Dempsey is a print worker who lives in Wath
He spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity. “It’s regrettable that Ukip has made such inroads into Rotherham Council – but not surprising
“For too long the Labour Party and the council have failed to listen to people and communities. They have not campaigned against vile austerity cuts enough
“They have outsourced services and brought in the Private Finance Initiative at will over the years. They have also closed services to vulnerable people and children instead of fighting back.
“Hopefully they will now listen to this massive shot across their bow. It’s time they stood up to the government instead of carrying out their plans. It’s time they fought back with progressive and radical policies that offer a real alternative.”
Build momentum now
The determination to organise is growing