EURO election - UKIP big winners in South-West, Tories vote holds up, LibDems crash

Chard & Ilminster News: EURO election - UKIP big winners in South-West, Tories vote holds up, LibDems crash EURO election - UKIP big winners in South-West, Tories vote holds up, LibDems crash

NIGEL Farage's UKIP was the big winner in the European Parliament elections in the South-West.

And while the Conservative vote held up, the big losers were the LibDems, whose vote collapsed to such an extent that they failed to win a seat - and long-serving Sir Graham Watson lost his seat.

UKIP and the Conservatives, who both attracted over 400,000 votes, secured two MEPs each, with one each for Labour and the Green Party.

 

 

The number of votes cast for each party in the South-West was.

An Independence From Europe, 23,169.

British National Party - 10,910.
Conservative Party - 433,151.
English Democrats Party - 15,081.
Green Party - 166,447.
Labour Party - 206,124.
Liberal Democrats - 160,376.
United Kingdom Independence Party - 484,184.

 

The six elected Members of the European Parliament are.

1 - William Dartmouth, United Kingdom Independence Party.
2 - Ashley Peter Fox, Conservative Party.
3 - Julia Reid, United Kingdom Independence Party.
4 - Julia McCulloch Girling, Conservative Party.
5 - Claire Miranda Moody, Labour Party.
6 - Molly Scott Cato, Green Party.

 

The overall turnout for the South-West region was 37.03% compared to 38.87% in 2009.

Comments (26)

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9:41am Mon 26 May 14

FreeSpeech? says...

UKIP showed all you doubters.
UKIP showed all you doubters. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: -30

6:24pm Mon 26 May 14

GoingGreen says...

What exactly have they shown us? The Boris Johnson of Europe? Brilliant.
What exactly have they shown us? The Boris Johnson of Europe? Brilliant. GoingGreen
  • Score: 29

9:41pm Mon 26 May 14

Jamesey says...

This is bad news. I feel sorry for the MEPs who have been doing a good job, but have now lost their seats.

The UKIP MEPs probably won't do anything apart from be obstructive.
This is bad news. I feel sorry for the MEPs who have been doing a good job, but have now lost their seats. The UKIP MEPs probably won't do anything apart from be obstructive. Jamesey
  • Score: 27

10:18pm Mon 26 May 14

souwesterly says...

Let's hope not Jamesey - its just possible that new blood will have learn something useful from their predecessors and will produce a new set of higher standards.
The UKIP representatives now make up a decent sized group and they'll be eager to lead others to electoral success next year. Hopefully therefore they'll behave themselves - at least for a while.
I too commiserate with those ousted MEPs but they in turn can only blame their leaders for not listening to the sounds of public dissent. There are going to be some very interesting governmental peace offerings over the next twelve months.
Let's hope not Jamesey - its just possible that new blood will have learn something useful from their predecessors and will produce a new set of higher standards. The UKIP representatives now make up a decent sized group and they'll be eager to lead others to electoral success next year. Hopefully therefore they'll behave themselves - at least for a while. I too commiserate with those ousted MEPs but they in turn can only blame their leaders for not listening to the sounds of public dissent. There are going to be some very interesting governmental peace offerings over the next twelve months. souwesterly
  • Score: 42

1:39pm Tue 27 May 14

topcataj says...

The fact they did better in the EU elections than the local elections says something. There's been some pretty iffy reporting of the 'facts' from these elections.
The fact they did better in the EU elections than the local elections says something. There's been some pretty iffy reporting of the 'facts' from these elections. topcataj
  • Score: 32

2:57pm Tue 27 May 14

duckface08 says...

This was the referendum we have been waiting for, let's hope our career politicians take heed. The unrest is not only about immigration ( we are full )but other daft issues such as the HUMAN RIGHTS ACT that Labour passed into law which protects the rights of criminals and hate preachers at the expense of the original citizens of this country. Political correctness and BBC left wing bias do not help either. The country is now full of jobsworths at all levels afraid to take a decision in case they offend somebody.
This was the referendum we have been waiting for, let's hope our career politicians take heed. The unrest is not only about immigration ( we are full )but other daft issues such as the HUMAN RIGHTS ACT that Labour passed into law which protects the rights of criminals and hate preachers at the expense of the original citizens of this country. Political correctness and BBC left wing bias do not help either. The country is now full of jobsworths at all levels afraid to take a decision in case they offend somebody. duckface08
  • Score: -19

3:12pm Tue 27 May 14

freddie_mercury_undercover_reporter says...

And still we haven't heard anything from old big 'ead the Owl. Funny that
And still we haven't heard anything from old big 'ead the Owl. Funny that freddie_mercury_undercover_reporter
  • Score: 36

8:27pm Tue 27 May 14

Don't buy the sun says...

FreeSpeech? wrote:
UKIP showed all you doubters.
I don't think there ever was doubt as to how well the UKIP would do well in the EU elections.
1, These elections have always been an opportunity to place a protest vote. They are seen as too remote, yet the media and Westminster is obsessed with the EU.
2. The previous recipients of the 'protest' vote have been recently found to be overtly nasty (BNP) or shallow and devoid of values (Lib Dems)
3 This current government defends it's vindictive policies by blaming the low paid, unemployed and the EU Worker. This is vitriocally supported by the Daily Mail with it's continuous lies.
4. UKIP have the support of the BBC, Intentional? I don't know. However, giving the leader 5 times more air time than any other political leader has to be questioned. Note we live in a time when image is key.
5. We are gullible, we want simple solutions, there is no simpler solution than the politics of hate......

So congratulations, I never had any doubt, we would elect to pay £250,000 pa to each member of a group of xenophobic (at best) politicians who want to return us to the 1930s.
[quote][p][bold]FreeSpeech?[/bold] wrote: UKIP showed all you doubters.[/p][/quote]I don't think there ever was doubt as to how well the UKIP would do well in the EU elections. 1, These elections have always been an opportunity to place a protest vote. They are seen as too remote, yet the media and Westminster is obsessed with the EU. 2. The previous recipients of the 'protest' vote have been recently found to be overtly nasty (BNP) or shallow and devoid of values (Lib Dems) 3 This current government defends it's vindictive policies by blaming the low paid, unemployed and the EU Worker. This is vitriocally supported by the Daily Mail with it's continuous lies. 4. UKIP have the support of the BBC, Intentional? I don't know. However, giving the leader 5 times more air time than any other political leader has to be questioned. Note we live in a time when image is key. 5. We are gullible, we want simple solutions, there is no simpler solution than the politics of hate...... So congratulations, I never had any doubt, we would elect to pay £250,000 pa to each member of a group of xenophobic (at best) politicians who want to return us to the 1930s. Don't buy the sun
  • Score: 27

10:42pm Tue 27 May 14

Jamesey says...

duckface08 wrote:
This was the referendum we have been waiting for, let's hope our career politicians take heed. The unrest is not only about immigration ( we are full )but other daft issues such as the HUMAN RIGHTS ACT that Labour passed into law which protects the rights of criminals and hate preachers at the expense of the original citizens of this country. Political correctness and BBC left wing bias do not help either. The country is now full of jobsworths at all levels afraid to take a decision in case they offend somebody.
One in ten of the electorate voted for UKIP. It's hardly the resounding victory that Farage would have us believe!

Hopefully UKIP will just be a "flash in the pan". They won't get any MPs in the general election.

We already know that "they have trouble appealing to the young, the cultured and the well educated"! ;-)
[quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: This was the referendum we have been waiting for, let's hope our career politicians take heed. The unrest is not only about immigration ( we are full )but other daft issues such as the HUMAN RIGHTS ACT that Labour passed into law which protects the rights of criminals and hate preachers at the expense of the original citizens of this country. Political correctness and BBC left wing bias do not help either. The country is now full of jobsworths at all levels afraid to take a decision in case they offend somebody.[/p][/quote]One in ten of the electorate voted for UKIP. It's hardly the resounding victory that Farage would have us believe! Hopefully UKIP will just be a "flash in the pan". They won't get any MPs in the general election. We already know that "they have trouble appealing to the young, the cultured and the well educated"! ;-) Jamesey
  • Score: 24

11:00pm Tue 27 May 14

Don't buy the sun says...

duckface08 wrote:
This was the referendum we have been waiting for, let's hope our career politicians take heed. The unrest is not only about immigration ( we are full )but other daft issues such as the HUMAN RIGHTS ACT that Labour passed into law which protects the rights of criminals and hate preachers at the expense of the original citizens of this country. Political correctness and BBC left wing bias do not help either. The country is now full of jobsworths at all levels afraid to take a decision in case they offend somebody.
Daily Mail reader?
[quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: This was the referendum we have been waiting for, let's hope our career politicians take heed. The unrest is not only about immigration ( we are full )but other daft issues such as the HUMAN RIGHTS ACT that Labour passed into law which protects the rights of criminals and hate preachers at the expense of the original citizens of this country. Political correctness and BBC left wing bias do not help either. The country is now full of jobsworths at all levels afraid to take a decision in case they offend somebody.[/p][/quote]Daily Mail reader? Don't buy the sun
  • Score: 22

8:28am Wed 28 May 14

souwesterly says...

Jamesey - I take your comment as an insult - I voted for UKIP and I'm a quality B.Sc. graduate - admittedly from many years ago.
UKIP is indeed a protest vote but since the policies of the major parties have left a lot to be desired in recent years, the protest is now loud, clear and deep.
You say that one in ten voted for UKIP - well, LESS than one in ten voted for the Conners. A tiny percentage more than one in ten voted for Liebour and a mere one in forty remained loyal to the biggest U-turner in recent history.
Farage's support has increased since the last Euro election in 2009 from 2.5 million to almost 4 million this year - a 76% increase!
Liebour also managed to go up by two thirds while the Con vote remained very stagnant - as are their policies.

And that's the key - UKIP policies are basically still being settled and detailed but they target important current problems.
The Cons policies were set when they came to (shared) power (before they did, in all probability) and so they're at least five years out of date.....and problems change rapidly nowadays.
Liebour's policies are still those of the Blair days - approved by workers since time immemorial but not now pertinent.
As for the Libbers and such - say no more!

UKIP don't appeal to the younger set because so many of our youngsters have been indoctrinated by years of Liebour mind-control to share their British upbringing with those of Europeans - to become a minority in their own country; to become a second-string language; to become merely a small part of the Grand European Dream.
Those who voted for UKIP want to see our country become real again; to stand out from the crowd; to retain (or regain) our heritage.....

I'm quite certain that when it comes to a General Election, at least one in ten will see that life as we knew it - life as a Briton - will die out unless they vote for a party that cares for Britain.
The 'flash' is liable to be the spark that ignites quite a loud bang!
Jamesey - I take your comment as an insult - I voted for UKIP and I'm a quality B.Sc. graduate - admittedly from many years ago. UKIP is indeed a protest vote but since the policies of the major parties have left a lot to be desired in recent years, the protest is now loud, clear and deep. You say that one in ten voted for UKIP - well, LESS than one in ten voted for the Conners. A tiny percentage more than one in ten voted for Liebour and a mere one in forty remained loyal to the biggest U-turner in recent history. Farage's support has increased since the last Euro election in 2009 from 2.5 million to almost 4 million this year - a 76% increase! Liebour also managed to go up by two thirds while the Con vote remained very stagnant - as are their policies. And that's the key - UKIP policies are basically still being settled and detailed but they target important current problems. The Cons policies were set when they came to (shared) power (before they did, in all probability) and so they're at least five years out of date.....and problems change rapidly nowadays. Liebour's policies are still those of the Blair days - approved by workers since time immemorial but not now pertinent. As for the Libbers and such - say no more! UKIP don't appeal to the younger set because so many of our youngsters have been indoctrinated by years of Liebour mind-control to share their British upbringing with those of Europeans - to become a minority in their own country; to become a second-string language; to become merely a small part of the Grand European Dream. Those who voted for UKIP want to see our country become real again; to stand out from the crowd; to retain (or regain) our heritage..... I'm quite certain that when it comes to a General Election, at least one in ten will see that life as we knew it - life as a Briton - will die out unless they vote for a party that cares for Britain. The 'flash' is liable to be the spark that ignites quite a loud bang! souwesterly
  • Score: -19

10:29am Wed 28 May 14

freddie_mercury_undercover_reporter says...

Southwesterly, whilst I agree with parts of your post I'm still trying to work out what being a "quality BSc graduate" has to do with being cultured. "Well educated" is also something of a subjective construct given that some of the most "well educated" members of society are also the most bigoted, prejudiced.

The problem with most of British politics at the moment is the lack of a proper left looking alternative. Everything has shifted do far to the right that even the charlatan Tories (new labour) are now something of a parody.

I'm surprised also that no one has mentioned the religious aspect of the "protest" vote across Europe with many ignorant nationals believing everything they read, confusing "race" with. "Faith" and potentially dragging g us back into a dark age which after 1945 would apparently "never happen again".

Reap what you sow
Southwesterly, whilst I agree with parts of your post I'm still trying to work out what being a "quality BSc graduate" has to do with being cultured. "Well educated" is also something of a subjective construct given that some of the most "well educated" members of society are also the most bigoted, prejudiced. The problem with most of British politics at the moment is the lack of a proper left looking alternative. Everything has shifted do far to the right that even the charlatan Tories (new labour) are now something of a parody. I'm surprised also that no one has mentioned the religious aspect of the "protest" vote across Europe with many ignorant nationals believing everything they read, confusing "race" with. "Faith" and potentially dragging g us back into a dark age which after 1945 would apparently "never happen again". Reap what you sow freddie_mercury_undercover_reporter
  • Score: 16

10:36am Wed 28 May 14

*Flick* says...

Jamesey wrote:
duckface08 wrote: This was the referendum we have been waiting for, let's hope our career politicians take heed. The unrest is not only about immigration ( we are full )but other daft issues such as the HUMAN RIGHTS ACT that Labour passed into law which protects the rights of criminals and hate preachers at the expense of the original citizens of this country. Political correctness and BBC left wing bias do not help either. The country is now full of jobsworths at all levels afraid to take a decision in case they offend somebody.
One in ten of the electorate voted for UKIP. It's hardly the resounding victory that Farage would have us believe! Hopefully UKIP will just be a "flash in the pan". They won't get any MPs in the general election. We already know that "they have trouble appealing to the young, the cultured and the well educated"! ;-)
Given that I am young, cultered AND well educated - would suggest your comment to be a little too generalised.
I have no doubt in my mind that, come the general election, UKIP will be up there with Labour and the Tories, with LibDem nowhere to be seen. I also have no doubt in my mind that it will not be the Tories who are victorious in the election...
[quote][p][bold]Jamesey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: This was the referendum we have been waiting for, let's hope our career politicians take heed. The unrest is not only about immigration ( we are full )but other daft issues such as the HUMAN RIGHTS ACT that Labour passed into law which protects the rights of criminals and hate preachers at the expense of the original citizens of this country. Political correctness and BBC left wing bias do not help either. The country is now full of jobsworths at all levels afraid to take a decision in case they offend somebody.[/p][/quote]One in ten of the electorate voted for UKIP. It's hardly the resounding victory that Farage would have us believe! Hopefully UKIP will just be a "flash in the pan". They won't get any MPs in the general election. We already know that "they have trouble appealing to the young, the cultured and the well educated"! ;-)[/p][/quote]Given that I am young, cultered AND well educated - would suggest your comment to be a little too generalised. I have no doubt in my mind that, come the general election, UKIP will be up there with Labour and the Tories, with LibDem nowhere to be seen. I also have no doubt in my mind that it will not be the Tories who are victorious in the election... *Flick*
  • Score: -13

10:58am Wed 28 May 14

Don't buy the sun says...

souwesterly wrote:
Jamesey - I take your comment as an insult - I voted for UKIP and I'm a quality B.Sc. graduate - admittedly from many years ago.
UKIP is indeed a protest vote but since the policies of the major parties have left a lot to be desired in recent years, the protest is now loud, clear and deep.
You say that one in ten voted for UKIP - well, LESS than one in ten voted for the Conners. A tiny percentage more than one in ten voted for Liebour and a mere one in forty remained loyal to the biggest U-turner in recent history.
Farage's support has increased since the last Euro election in 2009 from 2.5 million to almost 4 million this year - a 76% increase!
Liebour also managed to go up by two thirds while the Con vote remained very stagnant - as are their policies.

And that's the key - UKIP policies are basically still being settled and detailed but they target important current problems.
The Cons policies were set when they came to (shared) power (before they did, in all probability) and so they're at least five years out of date.....and problems change rapidly nowadays.
Liebour's policies are still those of the Blair days - approved by workers since time immemorial but not now pertinent.
As for the Libbers and such - say no more!

UKIP don't appeal to the younger set because so many of our youngsters have been indoctrinated by years of Liebour mind-control to share their British upbringing with those of Europeans - to become a minority in their own country; to become a second-string language; to become merely a small part of the Grand European Dream.
Those who voted for UKIP want to see our country become real again; to stand out from the crowd; to retain (or regain) our heritage.....

I'm quite certain that when it comes to a General Election, at least one in ten will see that life as we knew it - life as a Briton - will die out unless they vote for a party that cares for Britain.
The 'flash' is liable to be the spark that ignites quite a loud bang!
I am interested in the 'retain our heritage'. A quick scan through the history of the British Isles shows that our heritage is a diverse background of nationalities and faiths.
[quote][p][bold]souwesterly[/bold] wrote: Jamesey - I take your comment as an insult - I voted for UKIP and I'm a quality B.Sc. graduate - admittedly from many years ago. UKIP is indeed a protest vote but since the policies of the major parties have left a lot to be desired in recent years, the protest is now loud, clear and deep. You say that one in ten voted for UKIP - well, LESS than one in ten voted for the Conners. A tiny percentage more than one in ten voted for Liebour and a mere one in forty remained loyal to the biggest U-turner in recent history. Farage's support has increased since the last Euro election in 2009 from 2.5 million to almost 4 million this year - a 76% increase! Liebour also managed to go up by two thirds while the Con vote remained very stagnant - as are their policies. And that's the key - UKIP policies are basically still being settled and detailed but they target important current problems. The Cons policies were set when they came to (shared) power (before they did, in all probability) and so they're at least five years out of date.....and problems change rapidly nowadays. Liebour's policies are still those of the Blair days - approved by workers since time immemorial but not now pertinent. As for the Libbers and such - say no more! UKIP don't appeal to the younger set because so many of our youngsters have been indoctrinated by years of Liebour mind-control to share their British upbringing with those of Europeans - to become a minority in their own country; to become a second-string language; to become merely a small part of the Grand European Dream. Those who voted for UKIP want to see our country become real again; to stand out from the crowd; to retain (or regain) our heritage..... I'm quite certain that when it comes to a General Election, at least one in ten will see that life as we knew it - life as a Briton - will die out unless they vote for a party that cares for Britain. The 'flash' is liable to be the spark that ignites quite a loud bang![/p][/quote]I am interested in the 'retain our heritage'. A quick scan through the history of the British Isles shows that our heritage is a diverse background of nationalities and faiths. Don't buy the sun
  • Score: 15

11:45am Wed 28 May 14

SocialistParty*SomersetBranch says...

Euro elections: a revolt against the capitalist establishment



The long-predicted 'earthquake' - the electoral "triumph" of the far right and their allies - took place in the European elections in some key countries. In Britain Ukip came first, pushing Labour into second position and the Tories - the 'governing party' - into an ignominious third position. The Liberal Democrats were completely humiliated, left with just one MEP!

In France, the governing Socialist Party suffered an even worse disaster, reduced to just 14% of the overall vote, with Marine Le Pen's Front National (FN) claiming victory against both François Hollande's misnamed 'socialists' as well as the centre-right UMP.

The far right managed to hoover up the votes of many workers who had looked towards the left and the workers' parties in the past. The far right successfully deflected workers' anger and bitterness against their increasing impoverishment into a protest vote against austerity and immigration, which was presented as the author of all their misfortunes. The far-right Danish People's Party also won the biggest share of the vote while eurosceptics and right-wing parties gained across the Nordic countries.

Even in Germany, Alternative für Deutschland, a relatively new eurosceptic party, gained seats for the first time in the EU Parliament, which meant that Angela Merkel's party, the CDU, suffered its worst result in European Parliamentary elections. The neo-fascist NPD won a seat, as did a number of small 'protest' parties.

The new prime minister Matteo Renzi in Italy bucked the trend because he is still in a honeymoon period and workers crave some stability. That will change as his attacks on the working class are implemented.



However, the presumed unstoppable advance of the far right was not reflected everywhere and particularly where the working class had the alternative of voting for a mass left or workers' party. This was shown in the Netherlands as the advance of Geert Wilders' far-right Party for Freedom was halted, in the main because there was an alternative for workers to vote for in the form of the Socialist Party.

Notwithstanding the political inadequacies of this party on programme and internal lack of democracy, it nevertheless acted as a pole of attraction for workers, managing to cut into the expected vote of the far right.

The same is true for Greece, where Syriza topped the poll with 26%, 4% ahead of the main right-wing governing party, New Democracy. At the same time, the neo-fascist Golden Dawn got over 9% of the vote and has entered the European Parliament for the first time. The neo-fascists would have been undermined even further if Syriza and its leader Tsipras had not watered down some of its most radical demands, such as the cancellation of the debt and the nationalisation of the banks, in the mistaken belief that a more 'moderate' approach would boost its popularity.

One welcome outcome in Greece was the victory of Nikos Kanellis, a leading member of Xekinima (Greek section of the CWI, the world socialist organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated) in local elections in Volos. This is just a small anticipation of the way the long-suffering Greek workers will move en masse in the future.




In Spain the governing party did badly, as did the former social democratic opposition, PSOE, whose leader has resigned. But the left parties and formations like the United Left and Podemos did well.

The same is true of Ireland where, in general, the main capitalist parties - Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael - suffered, while the Irish Labour party received a major drubbing. Labour has been participating in government and presiding over vicious austerity. Party leader Eamon Gilmore has been forced to resign.

But, like Spain and Greece, where there was a left alternative it did well, and in the case of the Socialist Party, spectacularly so. The election to the Dáil of Ruth Coppinger in the parliamentary byelection in Dublin West, together with a slew of 14 councillors in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, represents a real triumph for socialism and genuine Marxism.

Unfortunately, Paul Murphy was not re-elected as a member of the European Parliament, despite nearly 30,000 first preference votes. One of the factors leading to his defeat was the shameful decision of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Ireland to stand against Paul, a sitting MEP, which opened the way for another candidate to win the seat.

This was a blow not just for Paul, the left of the Irish labour movement and the CWI, but to all those workers who have been involved in struggle throughout Europe and wider afield than this, including Palestinians, Sri Lankan activists, Kazakhstan workers, and others facing repression. They have seen him as an energetic fighter for their many causes.




This spiteful and blatant example of sectarianism - putting your own short-term narrow interests before the cause of the left and the working class - has been passed over in complete silence by their counterparts internationally and especially in Britain, where the SWP is formally in an alliance in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) with the Socialist Party.

Anti-establishment anger

What are the conclusions to be drawn from this round of elections? Firstly, the results of the national, local and European elections represent a revolt against the whole of the capitalist establishment, including the leaders of the ex-workers' parties like Miliband, Hollande, etc. Even these leaders speak of mass 'alienation' and 'disenfranchisement' without once really admitting that this disillusionment applies not just to the official right-wing parties but to their parties as well!

Moreover, unless alternative mass parties of the working class are established in time, possessing a clear fighting socialist alternative, then these disillusioned masses can turn in desperation to the far right. Imagine if the trade union leaders in Britain, particularly those on the left like Len McCluskey, had assisted in the development of a new mass workers' party with radical socialist ideas, what effects this would have had in this round of elections and the general election in 2015?

It would have held out the possibility of cutting across the effects of Ukip and all the pro-capitalist parties. This is what the TUSC did manage to do in a small way in some areas - despite a media blackout (see Local Elections 2014 TUSC at: www.tusc.org.uk ).




Only a class programme, involving such concrete measures as a cap on skyrocketing rents, an emergency council home-building programme, and fighting the cuts, could lay the basis for beginning to answer Ukip's empty demagogy. Nigel Farage in his 'former life' was a stockbroker, a scion of the rich, a member of the bankers' fraternity, who dragged us into the abyss of a devastating crisis from 2007 onwards.

Many confused working people, in desperation, were seduced to vote for Ukip because they could not see an alternative in these elections. In some areas, where they could, they gave one vote for Ukip, and one for TUSC. This is just one indication that there was no entrenched racism among the majority. They could be won to a radical anti-capitalist party and a campaign which fought against the shallow, false notion that immigrants are the cause of the problems they face. This in turn could help to cement class unity by fighting for the 'rate for the job', against zero-hour contracts and for a living wage.

In complete panic following this election, the Tories, and even Labour spokespersons like Ed Balls, have called for "noise" about immigration. Without a complete withdrawal from the EU and its treaties - which is not favoured by the capitalists, and therefore is unlikely in the short term - they know they will not be able to immediately stop immigration from the EU countries.

Therefore, their propaganda is to stop 'immigrant welfare scroungers', so-called benefit tourism, despite the fact that all figures show that very few immigrants to Britain and elsewhere take advantage of these 'benefits'. The only effect of this will be to play up divisions and racism, which must be energetically combated by the whole labour movement.

Not voting was a key trend in these elections and an expression of the distrust of the political establishment - with a farcical 13% voting in Slovakia. In Britain, well over 60% did not vote, but the results do not necessarily indicate how people will vote in the 2015 general election. Nevertheless Ukip threatens to become an entrenched right-wing factor in Britain, like the Freedom Party in Austria or the National Front in France. Moreover, the after-shocks are having an immediate effect in Britain in raising question marks over the continued direction and leadership of all three main party leaders.

It is still unlikely that any of them will be ditched before the election. But Nick Clegg is certainly a candidate for removal as his party faces oblivion in the general election. Even Ed Miliband faces criticisms from his own party, including the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror: "Weird Ed... Odd Ed was always a greater political danger than Red Ed. Voters warm to bold policies and a left-wing fairness agenda is popular" (Kevin Maguire). But nominally 'Red Ed' will still not cut the mustard with the working class, imprisoned as he is within the framework of capitalism.

A new mass working class party consistently fighting for radical, socialist policies can offer a way forward for working people in Britain and Europe.

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Euro elections: a revolt against the capitalist establishment The long-predicted 'earthquake' - the electoral "triumph" of the far right and their allies - took place in the European elections in some key countries. In Britain Ukip came first, pushing Labour into second position and the Tories - the 'governing party' - into an ignominious third position. The Liberal Democrats were completely humiliated, left with just one MEP! In France, the governing Socialist Party suffered an even worse disaster, reduced to just 14% of the overall vote, with Marine Le Pen's Front National (FN) claiming victory against both François Hollande's misnamed 'socialists' as well as the centre-right UMP. The far right managed to hoover up the votes of many workers who had looked towards the left and the workers' parties in the past. The far right successfully deflected workers' anger and bitterness against their increasing impoverishment into a protest vote against austerity and immigration, which was presented as the author of all their misfortunes. The far-right Danish People's Party also won the biggest share of the vote while eurosceptics and right-wing parties gained across the Nordic countries. Even in Germany, Alternative für Deutschland, a relatively new eurosceptic party, gained seats for the first time in the EU Parliament, which meant that Angela Merkel's party, the CDU, suffered its worst result in European Parliamentary elections. The neo-fascist NPD won a seat, as did a number of small 'protest' parties. The new prime minister Matteo Renzi in Italy bucked the trend because he is still in a honeymoon period and workers crave some stability. That will change as his attacks on the working class are implemented. However, the presumed unstoppable advance of the far right was not reflected everywhere and particularly where the working class had the alternative of voting for a mass left or workers' party. This was shown in the Netherlands as the advance of Geert Wilders' far-right Party for Freedom was halted, in the main because there was an alternative for workers to vote for in the form of the Socialist Party. Notwithstanding the political inadequacies of this party on programme and internal lack of democracy, it nevertheless acted as a pole of attraction for workers, managing to cut into the expected vote of the far right. The same is true for Greece, where Syriza topped the poll with 26%, 4% ahead of the main right-wing governing party, New Democracy. At the same time, the neo-fascist Golden Dawn got over 9% of the vote and has entered the European Parliament for the first time. The neo-fascists would have been undermined even further if Syriza and its leader Tsipras had not watered down some of its most radical demands, such as the cancellation of the debt and the nationalisation of the banks, in the mistaken belief that a more 'moderate' approach would boost its popularity. One welcome outcome in Greece was the victory of Nikos Kanellis, a leading member of Xekinima (Greek section of the CWI, the world socialist organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated) in local elections in Volos. This is just a small anticipation of the way the long-suffering Greek workers will move en masse in the future. In Spain the governing party did badly, as did the former social democratic opposition, PSOE, whose leader has resigned. But the left parties and formations like the United Left and Podemos did well. The same is true of Ireland where, in general, the main capitalist parties - Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael - suffered, while the Irish Labour party received a major drubbing. Labour has been participating in government and presiding over vicious austerity. Party leader Eamon Gilmore has been forced to resign. But, like Spain and Greece, where there was a left alternative it did well, and in the case of the Socialist Party, spectacularly so. The election to the Dáil of Ruth Coppinger in the parliamentary byelection in Dublin West, together with a slew of 14 councillors in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, represents a real triumph for socialism and genuine Marxism. Unfortunately, Paul Murphy was not re-elected as a member of the European Parliament, despite nearly 30,000 first preference votes. One of the factors leading to his defeat was the shameful decision of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Ireland to stand against Paul, a sitting MEP, which opened the way for another candidate to win the seat. This was a blow not just for Paul, the left of the Irish labour movement and the CWI, but to all those workers who have been involved in struggle throughout Europe and wider afield than this, including Palestinians, Sri Lankan activists, Kazakhstan workers, and others facing repression. They have seen him as an energetic fighter for their many causes. This spiteful and blatant example of sectarianism - putting your own short-term narrow interests before the cause of the left and the working class - has been passed over in complete silence by their counterparts internationally and especially in Britain, where the SWP is formally in an alliance in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) with the Socialist Party. Anti-establishment anger What are the conclusions to be drawn from this round of elections? Firstly, the results of the national, local and European elections represent a revolt against the whole of the capitalist establishment, including the leaders of the ex-workers' parties like Miliband, Hollande, etc. Even these leaders speak of mass 'alienation' and 'disenfranchisement' without once really admitting that this disillusionment applies not just to the official right-wing parties but to their parties as well! Moreover, unless alternative mass parties of the working class are established in time, possessing a clear fighting socialist alternative, then these disillusioned masses can turn in desperation to the far right. Imagine if the trade union leaders in Britain, particularly those on the left like Len McCluskey, had assisted in the development of a new mass workers' party with radical socialist ideas, what effects this would have had in this round of elections and the general election in 2015? It would have held out the possibility of cutting across the effects of Ukip and all the pro-capitalist parties. This is what the TUSC did manage to do in a small way in some areas - despite a media blackout (see Local Elections 2014 TUSC at: www.tusc.org.uk ). Only a class programme, involving such concrete measures as a cap on skyrocketing rents, an emergency council home-building programme, and fighting the cuts, could lay the basis for beginning to answer Ukip's empty demagogy. Nigel Farage in his 'former life' was a stockbroker, a scion of the rich, a member of the bankers' fraternity, who dragged us into the abyss of a devastating crisis from 2007 onwards. Many confused working people, in desperation, were seduced to vote for Ukip because they could not see an alternative in these elections. In some areas, where they could, they gave one vote for Ukip, and one for TUSC. This is just one indication that there was no entrenched racism among the majority. They could be won to a radical anti-capitalist party and a campaign which fought against the shallow, false notion that immigrants are the cause of the problems they face. This in turn could help to cement class unity by fighting for the 'rate for the job', against zero-hour contracts and for a living wage. In complete panic following this election, the Tories, and even Labour spokespersons like Ed Balls, have called for "noise" about immigration. Without a complete withdrawal from the EU and its treaties - which is not favoured by the capitalists, and therefore is unlikely in the short term - they know they will not be able to immediately stop immigration from the EU countries. Therefore, their propaganda is to stop 'immigrant welfare scroungers', so-called benefit tourism, despite the fact that all figures show that very few immigrants to Britain and elsewhere take advantage of these 'benefits'. The only effect of this will be to play up divisions and racism, which must be energetically combated by the whole labour movement. Not voting was a key trend in these elections and an expression of the distrust of the political establishment - with a farcical 13% voting in Slovakia. In Britain, well over 60% did not vote, but the results do not necessarily indicate how people will vote in the 2015 general election. Nevertheless Ukip threatens to become an entrenched right-wing factor in Britain, like the Freedom Party in Austria or the National Front in France. Moreover, the after-shocks are having an immediate effect in Britain in raising question marks over the continued direction and leadership of all three main party leaders. It is still unlikely that any of them will be ditched before the election. But Nick Clegg is certainly a candidate for removal as his party faces oblivion in the general election. Even Ed Miliband faces criticisms from his own party, including the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror: "Weird Ed... Odd Ed was always a greater political danger than Red Ed. Voters warm to bold policies and a left-wing fairness agenda is popular" (Kevin Maguire). But nominally 'Red Ed' will still not cut the mustard with the working class, imprisoned as he is within the framework of capitalism. A new mass working class party consistently fighting for radical, socialist policies can offer a way forward for working people in Britain and Europe. www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty*SomersetBranch
  • Score: 13

12:01pm Wed 28 May 14

SocialistParty*SomersetBranch says...

2014: The 'rejection election'

Now Trade Unions must lead our fightback



This was the 'rejection election'. It once again demonstrated the depth of anger and alienation that exists with all Britain's 'traditional' parties. In the aftermath of the election all of the major parties are licking their wounds, trying to put a brave face on the results.

In the European election a party other than the 'big two' won a national poll for the first time since 1910. The Tories were relegated to third place. The former 'protest party', the Lib Dems, was reduced to one MEP, coming fifth behind the Greens. Also in the local elections a sizable minority, estimated at 17%, voted for Ukip. Previously with two councillors in the seats up for election, Ukip now has over 160.

Anti-establishment vote

The central mood was a desire to kick all the 'establishment' parties or, as one Ukip voter put it, to "scare the government", with the EU acting as a catch-all for a generalised anger. Six in ten Ukip supporters described their vote as a general protest because they were "unhappy with all established political parties at the moment".

It has not been reported in the capitalist press, but an important minority of workers expressed their anger by voting for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). In the biggest left-of-Labour stand since the war, 561 no-cuts candidates stood in the local and other elections. They received over 65,000 votes.

In 21 councils TUSC polled over 1,000 votes. In ten of these, it was over 2,000. In Southampton anti-cuts councillor Keith Morrell was re-elected with a crushing majority. Labour, who had expelled Keith for voting against cuts, was reduced to third place behind Ukip.




The Socialist Party - together with the RMT - also took part in No2EU-Yes to Workers' Rights to offer a left and internationalist opposition to the bosses' Europe in seven regions.

The Socialist Party had argued for the TUSC banner to be in the Euros and the locals. This would undoubtedly have given both campaigns a higher profile. However, it was not possible to convince some other forces involved in No2EU of this, particularly the Communist Party of Britain, and unfortunately, it made less impact than it did in 2009, when it was able to draw around it combative workers like the Lindsey construction strikers and Visteon car plant workers.

TUSC's campaigns, in particular, were practical steps on the road to a new mass workers' party. The need for such a party is increasingly urgent. Ukip is a right-wing populist party, controlled and funded by millionaires, aristocrats, press barons and stockbrokers, but it was given a media platform to pose as the party of the 'little people'. It has been able to partially step into the huge vacuum in British politics.

Never before has the gap between the Westminster parties and the people they are supposed to represent been so great. Profound anger appears on the surface as so-called 'apathy'. Over 30 million potential voters stayed at home.

Turnouts are often lowest in working class areas. For example, the turnout in Hull was only 21%, with the national average estimated at 36%. At root this reflects the continued crisis of capitalism. The government's trumpeting of a return to economic growth is largely meaningless. Most people feel worse off today than before the recession. The Trussell Trust reports that the number of families needing three or more days of emergency food from one of their food banks has increased from 26,000 in 2009 to over 900,000 in 2014.

There have been attempts to play down Ukip's result, pointing out that their council results were lower than the 23% they achieved last year and that they failed to make a breakthrough in London, where they received an average vote of 7%. However, last year's elections were mainly county councils, overall more rural than the seats up this year.

This year, it is probably true that the Ukip threat, coupled with the Con-Dem experience, actually helped Labour in the capital. Alarmed at the nationalist and racist ideas put forward by Ukip candidates, a layer unenthusiastically voted Labour because they saw this as the best means to block Ukip.

In some other major cities the same thing happened to a degree, with Ukip doing less well than in many smaller conurbations where a larger section of traditional Labour voters voted for Ukip. In Rotherham, Ukip won nine of the 21 seats up for election, while Labour lost seven.

The reasons workers voted for Ukip are multi-stranded. Central is a desire to protest against the major parties but Ukip also used racism and nationalism. The BNP vote collapsed in these elections but probably transferred to Ukip. It should be no surprise to socialists that Ukip's nationalism has gained an echo.

Nationalism has long been a political weapon used by the capitalist class to try to shore up support for their system in a time of economic crisis. Both Tories and Labour have used nationalism to some extent over recent years, creating space for Ukip.

And - in a semi-conscious attempt to create a 'safe' electoral outlet for workers' anger - Ukip was given enormous publicity by the capitalist media. The New Statesman found that since 2011 Ukip has received press coverage far greater than any other 'minor' party, including those with MPs. Farage was given four times as much as the 'peak' coverage received by George Galloway of Respect or Caroline Lucas of the Greens, for example, never mind the media blackout suffered by TUSC.

Ukip taps into the widespread fears about the consequences of increased immigration. These fears are felt by many workers who consider themselves anti-racist but see big business using super-exploited migrants to lower wages, as well as over-stretched under-resourced public services.

Build a movement against cuts

In March 2011, the TUC organised a 750,000 strong national demonstration against austerity. Ukip supporters responded by trying to call a demonstration in support of cuts - a pathetic few hundred turned up. This showed the balance of forces at that stage.



The trade union movement, with seven and a half million members, is potentially the most powerful force in society. Had the TUC used its demonstration as a launch pad to organise a serious struggle against austerity, it would have transformed the situation. Such a movement could have also cut across racism and nationalism - making clear that the only way to prevent 'the race to the bottom' was a united struggle for all workers to receive 'the rate for the job'.

In particular, if a significant part of the trade union movement had launched a new workers' party at that time it could have won the support of many of those workers who are currently looking to Ukip as a means to express their anger.

Building a clear electoral voice for workers is the only way to cut across Ukip. Unfortunately, some on the left, including the Socialist Workers Party - one of the components of TUSC - have launched a 'don't be used by Ukip' campaign together with the parties of austerity, including joint leafleting, media stunts, etc. This is a disastrous policy that cannot reach workers looking to Ukip, while allowing Labour, in part to 'use' those opposed to Ukip to bolster their position.

It is anger at the establishment parties that has fuelled Ukip's growth. Campaigning together with Labour and the Lib Dems against Ukip will only allow Ukip to claim that socialists are 'no different to the rest'.

If Ukip was a fascistic party, akin to Golden Dawn in Greece - with a fighting force that carried out physical attacks on minorities and trade unionists - it would be correct for workers to organise defence of all those who faced attacks.

Even then the most important priority would be to organise independently around a clear socialist programme. However, this is not the character of Ukip, which is a right-wing populist force which concentrates at this stage exclusively on electoral politics. It is only the absence of a mass workers' party that has allowed them the room to partially fill the vacuum.



Unfortunately, at this stage, the majority of the trade union leaders are continuing to call for a vote for Labour. Nonetheless, an important minority of trade unionists - including the RMT transport union - are beginning the vital work of creating a new voice for workers via TUSC. Fifty RMT members stood as TUSC candidates and aim to build on this. This is essential preparation for the period beyond the general election. The cynics mock that it is impossible to build a new force to the left of Labour. This is nothing new!

At the end of the 19th century, the pessimists of the day poured scorn on the attempts of Kier Hardie and others to create a new workers' party to the left of the Liberals and Tories. History, however, was on the side of those that fought to build a party of labour, just as it is on the side of those today who see that Labour has become another party of big business.

The Labour leadership has repeatedly made it clear that a Labour government will continue with austerity and public spending cuts. When workers take strike action against austerity, Miliband joins the chorus of opposition to their stance, even threatening that a Labour government would consider increasing the already highly-repressive anti-trade union laws.

It is the lack of any alternative to austerity that is responsible for Labour's lacklustre performance on 22 May. While Labour won over 300 seats, its 31% of the vote is only up two points from 2013. This is not enough for the Labour leadership to feel confident of winning the general election.

Labour fails to capitalise

The election results and subsequent opinion polls have probably been enough to secure Miliband's continued leadership, at least for now. Undoubtedly the conclusion that the 'ultra-Blairites' will draw is that Labour needs to move further to the right. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has already said Labour must have 'a louder drum beat on immigration'. Blairite careerist Alan Milburn and others are demanding that Miliband becomes more 'pro-business'.

In reality, whenever Miliband has made statements that appear to be siding with the 99% against the 1%, they have been popular. A ComRes poll taken just before 22 May showed that Labour's announcements on the minimum wage, capping rent increases, freezing energy prices and increasing the top rate of tax made voters more likely to vote Labour. However, the same poll showed that voters - correctly - did not believe that Labour would implement these policies.

The fact that Labour is overall still only a few points ahead in the polls is because it has a record of kowtowing to the billionaires and bankers in whose interests Britain is run. Labour implementing austerity at council level and memories of Labour's record in office confirm workers' scepticism.

If Labour forms the next government these fears will be proved 1,000-fold. A Labour government, because it will act in the interests of capitalism, would not even carry out all of the incredibly modest measures it is currently proposing to improve workers' living standards, unless it was compelled to, like any other capitalist party would be, by a mass movement. Shadow secretary for work and pensions Rachel Reeves has talked of 'saving' Duncan-Smith's vicious Universal Credit.


The task of building an electoral alternative to austerity will be urgent, as will the trade union struggle to defend workers' living conditions.

Continued public sector pay restraint in a so-called recovery is one issue provoking a mood for action now. Planned coordinated strike action on 10 July will be important preparation for the huge struggles that will take place under the next government.

It is not yet possible to work out the likely outcome of the general election, given the unstable nature of politics in this period. If Labour manages to win, it will be down to the extreme unpopularity of the Tories and Liberals rather than enthusiasm for Labour.

A Liberal/Labour coalition is also a possible outcome of the general election. In some senses this would suit the Labour leadership, as they could use the Liberals as a fig-leaf to justify their anti-working class policies. However, having spent the last five years acting as a fig-leaf for the Tories, it is doubtful there will be enough Liberals left! Clegg could even be pushed aside in the coming months in a desperate attempt by the Lib Dems to limit the scale of their defeat.

The Lib Dems' meltdown should be a warning to trade unionists still looking to Labour about the fate of parties that act in the interests of the capitalist class in a time of economic crisis. The inevitable result is extreme unpopularity at best, and oblivion at worst, as has been seen in Greece, France and other European countries.

Need for a new workers' party

It is not possible to judge how well Ukip will do in the general election. At this stage only 51% of Ukip voters say they will vote for them at the general election. However, it is not excluded that they can increase this on a local basis with an intensive campaign. If Ukip manages to get one or more MPs elected it is possible that a number of the Tory Eurosceptic MPs could defect to Ukip after the general election.

The establishment of a semi-permanent right-wing populist force in Britain - comparable to those that exist in a number of European countries - would be a dangerous development in British politics. The only way to cut across this is the development of a genuine mass parties of the working class in Britain and internationally.

While they are modest, the achievements in this election - particularly the breadth of TUSC's local election challenge - mark an important step on the road to building such a force.

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
2014: The 'rejection election' Now Trade Unions must lead our fightback This was the 'rejection election'. It once again demonstrated the depth of anger and alienation that exists with all Britain's 'traditional' parties. In the aftermath of the election all of the major parties are licking their wounds, trying to put a brave face on the results. In the European election a party other than the 'big two' won a national poll for the first time since 1910. The Tories were relegated to third place. The former 'protest party', the Lib Dems, was reduced to one MEP, coming fifth behind the Greens. Also in the local elections a sizable minority, estimated at 17%, voted for Ukip. Previously with two councillors in the seats up for election, Ukip now has over 160. Anti-establishment vote The central mood was a desire to kick all the 'establishment' parties or, as one Ukip voter put it, to "scare the government", with the EU acting as a catch-all for a generalised anger. Six in ten Ukip supporters described their vote as a general protest because they were "unhappy with all established political parties at the moment". It has not been reported in the capitalist press, but an important minority of workers expressed their anger by voting for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). In the biggest left-of-Labour stand since the war, 561 no-cuts candidates stood in the local and other elections. They received over 65,000 votes. In 21 councils TUSC polled over 1,000 votes. In ten of these, it was over 2,000. In Southampton anti-cuts councillor Keith Morrell was re-elected with a crushing majority. Labour, who had expelled Keith for voting against cuts, was reduced to third place behind Ukip. The Socialist Party - together with the RMT - also took part in No2EU-Yes to Workers' Rights to offer a left and internationalist opposition to the bosses' Europe in seven regions. The Socialist Party had argued for the TUSC banner to be in the Euros and the locals. This would undoubtedly have given both campaigns a higher profile. However, it was not possible to convince some other forces involved in No2EU of this, particularly the Communist Party of Britain, and unfortunately, it made less impact than it did in 2009, when it was able to draw around it combative workers like the Lindsey construction strikers and Visteon car plant workers. TUSC's campaigns, in particular, were practical steps on the road to a new mass workers' party. The need for such a party is increasingly urgent. Ukip is a right-wing populist party, controlled and funded by millionaires, aristocrats, press barons and stockbrokers, but it was given a media platform to pose as the party of the 'little people'. It has been able to partially step into the huge vacuum in British politics. Never before has the gap between the Westminster parties and the people they are supposed to represent been so great. Profound anger appears on the surface as so-called 'apathy'. Over 30 million potential voters stayed at home. Turnouts are often lowest in working class areas. For example, the turnout in Hull was only 21%, with the national average estimated at 36%. At root this reflects the continued crisis of capitalism. The government's trumpeting of a return to economic growth is largely meaningless. Most people feel worse off today than before the recession. The Trussell Trust reports that the number of families needing three or more days of emergency food from one of their food banks has increased from 26,000 in 2009 to over 900,000 in 2014. There have been attempts to play down Ukip's result, pointing out that their council results were lower than the 23% they achieved last year and that they failed to make a breakthrough in London, where they received an average vote of 7%. However, last year's elections were mainly county councils, overall more rural than the seats up this year. This year, it is probably true that the Ukip threat, coupled with the Con-Dem experience, actually helped Labour in the capital. Alarmed at the nationalist and racist ideas put forward by Ukip candidates, a layer unenthusiastically voted Labour because they saw this as the best means to block Ukip. In some other major cities the same thing happened to a degree, with Ukip doing less well than in many smaller conurbations where a larger section of traditional Labour voters voted for Ukip. In Rotherham, Ukip won nine of the 21 seats up for election, while Labour lost seven. The reasons workers voted for Ukip are multi-stranded. Central is a desire to protest against the major parties but Ukip also used racism and nationalism. The BNP vote collapsed in these elections but probably transferred to Ukip. It should be no surprise to socialists that Ukip's nationalism has gained an echo. Nationalism has long been a political weapon used by the capitalist class to try to shore up support for their system in a time of economic crisis. Both Tories and Labour have used nationalism to some extent over recent years, creating space for Ukip. And - in a semi-conscious attempt to create a 'safe' electoral outlet for workers' anger - Ukip was given enormous publicity by the capitalist media. The New Statesman found that since 2011 Ukip has received press coverage far greater than any other 'minor' party, including those with MPs. Farage was given four times as much as the 'peak' coverage received by George Galloway of Respect or Caroline Lucas of the Greens, for example, never mind the media blackout suffered by TUSC. Ukip taps into the widespread fears about the consequences of increased immigration. These fears are felt by many workers who consider themselves anti-racist but see big business using super-exploited migrants to lower wages, as well as over-stretched under-resourced public services. Build a movement against cuts In March 2011, the TUC organised a 750,000 strong national demonstration against austerity. Ukip supporters responded by trying to call a demonstration in support of cuts - a pathetic few hundred turned up. This showed the balance of forces at that stage. The trade union movement, with seven and a half million members, is potentially the most powerful force in society. Had the TUC used its demonstration as a launch pad to organise a serious struggle against austerity, it would have transformed the situation. Such a movement could have also cut across racism and nationalism - making clear that the only way to prevent 'the race to the bottom' was a united struggle for all workers to receive 'the rate for the job'. In particular, if a significant part of the trade union movement had launched a new workers' party at that time it could have won the support of many of those workers who are currently looking to Ukip as a means to express their anger. Building a clear electoral voice for workers is the only way to cut across Ukip. Unfortunately, some on the left, including the Socialist Workers Party - one of the components of TUSC - have launched a 'don't be used by Ukip' campaign together with the parties of austerity, including joint leafleting, media stunts, etc. This is a disastrous policy that cannot reach workers looking to Ukip, while allowing Labour, in part to 'use' those opposed to Ukip to bolster their position. It is anger at the establishment parties that has fuelled Ukip's growth. Campaigning together with Labour and the Lib Dems against Ukip will only allow Ukip to claim that socialists are 'no different to the rest'. If Ukip was a fascistic party, akin to Golden Dawn in Greece - with a fighting force that carried out physical attacks on minorities and trade unionists - it would be correct for workers to organise defence of all those who faced attacks. Even then the most important priority would be to organise independently around a clear socialist programme. However, this is not the character of Ukip, which is a right-wing populist force which concentrates at this stage exclusively on electoral politics. It is only the absence of a mass workers' party that has allowed them the room to partially fill the vacuum. Unfortunately, at this stage, the majority of the trade union leaders are continuing to call for a vote for Labour. Nonetheless, an important minority of trade unionists - including the RMT transport union - are beginning the vital work of creating a new voice for workers via TUSC. Fifty RMT members stood as TUSC candidates and aim to build on this. This is essential preparation for the period beyond the general election. The cynics mock that it is impossible to build a new force to the left of Labour. This is nothing new! At the end of the 19th century, the pessimists of the day poured scorn on the attempts of Kier Hardie and others to create a new workers' party to the left of the Liberals and Tories. History, however, was on the side of those that fought to build a party of labour, just as it is on the side of those today who see that Labour has become another party of big business. The Labour leadership has repeatedly made it clear that a Labour government will continue with austerity and public spending cuts. When workers take strike action against austerity, Miliband joins the chorus of opposition to their stance, even threatening that a Labour government would consider increasing the already highly-repressive anti-trade union laws. It is the lack of any alternative to austerity that is responsible for Labour's lacklustre performance on 22 May. While Labour won over 300 seats, its 31% of the vote is only up two points from 2013. This is not enough for the Labour leadership to feel confident of winning the general election. Labour fails to capitalise The election results and subsequent opinion polls have probably been enough to secure Miliband's continued leadership, at least for now. Undoubtedly the conclusion that the 'ultra-Blairites' will draw is that Labour needs to move further to the right. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has already said Labour must have 'a louder drum beat on immigration'. Blairite careerist Alan Milburn and others are demanding that Miliband becomes more 'pro-business'. In reality, whenever Miliband has made statements that appear to be siding with the 99% against the 1%, they have been popular. A ComRes poll taken just before 22 May showed that Labour's announcements on the minimum wage, capping rent increases, freezing energy prices and increasing the top rate of tax made voters more likely to vote Labour. However, the same poll showed that voters - correctly - did not believe that Labour would implement these policies. The fact that Labour is overall still only a few points ahead in the polls is because it has a record of kowtowing to the billionaires and bankers in whose interests Britain is run. Labour implementing austerity at council level and memories of Labour's record in office confirm workers' scepticism. If Labour forms the next government these fears will be proved 1,000-fold. A Labour government, because it will act in the interests of capitalism, would not even carry out all of the incredibly modest measures it is currently proposing to improve workers' living standards, unless it was compelled to, like any other capitalist party would be, by a mass movement. Shadow secretary for work and pensions Rachel Reeves has talked of 'saving' Duncan-Smith's vicious Universal Credit. The task of building an electoral alternative to austerity will be urgent, as will the trade union struggle to defend workers' living conditions. Continued public sector pay restraint in a so-called recovery is one issue provoking a mood for action now. Planned coordinated strike action on 10 July will be important preparation for the huge struggles that will take place under the next government. It is not yet possible to work out the likely outcome of the general election, given the unstable nature of politics in this period. If Labour manages to win, it will be down to the extreme unpopularity of the Tories and Liberals rather than enthusiasm for Labour. A Liberal/Labour coalition is also a possible outcome of the general election. In some senses this would suit the Labour leadership, as they could use the Liberals as a fig-leaf to justify their anti-working class policies. However, having spent the last five years acting as a fig-leaf for the Tories, it is doubtful there will be enough Liberals left! Clegg could even be pushed aside in the coming months in a desperate attempt by the Lib Dems to limit the scale of their defeat. The Lib Dems' meltdown should be a warning to trade unionists still looking to Labour about the fate of parties that act in the interests of the capitalist class in a time of economic crisis. The inevitable result is extreme unpopularity at best, and oblivion at worst, as has been seen in Greece, France and other European countries. Need for a new workers' party It is not possible to judge how well Ukip will do in the general election. At this stage only 51% of Ukip voters say they will vote for them at the general election. However, it is not excluded that they can increase this on a local basis with an intensive campaign. If Ukip manages to get one or more MPs elected it is possible that a number of the Tory Eurosceptic MPs could defect to Ukip after the general election. The establishment of a semi-permanent right-wing populist force in Britain - comparable to those that exist in a number of European countries - would be a dangerous development in British politics. The only way to cut across this is the development of a genuine mass parties of the working class in Britain and internationally. While they are modest, the achievements in this election - particularly the breadth of TUSC's local election challenge - mark an important step on the road to building such a force. www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty*SomersetBranch
  • Score: 11

12:40pm Wed 28 May 14

duckface08 says...

When will Somerset Socialist Party realise their diatribes they keep posting are the very thing that make voters switch off. I can only offer a bucket of salt for that enormous chip they have on their shoulder.
When will Somerset Socialist Party realise their diatribes they keep posting are the very thing that make voters switch off. I can only offer a bucket of salt for that enormous chip they have on their shoulder. duckface08
  • Score: -17

8:40pm Wed 28 May 14

souwesterly says...

Thank you, Somerset Socialist Party, for those remarkably long and exceptionally uninteresting comments.
You obviously have a good supplier of ready-made soap boxes.

If ever anything ever puts me off politics, it's listening to would-be politicians drone on and on and on - almost inevitably about something I'm not particularly interested in and usually seen from the opposite side of the fence anyway.
So instead of clogging up this comment area, please put all your thoughts into a nice little booklet. You can then have it distributed to every household.....so that when it arrives here I can dispose of all your thoughts in one go.
Please.......please.
.....
Thank you, Somerset Socialist Party, for those remarkably long and exceptionally uninteresting comments. You obviously have a good supplier of ready-made soap boxes. If ever anything ever puts me off politics, it's listening to would-be politicians drone on and on and on - almost inevitably about something I'm not particularly interested in and usually seen from the opposite side of the fence anyway. So instead of clogging up this comment area, please put all your thoughts into a nice little booklet. You can then have it distributed to every household.....so that when it arrives here I can dispose of all your thoughts in one go. Please.......please. ..... souwesterly
  • Score: -8

10:16pm Wed 28 May 14

jellyonaplate says...

Voted UKIP and proud :)
Voted UKIP and proud :) jellyonaplate
  • Score: -17

11:28pm Wed 28 May 14

Don't buy the sun says...

jellyonaplate wrote:
Voted UKIP and proud :)
Bless.
[quote][p][bold]jellyonaplate[/bold] wrote: Voted UKIP and proud :)[/p][/quote]Bless. Don't buy the sun
  • Score: 22

12:42pm Thu 29 May 14

topcataj says...

souwesterly wrote:
Jamesey - I take your comment as an insult - I voted for UKIP and I'm a quality B.Sc. graduate - admittedly from many years ago.
UKIP is indeed a protest vote but since the policies of the major parties have left a lot to be desired in recent years, the protest is now loud, clear and deep.
You say that one in ten voted for UKIP - well, LESS than one in ten voted for the Conners. A tiny percentage more than one in ten voted for Liebour and a mere one in forty remained loyal to the biggest U-turner in recent history.
Farage's support has increased since the last Euro election in 2009 from 2.5 million to almost 4 million this year - a 76% increase!
Liebour also managed to go up by two thirds while the Con vote remained very stagnant - as are their policies.

And that's the key - UKIP policies are basically still being settled and detailed but they target important current problems.
The Cons policies were set when they came to (shared) power (before they did, in all probability) and so they're at least five years out of date.....and problems change rapidly nowadays.
Liebour's policies are still those of the Blair days - approved by workers since time immemorial but not now pertinent.
As for the Libbers and such - say no more!

UKIP don't appeal to the younger set because so many of our youngsters have been indoctrinated by years of Liebour mind-control to share their British upbringing with those of Europeans - to become a minority in their own country; to become a second-string language; to become merely a small part of the Grand European Dream.
Those who voted for UKIP want to see our country become real again; to stand out from the crowd; to retain (or regain) our heritage.....

I'm quite certain that when it comes to a General Election, at least one in ten will see that life as we knew it - life as a Briton - will die out unless they vote for a party that cares for Britain.
The 'flash' is liable to be the spark that ignites quite a loud bang!
Amusing, posting to defend UKIP and you start by declaring insult at a UKIP quote! Swiftly followed up by insulting all 'younger' people....

Are you pro UKIP because you were indoctrinated by the Tories but have become disillusioned by them not fixing everything in the last few years?

Not sure which minority you think you're part of, as someone I assume to be an older/middle aged white male you fall in to a pretty strong majority. More than 90% of the residents of the whole of the south west are 'White: British' and about 96% of all households speak English as their main language.

Clear signs we are being overrun!
[quote][p][bold]souwesterly[/bold] wrote: Jamesey - I take your comment as an insult - I voted for UKIP and I'm a quality B.Sc. graduate - admittedly from many years ago. UKIP is indeed a protest vote but since the policies of the major parties have left a lot to be desired in recent years, the protest is now loud, clear and deep. You say that one in ten voted for UKIP - well, LESS than one in ten voted for the Conners. A tiny percentage more than one in ten voted for Liebour and a mere one in forty remained loyal to the biggest U-turner in recent history. Farage's support has increased since the last Euro election in 2009 from 2.5 million to almost 4 million this year - a 76% increase! Liebour also managed to go up by two thirds while the Con vote remained very stagnant - as are their policies. And that's the key - UKIP policies are basically still being settled and detailed but they target important current problems. The Cons policies were set when they came to (shared) power (before they did, in all probability) and so they're at least five years out of date.....and problems change rapidly nowadays. Liebour's policies are still those of the Blair days - approved by workers since time immemorial but not now pertinent. As for the Libbers and such - say no more! UKIP don't appeal to the younger set because so many of our youngsters have been indoctrinated by years of Liebour mind-control to share their British upbringing with those of Europeans - to become a minority in their own country; to become a second-string language; to become merely a small part of the Grand European Dream. Those who voted for UKIP want to see our country become real again; to stand out from the crowd; to retain (or regain) our heritage..... I'm quite certain that when it comes to a General Election, at least one in ten will see that life as we knew it - life as a Briton - will die out unless they vote for a party that cares for Britain. The 'flash' is liable to be the spark that ignites quite a loud bang![/p][/quote]Amusing, posting to defend UKIP and you start by declaring insult at a UKIP quote! Swiftly followed up by insulting all 'younger' people.... Are you pro UKIP because you were indoctrinated by the Tories but have become disillusioned by them not fixing everything in the last few years? Not sure which minority you think you're part of, as someone I assume to be an older/middle aged white male you fall in to a pretty strong majority. More than 90% of the residents of the whole of the south west are 'White: British' and about 96% of all households speak English as their main language. Clear signs we are being overrun! topcataj
  • Score: 9

2:02pm Thu 29 May 14

GoingGreen says...

jellyonaplate wrote:
Voted UKIP and proud :)
= backward, insular and proud.
[quote][p][bold]jellyonaplate[/bold] wrote: Voted UKIP and proud :)[/p][/quote]= backward, insular and proud. GoingGreen
  • Score: 8

7:24pm Thu 29 May 14

feeby12007 says...

How sad that people cannot put their views on this site without nasty personal remarks made about them. I also voted UKIP so what? For those who don't agree why not be more constructive instead of being destructive.
How sad that people cannot put their views on this site without nasty personal remarks made about them. I also voted UKIP so what? For those who don't agree why not be more constructive instead of being destructive. feeby12007
  • Score: 1

7:48pm Thu 29 May 14

Agnieszka80 says...

I can't understand support for ukip? It is a free world?
I can't understand support for ukip? It is a free world? Agnieszka80
  • Score: -6

11:46pm Thu 29 May 14

Don't buy the sun says...

feeby12007 wrote:
How sad that people cannot put their views on this site without nasty personal remarks made about them. I also voted UKIP so what? For those who don't agree why not be more constructive instead of being destructive.
Agree, nasty personal remarks are unnecessary. And constructive opinion is what we want. Constructively, could you tell me what the appeal of UKIP is?

The majority of reasons I seen, heard is protest, that at best is negative. In days gone by we have had the Monster Raving Looney Party as a protest . However, at no point did there policies set an agenda, which was racist, xenophobic, homophobic, isolationist and geared towards hurting the ordinary working man more than UKIP propose.
[quote][p][bold]feeby12007[/bold] wrote: How sad that people cannot put their views on this site without nasty personal remarks made about them. I also voted UKIP so what? For those who don't agree why not be more constructive instead of being destructive.[/p][/quote]Agree, nasty personal remarks are unnecessary. And constructive opinion is what we want. Constructively, could you tell me what the appeal of UKIP is? The majority of reasons I seen, heard is protest, that at best is negative. In days gone by we have had the Monster Raving Looney Party as a protest . However, at no point did there policies set an agenda, which was racist, xenophobic, homophobic, isolationist and geared towards hurting the ordinary working man more than UKIP propose. Don't buy the sun
  • Score: 4

11:37am Wed 11 Jun 14

SocialistParty*SomersetBranch says...

Update, posted on 6 June 2014.

Cuts consensus: UKip Joins with Labour to back Tory council in Portsmouth

Any illusions in the anti-establishment credentials of Portsmouth's new Ukip councillors were swiftly dashed when they joined forces with New Labour and the Tories to support the newly installed Tory minority council.

Last month's election results left the Conservatives with 12 of the city's 42 seats, while the Lib Dems had 19. This meant the Tories were forced to rely on the support of the six Ukip and four Labour candidates, who readily provided it.

The new council is to be led by former HBOS banker Donna Jones, who so struggled to find any policy differences between her and her allies in the other establishment parties that her flagship election pledge was to attract car dealerships to sponsor public toilets closed by cuts.

While the election cost the Lib Dems control of the city, it was Labour who fared worst. They were defeated by Ukip in every ward, losing a councillor in Paulsgrove, their only electoral stronghold in the city.

Labour continually refused to address the issue of austerity, instead choosing to focus their campaign on closing a local swimming complex, the Pyramids Centre, while attacking disgraced MP Mike Hancock.

Portsmouth Labour's trade union liaison officer, and Socialist Appeal supporter, Sion Reynolds went so far as to call a position which opposed all cuts 'imbecilic', perhaps forgetting that it is the official position of Portsmouth Trades Council. Similarly, when challenged on cuts to education, Labour leader John Ferret described himself as 'agnostic' to free schools and academies, refusing to take a position.

The decision by Labour to unite with Ukip behind the Tories simply officialises what has long been true. The role of official opposition must now fall to the city's trade unions and community anti-cuts groups.

Portsmouth Socialist Party, working with its allies in the RMT and other unions, challenged the cuts consensus by standing 14 community-based candidates across every ward in the city. It is now vital that the campaign continues to unite all those who demand an alternative to austerity.

Find out more at www.socialistportsmo
uth.co.uk or follow Portsmouth TUSC at @TUSCPompey


www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Update, posted on 6 June 2014. Cuts consensus: UKip Joins with Labour to back Tory council in Portsmouth Any illusions in the anti-establishment credentials of Portsmouth's new Ukip councillors were swiftly dashed when they joined forces with New Labour and the Tories to support the newly installed Tory minority council. Last month's election results left the Conservatives with 12 of the city's 42 seats, while the Lib Dems had 19. This meant the Tories were forced to rely on the support of the six Ukip and four Labour candidates, who readily provided it. The new council is to be led by former HBOS banker Donna Jones, who so struggled to find any policy differences between her and her allies in the other establishment parties that her flagship election pledge was to attract car dealerships to sponsor public toilets closed by cuts. While the election cost the Lib Dems control of the city, it was Labour who fared worst. They were defeated by Ukip in every ward, losing a councillor in Paulsgrove, their only electoral stronghold in the city. Labour continually refused to address the issue of austerity, instead choosing to focus their campaign on closing a local swimming complex, the Pyramids Centre, while attacking disgraced MP Mike Hancock. Portsmouth Labour's trade union liaison officer, and Socialist Appeal supporter, Sion Reynolds went so far as to call a position which opposed all cuts 'imbecilic', perhaps forgetting that it is the official position of Portsmouth Trades Council. Similarly, when challenged on cuts to education, Labour leader John Ferret described himself as 'agnostic' to free schools and academies, refusing to take a position. The decision by Labour to unite with Ukip behind the Tories simply officialises what has long been true. The role of official opposition must now fall to the city's trade unions and community anti-cuts groups. Portsmouth Socialist Party, working with its allies in the RMT and other unions, challenged the cuts consensus by standing 14 community-based candidates across every ward in the city. It is now vital that the campaign continues to unite all those who demand an alternative to austerity. Find out more at www.socialistportsmo uth.co.uk or follow Portsmouth TUSC at @TUSCPompey www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty*SomersetBranch
  • Score: -1

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