Monday, April 24, 2006

The May elections (I)

As mentioned, the Socialist Party of Great Britain will be standing in next month's local elections in England. One of our members brought the following curious incident to our attention.

As those who read the Socialist Standard will know, the Socialist Party is putting up some candidates in the local elections in Britain next month. One of these is in Kingston, to the south-west of London.

Last Friday all the parties standing candidates there were invited to put their case to ameeting of the Kingston Racial Equality Council and in particular to address the question "How will the needs of minority groups be met?" Naturally we were there and explained that we didn't accept the idea of "minority groups"with different needs, that there was only one "race" the human race, that the key division in society ran between those who own the means of production and the rest of us who didn't with people from "minority groups"on both sides, and that, in any event, the needs of "minority groups" within the majority class were no more able to be met under the profit system than those of the rest of the majority.

Another party invited was the so-called "Socialist Labour Party" (known to us as the "Scargill Labour Party" after its founder, former miners' leader Arthur Scargill, who set it up as a breakaway from the Labour Party but which in practice is more like the former Communist Party). They didn't attend but sent a written answer which was so bizarre as to be worth recording:

"SLP statement for the KREC pre-council elections meeting on 21st April 2006 How will the needs of minority groups be met? This means how will racism be eradicated in this Borough?New Conservative Party Leader David Cameron made a huge mistake recently by calling the UK Independence Party 'closet racist'. Who can claim to be free of any racism? The answer is in truth nobody. Even London Mayor Ken Livingstone who many may have regarded as an archetype of anti-racism has now displayed an apparent insensitivity towards the Jewish community in the capital.Those that do claim to be not racists are certainly racists.The main problem in this issue resides in the institutional racism in our society. In particular the press and other media who too often raise covertly race issues in their reporting. A murderer or other criminal should not be reported as black. Racism has sprung out of the hegemony of imperialist society in theTwentieth Century with its large migrations of workers to the metropolitan countries. A socialist immigration policy is required to break this cycle and one that mirrors socialist Cuba. In Cuba nobody is allowed in and nobody is allowed out. Socialist countries plan their economies to prevent unemployment. Capitalist societies on the other hand need a ready supply of cheap labour which can be attracted and repelled at will. John Hayball. 12th April 2006".

The only laugh our representative got was when, in repudiating the view that Cuba was a "socialist country", he quoted the SLP's endorsement of Cuba's immigration policy (and which they want to introduce in Britain) of "nobody is allowed in and nobody is allowed out".

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