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Year 2010 No. 25, May 12, 2010 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

The 2010 General Election:

Is This Coalition the "Change" that the People Were Promised?

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

Is This Coalition the "Change" that the People Were Promised?

Message from Roger Nettleship, South Shields "Fight for an Anti-War Government" Candidate, to All Involved in the General Election Campaign

A Message from Nader Naderi to Roger Nettleship

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The 2010 General Election:

Is This Coalition the "Change" that the People Were Promised?

David Cameron last night visited the Queen who asked him to form a government. This is the way things work in this archaic system where formally authority still lies with the monarch in parliament.

Having failed to sort out a champion of the ruling elite through the process of the election, the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition is the best that the powers-that-be could come up with, discrediting Gordon Brown and his Labour government in the process. This coalition is what is being presented as "new" in the present circumstances.

It is a reflection of the depth of the crisis of the system and of the political process that this is the final outcome. The Lib Dem surge could not come up with the goods, nor could the portrayal of Cameron as the "heir to Blair". The electorate were too fearful of what a Conservative government might bring in terms of attacks on the working class and people to provide Cameron with an overall majority. Equally, the Lib Dems could not provide themselves with that credibility that might have enabled them to challenge the status quo. Instead, there is three-party government with a vengeance, with the Lib Dems not even simply playing the role of splitting the vote against a party seen as embodying the status quo, but of allying with it to join in overseeing the anti-social offensive. Deals have been brokered, and cabinet positions carved up.

Thus, in the name of providing a stable government, there is to be an outright pro-war and anti-social alliance. Meanwhile, New Labour will try and regroup, come back with even fresher faces than Cameron and Clegg, and provide a modernised version of the "Third Way" of Tony Blair. It could be said that the ruling elite failed to find a credible alternative to champion the anti-social offensive, but that the forces of the people in building their own pro-social and anti-war alternative were not yet strong enough to make serious headway with the new arrangements of democratic renewal. There were as yet too many voices of protest which still get caught up in the old politics. The ruling elite could be said to have worked for a hung parliament or minority government, as the only thing to do when no champion for them could be found.

Nevertheless, the trend of candidates standing to challenge the Westminster cartel continued to gather momentum during this election, and overall the vote for these candidates increased. Interestingly, where this trend was the most organised, in the South Shields constituency, the advance, rather than being seen in the number of votes for the Fight for an Anti-War Government candidate, was seen in the consolidation of the new arrangements and in the deepening of the consciousness and organisation of those working for an anti-war government.

As for the government at Westminster, it can be said neither to have a mandate from the electorate, nor to have credibility or legitimacy. In putting forward that it is a government for the national interest, the Tory and Lib Dem leaders are continuing a dangerous trend of identifying government with nation, and suggesting that their programme, in which not even the activists of the two parties will have had any say, represents the way out of the crisis.

How long this government will last is a moot point, because it will set out to intensify the anti-social offensive, slash the funding of social programmes, increase the militarisation of the economy and strengthen ties with US imperialism. Despite the fact that it will try and cause the maximum confusion about what it represents, the hard facts of overseeing the economic, financial and political crisis will even further arouse the people’s opposition to its programme. The stage might then be set for a recast New Labour to appear on the scene sooner rather than later and try and short-circuit the people’s opposition.

Gordon Brown’s resignation was the only way forward for the Labour Party, because the party was covered with shame, and continued its chauvinism by seemingly rejecting out of hand any alliance with the Scottish and Welsh nationalists. Its "moral compass" has led it into a quagmire, out of which its only salvation is to bring forward those characters that could claim to be the heirs to Blair. This may fool the electorate for a time, but the global crisis and the archaic system which keeps the people out of power is such that any aspect of being for "change" will not last.

Overall, the only way forward for the working class lies not in working to re-elect Labour, but to build a genuine Workers’ Opposition to the ruling Westminster parties, and to recognise the crucial and historic importance of the proletarian front in leading the way out of the crisis. At the same time, the fight for an anti-war government will assume an even greater importance, and here the way forward lies not in grilling the MPs that they should be anti-war, nor in becoming obsessed with some mythical "left unity", but in building serious unity in action amongst the people and nurturing the consciousness and organisation of the alternative to the pro-war consensus of the status quo.

The ruling elite is presenting coalition politics as "new" politics. But its newness is only skin deep, and not far below the surface is the same old same old. The question of "who decides" is still the decisive question, but the present election has not yet resolved it. What will become increasingly evident is that the electorate is being kept even more out of decision-making in terms of the direction of society, but that the way forward is to affirm that we, the working class and people, we decide. The people are demanding solutions to the problems that they face, but these solutions are not going to come from a Tory-Lib Dem coalition, but only from the pro-social programme of Stop Paying the Rich, Increase Investments in Social Programmes, in the fight for an anti-war government, and in the work for democratic renewal, for building new arrangements. To advance this programme is the work of the democratic forces, of the working class and people, in the coming period. This work will be needed as never before to combat the conspiracy of silence over Britain’s war of aggression in Afghanistan, its reactionary international alliances, its programme of paying the rich, and its attempts at wiping out the consciousness that there are alternatives, that there are small parties with a voice, and that in particular there is a different way of organising the polity.

The work to raise the level of political culture against the concerted attempts of the ruling elite to drive it down is also a task of all the democratic forces. How to organise the working class as an effective political force in its own right is also of crucial importance.

The tasks remain: Fight for an Anti-War Government! Build the Workers’ Opposition! Advance the Programme for Democratic Renewal!

Article Index



Message from Roger Nettleship, South Shields "Fight for an Anti-War Government" Candidate, to All Involved in the General Election Campaign

Dear All,

The votes were as follows: David Miliband (Labour) - 18,995; Karen Allen (Conservative) - 7,886; Stephen Psallidas (Liberal Democrats) - 5,189; Donna Watson (British National Party) - 2,382; Shirley Ford (Green) – 762; Siamak Kaikavoosi (Independent) – 729; Victor Thompson – 316; Sam Navabi (Independent) – 168; Roger Nettleship (Fight For an Anti-War Government) – 91.

After the vote was announced, it was apparent that the vote of the Westminster cartel had held up but with David Miliband down 8.8%, the Conservatives up on last time as well as their stooges on immigration racism and racism the BNP which had stood for the first time getting 2,382.

But most noticeable is that the alternative had polled a record 2,066.

Shirley Ford headed this in terms of the votes coming fifth and the lead anti-war candidate in terms of votes. My vote of 91 was disappointing for us but had to be seen in the context of the fact that I was challenging the status quo really on their whole move to divide the people on immigration and that with the concentration on the big parties and the lack of discussion in the election that was always going to be difficult. But the interesting thing was those that voted for our stand voted in a more conscious way than before.

The hospital worker that proposed my nomination said our programme was very good and he agreed with it all. He tried to persuade others vote for me but even when they too agreed with the programme he said the prevailing mood was they were frightened by a return of the Tories. He said to them if you don't vote for what you believe in how will you get what you want? This for me said at 7 o'clock this morning after the count left a deep impression. It really emphasised what our project was all about to present an alternative and take a stand against the whole pro-war consensus and this had set people in South Tyneside thinking!

It looks like in the election no-one won, neither the people nor the ruling elite. Cause maximum confusion, and attack the people hard, is what is coming from the ruling elite and the monopoly media. The people are looking for the alternative, but in general can find no clear alternative, and are opposed to these attacks, and are looking for how to combat them.

We have to point out that every aspect of their system, even the counting of votes, is in crisis!

I think we have to recognise the importance of the work we have done and that our work has represented the alternative, which is building something and uniting against the main attack.

Congratulations to all who took part in this fight and to those that voted for the anti-war candidates.

Roger

Article Index



A Message from Nader Naderi to Roger Nettleship

Nader Naderi is one of the founders of the South Tyneside Stop the War Coalition; he hails from Iran, and has lived and worked in South Shields for more than 30 years. He is highly qualified in electronics and IT, and is a partner in a small family-run computer business in the town. In the 2005 General Election he stood as an independent anti-war candidate against South Shields MP David Miliband.

Hi Roger,

As ever the point of our participation in the elections was not about winning or losing the said "beauty contest", but for the reasons of setting up markers, and referencing the zones of future debate, and struggles. Fact that even a child can be aware of the electoral irregularities in UK (in fact 14 year old Alfie McKenzie of Carleton near Pulton, Lancs, sporting his orthodontic braces, proved the point, and cast his vote in the Wyre and Preston North Constituency), and ballot box stuffing techniques deployed by the current bunch of trustees set in place by the arrangements, that compels Richard Mawrey QC pointing to the evidence of electoral fraud in the UK, to go on record stating these practices "would disgrace a banana republic".

Furthermore, it is a fact that before us we see: voters locked out of polling stations, "ballot papers running out", and hear reports of frustrated plebeians feeling their voice is being hushed, lashing out and getting into scuffles inside polling stations, other more active citizens staging sit-ins inside the polling stations, whilst the authorities shamelessly resorting to calling their strong men in the guise of the "police" to come and eject the "trouble makers", and/or quell the starting murmurs of dissatisfaction. All the while evidently some plebeians were able to vote after 10pm, the official end time of the polling, while other plebeians were getting blocked from doing so.

Of course, if these were to be seen taking place in Iranian elections, and/or Belarus, and/or some other "enemy of the moment" nation, these events would have been held as patent examples of dictatorship and/or obvious attempts of the "ruling Junta" (the British elite enjoy throwing in foreign words into the debate to make the enemy appear to be even more loathsome, due to the awfully low frequency of the foreign language capabilities of the British populace, which makes these to loathe the Johnny Foreigner even more due to the incomprehensible and almost swear like words, such as Junta, Jihad, and Al Q-anything) to remain in power.

Although as a matter of course, the above malpractices, once perpetrated in Britain, then become to be "only" the result of: "bureaucratic blunders", and/or "the work of those spreading apathy among the public" (as per the prognostications of the esteemed former Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw). The question is, how come the super-salaried free-loaders presiding as top bureaucrats can be so incompetent as to be unable to organise a knees up in a brewery never comes to the fore, for the reasons that as well as the foreign words and expressions of loathsomeness, bureaucracy too is a loathsome concept, which evidently political actors are not a part of, and can thus lay the blame at their door, as they often do, whether locally and or internationally as in the case of Eurocrats!

Therefore, while the politicos stuff the ballot boxes, and/or change the electoral boundaries, and/or introduce even more loathsome racist elements in the guise of the dreaded racist parties, and actors, all these are "only" the results of the ill-informed and bigoted electorate's ignorance, and not the fault of the ruling elite, whose "news papers" carry heavy-hitting and in-depth political analysis as in the case of Miranda Sawyer, who fawningly and gushing writes in the Daily Mirror: "I have a friend who fancies David Miliband. Part of me can see why. He's tall and slim, with sparkly teeth and eyes and a ready laugh. Wears a suit well. Looks 10 years younger than his 44 years. But any potential sex appeal is killed stone dead by his professionalism."

Evidently, we need not worry about the Mr Magoo-like foresight in decision making of the Foreign Secretary, who can speak many foreign languages as in: English, American, Geordie, and a bit of Yiddish, and has always been spot on with his predictions, as on record in Miranda's in depth love-in, "Miliband dismisses all talk of a hung Parliament", as was the case with his decisions and pontifications about the Iraq war, the Afghan war, and also his close relationships with Israelis, before these friends of his, having nicked British Passports, went on to pose as British citizens and commit murder in Keystone-Cops fashion, equipped with their weapons, wigs and false beards to boot in Qatar on CCTV for the benefit of the world to see.

Although we can take a dim view of the ninety-one votes, lent to us by our more enlightened fellow citizens, and ponder upon the tragedy that, after a vigorous campaign which engaged and energised many who were previously cynical about politics, only for these to be let down with these paltry results, and/or be disheartened and give up and come to accept the price of living in a rotten borough. However, we can also think back and see that despite the assiduous efforts of the political actors and their extensive support network, we the ordinary men and women, we the people, managed to get our voices heard, and shouted our messages loud and clear, that: killing is wrong, earning a living from killing is wrong, that injustice is wrong, and no amounts of window dressing can cover up the injustices perpetrated upon the nations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and others, whose nationals are being killed by the monies that ought to be spent on British citizens, be it to resurface the roads in our towns and cities, and fill in the potholes, and/or improve the patient waiting times in our hospitals, and/or grant better and easier access to more expensive treatments, and drugs, and/or better schools, and universities for our young, and/or safer towns and cities, and/or better pensions for the hard-working old-age pensioners, whose lives were spent in the forlorn hopes of the state honouring the contract of looking after them in their old age, when they are infirm and incapable of working for a living.

Fact is we did shout, and we went on record, and we spent our efforts to bring forth the debate that almost to a man of the mainstream media, and political actors wanted to push out of the way, and cover up. Hence, we can safely assume that future generations can at least remain aware that we did our best facing the odds, and engaging in the epic struggle of making our land a just and civilised place, where citizens are given priority over the banks and corporations, where justice and equity are not slogans and dreams but realities, and where human family and human dignity are the factors that are at the basis of any decisions that are being taken on behalf of "we the people".

Therefore, we must all take heart that our names will not be written off, along with the paltry numbers of votes lent to us, but from the fact that we will be remembered for the struggle that we put up in the face of massive onslaught of the mainstream media, and bought and paid for politicians, that were so deftly manipulating the systems set in place by their forerunners, whose aims were to keep up the status quo in the favour of the ruling elite, whilst engaged in feathering their own nests, and provisions of homes for their ducks, all the while engaged in wringing even the last pennies through their assiduous false accounting in the guise of their quite legal and lawful expenses submissions.

Well done Roger, and all those who did engage in the struggle for human dignity, and humanity. Let us not forget despite the painful battle scars, we can all take comfort that we did not surrender, and or quietly die away, we stood our grounds and fought; for justice and equity, in our lands. Furthermore, Roger take heart that despite all the shenanigans of the ruling elite, despite the postal ballots, and lack of "sufficient" numbers of the ballot papers on the elections day, and/or turned down would-be voters, and/or young boys managing to cast votes, we the people have set free the proverbial cat among the masters of the universe, and the nightmare scenario of a hung parliament is upon the ruling elite, whose displeasure is reflected in the "City Casino" that we are sold as the "market place". This is the beginning of a new era, our struggle has not come to naught, we are succeeding albeit at a glacial pace, but nonetheless we are managing to bring about change, despite all the odds stacked against us.

Kindest regards, Nader.

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