[EDIT 23/4/14: Left Unity’s internal elections are now underway. They will close at midnight on Tuesday 6 May 2014. The statement below, that also appears on the North West elections page on the LU website, is very slightly modified from the one previously on this blog (to increase the number of issues I’m campaigning on).]
The following text is my statement as a candidate for one of the four vacant seats (at least two of which have to be female due to the women’s quota rule) from the North West region of Left Unity on the National Council. I was nominated by Alison Treacher (Stockport LU) and Tom Armstrong (Manchester LU). Left Unity members can vote via the Internal Elections page (but you will only be able to vote for me if you live in the North West of England).
I’m a revolutionary socialist because reformism doesn’t work. Reforms in the interest of the masses that can be afforded under capitalism during booms are unaffordable and reversed during recessions and slumps.
Although it’s unlikely that Left Unity will come to power electorally, I don’t believe that violence is a necessary aspect of a revolution. I favour mass strikes from below (as argued for by Rosa Luxemburg) and demands that trade union leaders call general strikes from above, as part of the strategy for changing society. Indeed, I proposed such an amendment to the Left Party Platform statement of aims and it was agreed at the founding conference.
Another amendment of mine, to cap compensation for shareholders, at a certain level when nationalising a company so rich shareholders lose most of their investments, was inserted into the economics commission document presented and accepted at the Manchester policy-making conference.
I first got seriously involved in politics during the mass non-payment campaign against the poll tax. I went on the huge demonstration on 31 March 1990, and the People’s March Against The Poll Tax from Liverpool to London. Over 18 million people hadn’t paid a penny or were in arrears at the campaign’s height, hence the Tories ditching Thatcher and Major admitting the tax was “uncollectable” when justifying its abolition.
When the Militant Tendency was proving itself serious in largely leading that campaign, I joined thinking it could also lead a revolution. I left in 1998, mainly due to the organisation (renamed the Socialist Party) being more sectarian, particularly due to it opposing establishing the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP).
I’ve joined other left unity initiatives (including the Socialist Alliance, Respect and SSP) but Left Unity is far better since it’s a broad socialist party with quite a good balance between reformist and revolutionary politics.
I’m in the Greater Manchester Community branch of Unite.
Read more of my views about LU, and about campaigns I’m involved in(including opposing the bedroom tax, council tax demands for the poor, fracking, police corruption/brutality/murder and the surveillance state) at https://thatcheroftheleft.wordpress.com.