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back to front - time to be ungrateful


THIS YEAR will see a host of elections, local, regional, European Union. Is there any way that the working class could use them to advance our interests? Or is there a better way?

We are everlastingly told that we should vote just to show how grateful we are that we live in a parliamentary democracy. But how democratic is parliamentary democracy? Most of the British people oppose foundation hospitals, but Parliament votes for them anyway. Most of the British people opposed Blair's attack on Iraq, but Parliament backed it anyway. Most of the British people want a referendum so that we can vote down the European Union's new Constitution, but Parliament insists that it alone has the right to decide.

Successive national governments have stripped so much power away from local government that local elections are increasingly seen only as referenda on the national government.

The EU idea of a 'Europe of the Regions' drives the proposed regional elections, and the EU and its supporters will make desperate efforts to get us to vote, so that they can claim popular support for the EU.

Similarly, the EU and its supporters will try to increase the turn-out in June 2004's EU elections, so that it can claim popular support for the EU. The 'left', from the Socialist Alliance to the Scottish Socialist Party, falls neatly into the trap.

In all these elections, it is not a question of calling 'Blair Out!' Blair Out would still leave the ruling class in; it means, according to taste, Brown In, or Kennedy In, or Howard, or Tommy Sheridan, or George Galloway. But in truth, none of them are any use to us, in or out. We want the whole lot out!

In our unions, we should oppose the wasting of members' money on any party's election campaigns, and insist that we use this money to get what our members want.

The ruling class is quite happy to offer us more and more elections of less and less significance, while it takes the real decisions. But it has, so far, refused us a referendum on the euro or the EU Constitution, because a referendum gives us the power to decide our future.

The ruling class wants to end Britain as a sovereign independent nation, and it does not want the working class to make the right decisions for Britain. That is why we demand a referendum, and why we call for a resounding NO to the euro and the EU Constitution.