Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Observations from the sidelines


Fatigue leaves me currently often as a spectator at events where I would sooner be a participant, whether knocking on doors in Brighton or blocking a bridge in London.

Labour Party members across Brighton and Hove are running an excellent local election campaign in support of an impressively diverse field of candidates, which is now entering its final week. I am proud to have had a role in preparing this campaign, and wish I had the energy to be out there on the doorstep ahead of this vital election.

This isn’t simply our chance to win a majority for Labour on Brighton and Hove City Council, sixteen years after this was lost when a Labour Government followed President Bush into an imperialist war. This is an opportunity for the people of one of the most progressive places in the country to elect a Council with a majority committed to a socialist manifesto.

I cannot predict the results of the local elections, though I do know that our Party candidates and activists deserve, by their efforts, a victory, because the people of Brighton and Hove need a socialist Council, just as the people of this country need a socialist-led Government.

There is an urgency in this need for socialism because capitalism has brought our planet to the brink of catastrophe, as the school strikes and Extinction Rebellion protests have made clear. The climate crisis threatens the future of humanity and the solution can only be a systemic shift away from a society organised around profit and accumulation.

Our society is in a time of crisis, exemplified by the plight of the Conservative Party, a historically successful tool in the hands of the ruling class, which is falling apart in front of our eyes as the racist far right grows in the fertile soil of Brexit and the political “centre” flounders and fails in the misshapen form of “Change UK”.

We are fortunate that, at a time such as this, we have a Labour Party which is capable of offering hope – and which threatens our enemies so much that they are constantly on the attack against us. I have no idea whether we can win (either the local elections or the saving of our species) but I know it is worth the fight, and I am grateful to those who are fighting.

I look forward to returning to the front line.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

We wunt be druv


There’s an old Sussex saying, now adopted by Harvey’s Brewery, “we wunt be druv.”

This means that we won’t be driven, Sussex folk have our own minds. Socialists in Brighton and Hove need to remember this Sussex saying just now.

With a socialist-led Labour Government on the horizon, the establishment, their allies and lackeys are pulling out all the stops to attack our Labour Party.

Unlike Dutch Elm Disease, the South Downs don’t provide protection against attacks on the Labour Party – on Labour members, activists and candidates.

But we wunt be druv. We are engaged in a serious campaign to secure a Labour majority on Brighton and Hove City Council.

We won’t be frightened into silence. Nor will we allow anger to distract us. We will stand together, and campaign together, for our socialist manifesto.