Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

E-mail to hear about site changes, placing 'update' in body of message



A sham election

The outcome of the 2005 general election reflects a growing awareness that neither the current political system, nor the parties which try to sustain it, are able to offer any way forward. This deepening disenchantment inevitably adds to the crisis of the parliamentary process and opens up possibilities for change.

There was little enthusiastic, positive support for any of the three main parties. Many of those who took part did so in order to reject another party rather than endorse the one they actually voted for. The election was, in this way, reduced to a protest action where "messages" were sent to New Labour over issues like Iraq or tuition fees. It was more like a by-election than a general election.

There was a continuing fragmentation of old allegiances and ties, leading to the largest number of minority party and independent candidates since 1945. Votes for people like George Galloway standing as the Respect/Old Labour candidate, and the return of the Kidderminster doctor as an independent MP, express both frustration and a desire for change. So too did the substantial votes for the far-right BNP, which came mainly as a result of the abandonment of poor, white working class people by New Labour.

The 'plague-on-all-your-houses' and 'lesser-of-two-evils' sentiments inadvertently exposed the undemocratic and fragile nature of the process itself. Blair's party won just 35.2% of the votes cast - the lowest share obtained by a winning party since universal suffrage was introduced. New Labour is now back in office with the support of just one in five of the 44 million who were actually entitled to vote.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many who convinced themselves to vote for New Labour did so with a heavy heart and not much optimism. Clearly, New Labour's claim to represent all classes and sections of society is in tatters. They are, in effect, a minority capitalist party in government whose reactionary policies have enabled a dying Tory party to grab a new lease of life.

Despite an intense and no-expenses-spared campaign, voter turnout rose by only 1.9% to 61.3%. This means that almost 17 million people decided not to vote for one reason or another. Perhaps another 1.5 million were not even registered and were thus ineligible. An estimated two-thirds of first-time voters boycotted the poll. In four key urban areas of the country - London, the North-East, North-West and Yorkshire and Humberside - the turnout was only 57-58%.

The election outcome thus reaffirms that the parliamentary system is unappealing, undemocratic and ineffectual in the eyes of large numbers of people. This is because the political machinations are themselves secondary to more powerful processes within the state as a whole.

What has taken place over the last 30 years is a convergence of the state and market economic forces. The political system is but one part of a capitalist state that is both dependent upon and is locked into the market economy. The global economy is in turn dominated by a handful of transnational corporations and a free-for-all international financial system. The election was a sham because all three major parties endorse these arrangements, differing only on details.

Many people sense that the current political set-up offers no hope of dealing with pressing problems like environmental meltdown, the avalanche of job losses and growing economic crisis, the shortage of affordable housing, the deteriorating education system, growing inequality and poverty, pension provision and community issues over crime and social behaviour. They are right.

On offer is a combination of the big stick and market-led "solutions" like more home ownership or the retraining offered to MG Rover workers who were sacked during the election. This will not change, however reduced New Labour's majority is and whoever is prime minister. Gordon Brown, in fact, is the architect of most of the government's central policies like private-public partnership. Whatever their internal differences, New Labour as a party is wholeheartedly committed to and is based on big business and competition.

There are certainly no answers to be found by restricting our political actions to voting once every four years or so for an undemocratic, ineffectual parliament. We are increasingly disenfranchised and unrepresented and are obliged to rescue the ideals of democracy - including the right to vote - from the clutches of those who hold power today.

The need for a democratic alternative that embraces popular control over economic and financial resources is pressing. Acknowledging that the route to achieving this lies outside parliament and the state is a vital first step. This marks us aside from the single-issue, protest politics of organisations who delude themselves and others by claiming that New Labour will respond to pressure and that a return to Old Labour is the answer. In any case, this strategy is based on stopping the government from doing things, rather than offering any longer-term alternative and has the effect of tying people into a political system that is increasingly rejected.

The election shows that the launch of A World to Win as an organisation dedicated to campaigning for a fundamentally new political and economic democracy is timely. In this way, we can turn the negative nature of the election - for both those who voted and those who abstained - into a positive force for revolutionary change.

Movement for a Socialist Future
9 May 2005