The RMT transport union is backing a national alternative in June’s European elections. ‘No2EU – Yes to Democracy‘ aims to provide a working class alternative in the elections, and has been able to gather the support of the Communist Party of Britain, the Socialist Party and the tiny Liberal Party as well as the Indian Workers’ Association. Socialists have to welcome the groundbreaking action of a union contesting Labour and the BNP nationally. It’s unfortunate that the alliance has announced that it won’t take any seats it wins and that Respect, the Scottish Socialist Party and the SWP’s Left Alternative were not drawn into planing the project.
Nevertheless, the alliance is raising a broad range of demands and presents a working-class alternative on a wide range of policies:
|The Lisbon Treaty|
|The EU gravy train|
|Keep out the BNP|
|The economic crisis|
The organisations involved in No2EU have not decided to continue the alliance beyond this election. Because of that, they are not building an open grass-roots organisation. That’s unfortunate. Respect, the SSP and the SWP will all need to evaluate how to encourage the forces involved in No2EU to work more broadly across the left in future elections.
We are in favour of Respect standing in the Euro elections in London, if it is able to generate the resources to do so, in order to preserve its electoral base and build on the success of Viva Palestina — whilst supporting No2EU in most other constituencies. We would urge that the issue of climate change and its impact be given prominence in the campaign in order to capture the imagination of young people. These campaigns can maintain and build democratic, grass-roots organisations which are important assets for the left.
Despite the frictions that democratic functioning can produce, our experience is that transparent, participatory, grass-roots decision-making mobilises and activates supporters. It builds a stronger foundation for the future and optimises electoral success.
This statement was agreed on March 30th by a joint meeting of the Socialist Resistance steering committee and the political committee of the International Socialist Group.