Friday, June 09, 2017

After the count

Was at the count in Wandsworth Town Hall last night where the votes for Putney and Tooting as well as Battersea were being counted. Saw Labour take Battersea from the Tories and nearly taking even Putney. Labour held Tooting, though a Green we met as their candidate in Wandsworth & Merton in the 2012 Greater London elections pointed out that the first thing she did after winning the by-election to replace Sadiq Khan (he was there) when he became Mayor of London was to vote for Trident.

Anyway, here are the results (not good) for the two London constituencies we contested:


Labour 25,292

Tory 22,876

LD 4,401

Ind 1234

Green 866

UKIP 357

Socialist 32 (0.06 %)

Islington North:

Labour (Corbyn) 40,086 (73 percent)

Tory 6871

LD 4946

Green 2229

UKIP 413

Ind 208

Monster Raving Loony 106

Ind 41

Socialist 21 (0.04%)

Communist League 7

Turnout: 73.3 percent

Last time we got 112 votes, so it seems that some who voted Socialist last time have been carried away by Corbymania.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Went to Wandsworth

Finally got to the Wandsworth end of the constituency and leafletted commuters at Wandsworth Town station. We found that people leaving work --and presumably going home to somewhere outside the constituency -- accepted leaflets more readily than those coming out and going home. But, then, it's the message that counts more, much more, than votes. Earlier in the day Clapham South (which, believe it or not, is in the Battersea constituency) was covered. The Labour Party was there too. Nearby streets down the road, in the Streatham constituency, were leafletted with what we thought was the general leaflet. It turned out to have been the one for Islington North. But, again, it's the message that counts.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

The last weekend

We ran a stall outside our premises in Clapham High Street from 11am to 5pm today and a second in Clapham Junction in the afternoon. We had to be careful which leaflets we handed out where as, our offices not being in Battersea but in Vauxhall constituency, the leaflets for there had to be the ones advising those who wanted socialism to write "World Socialism" across the ballot paper. Which wouldn't be appropriate for Battersea where we have a candidate.

The Tories were also handing out leaflets in Clapham High Street while supporters of the Independent candidate in Battersea, Chris Coghlan, "Opposing Brexit. Standing for a new centrist movement.", were at Clapham Junction. No sign of anyone else.

We had intended the second stall to be in Wandsworth but there are road works there. There's a street party in Old York Road, near Wandsworth Town station, tomorrow. Maybe we'll look in. Otherwise we'll leaflet the station exit on Monday.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Return to Guildford

As the printers sent us a 1,000 more copies than we ordered (and were invoiced for) of our general election leaflet for outside the three constituencies we are contesting (Swansea West in Wales is the third), some 500 were distributed today in the ward we contested in Guildford in the Surrey County Council elections on 4 May, as a follow-up. Met a postman who wondered why he was delivery the election address of the Labour candidate in Aylesbury (who describes himself as an "Aylesbury duck"). Clearly some cock-up by the Labour Party's printers or their regional organiser, not that Labour stands a chance in either Aylesbury or Guildford.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Free distribution begins tomorrow

No, not socialism but our Election Communications to be distributed by Royal Mail in Battersea and Islington North.

As from tomorrow, Royal Mail will begin to distribute 60,000 to households in Battersea and 57,000 to households in Islington North.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Undemocratic hustings

An attempt to hold an undemocratic hustings was made last Tuesday. Luckily it was cancelled due to the Manchester massacre:

The organisers have been sent the following email:
I see you had arranged a hustings for Tuesday 23 May to which you invited only 4 of the 7 candidates in Battersea. This is undemocratic. If the hustings is being rearranged simple democracy requires you to invite Danny Lambert, the Socialist Party candidate, the UKIP candidate, and the Independent candidate, Chris Coghlan. Otherwise electors are not being offered a full choice.

In any event, please let me know of any new date for the hustings.


Adam Buick, Election Agent for Danny Lambert, Socialist Party candidate
for Battersea.
Even if we are not invited we'll be there, to kick up a fuss.

Just another politician

We now know more about the Independent candidate we are up against in Battersea. He's standing on an anti-Brexit platform:

He also has delusions of grandeur:

Nothing very interesting, then. Just another would-be conventional politician.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Approved at last

Royal Mail finally approved yesterday our election communications for Battersea and Islington North. They buggered us about by requesting a second change which they missed the first time. Their incompetance will mean that we will miss the deadline by which the Royal Mail centres guarantee delivery before election day. No doubt there will be delivered by then but there is no guarantee. The manifestos are being printed at the moment and will be delivered to the centres on Tuesday 30 May for distribution to households after that.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Election (mis)communication

We've had a problem getting approval for the election leaflets that Royal Mail will distribute to all households in the two consituencies. It's because the words "Election Communication" were too small (9pt instead of 10pt). This is being resolved but has delayed printing and so distribution. But they will be well before election day on 8 June, maybe even next week.

We're talking of 57,000 in Islington and 60,000 in Battersea.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The runners

We now know the list of candidates in Islington North and Battersea.

There are 10 candidates in Islington North:
Keith Angus (Lib Dem), Susanne Cameron-Blackie (Independent), James Clark (Conservative), Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), Michael Foster (Independent), Keith Fraser (Ukip), Knigel Knapp (Monster Raving Loony), Bill Martin (Socialist), Andres Mendoza (Communist League) and Caroline Russell (Green).
In Battersea there 7 (not 6 as we stated):
Chris Coughlan (Independent), Lois Davis (Green), Richard Davis (Lib Dem), Marsha De Cordova (Labour), Jane Ellison (Conservative), Danny Lambert (Socialist), Eugene Power (Ukip)
You can also follow the Islington campaign on twitter:

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Here we go again

No sooner are the local elections over and a general election is on us. In London, we'll be contesting Islington North, as last time, where Jeremy Corbyn is also standing, and Battersea, south of the river. We have chosen Battersea rather than our usual Vauxhall as there are plans, for the next election (now postponed till 2022), to merge half of Vauxhall and half of Battersea into a single constituency into which our Head Office on the north side of Clapham High Street will fall. So, we want to introduce ourselves to the electors there, though we have already stood in the area in the 2012 Greater London elections but there's no free postal distribution for those. We also stood in the council elections there in 1906.

The candidates are, respectively, Bill Martin and Danny Lambert.

The nominations papers (and the £500 deposit) for Battersea were handed in at Wandsworth Town Hall this afternoon. It appears there will only be 6 candidates, the usual suspects (Tories, Labourites, Liberals, Greens and UKippers) and us. So a straight fight with them.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

The result

Here it is:

White (LibDem) 955 (43%)
Dokimakis (Labour) 573 (26%)
Chandler (Con) 567 (26%)
Purvis (Green) 71 (3%)
Morris (Peace) 38 (2%)
Buick (Socialist) 12 (1%)

The turnout was 29%, i.e abstentions got 71%. The Peace Party vote is down from 105 four years ago.

Our percentage (0.5) is par for the course. Scaled up to the size of a parliamentary constituency it's the equivalent of 150 to 200 votes.

It remains to be seen what replies we got to our leaflets.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Last street stall

Six members and sympathisers, 4 from Surrey, turned up in the intermittent rain yesterday to hold our final election stall in Guildford. With more handing out leaflets we distributed more. Only 200 or so remain, to be distributed in the university halls of residence. Not much else to do before polling day on Thursday.

Our election non-pledge

On 21 April the Guildford edition of the Surrey Advertiser published a list of candidates standing in Guildford town with statements from some of them. We were among a number who just had a mention of the candidate's name and party. This week's edition included belated statements from those left out, under the heading "County council election pledges". Ours stated:
I am standing to raise the issue of the need for the shared and democratic ownership of the Earth’s resources, with all goods and services produced for use, rather than for profit.
The current crisis in social care in Surrey is a pressing example of why this change is necessary. Its root cause is today’s outdated system where finance determines what can, and cannot happen.
Socialists suggest a better way. At a time when we can easily feed, house and care for every human on the planet, it no longer makes sense to use money to ration access to what we need, especially not to the needs of the most vulnerable.
I am standing to make the point that local problems arise from the economic system of production for profit that exists everywhere and that they cannot be solved unless this system is replaced by one based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, and access for all to what they need on the basis of 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
Of course this was not an "election pledge" since we don't do these. We are not promising to do anything for anyone, merely putting a proposition before electors. If they want the change from capitalism to socialism this is something they must do for themselves, not by trusting in leaders.
The candidates' statements from both 21 and 28 April can be found here on the site of Get Surrey, the paper's online version.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Guildford hustings

Forty people at this, organised by Guildford in Europe, yesterday evening, one sympathiser from over the border in Hampshire. Report here. And what candidate said here. Got a copy of the Peace Party candidate's election manifesto, which is not being distributing generally. In fact the Greens don't seem to be doing that either. So only the Tories, LibDems, Labour and us are leafletting the whole electoral division.

We nearly ran out of our leaflet, even though we decided to give some streets with big houses, a long drive and two 4x4s parked on it a miss on the grounds that we would be casting pearls before swine. We should be able to complete leafletting by the weekend with 300 extra emergency leaflets based on this editorial from the February 2016 Socialist Standard.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Street Stall in Guildford

We were in the High Street opposite Tunsgate Arch again today. A "town ranger" asked if we had permission from the council to hold a stall. We said we didn't need one and anyway this was election activity. She took a photo of a proof of who we were (a Party membership card) and said she would check with her boss. Nothing happened so presumably her boss understood the position. We were accosted again by god-botherers who told us that only Jesus could bring about what we wanted. We replied that he couldn't even if he existed (which he doesn't) as only humans can improve the only life they have, this one on Earth. A busker having a rest read our leaflet and told us he agreed with it, saying he knew about getting rid of money from Zeitgeist. Somebody bought a Socialist Standard.

We will be back again on Mayday, Monday 1 May.

It looks as if we underestimated the number of leaflets needed to cover the whole ward or, rather, the printer printed less than the 3500 we ordered, only 3000.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Our case in 125 words

The online paper, The Guildford Dragon, phoned on Wednesday afternoon to ask for a 125-word statement concentrating on local issues plus a photo by the end of the afternoon. This was published yesterday here:

Scroll down to Guildford West. Here's what it says:

I am standing to make the point that local problems arise from the economic system of production for profit that exists everywhere and that they cannot be solved unless this system is replaced by one based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. The main issue facing Surrey County Council is a lack of funds to provide decent care for the elderly and vulnerable but also to even keep the street lights on. Most of its funding comes from central government, and the “Great Recession” following the “Crash of 2008” required the government to cut back on its spending to relieve the pressure on profits. These cuts have now trickled down to local level. That’s why capitalism is to blame.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Line-up for Brexit hustings

The organisers, Guildford in Europe, have finalised the speakers. They list them as (Dokimakis is our Labour opponent in Guildford West):

Conservatives: Bob Hughes

Greens: Mark Bray-Parry

Labour: George Dokimakis

LibDems: George Potter

Peace: John Morris

SPGB: Adam Buick

Guildford in Europe County Council Election Hustings

Guildford Institute, Ward Street Guildford

Tuesday 25 April 7.15 – 8.30pm

Also in the on-line newspaper, The Guildford Dragon, here.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Peace Party promises

One of our opponents in Guildford West is the Peace Party, a party which imagines that wars, the threat of war, and preparations for war can be ended without ending capitalism.

Here is their manifesto for these elections. Note in particular their implied support for capitalism, albeit reformed:

Sound business environment including the regulation of business operations

Sunday, April 16, 2017

First street stall in Guildford

We had a literature stall in the High Street yesterday opposite Tunsgate Arch. Gave away leaflets and talked to people. Afterwards we distributed leaflets door to door in the constituency. We've covered about a third of it now, with 2100 of the 3300 leaflets we had printed remaining. Only political reaction we got was someone who handed the leaflet back saying "I don't want anything to do with the government, they're all corrupt", a view shared no doubt by many of the 75% who won't be voting in this election.

We will have another stall next week, same place, same time (12 noon to 3pm) and one on May Day.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

First leaflets distributed

750 leaflets were distributed today in the western part of the constituency. Some other signs of political activity: one Labour poster and someone returned a leaflet saying he didn't want it as he was National Front (unless he was still living in the 1970s he probably was). This is definitely not part of the Stockbroker belt. Also, the LibDems had been distributing leaflets for their candidate, the outgoing councillor Fiona White. The usual it's a two-horse race stuff aimed a potential Labour voters, stating:
It is a clear choice between hardworking Fiona White and the Liberal Democrats or four more years of Conservative chaos
Anybody would think that they hadn't been in a coalition government with the Tories for 5 years.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Manifestos have arrived

3500 copies of our manifesto arrived today. Here's what it looks like:

It's the same wording as in the Party's manifesto for the 2014 Euroelections. We decided to use this as our appeal is aimed at those interested in ideas rather than in potholes, street lights or cycle lanes.

Sunday, April 09, 2017


Visit to Guildford yesterday to see if anyone else was holding a stall at Tunsgate Arch. No party was but there were a couple of church people handing out a leaflet on healing which said they were there every Saturday 1-3 pm. They didn't have a stall, but there shouldn't be a problem in us having one (first, next Saturday).

Took the occasion to look at the constituency and distribute 400 or so general leaflets (our election manifesto is not being delivered till Monday). The Labour Party had been in the same streets earlier with their pathetic "Say NO to 4.99% Council Tax Increases" leaflet. Met the Tory candidate, Adrian Chandler, who was going from door to door canvassing for votes. He's already a local borough councillor but doesn't stand much of a chance of cumulating two mandates as in 2013 the Tory candidate finished fourth with only 16% of the vote (but there's no UKIP candidate this time). Part of constituency is on a hillside, which is going to be a bugger for door-to-door leafletting (wouldn't want to be a postman there).

Friday, April 07, 2017

All the Surrey candidates

Today's Surrey Advertiser has a full page with the names of all the candidates standing for the 81 electoral divisions of Surrey County Council. Apart from us, the only vaguely "radical" ones are TUSC in Staines and two Peace Party candidates in Guildford (one standing in the same division as us). But they are reformists of course.

Couldn't help noticing the name of one of the UKIP candidates in Surrey Heath -- Piotr Jerzy Farbiszewski -- and wonder which other camdidate there UKIP supporters will be voting for. Incidentally, no UKIP candidates at all standing in Guildford, so that must means they won't be at the Brexit hustings?

Brexit hustings

A bit surprising in a local election but we and all the other parties standing candidates in Guildford have been invited to a hustings organised by the pro-EU "Guildford in Europe" group. More on them here. It will be on Tuesday 25 April at the Guildford Institute, Ward Street, Guildford GU1 4LH, from 7.15 to 8.30. Each party will be allowed 5 minutes to put over their position. The local paper, the Surrey Advertiser, will be publicising and reporting the meeting. We've probably still got a few of our EU referendum leaflets somewhere.

By the way, we are not complaining about this issue being raised in a local election. Far from it, as we're raising the issue of world socialism. The obscene scandal of cutting back on care homes for the elderly and vulnerable and the turning off of street lights, planned and implemented by Surrey Council, do derive ultimately from the workings of the world capitalist economy. Capitalism in an economic downwturn, as following the Crash of 2008, requires governments to cut back on their spending to relieve the pressure on profits. As most local council money comes from the central government, so they have to cut back too. Profits before people, that's the way capitalism works and the only way it can.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Our opponents

The list of persons nominated for Guildford West has just been published. Apart from us there are 5 others:

Chandler (Tory), Dokimakis (Lab), Purvis (Green), Morris (Peace Party) and White (LibDem).

White is the outgoing councillor. The Peace Party is a christian-inspired pacificist party, based in Guildford, which regularly contests elections there, including the last General Election. They are on the ballot paper as "The Peace Party - Non-Violence, Justice, Environment". Last time in the Surrey County Council elections in 2013 they got 105 votes (5%). They are also standing in Guildford South West. There is no UKIP candidate (no point anyway, now they've won the referendum).

In the rest of Surrey, there is one other candidates using the word "socialist" on the ballot paper: TUSC in Staines. In a by-election for the ward last year they got 33 votes (1%).

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nomination accepted

The nomination papers for our candidate, Adam Buick, were handed in at Guildford Borough Council offices this afternoon and accepted. So we're on the ballot paper, with our emblem.

The artwork for the manifesto, with the same wording as the one for the 2014 Euroelections when we contested the South East Region, has arrived. We only need to change the colour from blue to orange.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Election Time Again

Not in London but over the border, in Surrey. The English County Council elections are taking place on Thursday 4 May and West London branch has decided to stand a candidate in Guildford, which is only about 20 miles from Kingston, chosen because it is a university town.

Activity so far:

Letter published in the Hounslow Chronicle (17 March )in response to one from someone in the ex-Militant Tendency signing himself "Staines and Surrey Socialist Party":

Socialists will have candidate
Paul Couchman (Your Say, March 3) says he wants to build "the Social­ist Party in Staines and Surrey" and hopes that there will be Socialist candidates in May's County Council elections.
The good news is that there will be. The bad news, for him, is that it will not be his party, ie the old Mili­tant Tendency under the usurped name of our party which has existed since 1904. We shall be standing on a straight socialist programme of the common ownership and demo­cratic control of the means of pro­duction, with production for use not profit, not for mere reforms to capi­talism as he wants.

The 10 signatories for the nomination paper were collected yesterday in the chosen electoral division of Guildford West. The Labour Party had already leafletted the ward to introduce their candidate (George Dokimakis). It seems that Corbyn's takeover of the Leadership has made no difference whatsover at local level as the leaflet's slogan is "Say NO to 4.99% Council Tax increases". Very leftwing. UKIP and the LibDems will no doubt be using that one too.

Literature stalls planned in the centre of Guildford for Saturday 15 April, Saturday 22 April and Monday 1 May.