Editorial: Don’t vote – Organise!

This issue of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! is produced in the midst of a general election campaign. People in Britain are being bombarded with nonsense and harassed by politicians and the press into believing that this circus performance is a political highlight, representing ‘democracy’, which we are lucky to take part in once every four or five years.

In 1997, 44% of 18 to 24-year-olds did not bother to visit a polling booth. The overall turnout of registered voters at the last general election was just 71.3% across the country. This year even more people will decide not to vote on 7 June, because they know that the general election is a general fraud. Official statistics already show that 26% of black people in Britain are not even registered to vote, and of those who are, only 50% will vote. 50% of the unemployed will not vote either, whilst those in prison and the homeless don’t have the right to vote anyway.

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Torpor grips Convention of the Left

The Convention of the Left met in Manchester at the same time as the Labour Party conference; attracting fewer than 200 at its main sessions, it said more about the weakness of the left than anything else.

The Convention’s list of sponsors, those tired hacks who have been responsible for reducing the influence of socialism in Britain to its lowest point for over a century, belied its aim – ‘to ask ourselves the essential questions’. There was no chance that an event supported by Labour MPs John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn, or by Tony Benn, or by leading members of Respect or the SWP, would ask the one essential question facing socialists today: how can we organise a total break from the Labour Party and finally bury its stinking corpse? Rather than hold Labour Party members to account for their affiliation to this rotten imperialist, racist and anti-working class party, audiences gave extra applause to those who announced their continued membership, whilst the charlatan Tony Benn received the loudest applause of all at the session he attended.

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