This is the other Oxford Student interview with our other Oxford candidate, Kevin Parkin. Both interviews are published in the print issue that came out last Thursdayand is distributed free to all the colleges' junior common rooms, etc. The circulation is claimed to be 15,000.
1) What would the Socialist Party of Great Britain do for students and young people?
We are not proposing to do anything for anybody! We are not running the sort of campaign, where parties say “Vote for us and we promise to do this or that for you”. If people want things to change they must do it for themselves, not by relying on vote-catching politicians. We’re campaigning for socialism only. In a socialist society education will, like everything else, be free, and it won’t be aimed at raising earning power as it essentially is today.
2) What are the main differences between your party and Ed Miliband’s Labour Party?
We stand for the common ownership and democratic control of productive resources so that there can be production directly to meet people’s needs and not for the market and a profit. The Labour Party aspires only to running capitalism as it is. But surely nobody thinks any more that the Labour Party is socialist, do they?
3) What is the worst thing about Britain today, and how would your party address it?
As with all other countries, it’s that there’s capitalism, where there is ownership by the few and production for profit not for people’s needs. This can only be addressed by people everywhere themselves taking democratic action to end capitalism and replace it with a world without frontiers where the Earth’s resources will no longer be owned and controlled by corporations, states and rich individuals but simply be there to be used, under democratic control, for the benefit of all the people of the world.
4) What is the most pressing local issue in Oxford East, and how would you address it?
For most people, the same as everywhere else: money worries. This can only be addressed by people ending capitalism, where most people’s access to goods and services is restricted by the size of their pay cheque or by some meagre State hand-out, and replacing it by socialism where everybody will have free access to what they need in accordance with the principle “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”.
5) Do you think freedom of speech is under threat in Oxford, and in other universities?
Yes, I’m afraid it is, both from the government wanting to ban Islamist preachers from campuses and from political activists who want to “no platform” selected groups. We say that the way to counter obnoxious views is not this, but to confront them robustly in open debate.