An elector in Islington North asked our candidate there, Bill Martin, two questions. Here is our candidate's reply:
1. Should the UK have intervened in Libya and Syria?
The Socialist Party has a long track record of opposing war. We believe we can resolve disputes in better ways than that which dogs use to settle ownership of a bone. The cause of the war in Syria and Libya was a business matter of access to natural resources and wealth. ISIS, for example, exists on oil sales and art plunder. We can look at all the wars going on in the world (see the list here) and ask why intervention by the British state was only mooted in two of them in the last year? If the world were owned in common, and we replaced competition for natural resources with co-operation, we could do away with organised war as a phenomenon once and for all.
2. Should living standards be lowered in order to meet targets for reducing the negative impact on the environment?
We do not believe that living standards need to be reduced to meet environmental demands. We consider that the resources exist for everyone to live well, if they were properly distributed. As things stand, the effective demand of a wealthy minority distorts economics priorities, which also leads to the creation of "status goods" which are valuable because they are valuable (sports cars, gold watches, luxury yachts, and the means of warfare). Resources and effort can be drawn away from status goods, with no loss to real living standards to the vast majority. Common ownership and democratic co-operation could meet the needs of the whole of humanity, without buying and selling.
The Socialist Party candidate for Islington North