1997, yet another leader elected promising a “third way” but “Cool Britannia” Tony Blair provided the political spin that ultimately led to outright lies and deceit. Many trusted Blair’s false message of hope for he too pledged to listen to the people, and all this is now reflected in Russell Brand’s naïve faith in Miliband’s words. If Miliband really believed in change from below, from the grass-roots, why, as the leader of the Labour Party for some years, is there no evidence of this approach within his own organisation? “Red Ed” became leader of the Labour Party due to promises he gave to the trade unions yet once in power he immediately began to distance himself from the unions.
BEYOND THE EMPTY PROMISES
OUR QUESTIONS - YOUR ANSWERS
All the politicians will tell you that they have the answers. But their answers fail to solve the problems which face society. After decades of politicians' clever answers the society we live in is still in a mess, with mass poverty, social insecurity and environmental destruction getting worse, not better.
Socialists say that if the politicians' answers are worthless, perhaps they are answering the wrong questions. Instead of leaving it up to the politicians, why not ask yourself a few questions?
Do you live in a society which puts your needs, and those of millions like you, before the profits of the few?
Are we living in a society where making money for big business is more important than making life decent for the vast majority of us?
What does capitalism value more, hospitals or banks?
Given a choice between providing a cleaner environment for people to live in and making a fast buck out of polluting the earth we inhabit, which do you think those with power will opt for?
Any political party seeking to run capitalism puts PROFIT BEFORE NEEDS. That's the only way to run this system.
Politicians tell us that they're running things for our benefit, but capitalism can only be run in the interest of the small minority who own and control the means of producing and distributing goods and services.
But what about us — how much power do we have under the profit system?
Ask yourself a few more questions:
If you decided to give up your job (assuming you have one) and live without selling yourself for a wage or salary, how long could you exist on your assets?
If you or a close relative needs urgent health treatment of the best quality, how long will you have to wait compared to an idle millionaire who can demand the best possible treatment instantly?
Who has more power to control their lives, an eighteen-year-old fresh out of public school who's just inherited a few million pounds or a hardworking nurse, farmworker, fire-fighter or factory or office worker?
Even if you have a few quid in the bank, your own car, a video machine and an annual holiday abroad, isn't it true that the life you lead is becoming increasingly pressurised, with dangerous streets, drug epidemics and a mind-numbing media destroying the quality of everyday life?
Capitalism can only be run by treating the working-class majority, who produce all the goods and services, as second-class citizens. And most people know that they are living in a class-divided society; when asked, 81% of respondents in November 1995 told a Gallup opinion poll that they thought there was a class struggle in this country.
The politicians are out to represent the small class (less than 5% of the people in this country) who own and control most of the marketable wealth. They are asking you to vote so that the owning minority can stay in power.
But can anything different work better?
Try some more questions:
Would you prefer to live in a society where production was solely for use and not for sale on the market to make a profit?
If you knew that everyone else was prepared to do their bit to run society, would you prefer to cooperate with them according to your abilities rather than be a wage slave? If the abundant resources of this planet were freed from the shackles of the market and used to satisfy everyone, would there be starving children in the midst of food mountains or homeless youngsters sleeping in shop doorways in the midst of brick stockpiles or hospital wards standing empty or millions forced out of work?
Socialists say that there is a real alternative.
It has never been tried.
The twentieth century has been the epoch of wrong answers from politicians who have never seen further than capitalism.
The alternative of production for use, common ownership, democratic control, and free access for all to the available store of social wealth has yet to be tried. So why not give it a try—why not support The Alternative?
Will you help to wipe the smug smiles off the arrogant faces of the politicians who think that all they need to do at election time is offer you false and unrealisable policies fora system which ignores your real needs?
Will you consider the socialist alternative, we are putting in this Election, to the profit system?
Will you help us to build a real socialist alternative to the policies of callous Toryism and their mirror reflection, New Labour?
Are you prepared to find out more about what socialists stand for and what you might do to stand alongside us?
1997 General Election