There is local elections coming up soon and later there will soon be a General Election in Britain. Once again the various political parties are seeking your support. There need be no surprise that little interest was shown in the alternative to capitalism at the June general election. The biggest change of opinion is called a landslide; it would need a veritable earthquake in social awareness to change society from one of despair into one of hope. The 2017 General Election is a chance to choose whether to be ruled over by Tweedledum or Tweedledee. To be governed is to be unfree. We predict now with complete certainty that the Conservatives, Labour, and the Green Party, will all be standing on programmes of keeping – not ending – capitalism. They will each dress it up differently, they will each claim to have different priorities, values, intentions and even policies. But whichever ones succeed in getting the power they seek, they will not really be in control. Their actions will be determined by the needs of the market system which they accept, support, endorse and seek to run. The market system which exists to protect and increase the power and wealth of a tiny minority.
The coming election will be a cynical exercise in manipulating workers’ minds to blame Party A or have hope in Party B as a way out of the mess of relative degrees of poverty which is the lot of the majority of us. Labour will pretend that all of the problems of capitalism emanate from the wicked Tory rule and could be remedied by them carrying out almost identical policies to the Tories. The Conservatives will lie that the workers have done well under them despite the objective record of working-class hardship which only the socially blind cannot see around them. There will be smears: Corbyn the secret Trotskyist; May the secret puppet of Trump. TV news will broadcast the same cheap, hollow slogans.
For all of that, the Chartists were no fools in wanting their chance to determine who will rule. The wealthy who opposed votes for workers on the grounds that the working class is many and the property-owning rich parasites are few and therefore the many might end the social power of the few had a point. Sadly, the working- class franchise has not yet justified those fears of real democracy. The workers have been persuaded to play the game: bought off by reforms and conned by leaders, the potential power of the vote has been wasted in every single election. The answer is not to abandon the vote and ignore elections, but to work to create a politically-educated electorate of working men and women who understand where their interest lies. The battle, not just when the electoral whistle blows, but at all times, is to win workers’ minds; to make class-conscious workers. Such workers, currently only a small minority, will never waste their votes on electing leaders, nor will they support any policy designed to run the profit system which exploits and dominates them.
Your masters are seeking your vote in this election because upon their control of the political machine their supremacy depends. They are all out for the maintenance of this system, which means for you a continuation of your slavery. Through their political supremacy your masters control the forces of repression, and if you are to change the conditions under which you work and live, you must fight to get control of the machinery of government. In that fight you cannot take sides with any section of the capitalist class because it is to their interest to maintain this system. Your interests, being opposed to those of the capitalists, must lead you to ally yourself with a working-class political party waging an uncompromising battle against all the forces ranged in opposition to your class. Your emancipation can only be achieved by converting the instruments of production from the property of the few who use them to exploit you into the common property of society so that they can be used to produce the requirements of life in abundance for all; in a word, socialism must be established. The Socialist Party is the only party in this country that consistently works for this end
The Socialist Party enters into the electoral contest, using it as a means of putting our revolutionary case for socialism to the widest number of fellow workers. In the coming election, we shall put up a number of candidates. They are not prospective leaders, but delegates to be used by workers who understand and support the socialist mandate. If elected, our delegates will be wholly accountable to the socialist majority which put him into parliament for the sole purpose of stating the socialist position and furthering the socialist cause. When enough socialist delegates are elected, here and throughout the world, the workers' conscious will shall be enacted: class ownership and control of the means of life will cease and the state, which is an instrument of class coercion will be abolished.
Our socialist candidates in the coming election will receive negligible media attention and little chance to debate with their rivals who will be too busy engaging in manipulative stunts to dare to take on genuine socialists in democratic debate. Our party will meet with an unfair fight in which money, the means of communication and public prejudice will be stacked in favour of the pro-capitalism candidates. On our side, we shall have little money and supporters with constraints upon their time, but we shall not flinch from the fight, sure in the knowledge that the undeniable class interest of the vast majority is represented by socialism which we alone stand for in this election.
If there is one thing that capitalism is good at and that is generating crises. Ask any of the other candidates about a world without the capitalist system which is at the root of all of our problems, and they will cry in a chorus, ‘no! it’s utopian! not possible! not now! maybe in a few hundred years! we need to work within the system! we can change and improve it from within!’ They have been saying this for years and, not surprisingly, this system therefore still exists, with all the same problems it has always generated. At the heart of all our problems is the fact that a tiny handful of under one percent own and control all of the world's productive resources. It is run for them. None of these parties, including the Greens, Labour, Liberals, UKIP, etc as well as Conservatives, has the slightest intention of ending that fact or even discussing it.