Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

For struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

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Socialist Democracy March 2004

 

BRITAIN:

SOCIALIST PARTY WINS LEWISHAM COUNCIL BYE ELECTION

The belief that principled and fighting socialist parties and activists cannot win election or have support of the majority in the community has once again being proved false.

Recently, the Socialist Party (SP), the DSM's sister organisation in England and Wales, won another councillorship position.

Precisely on December 4, 2003, Chris Flood, a Socialist Party member from Lewisham, London, won a council bye-election in his area by pulling 32.7% of the total vote. Chris' election victory was got from the solid support the SP has built in the local community over the period, particularly through the work of Ian Page, the other socialist Party councillor in the local council area.

Ian Page with SP has been involved in campaigning for and winning grants for the upgrading of local estates worth £14 million; successfully mobilising support in the local community and defeating cuts imposed by the New Labour Council and playing a leading role in a campaign to reopen a local secondary school closed by the New Labour Council.

Socialist Party would have lost this by-election to the New Labour's candidate if not for the hard campaign work it conducted during the election and the pedigree of the SP over the years in the local council area. LEAP - Local Education Action by Parents, which was also campaigning to reopen the local secondary school closed by the New Labour refused to come to term with SP to stand a joint candidate in the bye-election.

LEAP refused SP proposal to stand Chris as a joint SP- LEAP candidate notwithstanding a commitment that he would attend all meeting of the LEAP's campaign and represent their interest in the community. They went ahead to stand their own candidate who pulled 19.6% of the total vote. Assuming they had stood Chris Flood jointly, he would have overwhelmingly won.

The Socialist Party now has five councillors in Britain, the highest by any socialist group.

 

 

 

Socialist Democracy March 2004