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What Labour and socialist candidates should be fighting for

Editorial, Workers Power No. 381, February 2015

It is a total diversion to call for a vote for capitalist parties like the SNP, or for the middle class Greens, who do not have any historical or organised links to the working class and do not even claim to represent it.

We should criticise the pro-capitalist policy of the Labour leaders, their adoption of Osborne’s budget cuts, their reactionary policies on benefits, privatisation, pay, immigration, and their Nato warmongering.

These are the sorts of demands Workers Power will be campaigning around, both where we support Left Unity candidates and where we support Labour.

• Stop all the cuts and reverse all those made since 2008.

• Restore public spending by taxing the rich.

• Nationalise the banks and merge them into a single state investment bank.

• Scrap privatisation and PFI/PPP schemes in the NHS, bringing the entire service from the GPs to hospitals back into state ownership and employment under the democratic control of workers and users.

• Bring the utilities and commanding heights of the economy into public hands, without compensation and under workers’ control.

• End the break-up of public education, end Academies and free schools, nationalise all private schools, combining them all into a fully comprehensive state system under democratic management, involving local councils, and representatives of education workers, parents and pupils. Free public nursery provision for all pre-school age children.

• Solve the housing crisis by a huge building programme of socially owned accommodation, taking over unused or underused premises and repairing or refurbishing run-down council properties. This can be paid for by a steeply progressive tax on property, business and incomes, levied locally and nationally.

• Create full employment by a programme of socially useful public projects, like building houses, hospitals, nurseries and schools, improving flood defences, extending free provision of health, education and childcare.

• Legislate for a £10 an hour minimum wage immediately and a maximum 30 hour working week with no loss of pay.

• Reinstate the earnings link to the state pensions, and reintroduce final salary pension schemes.

• Scrap the bedroom tax, reinstate disability benefits, end benefit sanctions, raise housing benefit, and introduce rent controls.

• Repeal the anti-trade union laws.

• Scrap tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants for students, including those in further education colleges.

• Free abortion and contraception on demand. State funded local women’s centres and refuges under users and workers’ management.

• Freedom of movement and an end to immigration controls.

• Abolition of all remaining discriminatory laws against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people.

• Not a penny, not a person for the defence of this exploitative system. Stop all wars and withdraw all troops from overseas, from Afghanistan, Iraq, Central and Eastern Europe, and Ireland, break all ties with Israel.

• Bring racist police to justice. Disband the special units, squads and undercover spies. Disarm the police.

• Votes at 16 and proportional representation – restore the powers of local councils.

• Abolish the House of Lords and the Monarchy.

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