You may or not know it but on the 3/5/2012 the electorate of London will be going to the polls to vote if they want to.People will have three votes to elect a mayor, an individual constituency member and a vote for the London assembly list.
London is a city which has vast disparities in wealth.Between very rich people living in some parts of inner London like Kensington and suburbs like Richmond. But on the other hand London has a vast precariate army of people living a precarious existence on low earnings or temporary employment or even worse a very high rate of unemployment amongst young people.
Many people living in the capital face a life of renting from private landlords having no chance of being able to afford their own property or getting social housing accommodation. So it is understandable if their is widespread dispair amongst people living in London.
However clearly a fight back is needed. As I have said in my previous blog we need to form community action groups and volunteer support groups.This having been said the question is what should people do in the London elections next Thursday?
Now as all three of Britains major political parties are in favour of some form of neo liberalism I can understand the view that people should not bother to vote on 3/5/2012. However if people do decide to vote I would recommend a vote for the Trade Union Socialist Coalition in the London assembly wide list as they have a clear programme of fighting neo liberalism and are in favour of fighting against corporate rule.
As for the election of the mayor I personally did vote by post for Ken Livingstone as he is different from other Labour politicians he is in favour of rent controls for private landlords.Also he has a good record of opposing the British and American imperialist wars and he is a strong supporter of the Palestine struggle.
However whatever you decide to do in the London elections next Thursday try and get involved and active in campaigns for a better world and against neo liberalism and corporate rule.
The under 35s in Britain are part of a new phenomenon the rent generation. They face a possible lifetime of renting from private landlords having no chance of being able to buy their own property or little chance of getting their own council or housing association property.
But in Britain rent controls for private landlords were abolished in 1989 this was a disastrous decision.
As a result of rent controls for private landlords being abolished landlords can now charge extortionate rents. You can pay up to £150.00 for a bedsit in London and £300.00 for a one bedroom self contained flat. Ordinary working class people cannot afford to pay these rents and as a result are having to claim housing benefit to help pay their rent. The main reason for the massive increase in this countries welfare bill has been the huge increase in the Housing Benefit bill. So working class tax payers are paying through their taxes for the the high rents charged by private landlords through the housing benefit that they receive for the high rents that they charge.
Clearly then rent controls must be introduced straight away.Ken Livingstone has made speeches in support of the idea.However what is needed is a massive campaign from below to introduce rent controls. So get busy now.
One of the interesting developments this year has been the stong camapign of Jean Luc Melenchon the Left Front candidate for president of France at present he has 15% of the votes in the opinion polls. This is very encouraging however I will explain later in this blog a weakness in the Melenchon campaign.
Nicolas Sarkozy the present right wing president of France has without doubt been a disaster with massive unemployment he is without doubt a faithful stooge of the new world order supporting every move towards a European super state.
However question marks must be raised over the favourite to win the presidential election Francois Hollande the socialist party candidate.He is promising higher taxes on the rich and an end to austerity but I tend to distrust him.He has had private meetings with city of London bankers at which we do not know what has been discussed. I think we must look at the recent evidence of Socialist International parties in power in Spain,Portugal and at present in Greece.
This is why I feel we should consider giving critical support to the Left Front candidate Jean Luc Melenchon.He policies are on the whole positive higher taxes on the rich and public ownership of some enterprises.
However there is one weakness in Melenchons campaign.He supports the Euro. For his policies to succeed he must take France out of the Euro and oppose the European Union superstate big business dictatorship.
So lets hope for a massive vote for Jean Luc Melenchon in the presidential election but he needs to change some of his policies regarding the European Union for his policies to be a success.
I have always been an admirer of the French socialist and mutualist Pierre Proudhon and it seems his ideas are more and more relevant for our present time.
Basically Pierre Proudhon was a supporter of non state anti authoritarian socialism.He supported independent workers associations and co-operatives.
Now it seems to me that Proudhons ideas are very relevant for our present time. Living in a corporate capitalist dictatorship which controls the worlds political parties by and large and with the total discrediting of Leninist authoritarian ‘socialism’ a new method of political action is needed for our modern times.
Young people are more and more placing their political activity outside of political parties.Nowadays increasingly only political class types are joining political parties.
This is why I feel that Pierre Proudhons ideas of workers associations, co-operatives and mutualist societies and co-operatives have a role to play.
People should form their own independent internet media outlets,workers associations,co-operatives and mutual societies to support each other. In other words bye pass the economic and political system.Members of political parties of course would not precluded from joining these groups.
So I would recommend that people have an undogmatic look at Proudhons ideas,do not treat him as a political god and then consider acting on his ideas.
Have a happy easter.