2005 general election: archive copy

SOCIALIST LABOUR PARTY
President: Paul Hardman Vice-President: Linda Muir
General Secretary: Arthur Scargill
9 Victoria Road Barnsley South Yorkshire S70 2BB
Answerphone/Fax: 01226 770957
www.socialist-labour-party.org.uk e-mail: info@socialist-labour-party.org.uk

Press Release

Launching the Socialist Labour Party's Manifesto, General Secretary Arthur Scargill said that the SLP is the only political party standing in the General Election putting forward clear-cut Socialist policies.

The SLP is calling for an increase in annual investment in the Health Service of 25 billion, and restoration of the pensions link which would give a single pensioner 118.05 and a couple 188.10 now.

The Socialist Labour Party sets out its policies in respect of education, housing, transport and energy and calls for all industries and services privatised since 1979 to be taken back into public or municipal ownership. Rover/MG should be taken into public ownership, which would not only preserve British car manufacturing but save thousands of jobs.

The SLP reiterates its call for Britain to come out of the European Union and get back into the world - a policy that would regenerate British manufacturing industry, including coal, steel, power generation and engineering, whilst saving taxpayers billions of pounds.

The SLP, which is standing 50 candidates, sets out its plan for a complete revision of the tax system. It calls for the abolition of indirect taxation such as VAT and the introduction of a graduated tax policy, with those who receive large incomes paying a higher rate of income tax whilst ensuring that no income tax will be paid by anyone receiving less than 15,000 per year.

The SLP, having consistently opposed the war in Iraq, reiterates its call for all
British troops to be brought home now..

21 April, 2005 (further information from the SLP, details above)

Socialist Labour Party Candidates

and Manifesto

 

Scotland

North East

North West

Yorkshire

East Midlands

West Midlands

Wales

London

Eastern Region

South West

South East

Manifesto

 

 

 


SOCIALIST
LABOUR
PARTY


MANIFESTO


PROGRAMME FOR A
SOCIALIST BRITAIN

 

 

SOCIALIST LABOUR PARTY


MANIFESTO


The Socialist Labour Party is a natural home for Socialists and for the millions throughout Britain who today feel disenfranchised or dispossessed, and whose lives are blighted by helplessness, hopelessness and despair.

The birth of the Socialist Labour Party produced howls of protest from across the political spectrum including both our traditional class enemies and those in the Labour Movement who claim to be supporters of Socialism.

The protests came from anger and frustration which was and is an inevitable reaction of a defining moment in politics. There is nothing more painful than the birth of a new idea and the Socialist Labour Party has been no exception to this rule. However, our principles and policies are firmly rooted in the Socialist values of our forebears who fought to build a better world. Our Party was founded by people who fought consistently to save jobs, protect industries and services from butchery, save communities threatened with everything from unemployment to racism to toxic waste and secure justice for all.

The policies of the Socialist Labour Party are outlined in this Manifesto. I urge all those who agree with our policies to join our Party - and help build the only force capable of bringing about a fundamental change in our society.


ARTHUR SCARGILL
MANIFESTO - CONTENTS

Foreword - Arthur Scargill
National Health Service
Pensions
Education
Housing
Transport
Energy
Environment
Employment
Minimum Wage
Anti-Trade Union Laws
Public Ownership
Taxation
Military Expenditure
European Union
Equality for Women
Racism
Arts and Sport
Disabilities Discrimination
Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Rights
Youth
Children's Rights
Justice for All
Constitution
Scotland and Wales
Ireland
Peace and Prosperity
Socialism


The Socialist Labour Party sets out in this Manifesto our policies for resolving the economic and social crisis facing Britain and the people who live here. These policies are essential if we are to deal with the immediate problems, but we believe that in the longer term Socialist measures are needed to tackle the root cause of the crisis itself.

We believe that unemployment, poverty, homelessness, racism, sexism, ageism and all the social evils surrounding us have been caused not just by years of Tory and New Labour government misrule, but by capitalism - a system that creates inequality and injustice.

No wonder in today's society that many young people cannot even imagine a secure or happy future, and become easy prey to the drug and crime cultures which stem from unemployment, the racist propaganda of the far Right, and the greed of international racketeers.

Socialist Labour supports people, young and old alike, who take direct action against world poverty, nuclear weapons and civil nuclear power, the arms trade, live animal exports, opencast mining and the motorway madness which is destroying our environment. We are committed not only to winning seats and campaigning for Socialist policies in Parliamentary and Municipal elections but to extra-Parliamentary action which is taken because politicians refuse to listen.

In Britain, the New Labour government not only supports the capitalist system and the concept of the 'free market' but actually implemented the Tories' economic strategy between 1997 and 1999, and since then has continued to pursue policies which are indistinguishable from those of either the Tories or the Liberal Democrats.

Neither New Labour, the Tories nor the Liberal Democrats have policies that can repair the damage of the past 30 years, which is why Socialist Labour is the only political party that offers an alternative which can provide hope for everyone living in Britain, battered by successive United Kingdom governments and the European Union.

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National Health Service


The Socialist Labour Party is committed to a National Health Service available to all at the time of need, on demand and free of all charges - including prescriptions, dental care and eye care. We are committed to NHS workers who deserve wages and conditions that reflect the social importance of their jobs.


The loss of hospital beds and outright closure of hospitals must stop. Under New Labour, NHS hospital waiting lists in real terms have increased from just over 1 million to 1.5 million, while private health care has continued to flourish on the back of NHS resources, as it did under the Tories.

Our objectives involve the abolition of all forms of private medicine and health care; an end to all contracting-out services; strengthening primary care, not at the expense of secondary or specialist services but properly funded care based on community, family and individual needs; increased training and recruitment of all NHS staff; an end to Hospital Trusts and GP fund-holding; re-opening all "mothballed" hospital wards and re-establishing district and cottage hospitals; restricting nurses' and doctors' hours to the average working week without loss of pay; and adequate provision of NHS nursing homes free of charge for those who need them.

The Socialist Labour Party is committed to taking into public ownership the pharmaceutical industry, so that the provision of essential drugs is not determined by profits to shareholders but by the needs of all patients.

Our concern is not only for communities but for the workplace, where many workers become ill, disabled or lose their lives through poor and dangerous conditions at work.

Socialist Labour believes that a safe, clean workplace is not a luxury but a basic right. The scandal of deaths in the construction industry is one example of why we are committed to improving the rights of workplace safety representatives, with increased powers and staffing of the Health and Safety Executive, and no notice for workplace inspections.

We want to extend the list of occupational diseases and to see a no-fault compensation scheme established so that discrimination is eradicated.

The cost of restoring Britain's battered NHS to the best health service in the world requires an immediate investment of 25 billion per year. This sum could easily be met by cutting Britain's defence budget by two-thirds and abolishing private health care.

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Pensions
Restore the 'Link' Now


In 1978, the government concluded an agreement with workers and pensioners which guaranteed pensioners a decent pension which would not lose its value. In exchange for workers paying higher National Insurance contributions, pensioners were guaranteed that they would receive an annual increase in pensions equal to the average increase in wages or the Retail Price Index, whichever was the higher.

The Tory government of 1979-1997 blatantly betrayed Britain's pensioners and unilaterally abolished the 'link' between the annual wage increase/RPI - yet New Labour which came into office in 1997 has compounded this betrayal by refusing to restore the link, despite repeated promises to do so prior to the election in 1997..

Today in Britain there are 12 million pensioners, many growing old in poverty, unable to buy sufficient food or heat for their homes. Pensioners today are worse off in real terms than they were prior to 1997.

To add insult to injury, the Government and local authorities 'steal' the savings, assets and homes of pensioners who have to face long-term hospitalisation or who go into care. Our Party is committed to stopping this outrage; to take someone's home, their savings and assets simply because they have to go into care is theft, and tramples on the rights of people who during their working lives have already paid for their own health and welfare care.

We want to see a properly funded national contributory pension scheme based on contributions of employers and employees, which will guarantee all workers on retirement with a proper index-linked retirement pension. Contributions to the national fund would be transferable to occupational pension funds (and vice-versa) with no loss of benefit.

The SLP opposes private pensions - a move by New Labour designed to further reduce government expenditure on pension provisions and compel workers to pay into private pension schemes or industry-based money-purchase pension schemes..

With private or money-purchase pension schemes, an individual's pensions contributions are invested in shares, property and other assets designed - so the architects of this scheme tell us - to build up a fund which at the date of retirement can be converted into a regular pension payment.

Occupational pensions were traditionally based on the principle of a final salary scheme. In other words, workers on retirement would receive up to 66 per cent of their final salary plus their state pension for the rest of their lives.
An occupational pension scheme should allow for the payment of 100 per cent of a person's salary at the date of retirement when based on the final salary principle. However, even under the present arrangements a final salary scheme it is infinitely better than a private pension or money-purchase pension scheme - which is based on shares and on investment return over the lifetime of the pension scheme.

To add insult to injury, a private pension or money-purchase scheme will depend on what the annuity rates are at the time of retirement. This is yet another scheme designed to remove central government's responsibility for providing decent pensions to men and women who during their lifetime have paid enough by way of national insurance contributions and tax to be entitled to a pension no less than the best occupational pension currently in existence. It is also a policy which puts billions of pounds into the hands of private insurance companies.

Occupational pension fund monies are deferred pay. No employer or government should be able to take one penny out of an occupational pension fund. Pension fund monies should be used for one purpose and one purpose only - to pay pensions to pensioners and beneficiaries.

The Socialist Labour Party condemns the Pensions Review as a cynical attempt by the Government and employers to gain further control over occupational pension funds. Our Party rejects all the recommendations and proposals which have already been thoroughly discredited.

The trustees of occupational pension schemes should be those who are members, either contributing members or beneficiary (retired) members of the schemes. These trustees should have control over investments which cannot be left to the incompetent (and, in some cases, corrupt) investment policy decisions taken by the so-called 'professionals'.

New Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats all support the Government and employers having control of occupational pension funds - including investment policy - and are committed to the introduction of private pension and money-purchase schemes.

New Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats all refuse to restore the 'link' for Britain's 12 million pensioners. If the 'contractual' agreement concluded in 1978 was restored, the pension of single pensioners would rise from 82.05 to 118.05, whilst the pension for a couple would increase from 131.20 to 188.10, an increase of 43%. If this policy was implemented in full it would only restore the level of pensions to the level paid in 1979.

Our Party is committed to restoring the 'link', a policy which would cost 8 billion; a sum which could easily be met out of the 12 billion which Britain would save if we withdrew - as we should - from the European Union.

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Education


We believe that all people have a basic right to free, high-quality education from infancy through to old age. We want free creche, play group and nursery provision for all children, and full-time school-based nursery provision from the age of three.

Because of the stress caused by serious under-funding and wider social problems, teachers including head teachers, especially in England and Wales, are leaving their jobs and our schools in droves.

School services and facilities are still being privatised. The Government is also seeking to destroy the comprehensive school system - a system which has been consistently undermined by both Tory and Labour Governments through public spending cuts and ideological opposition.

School selection by so-called 'ability' must end. The Socialist Labour Party is committed to retaining comprehensive education, and opposed to Government policy which will provide a good education for those who can pay, a second-rate education for those who cannot - and a third-rate system for the vast majority of children.

Our education system must be funded according to need, which means radical changes in the way resources are distributed. We are committed to abolishing all private and faith schools and colleges. The considerable resources they enjoy should be used for the benefit of entire communities.

All privatised education services and their assets must be returned to local public control. Proper administration of nurseries, schools, colleges or universities is utterly incompatible with privatisation in any form, including competitive tendering.

The Socialist Labour Party is committed to the full restoration of trade union rights for all education workers, whose pay and conditions must be determined through proper negotiating structures.

We believe that class sizes must be sharply reduced and more teachers employed, thus ensuring educational standards for our children that will benefit the nation as a whole.

We are also committed to promoting full democratic participation by students as well as teachers and governors in decision-making structures. School communities should be more involved in the appointment of head teachers, and accountability should be shared by teachers, parents, students and pupils.

In order to meet the needs of all working class children, girls and boys, students from ethnic minorities and students with disabilities, the school curriculum must be relevant to them. We want assessment methods that promote and encourage students' further development, with learning methods based on co-operation, not competition.

In higher education, student grants must be restored and the student loan system - which has kept so many young people from education - must be abolished. The Socialist Labour Party believes that grants in line with minimum wage levels should be available for all full-time students. All benefits (including housing and unemployment) that have been withdrawn from students since 1979 should be restored.

Education should be available to us all at whatever age. All adults should have the right to planned study leave during their working lives - and effective campaigning by the Labour movement to reduce the working week can turn such an opportunity into reality for millions.

There have been positive moves in Scotland on education, particularly insofar as student grants are concerned. However, even this type of measure is only palliative.

What is needed throughout England, Scotland and Wales is a system which provides free education at colleges and universities, the payment of all grants by central government and an undertaking to pay students an income equal to the national minimum wage.

The cost of providing Britain with an education system capable of meeting the needs of children and young adults in the 21st Century requires an immediate increase of 15 billion per year in education expenditure. This cost can easily be met out of the 50 billion profits of the industries and services privatised over the past 26 years.

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Housing


Affordable, adequate safe housing is a fundamental human right. We say that homelessness and housing unfit for habitation are products of the capitalist system. In our towns and cities, thousands of properties lie empty and unused - from derelict homes and flats to office blocks which have never been occupied.

Yet thousands of families try to cope day after day with hostel accommodation, while still more individuals are completely without shelter of any sort.

The Socialist Labour Party believes it is the responsibility of government to provide and regulate housing on the basis of need. The so-called 'right to buy' of council homes greatly reduced social housing stock and contributed to homelessness.

We want a full programme of social housing, homes built and renovated, employing building workers hired directly - using the capital receipts at present still held by local authorities from the sale of council housing. Such a programme would provide not only homes but jobs for the multitude of building workers currently unemployed.

We know it is possible with the right policies to make available a million new or rehabilitated homes every year for five years, a policy which would eradicate homelessness in Britain for the first time.

In the short term, we propose measures that could immediately improve the lives and welfare of many people; stop the mass transfer of public housing stock to the private sector; reinstate housing benefits so that everyone can afford adequate housing; integrate housing association properties into council stock, and abolish the Housing Corporation, Scottish Homes and the Housing Directive in Wales; promote co-operatives and the 'right to rent' as opposed to pressure to buy.

We are committed to a 'fair rents' system so that it again becomes unlawful for any authority to charge above the levels set by the Government's rent officer. ALL tenants must not only have security of tenure but be able to help determine their environment, and legislation should ensure that all authorities maintain high standards of upkeep and repair.

The cost of providing a million new or rehabilitated homes per year is 20 billion which could and should be paid for out of the 30 billion profits declared in 2005 by Britain's major banks. We could eradicate homelessness by simply using 75 per cent of the profits of Britain's banks.

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Transport


For social and economic reasons, the Socialist Labour Party believes that all transport systems and industries - on land, sea, rail, inland waterways and air - should be in public and municipal ownership, managed in a fully accountable way and complementing, not competing with, each other. This means that all transport (public or freight) and transport networks (roads, rail, waterways) would operate on behalf of the British people, our communities, our regions and the environment.

Even our class enemies agree that the sell-off of Britain's rail network has been an unmitigated disaster. The Socialist Labour Party wants to see the entire rail network taken back into public ownership and control. At the same time we want to see Britain's bus and tram services taken into or back into municipal ownership.

An integrated transport system requires massive public investment, not private finance initiatives (PFI), nor a system of bonds which involves big business. The raising of capital to develop our rail, bus, tram and motorway networks should be funded by central and local Government.

Experts now acknowledge the detrimental effects of the car and heavy duty lorries on our environment, our roads, our villages, our countryside. Only Socialist policies for an integrated public transport system can tackle the problem.

Long distance road haulage should be replaced by rail, sea and/or waterway. Regenerating our railways, bus and tram networks and our badly disused inland waterways - would save us all from the hideous juggernaut lorries that do so much environmental damage.

A Socialist policy means not only taking all the railways, buses and trams back into public ownership, but putting into place low fares or free travel which encourages still greater use, stimulating local economies while liberating people from the ghettos created by high-cost transport.

This means creating or restoring public transport networks to serve isolated areas and communities. A sensible integrated transport policy must also involve the introduction of environmentally-friendly trams in all our cities and towns.

Encouraging the safe use of bicycles and the protection of pedestrians, especially in our towns and cities, would further help to reduce our dependence on cars.

Developing such a policy - ensuring that all our rail, bus, tram, airline and waterways are in municipal and public ownership, with accountability at all levels - will require at least 200 billion over the next 10 years, or 20 billion per year, a sum which would still leave Britain trailing behind the French and Dutch systems.
A 20 billion annual investment could be met out of the 30 billion-plus profits declared in 2005 by Britain's major oil companies - that would be an environmentally acceptable investment!

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Energy Policy


Britain has never had an integrated energy policy. As a result, our economy has never been able to plan energy supply and, more important, plan the cost of such a policy.

The situation has become worse during the past 26 years, particularly as a result of the attack on Britain's deep mine coal industry. Our indigenous energy resources are now badly abused whilst we have to rely increasingly on coal imports, oil imports, opencast mining and gas for the generation of electricity, despite the fact that Britain's gas supplies will exhaust within 10 years.

Economic commonsense plays no part in Britain's energy programme. Following the destruction of the coal industry, gas and oil priced have rocketed and the price of oil on the world market is at an all-time high. Without a sensible integrated energy policy - based on indigenous clean coal technology, Britain's economy will fact a major crisis sooner rather than later.

The price for deadly nuclear power is astronomic - at least 450% more expensive than coal, 350% more expensive than gas, and over 200% more expensive than oil.

Commonsense would see dangerous, unnecessary nuclear power phased out as it has been in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and other countries throughout the world.

Britain needs a long term integrated energy policy based on a deep mine coal industry which is publicly owned and controlled but at the same time our country needs to develop all forms of renewable energy such as wind, wave, tide, geothermal and solar power.

An energy policy of this kind would result in the employment of 100,000 people, and our balance of payments would be at least 3 billion per year better off as a direct result of Britain no longer buying subsidised coal from abroad.

The Socialist Labour Party would reduce our nation's dependence on imported oil and gas and would reopen at least 30 pits which were closed in 1992/93. We would also develop 30 new mines, many of them in areas which have suffered vicious deprivation as a result of the pit closure programme.

The Socialist Labour Party's energy policy is not only cost effective but a policy which would provide cheaper energy for the consumer. Our proposals would actually reduce energy costs, not increase them.

Such an integrated energy policy would cost 50 billion over a 10-year period. This would include the cost of new technology for power stations and moving away from nuclear power to an indigenous deep mine, clean coal-based, integrated energy policy - a policy which would involve taking the mining industry back into public ownership, the opening or re-opening of 60 coal mines and developing renewable energies.

The cost of developing a properly integrated energy policy would be 50 billion or 5 billion per year over a 10 year period. This money could easily be raised if Britain scrapped its dangerous and highly expensive nuclear power industry.

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Protecting the earth


The Socialist Labour Party's environmental policies are closely connected to those on transport and energy. We believe that only Socialist strategies can deal with pollution and toxic waste, ensure animal welfare, protect food chains as well as forests from destruction.

As a Party committed to extra-Parliamentary struggle, we applaud direct actions taken against motorway development, the live export of cattle and opencast mining. We are proud that Socialist Labour members are involved in these campaigns, and believe that their actions set an example for us all.

The commercial irradiation of many types of food - without our knowledge, let alone our consent - means that a number of foods now last weeks rather than days, but at what cost? What effect does irradiation have on the human body, and how long before we all have to pay the price of the fast-food, get-rich- quick system which now operates in Britain?

The development of genetically modified crops is highly dangerous, and is something against which our Party campaigns. Those who try to 'play God' with our food, environment and the earth itself threaten disaster for future generations; they should be actively opposed in their manipulation of our eco-systems.

We want to protect the countryside and all creatures that live in it. We are completely opposed to all blood sports, and condemn those who advocate the killing of innocent animals and birds in the name of sport. Oscar Wilde was right when he described fox hunting as the 'unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable'. We go further, and say that those who advocate hunting and killing for pleasure are the unacceptable pursuing for self gratification the defenceless and the innocent.

The Socialist Labour Party is committed to developing an environment in which living things are safe. There was no point in holding a world summit in Rio which lay down targets for reducing and eliminating pollution and then allowing countries like the USA - the worst polluter in the world - to blatantly breach international guidelines set `for the elimination of pollution.

We can transform the environment. We can eliminate acid rain by introducing gas de-sulphurisation units into our power stations. We can reduce dramatically the 'greenhouse effect' if power stations were to use fluidised bed combustion, together with a combined heat and power system. This would not only combat pollution but more than double the energy efficiency of coal-fired power stations.

Our Party is committed to dealing with toxic waste, which should not be burned in incinerators; to help ensure the protection of animals including ourselves, and of our habitats, pollution from chemical and other plants must be declared illegal.

We estimate that a properly funded environmental policy designed to clean up Britain would cost 10 billion, a figure which could easily be paid out of the 50 billion annual profits of those industries and services which have been privatised since 1979.

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Employment


Full employment should be an essential aim of any government. The human and financial costs of unemployment are devastating, as people in Britain know too well. A study by the Rowntree Foundation revealed the facts hidden behind the Government's fabricated 'statistics'.

The unemployment figure of under 1 million trumpeted by the Government in March 2005 was a lie. That figure is based only on those who are allowed to claim benefit. Government unemployment statistics do not include the millions who are in part-time work, or on short-term contracts trying their best to cope with low pay, poor conditions and total insecurity about the future.

The truth is that at the beginning of the 21st Century we have, according to an independent report - the Rowntree Foundation - more than 6 million people of employable age who have no job. Further evidence of the real level of unemployment can be seen by reference to the number of households which have no wage earners. For example, in 1980, 5 per cent of British households contained no wage earners - a figure which had risen dramatically to 20 per cent by 2005.

The Government's policies actually create unemployment, deliberately butchering industries and services, destroying not only individual lives and families but devastating entire communities, leading directly to the social misery and unrest around us today.

At the same time, Government policies have backed employers who continue to pay miserable, almost slave wages, and ruthlessly exploit their employees.

The massive privatisation programme has led to obscene salary increases, bonus payments and 'golden hand-shakes' for top executives and company directors - while anti-union laws have been brought in to stop workers from effectively protecting jobs, industries, pay and conditions.

Meanwhile, our manufacturing industries have been butchered. Once our nation had over 80 per cent of its economy based on manufacturing, with vibrant coal, steel, ship building, motor car and heavy and light engineering industries supporting a strong economic structure.

Today, less than 20 per cent of our economy is based in manufacturing. We have developed an inverted pyramid with a top-heavy service and financial structure, supported on a fragile 20 per cent manufacturing base - an economic system which is not sustainable.
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Rebuilding and restoring our economy can only be done by regenerating our deep mine coal industry, re-developing our battered steel and motor car industries and ending all coal and steel imports into Britain. There is a simple solution to the closure of the Rover/MG plant in Birmingham - take it into public ownership. There is no reason why the Government should not implement this policy immediately.

We must re-establish a British motor car industry with a Socialist perspective. Economically, if the French and Germans can each support three major motor car manufacturers, then Britain - which gave birth to the industrial revolution - can surely sustain a publicly owned motor car industry, an industry which meets social and environmental needs.

We have to rebuild - again, from the perspective of social need - our engineering industries, and restore the mighty ship building industry which was once the envy of the world.

Unemployment - even under this unjust capitalist system - could be wiped out virtually overnight. It requires just three basic measures:
" A four-day working week;
" A ban on all non-essential overtime;
" Retirement on a voluntary basis with full pay at age 55.

These steps would create jobs for all who are able to work, but they must be real jobs - whether full-time or part-time (for those who cannot work full-time). They must be permanent jobs (no more short-terms contracts) and they must be jobs paying a decent wage.

The introduction of a four-day working week, a ban on all non-essential overtime and voluntary retirement on full pay at age 55 would cost 85 billion. The vast majority if not all of this cost could be met out of the 80 billion currently paid out in unemployment and related benefits and by National Insurance contributions which would flow from the increased number of people in work.

Money lost through unemployment - lost through lack of purchasing power and income tax revenue - costs taxpayers at least 35 billion a year. Our employment policies would not only mean jobs for unemployed workers but a better deal all round for Britain's taxpayers.

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National Minimum Wage


One of the most terrible indictments of this society is the ever-growing gulf between poor and rich. Workers, particularly youngsters and pensioners, are ruthlessly exploited in Britain's so-called service industries, and child labour is back with a vengeance.

The gap between rich and poor is widening not only in Britain but internationally. The richest 20% of the world's population receive each year 86% of the world's wealth - whilst the poorest 20% of the world's population exist on just 1 per cent of the world's annual wealth.

In Britain over 10 million live on or below the poverty level, whilst 12 million pensioners have seen their State pension decrease in value by over 43% since 1979 - a scandal of monumental proportion.

Studies show that some of our lowest paid workers have actually suffered pay cuts over the past eight years, whilst Britain's top 20 company directors received average yearly incomes of nearly 3 million. By any standard, this is obscene.

The Socialist Labour Party is totally committed to setting a proper statutory national minimum wage as the first essential step in putting things right. We call for the introduction of a minimum wage of 10 per hour - a figure which would give workers on a 35-hour week 350, or an annual wage of 18,200.

Women workers, including those who work part-time, must be guaranteed equal pay (along with equal conditions and promotion opportunities) and young workers must have the same pay and conditions as other workers.

The introduction of a national minimum wage of 10 per hour would cost 10 billion, a figure, which could be easily met out of the massive profits of the oil companies. Even today, the revenue paid by oil companies to central government could be trebled without any trouble, particularly if these oil companies are taken into public ownership.

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Repeal all anti-trade union laws


The anti-trade union laws retained and introduced by the New Labour government relate directly to unemployment and low pay. The Socialist Labour Party is committed to scrapping these laws altogether. They have been a weapon used to frighten workers and their unions, and are designed to stop them taking action to protect jobs, decent wages and good conditions - including pensions and sick pay.

We believe that trade unions, controlled democratically by their members, are vital for a free and just society. British workers are being denied the human rights set out in the United Nations Charter and in International Labour Organisation conventions. Trade union activity has become in many cases a criminal offence. Workers are denied the right to effectively defend themselves or other workers without facing prosecution, and at the beginning of the 21st century we still have no right to strike in Britain.

Trade unions which seek to defend jobs, services or industries face massive penalties, including the freezing of union funds (sequestration) or even receivership - all designed to stop unions from functioning effectively on behalf of their members, or in support of members of other trade unions.

Tragically, many unions are failing to defend members against exploitation and abuse. The Socialist Labour Party believes that trade unions should refuse to co-operate with unjust laws. Defiance by the trade union movement as a whole would render government anti-trade union legislation totally ineffective - as it did over a quarter of a century ago in 1971 and again in 1984/85 during the great miners' strike.

Had this type of defiance been sustained and supported over the past 34 years, it would not only have saved the jobs of millions, but would have protected vital industries throughout Wales, Scotland and England from butchery.

In place of these laws we support a programme of positive trade union rights, in line with the United Nations charter and ILO conventions.

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Public ownership and control of industries and services


Our economy is in a mess that cannot be fixed by cosmetics. The real problem goes deeper than the terrible damage done by the Tories between 1979 and 1997 and by New Labour since 1997.
It is capitalism that is responsible for the destruction of our industries and services, mass unemployment, homelessness and the tragic social problems which follow. We can only begin to solve these problems by attacking their root cause, and that means the eradication of capitalism itself.

The privatising of key industries and services, telecommunications, gas, water, electricity, coal, railways and health and welfare care has devastated our economy, which has been in poor shape for over 25 years.

New Labour's talk of a 'share-owning' or 'stake-holding' society is rubbish. The entire basis on which our economy operates is not only corrupt but fundamentally incapable of meeting the needs of the British people.

The fact is that nearly half (48%) of the United Kingdom's privately-held wealth is in the hands of just 10% of the population. That contrasts sharply with the 8 per cent of wealth held by 50% of the population. The myth of a share-owning democracy has long since been exposed - by a 1993 report which revealed that 87.9 per cent of company shares were owned by only 4% of the adult population!

The sell-off of key industries and services has been a major factor in Britain's economic decline. We see what privatisation has done to our railways.

Privatisation means not only lack of investment, it means low pay, poor conditions, falling of safety standards, the destruction of jobs - and all that, in turn, means higher unemployment and further economic stagnation.

Energy, water, public transport, telecommunications are all vital to any society's welfare. Like health care they are services on which we all depend. They belong by rights to us all and they must be returned to public ownership. This time, however, they must be properly managed, so that our industries and services are controlled BY the people FOR the people.

The Socialist Labour Party is firmly committed to taking all the industries and services privatised in the past 26 years back into public ownership. At the same time we want to see Britain's banks, which recorded over 20 billion profits in 2000, the major oil companies, along with the major insurance companies and other industries and services all taken into public ownership.

With public control and proper management operating for the common good, public and municipal ownership can always out-perform private enterprise.

Nearly 90 per cent of the British people support the policy of taking back the entire rail system into public ownership, whilst the vast majority support the taking back into municipal ownership buses and trams which, together with rail, should be at the heart of an integrated transport system. Experience has shown that privatisation results in chaos and disaster. The solution is a commitment to public and municipal ownership where industries and services are owned and controlled by the people as a whole.

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Taxation


Since 1997, the British taxpayer has paid substantially more - not less - in taxes. In fact, the average British family is worse off now than it was in 1997 and considerably worse off than it was 26 years ago.

Taxes have actually risen since New Labour was elected in 1997. Mortgage tax relief for house buyers has been abolished and the tax burden has been moved from direct income tax on to indirect value added tax (VAT). This iniquitous tax, increased under New Labour, was introduced as part of the price Britain has to pay for being a member of the European Union.

A tax system cannot be fair when a multi-millionaire or someone receiving in excess of 250,000 per year pays exactly the same tax (VAT) for goods or services as someone who is unemployed or a pensioner struggling on 82.05 per week.

The Socialist Labour Party demands that new rates of income tax should be introduced, thus ensuring that those who earn most pay most. We would introduce the following income tax bands -

1. income under 15,000 no tax payable
2. income between 15,000 - 25,000 20 per cent tax
3. income between 25,000 - 40,000 30 per cent tax
4. income between 40,000 - 50,000 40 per cent tax
5. income between 50,000 - 100,000 50 per cent tax
6. income between 100,000 - 200,000 60 per cent tax
7. income over 200,000 70 per cent tax

The Socialist Labour Party is committed to the introduction of a completely new tax system - one which would abolish the iniquitous VAT altogether, and transfer tax liability from indirect to direct taxation.

Our Party would increase corporation and capital gains tax by 100%. These measures together with a graduated income tax system would wipe out the European Union's VAT/indirect tax liability, as well as ensuring that the 'fat cats' and all those on very high incomes would have to pay income tax directly in accordance with the income they receive: a fair policy based on Socialist principles.

This policy would provide British taxpayers with a fair and sensible tax system and would also pay - at least in part - for the policies advocated in this Manifesto.

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Military spending


Arms expenditure should be cut by two-thirds and the nuclear missile programme scrapped alongside every other aspect of nuclear power.

The Socialist Labour Party is committed to turning "swords into ploughshares". We want to free the billions of pounds currently spent on weapons of death and destruction into rebuilding our National Health Service, education system, housing and guaranteed pensions in line with the agreement concluded in 1978.

Our Party condemns the bombing of Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and the unlawful invasion and occupation of Iraq. To date, over 150,000 men, women and children have died as a result of the US/UK invasion. The Socialist Labour Party would bring all the troops home from Iraq now.

We are an internationalist party which believes that countries have a sovereign right to determine their own destiny. They should not be dictated to by countries which are militarily stronger and who seek to impose their ideology on weaker nations, particularly when they seek to gain control over oil reserves such as those reserves in Iraq.

The bombing of Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and the unlawful invasion of Iraq contrasts sharply with the abject failure of the United Nations, the United States and Great Britain to deal with Israel, who continue to occupy Palestinian land and murder Palestinian men, women and children. Israel should be outlawed as a pariah and the United States and Britain should demand Israel's immediate withdrawal from all Palestinian occupied territories.

Our Party calls for an end to the United States' sanctions against Cuba - which has been subjected to a blockade for over 40 years.

We would cut defence expenditure by two-thirds, thereby saving 20 billion per year, money which should and could be spent on our National Health Service, where it could be used to improve the quality of life rather than for weapons of destruction designed to destroy life.

The leaders of the United States Government and British Government who unlawfully invaded Iraq stand guilty as war criminals. They should be forced to answer for their actions which have led to death and injury on a massive scale.

The real target of the invasion of Iraq was to capture control of its massive oil reserves. The assertion that the world is now a safer place is in direct contrast to the daily loss of life throughout the Middle East and the measures which are being introduced in countries throughout the world, measures brought about by the invasion of Iraq itself.

We want to stop money being spent on the weaponry of death and mass destruction and use it instead to help restore a natural balance in the environment of which humans are only one element. We would cut defence expenditure by two-thirds, thereby saving 20 billion per year - money which could and should be spent on the NHS and care of the elderly thus saving and improving the quality of life, rather than building and using weapons designed to destroy life!

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European Union


The Socialist Labour Party is totally committed to complete withdrawal from the European Union, or Common Market as it was originally called. That is the only way Britain can begin to regain control of its economy, sovereignty and its political powers.

The European Union is a capitalist club that makes it easy for multi-national companies to exploit workers throughout its member states, while the sovereignty of those states is increasingly meaningless, and we are all at the mercy of a vast, faceless bureaucracy.

lt is a costly business too for the people of Scotland, England and Wales; membership of the European Union means we suffer an annual net loss of at least 12 billion, simply because we are in the EU.

Under the Maastricht and Nice Treaties, things will get even worse; Maastricht means still more public spending cuts dictated from Brussels, and thus even higher unemployment and deeper poverty. The so-called Social Chapter has not in fact helped Britain; it has not even restored the rights and benefits that workers enjoyed over a quarter of a century ago.

The true political nature of the European Union is now becoming evident; we saw this in the Summit which took place in Nice towards the end of 2000. The drive to establish a European army (a concept first advocated by Adolf Hitler), the introduction of taxation policies such as VAT, laws which over-ride laws adopted by the British people, do not represent an advance in either economic or human rights. On the contrary, the laws now emanating from Europe mean that the British working class is infinitely worse off then it was in the 1970s.

Our Party is committed to Britain's complete withdrawal from the European Union. Only by coming out of the European Union can we begin to put things right economically and socially; everything from the Health Service to child care depends on it.

We are opposed to joining the euro and committed to fighting to regain not only independence from a capitalist European super state or a United States of Europe, but we are committed to campaign for true internationalism so that we can have fair and reasonable trading links with the rest of the world.

Opposing the European Union is part of the Socialist Labour Party's internationalist outlook. We want Britain to come out of Europe and into the world, developing and expanding links with nations in Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, including countries like Cuba which has endured over 45 years of economic blockade and sanctions because the United States fears Socialism. There would be an immediate net gain of 12 billion if Britain left the European Union, with billions more income from international trade.

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Equality for all women

Women make up more than half the human race, yet - along with children - we are a majority of the world's poor and disadvantaged.

In Britain women's pay still averages only two-thirds that of men, and in many cases only 50%. In the home, women still bear most of the burden of housework and childcare, as well as looking after others - all unpaid labour. This burden has been increased in the past 26 years with the attacks on welfare services and the way the government has implemented 'Care in the Community'.

Meanwhile, violence, pornography and sexual exploitation continue unabated. If anything, there has been a shift backwards over the past 26 years in ideas about women's dignity, independence and freedom.

Socialist Labour supports and promotes women's equality within our own Party and is committed to the following measures that would benefit all women:

In the workplace: equal pay and conditions including for part-time workers, and a minimum wage to bring all low-paid workers out of poverty; flexible maternity/paternity leave on full pay; paid leave for women and men to care for sick dependants.

At home: policies at work and elsewhere that enable men to be equally involved with women in child care, caring for others and domestic labour. Socialist Labour believes in providing real options for child care, ranging from free, good quality nurseries to financial support that enables parents to care for children at home.

All communities should provide good quality care and support for elderly, disabled and mentally ill people - not only for these people, but to relieve the caring burden carried by so many women.
The right to choose: women must have the freedom to choose whether or not to have children without being punished for their choice. There must be free, safe and reliable contraception available to women on the NHS, and free abortion on demand. The NHS must be able to meet women's health needs and make available health information we can understand.

Education and training:

Women and girls must have equal access to education and training. That includes creche facilities for parents returning to work or study after time off to care for children. In our schools we must ensure an end to all sex differentiation in the subjects offered to girls and boys.

Safety from sexual/domestic violence:

Society must ensure that women can move through their lives without fear. Domestic and sexual violence are problems for society as a whole and should be treated with utmost seriousness. Women who are victimised by either problem should have access if necessary to safe re-housing. Sexual harrassment in the workplace also creates misery for many women and we want the promotion of workplace policies to eradicate it.

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Fighting racism


The Socialist Labour Party recognises that the poison of racism runs through the whole of British society. There is therefore a racial dimension to our policies on all matters where Black and Asian people suffer disproportionately - including education, housing, employment, immigration, and 'law and order'.

It is no accident that the racist upsurge, including hostility against asylum seekers that we have seen across Europe in recent years coincides with huge attacks on organised labour, as the controllers of the European Union devise policies in order to meet the criteria laid down by the Maastricht Treaty and the Nice Summit.

In Britain, Black and Asian people have been increasingly scapegoated by Government and the main opposition parties alike, at the same time as attacks on trade unionists and unemployed workers intensify.

Racially motivated attacks, murders, racist policing in ethnic minority areas are made worse by the press and pronouncements of Government. This creates fear and anxiety not only among Black and Asian Britons but among our many refugee communities. The Government has not prevented intensified racist hatred and resentment spreading throughout Wales, Scotland and England.

This has nourished the far Right, and we find ourselves facing a social crisis in which racial hatred is so legitimised that violence and murder have become common place.

It is not surprising that Black and Asian people, especially the young, feel alienated and isolated from politics and the political process. For those who seek to settle here having fled from persecution and war abroad, the alienation is even more intense. We are opposed to all racist immigration laws and New Labour's 'Fortress Europe' proposals, and oppose discriminatory measures which create social problems rather than solving them.

The Socialist Labour Party challenges racism - in hiring, education and training - within our policies for full employment. We want the introduction of "positive action" alongside real training to ensure that minorities are not trapped in low pay and low status positions.

We would end inequalities of housing, health care and education, and direct resources into largely Black and Asian areas of our inner cities in full consultation and co-operation with the communities there. Black and Asian communities must be centrally involved in the monitoring of all anti-racist measures, including those that involve the police and the legal system. Racist miscarriages of justice including deaths in custody of Black and Asian people have to be stopped, and stopped now.

Racism in Britain is centuries old, and only through Socialist policies can it finally be eradicated.

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Our quality of life: culture and sport


Everyone by right should be able to take part in and experience music, dance, drama and the visual arts including painting and sculpture. Observing and/or participating in all art forms enriches our own lives, our understanding of one another and thus of our society.

Under capitalism, however, the arts are governed by money interests which exclude most of us from sharing in these experiences.

The same is true of sport, which is now totally under the thumb of big business and sponsorship pressures.

Under capitalism, the talents of millions go unrecognised and undeveloped, adding to the frustrations of individual lives and contributing to an unhappy, unstable society.

The Socialist Labour Party believes that sport and the arts belong to all of us, and should be funded and managed so that from early childhood everyone has the chance to discover and develop our creative interests and potential, not just for our own pleasure but to help us to contribute more to the world around us.

Theatre, dance, music and the visual arts should be part of every community's life, linked to our schools and welfare provision for people of all ages - and linked to libraries and local museums as well.

The butchery of local and branch libraries is one of the worst social crimes committed over the past 20 years and it must stop. Community libraries, including mobile libraries, museums and art galleries must be re-established.

Likewise, community-based sports facilities must be regenerated, available to all our children, and to adults as well (it's time to stop New Labour selling off school playing fields which by right are an integral part of each community).

Government funding should be provided so that these basic facilities are available to all sections within our society.

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End disabilities discrimination


Those of us who are in any way disabled want rights, not charity, and the Socialist Labour Party wants provisions that enable everybody with disabilities to play a full and active role in building a better society. In order to achieve this, we want to outlaw all discrimination in employment, services and amenities. Disabled people are best able to help themselves through control over their own lives.

There must be full and equal access to transport, services and activities. We want provision of 'self assessment' so that those who depend on aids such as wheelchairs can be involved in deciding what equipment is best for them to use. We want an end to segregated education, and provision of resources to ensure that integrated education works properly.

We want an end to institutionalisation; we with disabilities should be able to live and participate fully in the life of our communities.

For those of us struggling with forms of mental illness there must be support that meets inner and outer human needs. Mental ill health takes a variety of forms, which are affected by class, age, gender and race. We demand policies that acknowledge these differences and provide care which aims to help and heal.

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Gay, lesbian and bisexual rights


Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are still treated as second-class citizens because of their sexual preferences and orientation. The Socialist Labour Party is committed to abolition of all laws, which discriminate against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals.

We want an end to all discrimination at work, including within the armed forces and diplomatic service, and would outlaw discrimination in the provision of goods and services. There must be an end to police harassment, with proper resources for monitoring all homophobic attacks.

Homosexual partnerships should be recognised, including legally on a par with heterosexual ones. Sexuality should not be a bar to the custody of children, applications for fostering and adoption. Sexuality cannot be a bar to Aids and IVF treatment. When it comes to any aspect of criminal law, homosexual behaviour should be treated exactly the same way as heterosexuality.

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A future for youth


No section of society has suffered more than the young during the past 26 years. The butchery of industries, services and apprenticeships has gone hand in hand with attacks on every area of education and training. In British society today what hope for the future can young people have?

Hopelessness leads to despair which is not solved by the 'law and order' outlook of both the Tories and New Labour. Young people must be able to participate fully in our society and in the world, while they themselves are growing and learning.

Our full employment, minimum wage and equal pay policies would help accomplish that. In rebuilding Britain's industrial and manufacturing base we would re-establish proper apprenticeship schemes, paying a proper wage. Reducing the working week with no loss of earnings would create more jobs for our youth and help generate more purchasing power within society.

Proper funding would be restored in further education too, with student grants and a payment equivalent to the minimum wage and restoring benefits during vacation.

The civil rights and liberties of youth must be respected by society as a whole. We support voting rights at age 16. We believe in comprehensive sex education in schools with contraceptive advice and contraception available to all. Young people should never be forced or coerced into parenthood whilst they still need parenting themselves. Abortion on demand, based on the right to choose, must be available.

In today's society the young are especially vulnerable to the abuse of police powers; Socialist Labour's policies (including scrapping 'stop and search' laws) would end that abuse.

Young people - including Black, Asian and Irish youth, those involved in the peace and animal rights movements and in anti- globalisation campaign groups - have been specifically targeted by Special Branch and MI5. We are committed to ending this intrusion and injustice, and to scrapping the laws and the agencies responsible for this type of surveillance.

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Children's rights


The exploitation and abuse of children, including abuse for profit, is one of the ugliest features of capitalist societies such as Britain.

We can have no higher goal than doing our best to ensure that every baby born into this world is wanted and will be cared for physically and emotionally throughout childhood and into adult life.
This is the responsibility of families (in the many forms that family life can take) and society, including schools and communities. We cannot legislate for love; however, education in the fullest sense (including sex education), full employment, decent housing and free health care would lay a proper foundation for the welfare of all children.

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Justice for all


Laws have been created over the centuries by some human beings for the purpose of controlling other human beings. In Britain, the legal system has been systematically used to hold down struggles against unemployment, poverty, war and racism. It also ignores and denies many basic human rights.

The Socialist Labour Party wants a complete overhaul of Britain's justice system. We are committed to a written Constitution which sets out clearly the human rights and civil liberties of all who reside here

Proper legal representation, a fair hearing and a fair opportunity to put your case - these rights should be available to all, not just a privileged few.

Plans to end the right to trial by jury are an attack on civil liberties and human rights. These plans seeks to reverse a right won over centuries of struggle for a person to be judged by his or her peers rather than a single Judge who has in all likelihood come from a privileged background based in the main on the Oxbridge universities.

We cannot allow the right to trial by jury to be taken away, and our Party will not only defend that right, but campaign to reverse any measures introduced which seek to erode it. The Socialist Labour Party opposes the draconian measures currently being pursued by the Government to arrest and detain people without evidence and without charge. If this measure is not opposed, it will reverse those hard-won rights which have taken centuries to achieve.

By bringing in full employment and wiping out poverty, Socialist policies would create the basis for a completely different kind of society - a society fit for all youngsters to grow up in. Socialist policies in effect would wipe out the basic causes of violence and crime. In turn, there would no longer be a need for much of Britain's costly law and order procedures, so that in terms of reforming the legal system, our policies would pay for themselves.

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The Constitution


The Socialist Labour Party is firmly committed to a written Constitution which incorporates a democratic proportional representation voting system. Proportional representation, like common ownership, is a Socialist demand. It was a demand supported by outstanding Socialists such as Keir Hardie, John McLean and James Connolly, and for years formed a cornerstone of Socialist demands for a democratic electoral system in Britain. If Britain had introduced a fair proportional representation system at the end of the Second World War, no Tory government would ever have been elected.
Our Party is committed to the dissolution of the monarchy and its replacement with a democratically elected Head of State. At the same time we want to see the complete abolition of the antiquated, unelected, undemocratic House of Lords which has no place in a modern society.

A written Constitution should embody all individual and collective rights so that Judges would implement and not interpret the Constitution; this, together with a Bill of Rights, would allow a fair democratic system in which people could determine what type of Constitution we should have and then ensure that it is at all times upheld in the interests of us all.

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SCOTLAND AND WALES


The creation of the Scottish Parliament and the Assembly for Wales in 1999 have not altered the nature of capitalism in Scotland and Wales and the need for Socialist policies that apply to those countries as well as England.

Whilst in both countries there have been significant policy decisions - particularly in Scotland - these in themselves are not enough. The Scotland Act which established the Scottish Parliament does not seriously affect Westminster's firm grip on the purse strings that control funding.

In Wales, devolution has not brought primary law-making powers. During the past 26 years, Wales has lost nearly all its coal industry, an industry which at its height employed 140,000 people and which was the envy of the world, producing the finest anthracite coal available anywhere.

Alongside this destruction, thousands of other jobs have been butchered, first by the privatisation of British Steel and then by decisions of the new private steel industry owners to close plants throughout Wales.

We have seen a similar picture in Scotland with the butchery of the coal and steel industries, including the closure of the giant steel plant at Ravenscraig. Ship-building in Scotland - also once the envy of the world - is now a rump. Docklands in Scotland as in Wales and the North East of England have become theme parks rather than bustling centres of international trade.

In both Scotland and Wales, as in England, health care, education, housing, employment and community life have continued to deteriorate.
In 1997 the Socialist Labour Party warned that the policies of both the Tories and New Labour would lead to more closures and lost jobs in Wales, Scotland, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East. Tragically, our predictions have proved to be accurate, as New Labour has followed the Tories and slavishly adopted the so-called 'free market' system - a 'free market' which has destroyed not only people's jobs but their communities and ways of life.

The Socialist Labour Party is opposed to Scotland or Wales joining the European Union in the same way as we oppose Britain's continued membership of the EU. It would be a nonsense to argue for more or complete independence, whilst at the same time agreeing to give away that independence to the European Union, thereby having the affairs of Scotland and Wales controlled by Brussels.

Whilst the Socialist Labour Party acknowledges and celebrates the history of both Scotland and Wales with their rich and specific cultures, ours is a Socialist and not a nationalist perspective. We believe that the people of Scotland and Wales must have the right to vote for or against full independence.

A decision of such profound importance must rest with those who are directly involved and whose lives would be most affected by the consequences - but we know that for all people, fulfilling the need for self-determination can only come alongside fundamental economic change.

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An independent and united Ireland


The Socialist Labour Party is in favour of an independent, united Ireland. For centuries, Britain has treated the whole of Ireland as a colony, and that remains true today.

Lasting peace can only be achieved throughout Ireland, and between Ireland and Britain, by ending all British interference, starting with a withdrawal of all troops from the North of Ireland.

The Socialist Labour Party calls for an immediate withdrawal, military and politically, from the North of Ireland; an immediate and unconditional repeal of all Acts which have divided the island of Ireland and a firm commitment now to re-unite the whole of Ireland into the one country it once was.

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A peaceful and prosperous world


We are an internationalist party. We do not accept that wars, poverty, unemployment and oppression are inevitable or acts of God; they spring from the injustices of a corrupt capitalist system.

The Socialist Labour Party's international policies emanate from our commitment to change the world by eliminating these injustices and inequalities.

We believe that each nation can achieve a decent and dignified quality of life for its citizens, alongside every other nation. This includes safeguarding the environment and rights of each nation's indigenous peoples.

The Socialist Labour Party is opposed to aggression or interference by any country or group of countries in the affairs of a sovereign nation whose internal affairs should be determined by its own people.

The world today is controlled by financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. These are undemocratic bodies that exist to defend and maintain capitalism around the globe. The Socialist Labour Party believes it is necessary to withdraw from them and make clear our abhorrence of global capitalism and of all those who support it.

Our Party is committed to withdrawing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO. We do not agree with Britain's current military alliances that tie British foreign policy to multi-national companies and other governments that defend them. We oppose the concept of a European army or task force which can only exacerbate conflict and not resolve it.

We want links with international trade unionism and with movements for peace, environmental protection, women's rights and above all, Socialism.

The Socialist Labour Party condemns the use of economic and political blockades or sanctions which are used by international capitalism against countries - such as Cuba - that challenge the very basis of capitalism.
We support the cancellation of debts held against impoverished nations, and believe that the world trading system is creating ever greater inequality. We demand 'fair trade', not 'free trade'.

We believe that Britain's defence industry and forces are far too big for our real needs. We would withdraw all British forces from overseas, cut our defence budget by two-thirds, and plough the billions released into the NHS and re-building the economy. The Socialist Labour Party really would turn swords into ploughshares.

Britain does not need nuclear weapons. The Socialist Labour Party supports unilateral nuclear disarmament and wants an international ban on all weapons of mass destruction, including anti-personnel devices, Trident nuclear missiles and the removal of all foreign bases from Britain.

We would end Britain's reliance on the evil arms trade and halt all production of instruments of torture. We would stop the sale of arms - this is a trade which deals in death. Instead, we would export equipment to help third world countries to help themselves maintain and improve the quality of life.

With today's world racked by unjust wars, we oppose all of Britain's racist asylum and immigration laws which condemn people seeking refuge to detention, imprisonment, torture or death. The Socialist Labour Party is committed to fighting racism and fascism wherever they occur.

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Socialism


The policies outlined in this Manifesto deal with the injustices and inequalities that people currently face in our society. They are not, and cannot be, a long-term or permanent solution to a system where a small section of society feeds off the majority - inevitably creating crisis after crisis with devastating effect on human lives.

The solution lies in abolishing capitalism and replacing it with a Socialist system whose institutions represent the people as a whole, and which are democratically controlled by and accountable to them.

We want to secure for the people a full return of all the wealth generated by Britain's industries and services on the basis of common and social ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.

We are committed to establishing the most equitable distribution of that wealth, ensuring a free health service at the time of need and upon demand, together with a free education system available to all.

Our Party is committed to freedom of assembly, movement, speech and association, and to promoting and protecting an environment in which the Earth's resources are properly used - not just for human beings but for all other forms of life.

Our demands most moderate are - we only want the Earth.
SOCIALIST LABOUR PARTY


 

 

Plymouth Devonport.

Robert O. Hawkins will be the SLP Candidate in Plymouth Devonport.
Robert is a recent Graduate in Graphic design at Plymouth University. In this connection he is well aware of the hardships undergone by the student generation and of course is a great supporter of free education He believes that only in a socialist society is there any hope for our future.

Plymouth Sutton.

Rob J Hawkins is the candidate for Plymouth Sutton. He is secretary of the S.W. Region and joined the Party at its launch in the 1990's. He holds a degree in economics and works for the abolition of the rotten ,corrupt, warmongering Capitalist system. He has a keen interest in working class politics and history and specialises in the C17th Civil War period and the lessons to be drawn from such history.

Bristol West

Bernard Kennedy

Dorset South

David Marchesi

Election Address:

Working people in this country and throughout the world can expect a raw deal from the high and mighty Howards and Blairs, equally servants of the ultra-capitalist class.

At home, the struggles of the low-paid to improve their lot are disregarded or distorted in the media, so that many lose heart. Naturally, almost none of our MPs do better than the mainstream media, but overwhelmingly back the rich, abroad and at home; almost no hint of the real nature of the war on Iraq, of Israel's colonisation and oppression of the Palestinians, of Musharraf's military dictatorship or even of the despotism of "The West's" ally, Saudi Arabia.

Show your disgust with the exploiting mega-rich in the U K and worldwide , vote for Socialist Labour, the one serious party to offer a true alternative - in other words, socialism and real democracy, not rule by big business

This is a positive vote.

But you may also want to show your disgust with those who now tell you you must work till you are 70 in order to get anywhere near a decent State pension. What has happened to the increased wealth produced from hi-tech over the last thirty years ? I think you know the answer. Why do scandals recur in the nice little earner that private pensions are ? I don't need to tell you the answer.

It's time also to show your disgust with those who reject any move to convert our "defence" industry to peaceful uses. What happened to the Lucas shop-stewards' plan of the early 80's ? Who is getting the "Peace Dividend"? The "Soviet threat" argument no longer applying, how can we need ever more nukes and other Weapons of Mass Destruction ?

Working families still provide the majority of our armed forces, sent to fight oil wars. Will Blair or Howard kow-tow to Bush in his next invasion ? Why should our troops do Wall street and the City's dirty, murderous work ?

This country's people can be more equal, more brotherly among themselves and in the world.

Only a socialist policy can correct the "dog eat dog" practices of post-Thatcher Britain.

Under Blair and Brown, unions are attacked, council housing is disappearing and education is gradually privatised. Under the cloak of fancy words, even the Health service is being broken up, with no real advance in its democratic control. Blair proudly maintains Tory policies in these areas

We cannot stand by while the high and mighty walk over us; we need to vote Socialist Labour to show our disgust for the New Labour and Tory policies which mark an attack on the welfare we have had, which are a denial of union rights and which turn aggressively to war.

In the best traditions of the British working people, including the heroic miners of the 1980's, we can record our hope for a better future through socialism ; Mr Howard speaking of a sunshine of hope ?? He cannot be serious !

Mr Blair and his babes have also done their share of "killing the hopes of our young" in Eisenhower's memorable words

Reject those who have misled us for so long.

Vote your approval of the Socialist Labour party, the one party holding staunchly to the best traditions of struggle by the workers of this country.

I ask for your vote in Dorset South. David Marchesi

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Bolton North East.

ON 5th MAY VOTE FOR LYNNE LOWE YOUR SOCIALIST LABOUR CANDIDATE

The Socialist Labour Party believes that local services should be run for the benefit of the community and not run to suit pre-determined budgets set by faceless and unaccountable bureaucrats with no connection or feelings for the area whatsoever.

In education we oppose the closing of our schools and the privatisation of school services and facilities. We believe that all people have a basic right to free, high quality, education from infancy through to old age.

The way a society treats its pensioners is a reflection of that society. At present the elderly are treated as second-class citizens. We do not agree with insulting our parents and grandparents in this way. That is why we call for restoring the 'link' with the annual increase in wages.

Affordable, safe housing is a fundamental human right. We are against the selling-off of public housing, itself a contribution to homelessness, instead we want a full programme of new houses being built and existing homes renovated.

All our candidates view with disgust the running down and privatisation of our once proud health service. We demand an NHS that is available to all, at the time of need, and completely free of charge.

All our policies are fully costed. The money is there to achieve all the above.

We ask you to seriously consider what I, as an SLP candidate stand for, and vote for a real change on 5th May by voting Socialist Labour.

Lynne Lowe

Bolton North East

8th April 2005

 

Manchester Central

Ronald Sinclair

Liverpool Riverside

Beth Marshall

Liverpool Wavertree

Gary Theys

Liverpool West Derby

Kai Andersen

St. Helens South

Michael Perry

Knowsley North & Sefton East

Stephen Whatham

Bury North

Ryan O'Neil

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Brighton Pavilion

Ian Fyvie

Ian Fyvie is a Woking-born singer-songwriter and folk
music organizer. He played in rock bands for many
years -and turned down an audition with 'The Jam'
before they were well known.

Ian is now arranging music for brass band and Dutch
street organ. He has a low paid manual 'day job'.

The Politics

"Don't talk about The War - the next war that is. Why
not? Its an election campaign isn't it?

Will it be Syria or another country on the Big Oil -
Big Construction - Big privatization hit list?

Ask Blair. Ask Howard. Ask their candidates - and
watch them squirm!

While they are touting for our votes the last thing
they might want to talk about are further British
lives they are prepared to waste bombing for America.
Let's open them up a little!

Nor can we expect them to volunteer that they'd spend
billions more 'invasion pounds' which could instead go
to hospitals, students, pensioners, schools; and on
public ownership for valuable British companies as
MG-Rover. Give them a nudge.

And of course they will not mention the wrath they
provoke among the citizens of any country they may
have in their sights for bombing in Spring 2006 .

But they will be quick off the mark about the 'urgent'
need to impose ID cards, scrap more civil liberties
and ban effective protest. And don't forget: anyone
who defies their new order will be deemed an "economic
terrorist' .

Don't talk about The War? Everyone should be talking
about the next war. If the politicians are forced to,
I suggest, thousands more voters will ditch the
warmongers Blair and Howard"

Ian Fyvie - Brighton Pavilion

Brighton Kemptown

John McLeod

Esher and Hersham

Richard Cutler

 

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Personal Message from John Hayball

 

I have been committed to International Socialism all of my life. I have been an active member in the Trade Union movement being a member of the print unions SOGAT and NATSOPA and now a member of UNISON.

I was an active member of the Labour Party until it was taken over by Tony Blair and his cohorts and the party rejected any semblance of public ownership or support for working people.

I first joined the Socialist Labour Party when it was formed in 1996 and have stood as their candidate in this Constituency at the last General Election and in local elections.

I have a particular interest in fighting for all workers rights and for maintaining the Post Office within the public sector.

If you wish to help me or donate to my campaign telephone 0208 3970567.


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Conwy

David Lloyd Jones

Clwyd West

Patrick Keenan

Preseli Pembrokeshire

Trish Bowen

Vale of Glamorgan

Paul Mules

Newport East

Liz Screen

Merthyr Tydfil

Ina Marsden

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Ayr , Carrick & Cumnock

James McDaid

North Ayrshire & Arran

Louise McDaid

Paisley Renfrewshire North

Katherine McGavigan

Paisley Renfrewshire South

Howard Broadbent

Central Ayrshire

Robert Cochrane

Glasgow North West

Colin Muir

Glasgow North East

Doris Kelly

Glasgow South West

Violet Shaw

Glasgow South

Dorothy Entwistle

Glasgow Central

Ian Johnson

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Hertsmere

Jim Dry

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Leicester South

Dave Roberts

Corby

Steve Carey

Wellingborough

Andy Dixon

Leicester East

Val Smalley

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Perry Bar

Rajinder Clair

Warley

Malcolm Connigale

West Bromwich (East)

Judith Sambrook

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Hartlepool

Frank Harrison

Easington

Dave Robinson

Redcar

John Taylor

 

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Barnsley East

Terry Robinson

Kingston upon Hull East

Linda Muir

Wakefield

Linda Sheridan

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