Candidate(s):

Kerry Abel – Nominated by Crouch End
Toby Abse – Nominated by Greenwich and Lewisham, Southwark
Tina Becker – Nominated by M. Machover Robert Eagleton
Mark Bergfeld – Nominated by Crouch End
Matthew Caygill – Nominated by Crouch End
Jack Conrad – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Gioia Coppola – Nominated by Greenwich and Lewisham
Merry Cross – Nominated by Crouch End
Liz Davies – Nominated by Crouch End, Hackney
Ian Donovan – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Felicity Dowling – Nominated by Liverpool
Jon Duveen – Nominated by Crouch End
Robert Eagleton – Nominated by Moshe Machover and Maciej Zurowski
Mark Anthony France – Nominated by Worcestershire
Steve Freeman – Nominated by Phil Vellender and Mark France
Geoff Gay – Nominated by Loughborough
Daniel Gray – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Liz Gray – Nominated by Leiecester
Melanie Griffiths – Nominated by Huddersfield
Stephen Hall – Nominated by Wigan, Liverpool
Geoff Halliday – Nominated by Huddersfield
Simon Hardy – Nominated by  Cardiff, Islington, Lambeth
Guy Harper – Nominated by Islington, Tower Hamlets
Dawud Islam – Nominated by Alison Treacher and Tom Armstrong
Ally MacGregor – Nominated by Leamington Spa
Moshe Machover – Nominated by  R.Eagleton and Maciej Zurowski
Mike Macnair – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Peter Manson – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Micheline Mason – Nominated by Wandsworth
Yassamine Mather – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Sharon McCourt – Nominated by Crouch End, Birmingham
Sarah McDonald – Nominated by  M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Pete McLaren – Nominated by Liverpool, Rugby
Karen Michael – Nominated by Crouch End
Emily C – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
John Penney – Nominated by Salman Shaheen and Susan Pashkoff
Colin Piper – Nominated by Brighton
Joana Ramiro – Nominated by Southwark, Lambeth, Cardiff
Lee Rock – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Barbara Segal – Nominated by Crouch End, Bristol
Sean Thompson – Nominated by Crouch End
Pip Tindall – Nominated by Brighton
James Turley – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton
Maciej Zurowski – Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton                                        

 

Statement(s):

 

Statements continued from page 1 – click here

Geoff Halliday
Nominated by Huddersfield

Left Unity has the potential to challenge the mainstream political parties and become a voice for the many millions who have no genuine political representation.  And yes, that is a huge challenge, and we may not meet our potential, but that potential is why I am involved in Left Unity.

I am a socialist who has faith in democracy.  By that, I don’t mean faith in our archaic parliamentary system, which is corrupted by vested interests and media monopoly. But rather, in our collective ability to make good choices when we are given the opportunity.  And I think we’ve shown that ability in Left Unity; not only in the remarkable progress made so far, but also in the process itself.  Debate is often robust, as it should be, but in my experience there is a spirit of respect and co-operation.

Locally I have been the “contact” for Left Unity in Huddersfield and am now Treasurer of our branch.  I was delighted that our branch motion proposing that the new party should be based on the principle of One Member One Vote was carried at the first national meeting, where we decided to form the party.

I have enjoyed attending national meetings of Left Unity, as individual member, branch delegate and as observer.  I am not, and have not been, a member of any tendency/platform within Left Unity.  I believe that the vast majority of our party are united on the most important political issues; it won’t come as a surprise to you that I support the NHS, or that I oppose austerity and its disproportionate impact on the disabled, on women and on poorer members of society, for instance.

I wish to serve on the National Council, not to promote any particular group or interest, but instead to simply help facilitate good decision making in building Left Unity.  I feel I have done that in my contributions to date.

Simon Hardy
Nominated by  Cardiff, Islington, Lambeth

I want Left Unity to be a breakthrough for the left. I am currently the co-organiser of the Lambeth Left Unity branch where we have almost 20 people coming to fortnightly meetings and has been involved in local campaigns against the housing crisis in Lambeth, police racism and the proposed closure of Brixton college. I have been involved in Left Unity from the initial discussions and want to continue to play a role in shaping the policy and direction of the party.

On the National Council I want to ensure that Left Unity is first and foremost an activist party, one that is involved in campaigns and fights alongside working people and the poor for their rights. I want a party that takes the fight to the ruling elites, challenging their control of the media, their banking system and their exploitation of workers. We need a party that speaks up for everyone who suffers from discrimination. I believe that Left Unity needs to be a radical party that isn’t afraid to make the hard arguments, a party that gets stuck in and puts forward a positive alternative to the present system, one based on democratic planning of our economy for the benefit of all.

I have been active on the left for over a decade, involved in the anticapitalist movement, the anti war movement and more recently the student protests of 2010 where I was a national spokesperson for the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. I have published two left-wing books (Beyond Capitalism? The future of radical politics and Destruction of Meaning) and run the website Marxisttheory.org.

I am a teacher at a secondary school in West London and a member of the National Union of Teachers.

I am joint National Secretary of the International Socialist Network

Guy Harper
Nominated by Islington, Tower Hamlets

I am a 26 year old trade union activist from London (although have spent most of my adult life in Manchester and Birmingham), and a support worker at King’s College London where I am the Unite rep for my campus. I have been on the Left Unity national council since being elected to the directly-elected section last May and more recently have been elected to the position of acting membership & internal communications co-officer by the council. I am the branch organiser for Tower Hamlets LU.

  • Politically I am a radical socialist and environmentalist, and am committed to fighting oppression. I am not affiliated to any tendency within Left Unity but at the founding conference I voted for the Left Party statement along with the Tower Hamlets & Hackney statement of principles. These statements reflect my thoughts on the sort of party Left Unity should be:

  • A campaigning party, with roots in local community struggles,
  • A party of independent working class political representation, that will reach beyond the fragmented organised left and appeal to all those who have been disenfranchised by the political elite,
  • A party that will bring democracy into people’s everyday lives, that has a culture of participation and accountability, and that engages its membership in key decisions through the use of referendums,
  • A plural party, that unites all those who are opposed to austerity and who share a vision for a socialist society.

 

Dawud Islam
Nominated by Alison Treacher and Tom Armstrong

I have been active in the Labour movement since the age of 16, some 35 years now. In the 1980’s I was a trade union branch secretary and TUC regional council officer and stood regularly for the Labour Party in local elections. I left the party just after Blair became leader and instigated ‘the project’. Recruited to the Green Party in 1997 I stood in two parliamentary elections as well as countless times in local contests before finally gaining election as a councillor. However as a socialist I never sat entirely comfortably within the party. After being recruited by a personal approach from George Galloway to join RESPECT I went on to top the poll in their internal NC (National Council) elections and eventually went on to become Deputy Leader/Deputy Chair and National Elections Officer. I also came close to getting elected again as a RESPECT councillor.

My field of expertise is in targeting and organising to win elections. After the ‘mind numbing’ phase of sorting out the minutae of our policy platforms and other internal structures it is now vital that we move to a new phase of driving recruitment to become the mass movement party that we all hope to be. From our starting base of 1500 the first target has to be 15000 members which would see us just above the Greens and then we should be looking to push on to 50000 as a secondary target. It is absolutely vital that we organise activities and campaigns across the country that look to engage and inspire membership growth. Running effective local elections campaigns is a vital element of this and I believe that I bring a wealth of experience to the table in terms of targeting to win in election campaigns. We must also reach out to other sections of the left to ensure that we achieve the ‘Unity’ that we all crave.

Away from politics I am a journalist and broadcaster with Tameside Radio and the Tameside Reporter. I present a weekly sports show as well as another on Bollywood music!! I am a member of the Manchester Branch of the NUJ and am a delegate to the National Peoples Assembly from the Manchester Branch.

Ally MacGregor
Nominated by Leamington Spa

I am an ordinary working man and have been a Socialist all my life.  I support One Member One Vote (OMOV) and I want democracy to be paramount in all aspects of Left Unity activities.  I want and will continue to argue for the democratic process to be inclusive on an equal basis of both genders and all racial, ethnic and ability divides that currently exist within our political structure. By changing attitudes rather than creating excessive regulation, I want Left Unity to create and maintain a political environment where all can engage in political discourse in safety and security and in the knowledge that they will be listened to and debated with.

I think that Left Unity must in its own right support all current campaigns that defend working people.  We must oppose and commit to reversing all austerity measures that have been imposed by the current Government and largely supported by the parliamentary opposition. We must fight all forms of privatisation of OUR National Health Service, OUR Welfare provision and OUR Education system. We must fight all Government attacks upon women, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed and all marginalised, oppressed working people.

We must engage with those Trade Union members who are angry at their leader’s collusion with the  pro-austerity Labour leadership and who seem impotent when it comes to organising campaigns of resistance to the attacks upon ordinary working citizens. Indeed, we seem now to have an annual parade of resistance being developed by them.

Since full employment under the present system is impossible for many reasons, not least because of technological and mechanical advances, which themselves could not have been achieved without the involvement of working people, we should at least be discussing the pros and cons of establishing a Universal Citizen’s Income and ways of implementing such an idea.

In conclusion, if elected I will work within the structures of Left Unity both to amend those structures where and when required and to maintain our allegiance to working people. I will work to maintain the integrity of the party.

Moshe Machover
Nominated by  R.Eagleton and Maciej Zurowski

For biographical details, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_machover

I am an independent member of the Communist Tendency. For our amended platform see http://www.cpgb.org.uk/home/weekly-worker/997/communist-platform

Following decades of defeats, the radical left has internalized a defeatist attitude; we have been reduced to fighting defensively, struggling to repulse attacks by the capitalist ruling class on the rights and living conditions of the working class and the poor. Many of us have hesitated to put forward a long-term vision of an alternative society, for fear the broad masses – cowed and brainwashed – would be turned off by what they have been conditioned to regard as “extremism”.

But I believe that the recent profound crisis of global capitalism has made a great difference in what the majority of ordinary people feel, and has made them potentially receptive to bold ideas. Capitalism is seen to be not only unjust but also unsound and unworkable. In these circumstances it would be remiss of us on the radical left to adopt a defensive stance. We must dare to be bold and proactive in the ideas we openly promote.

Of course, we must continue the daily struggle against the iniquities of the existing system: defend workers’ rights and living standards, resist onslaughts on public services such as education and the NHS. We must also fight sexism and racism, and promote the rights of women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people of LGBT sexual orientations.

All this is absolutely necessary; but it is not sufficient. While being in the lead in these present struggles we have to lead from the front in promoting revolutionary ideas, which give these struggles a greater meaning and inspires them. We must have the courage to speak what we feel, not what we “ought” to say. Capitalism cannot be mended; it must and can be replaced by a truly democratic society, in which democracy extends to all spheres of social life. This includes the economic sphere, which today is ruled by a combination of the micro-tyranny of private property over the means of production and the macro-anarchy of market “forces”. We should uphold and promote the vision of communism.

Mike Macnair
Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton

I am a member of the Communist Platform Tendency, which offers a strategical  alternative to the course of the present leadership of LU. Our alternative  is founded on the elementary political principles of Marxism: that the  emancipation of humanity in general, male, female, etc, and of all races or  nationalities, can only come through the emancipation of the working class;  that the emancipation of the working class requires a struggle for radical  democracy as an alternative to the present bureaucratic-hierarchical state  and the practice as far as possible of radical democracy in workers’  organisations; and that the working class can only emancipate itself by  common action on an international scale, implying rejection of loyalty to  the nation-state.

Individually, I have been active on the radical left since the early 1970s.  I co-authored with Jamie Gough Gay Liberation in the 80s (1985) and am  author of Revolutionary Strategy (2008) and of numerous articles in the Weekly Worker.

Peter Manson
Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton

As editor of the Weekly Worker and a supporter of the Communist Platform, I believe that Left Unity should campaign openly for a totally new society based on the rule of the working class. While we must fight for reforms in the here and now, the ultimate aim must not be a fairer, more worker-friendly form of capitalism here in Britain, but a moneyless, classless, stateless society throughout the world.

Micheline Mason
Nominated by Wandsworth

I am raised working class – the daughter of a Fireman, steeped in the values of public service.  Born with a significant impairment I was exposed from an early age to the ugly face of capitalism – deemed ‘unexploitable’ and therefore of no value to society, excluded from mainstream education and paid work.

Luckily I have been a Resister all my life, training to be an artist and then a writer.  From the late 1970s I helped found the disability Movement in the UK, and later, when I became a parent, I turned my focus back towards the education system and helped build the Alliance for Inclusive Education, a campaigning organisation which I directed for 16 years. This Alliance continues to change the life chances of thousands of disabled and disadvantaged children. (www.allfie.org)

I think capitalism and its one-point-programme of extracting profit for personal gain has corrupted almost every human relationship and activity, threatens the ecological balance of the whole planet, and puts us in danger of self destruction. I am determined to help people to create an alternative system which is in accord with our true (co-operative) natures and which will protect and safeguard this exquisite planet upon which we are privileged to live.

I am not a seasoned lefty politico and think it is important for LU to hear from people like me who represent the kind of ‘ordinary’ people we need if we have any hope of becoming a mass movement of working class people, and especially ‘the precariat’.

I have initiated the Wandsworth Group of LU, been their rep on the TNC, and jointly convened the Education Policy Commission with Mike Scott. I am part of the Disabled People’s Caucus and am holder of the LU Artists and Performers list.

I am still a writer, painter and poet.

Yassamine Mather
Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton

I am standing in LU elections as a supporter of the Communist Platform.

Over the last few years, as inequality has widened the prevailing strategy of the left has been to slide further to the right, putting forward what it consider to be ‘acceptable’, ‘moderate’ policies.

The Labour Party re-invented itself in the mid-90s as a successful business-friendly bourgeois workers’ party, whilst the bulk of those to the left of Labour, and the soft left in general, favour either a mixed economy or a Keynesian managed economy. The left therefore presents itself in moderate and ‘people-friendly’ terms, whilst ditching ‘problematic’ commitments essential for the transformation of society concerning the state, the army, the judiciary and the monarchy. In this sense, capitalism has won, helped by the fall of the Soviet Union, and the collapse of social democracy into a rightwing, pro-business agenda.

All this compels us to be ambitious: I propose the ‘impossible’ not because I am mad, but because I am a *realist*, Being a realist today means seeing that any kind of left-Labour or Keynesian programme is *unworkable**.**However* , getting people to accept these realities means confronting head on the reasons behind them: the disastrous attempts to build socialism in the past, the ‘workers states’ descending into the violence of the gulags and control by a bureaucratic elite.

Yassamine Mather is an Iranian socialist living in Britain. Her political activities on the Iranian left started in 1980s Tehran and later in Kurdistan. In exile, she has been on the editorial board of the monthly journal *Jahan* and a member of the coordinating committee of Workers Left Unity Iran. She is also a member of the Centre for Socialist Theory and Movements (Glasgow University) and the deputy editor of the journal *Critique*. Since 2007 she has been active in Hands Off the People of Iran<http://www.hopoi.org/>(HOPI).

Sharon McCourt
Nominated by Crouch End, Birmingham

Thank you for the nomination.

I am Sharon McCourt; I live in Erdington, Birmingham an area with the 4th highest unemployment rate in the country. I am a mother of five, four still at home and grandmother of one. My partner of ten years is currently unemployed and we have suffered being sanctioned. I am living the reality of this capitalist society being pushed from pillar to post for non-existent jobs.  Early childhood in Derbyshire with both my mother and father union reps and Labour Party activists and the miners’ strike influenced my life. As a child of Thatcher my first job was a YTS.

Over the years I have campaigned for various members of the Labour Party believing wrongly they would stand up for us, my last involvement was the LRC.

I became involved with Birmingham against the cuts, a coalition of organisations against the cuts in Birmingham. This led me into local campaigns against cuts and supporting strikes with unions and various left groups and parties.

I am involved in Unite community branch in Birmingham. I believe we have to build our communities to stand together whether in work or not, to fight back against the onslaught of austerity. I am regularly out on the streets campaigning.

I signed the Ken Loach appeal, I was at the very first conference in May last year and I have been to every NCG and TNC meeting since then as the delegate for Birmingham. I am chair of the Birmingham branch.

I was one of the four Left Unity delegates at our first meeting with TUSC. I am committed to building Left Unity into a real alternative to the capitalist parties with socialism at its heart and fairness and equality for all built in at every level.

I am not a member of any other political organisation. I am currently elected to and have been working in the Interim Disputes Committee which in accordance with accepting this nomination I have not put myself forward for nomination to in these elections.

I was a signatory of the Left Party Platform.

Sarah McDonald
Nominated by  M. Machover and Robert Eagleton

Having been active of the left for over 15 years, in Scotland and in London, I have consistently fought for working class unity across Britain as part of the struggle for the greatest voluntary unity of people, in Europe and beyond. As an internationalist, I oppose all immigration controls and am for the free movement of people. As a Marxist, I oppose all imperialist wars and recognise that war is a product of class society; war and the potential for war will only end with the end of class society itself, therefore have no illusions in bodies such as the United Nations delivering peace. I believe that human liberation can only be achieved through a society based on the principle of ‘From each according to their abilities; to each according to their needs’. It is not our job to manage capitalism but to fight for its overthrow.

Pete McLaren
Nominated by Liverpool, Rugby

COMMITMENT TO LEFT UNITY

I have fully supported Left Unity since its birth, founded the Rugby LU branch, elected Secretary, attended all but one of the National Council meetings, co-chairing two of them.  If elected, I would continue to report the decisions of every national meeting as widely as possible.

WHY?

I have always been an independent socialist, and I have worked for unity of the left, as part of the process of building a new socialist party, since expulsion from Labour in 1987.  I see Left Unity as a major stepping-stone in that process.
Past work has included:

  • Helping to set up the first Socialist Alliance (SA) in Coventry in 1992
  • Joint Convenor nationally of SA 1996 – 2001, with 2,000 members, until SWP took over
  • Joined Respect then became National Secretary of re-launched SA 2005 – present day
  • Through SA, set up Left Unity Liaison Committee 2008 – 2012, bringing virtually all the left together – 15 different socialist and green socialist organisations including main players
  • Set up Rugby Against the Cuts 2010
  • Formed Rugby branch of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) 2011
  • Elected Secretary and Press officer
  • Stood in 2011, 2012 and 2013 elections for TUSC Against Cuts
  • Elected by the Independent Socialist Network to the TUSC National Steering Committee 2012
  • Appointed TUSC Local Group Development Officer May 2013

HOW I WOULD TRY TO HELP LEFT UNITY PROGRESS

  • Encourage Left Unity to develop strategies which, in the long term, help contribute to there being One Party of the Left to organise the political fight back against austerity, promote socialism and combat BNP/UKIP
  • Encourage LU to hold discussions with other left groups, coalitions and parties to avoid electoral clashes and move towards electoral pacts – with the initial aim of creating the largest ever left challenge in the 2015 General Election
  • Discuss ways of encouraging trade unions, left organisations, tenants and community groups to become part of LU

I supported the Socialist Platform at the Founding Conference.  I am a member of the Independent Socialist Network.

Karen Michael
Nominated by Crouch End

My name is Karen Michael. I would appreciate your vote for National Executive Council.

There have been many clever books written about socialism: I’m certain many of you have either read or, perhaps even, written them. However the space I feel most effective in campaigning for socialism is from the heart. It is my strong feeling that Left Unity will make its biggest strides not through dialectical argument: but across the backyard fence, sitting at the dining room table: all those wonderful neighbourly discussions about setting the world to rights with the critical difference: we will be strategizing how we can do precisely that in alliance with our potential constituents. My belief is that any political roadmap which doesn’t include the words “this way utopia” with an arrow pointing over the horizon isn’t worth the paper on which it is printed.

Left Unity is about common purpose without recourse to labels. Socialism has been overly intellectualized. Endless debates turn arcane, nearly scholastic with Marxist angels dancing on the heads of Leninist pins. In a simpler vein, there are two impulses behind our socialist project:

1)      We are community: “No man is an Island entire of itself” as the poet Donne wrote so evocatively. The South Africans call it “Ubuntu:” translated into English, “I am because you are.”

2)      Government should be how we club together to deal with the human condition. Government is the biggest collective social entity. It is the ultimate safety net, nurturance and support. Politics is a calling, like medicine, that is about the support of health, education, decent livelihoods (housing, nourishing and appropriate food) and security when we if we are not able to work. Government should be political recognition that John Donne was correct: no person is so individual she is disconnected from the larger social whole.

I am an experienced activist in Norwich, have helped organise very successful campaigns and demonstrations; I am a shop steward and an officer in my Union branch. I’ve been an officer of Norfolk Coalition against the Cuts. I am a member of the LGBTQ caucus

Emily C
Nominated by Moshe Machover and Robert Eagleton

As a member of the Communist Platform in Left Unity, I propose we adopt a minimum – maximum programme, which is twofold in its attack.

Firstly it maps out a practical and realistic set of demands for the working class under capitalism in order to achieve a level of consciousness that is needed to challenge the oppressing classes successfully. This includes supporting and championing all oppressed sections of the class, and raising living standards far beyond what the EU promises. It also means unity of the class, and the abolition of national borders with the aim of the creating a united socialist Europe.

Secondly, the programme provides a vision of a new society that could exist if capitalism is abolished, a society created by the majority class, which is vital if we are to remain focused on our collective goal. Ultimately this class would abolish itself, leading to a truly equal society.

I see Left Unity’s role in this battle as crucial, for if we are to achieve these demands, the left must establish a coherent counterargument to the neoliberal consensus which exists in Britain’s ruling class today. This must be based on a truly democratically formed programme that is anti-bureaucratic, clear in its message and revolutionary in its aims.

Emily is a member of Lambeth Left Unity, and of the Communist Platform. She has been active in revolutionary politics from a young age, has written for various left-wing publications, and currently works for a radical publishing house in Highgate. She lives in Streatham.

John Penney
Nominated by Salman Shaheen and Susan Pashkoff

My Background

I have been a socialist and trades union  activist for over 40 years. I was very active in the IS/SWP throughout  the 1970’s, and later in the Labour Party in Edinburgh for a time in the 90’s.  I was very active in the late 1970’s Anti Nazi League,  and in the mid to late 1980’s was a founding member of Anti Fascist Action, and on its National Steering Group.  Occupationally I have worked as a college lecturer,  in the voluntary sector, and in  local  government jobs across the UK in economic development. During my later years in senior positions in local government  I was , however ,  as is standard, contractually prevented from engaging in open political activity. Retirement has now given me the freedom and time to re-engage in activist Left politics – newly re- motivated by the threat to all our living standards and rights represented by the post 2008 worldwide capitalist Crash “Austerity Offensive”.

My Vision of Left Unity

I belong to no other political party but Left Unity.

I  believe a huge political gap has opened up to the radical activist and electoral left of the now hopelessly politically corrupt neoliberal  New Labour Party.  I believe there is the potential and the urgent need for an uncompromisingly radical democratic mass socialist party to be built today, focussing initially on the “bread and butter” electoral and  community campaigning, and workplace , struggles  against the multi- pronged Austerity Offensive.  I believe such a radical Left party has the potential to recruit  tens of thousands of ordinary working people , and eventually gain the votes of millions more  –   behind a resolute  “ radical resistance and social/economic  transformational” agenda based on socialist principles . I believe that at  this stage of the UK  anti  Austerity Struggle  this is the only possible type of Left party with the potential to expand far beyond the tiny numbers of the current  activist Left .  I strongly  welcome constructive participation by the revolutionary as well as reformist socialist Left , and other progressive radicals ,in this new mass Left party project.

Colin Piper
Nominated by Brighton

This winter saw devastating floods that left hundreds homeless and thousands without power. No independent expert doubts that these were caused, at least in part, by the effects of climate change and cuts to spending on flood defences.

Yet this is just the beginning, the cuts have barely started and man-made alterations to our weather patterns will intensify. These problems have one cause; it is the chaos of capitalism that puts profit before people. The only solution to these problems therefore is to get rid of capitalism and replace it with a socialist society that puts people first; the million dollar question however is how is this to be done?

I have seen and been part of enormous movements of ordinary working class people that overcame seemingly insurmountable odds and changed society. I will never forget for example the scenes in Eastern Europe as one Stalinist dictator after another was swept from power and the Berlin wall torn down brick by brick, I am proud to have been part of the campaign that defeated the Poll Tax, history therefore fills me with confidence.

We can and must win and, in order to do that, we need to be bold and confident and open about what we believe in. If I were to make a word cloud from all the articles to have appeared on the national web site written by those who supported the Left Party Platform then ‘defeat’ would be one of the largest and ‘socialism’ one of the smallest words, except of course where they were used together!

This kind of timidity, which led to a statement of aims committing us to a mixed economy, simply won’t work. Owen Jones, and even Ed Milliband, seem more comfortable talking about socialism than some in Left Unity. I supported the Socialist Platform at the founding conference and will continue to fight for Left Unity to become a mass socialist party that can sweep this rotten system into the gutter of history and build a new and decent society.

http://leftunity.org/the-history-of-science-and-its-lessons-for-socialists-today/

http://leftunity.org/the-labour-party-abandoned-socialism/

http://leftunity.org/socialist-platform-statement-of-aims-and-principles/

Joana Ramiro
Nominated by Southwark, Lambeth, Cardiff

My name is Joana Ramiro and have been involved in Left Unity from its very first, embryonic stages, when it was merely an idea being bounced around in a small room, between a dozen people. I have been the Southwark Left Unity branch organiser since late 2013, having been reelected this January. I am also on the press and media working group, sharing my skillsas a former PR and current journalist.

I believe in grassroots activism, having always been adamant that Left Unity should get involved in radical campaigns against racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and attacks on our welfare state, both on the local as on the national level. I think Left Unity should stand firmly against all ‘austerity Britain’ propaganda, against ‘Western intervention’ in revolutionary uprisings we are seeing across the globe, and in defense of the most fragile in our society.

We need a party that can put forward a real alternative to the usual Con-Dem-Lab triangle and be truly representative of the real majority, of the 99%, of the working people.

I am journalist, a member of the National Union of Journalists. I have a track record of radical political activism, particularly in the student movement, where I led an university occupation over department cuts and helped co-found the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.

Thank you for supporting my nomination for Left Unity national council.

Lee Rock
Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton

I am a Left Unity member based in the North.

I firmly believe that Left Unity needs to be part of building an alternative, not just to the present political parties, but to the capitalist system as a whole.

We need to win people to a vision of a better society.  In my view, that is a socialist society.  A society where the working class determine the priorities and distribution of production.  A society where no-one starves or is homeless.  A society where national divisions are a thing of the past.  A society where people can truly express themselves as humans.  A society where democracy is key and minority views can be fully expressed.

Candidates should be truthful about their politics:

I stand in the political tradition of the Paris Commune and the Russian Revolution.  I have my entire adult life opposed Stalinism – a political practice that has nothing to do with socialism and democracy.

I do not believe that socialism can be achieved via Parliament.  The ruling class will never allow their position to be abolished via a vote.

I oppose the both the reactionary regime in Kiev and the occupying forces of Russia.

I oppose the downgrading of class struggle through identity politics and the misuse of ‘safe spaces’ policies.

I believe in the need to unite the revolutionary left into one organisation on the basis of Marxist politics.

I have been involved in all the recent attempts to build a left alternative:  The Socialist Labour Party; the Socialist Alliance; and RESPECT.

I am seeking your votes as an independent member of the Communist Platform of Left Unity.

On a personal note, I have been a union rep since I started work over 27 years ago.  I am presently an elected Assistant Branch Secretary.  I have previously been an elected Branch Secretary for over 15 years and an elected Regional Organiser for 10 years.I am presently fighting my victimisation dismissal.  A dismissal that resulted in strike action from over 200 work colleagues in my defence.

Barbara Segal
Nominated by Crouch End, Bristol

My background is mainly in anarchist and feminist politics, and if pushed I would still describe myself as a libertarian communist. I have never joined a political party before LU, but have always worked with comrades from different political traditions, which is why I supported the Left platform. I am not currently a member of any tendency. As an active trade unionist all my working life, most recently in AUT/UCU, I have variously been department and site rep, local negotiator, national council delegate, womens’ rep, case worker etc. I was a member of Canary Press, a small publishing collective which grew out of the miners’ strike and published a number of books on the strike and other working class struggles, mainly written by those actively involved.

I have been actively involved in the Left Unity ‘project’ since its beginnings early last year. I am one of two contacts for the Bristol group and have informally taken on responsibility for compiling and managing the national membership list, supported by a number of other comrades.

If LU is to be effective I think that it needs to go beyond opposing neo-liberalism and its effects, though we should of course be doing that. I want to be part of an organisation that has an identity distinct from other left and reformist groupings, one that is active in current struggles but which also helps change consciousness through the way we live and act now. The feminist and environmental dimensions of LU are important here. But we also need to seek out, publicise and support those aiming to build alternatives, such as cooperatives and collectives, autonomist movements etc. as well as coming up with imaginative approaches of our own. I strongly support those who have stressed the importance a cultural and artistic dimension to LU.

Sean Thompson
Nominated by Crouch End

I have been an active socialist for over 50 years. I joined the Labour Party in 1962 and the International Socialists in 1964. I rejoined the Labour Party in 1980 and left it again in 1995 when Clause 4 was ditched. Prior to joining Left Unity I was a member of the Green Party for some years and was a leading member of Green Left, the socialist tendency within it. I was, of course, an active trade unionist for the whole of my working life and now that I am retired I am a member of Unite Community.

Since joining Left Unity I played a major part (along with other comrades) in drafting our constitution. Despite that, I’m not just a nit-picking barrack room lawyer! I believe that I have considerable experience that can be of value to the party, in particular expertise in ecological politics.

I am an ecosocialist and believe that our party must  not only be red but also green. We have to recognise both the inherent instability and brutality of capitalism and the physical limits to our ecosystem; that the biosphere on which we depend is finite, closed and constrained by the laws of thermodynamics.  Our aims and objectives have to be quite different from the crude imperative to capital accumulation that is currently the sole driver of economic activity in our society.

Working people have been betrayed and deceived by the Labour Party for too long. The 1% have two and a half parties to fight for their interests; the rest of us need our own party urgently. There is a desperate need for a broad based, pluralist and popular socialist party that can become the natural home for everyone on the left and I would like to contribute what I can to the building of that party.

I am not a member of a tendency.

Pip Tindall
Nominated by Brighton

I don’t belong to any other political group or platform, but I have strong views on how I want to see Left Unity develop.

I work in one of the remaining bits of the NHS, where we see austerity in action every day: budget cuts, staff shortages, services closing, wages frozen, pensions destroyed.  Constant change making us, and our service users, ever more insecure.

This is the pattern for all working people today.  Austerity is a scam, an excuse to destroy our rights: healthcare, housing, employment, education, justice and social security.

Membership of political parties is at an all time low and it’s not hard to see why. Successive governments, Tory and Labour alike, serve the privileged at the expense of the rest of us, using the millionaire owned media to spread their propaganda of division and fear.

They have the big guns on their side, but they are not having it all their own way.  As a founder member of Brighton Benefits Campaign I know the effect a handful of determined activists can have in bringing about change.

Millions of people are struggling in their own area of this battlefield. I want Left Unity to be the force which unites all those struggles in solidarity.  We have the opportunity to break the mould in British politics, but to do that we must remain a party of activists. We have to keep ourselves grounded in communities and in our class.

I see gaining a political voice as one of a range of ways in which we can fight back against the injustice of the capitalist system and eventually create a society which provides for all its members.  I want Left Unity to reach the people who are currently voiceless, which will take more than knocking on doors at election time. I want us to become known as the party which stands up for all those whose lives are precarious, who have missed out on education, who have mental health or substance misuse problems, who work in call centres on zero hours contracts, who are disabled, or old, or needy.

James Turley
Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton

I am a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and a supporter of the Communist Platform tendency within Left Unity, which calls for:

–          the unity of the Marxist left on a principled Marxist basis;

–          the thoroughgoing democratisation of the workers’ movement and society at large;

–          the overthrow of capitalist rule, and its replacement with the rule of the working class, on a global scale.

If elected, I will fight for Left Unity to become a vehicle for those aims and principles, fighting to expose the corrupt and illegitimate bourgeois political regime for what it is; making clear the capitalist system’s inherent drive towards war, ecological catastrophe and barbarism; and pursuing the effective unity of the working class, without distinction of sex or race and across all borders, for the system’s overthrow.

Maciej Zurowski
Nominated by M. Machover and Robert Eagleton

As a member of the Communist Platform in Left Unity, I fight for the liberation of all human beings. I believe that this goal can only be achieved through an international revolution of the working class, which has the unique capability of abolishing all classes, not least itself.

I support all reforms which improve our living conditions in the here and now. However, I believe that the most meaningful reforms are those which can pave our way towards ending the madness of capitalism for good.

I became politicised with the onset of the global economic crisis in late 2008. My initial reason to join the communist movement was the desire for a world in which our lives and human relationships would no longer be dominated, distorted, or destroyed by money.

Since then, I have been active in the National Union of Journalists, the Labour Party, the Haringey Housing Action Group and international campaigns such as Hands Off The People Of Iran. I also write for the CPGB’s Weekly Worker newspaper. As a translator working in English, Polish and German, I specialise in political and historical translations.

If elected to the National Council, I will make every effort to help our party become not just a battering ram of the working class, but a step towards our goal of a stateless, classless, and moneyless society.


Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.

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ACTIVIST CALENDAR

Events and protests from around the movement, and local Left Unity meetings.

20 January 2018
Conference: Turkey under the state of emergency

10am to 4pm at NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD

Solidarity with the People of Turkey

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26/27 February 2018
Mobilise against Trump’s visit

Trump is expected to visit Britain at this time. Protests to be announced.

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