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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

‘A once in a Generation Election’

by New Worker correspondent

CAMPAIGNING has begun in earnest for the December election with the Tories still well ahead in the opinion polls but Labour continuing to catch up largely at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and the other minor parties. Jeremy Corbyn clearly got the better of Boris Johnson in the first TV debate of the election campaign on Tuesday and Twitter has condemned the Tory campaign centre for briefly renaming its account “factcheckUK” to circulate a series of misleading anti-Labour Tweets following the televised debate.

A Scottish Brexit Party MEP who stepped down as a general election candidate in protest at Nigel Farage’s decision not to contest Tory-held seats has now broken all his ties with his old party.

Louis Stedman-Bryce, who was elected to represent Scotland in the European parliament last May, has left the Brexit Party over its “failure” to represent ‘Leave’ voters. He will now sit in the Brussels assembly as an ‘Independent’.

The openly gay member of the European parliament also condemned the Brexit Party for allowing another member who had posted homophobic views online to stand on the Farage slate. “The Brexit Party’s recent decision to select a Scottish candidate who has openly posted homophobic views across social media is not only a betrayal of the LGBT community but also a betrayal of everyone who believes that such divisive and hateful views have no place in our society,” he said. Stedman-Bryce said he was “saddened” to leave the Brexit Party but he felt he had been left with no other choice.

Meanwhile the Tory standing in a key Labour marginal seat says that “nuisance” council tenants should be forced to live in tents in a field and rise at six in the morning for a 12-hour shift picking vegetables.

Lee Anderson, the Conservative candidate in Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, put his considered views up on his Facebook campaign page on Sunday. Labour says they amount to “forced labour camps” and went “beyond the pale”. Anderson said his statement was his “own personal opinion”.

In the Midlands, support for Chris Williamson, the Derby North MP who was hounded out of the Labour Party on trumped-up charges of “anti-Semitism”, is growing.

Doncaster Labour councillor Tosh McDonald, a retired train driver who was president of ASLEF from 2015—2017, has come out in favour of Williamson who is fighting to defend his seat as an ‘Independent’ against the new Labour nominee, Tony Tinley, a Unite official who has been endorsed by the right-wing Labour first faction.

“The election in Derby North will be close, so I hope Labour will reconsider fielding a candidate against the sitting MP Chris Williamson, who is a long-standing supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s socialist programme,” McDonald said.

Whilst Johnson only wants to talk about Brexit, Labour has been hammering home its plan to restore the NHS and revitalise our ailing centres of learning. Repressive anti-union legislation will be repealed and part of the old state sector would be restored with the return of the railways to public ownership, along with the energy supply networks, Royal Mail, sewerage and England’s private water companies.

This week Labour’s campaign focused on a pledge to renationalise part of BT to provide a free broadband service to everyone in the country. Boris Johnson called it “crackpot communism” but Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s shadow business, energy and industrial strategy minister, said it was simply “economic sense” for the state to provide the fibre-optic network. Labour also promised to restore council powers to run bus services and pump in millions more to build an integrated public transport network across the country.

As Jeremy Corbyn says: “This is a once in a generation election to give the NHS the funding it needs, give the people the final say on Brexit, tackle the climate crisis and invest in good jobs in every corner of Britain. I ask that you vote for hope and vote for Labour on 12th December.”