Well done to all our Workers Party candidates who worked so hard campaigning around the country over the last six weeks and more – in the English council elections, in the Welsh Senedd elections and in the Scottish parliamentary elections. Whatever the result in your particular area, you are making history.
Our party, less than 18 months old, has successfully registered itself with the Electoral Commission (no mean feat, since the process is made deliberately difficult). We have founded young branches all over the country and brought forward new talent from the ranks of the working class.
Our candidates are not ‘politicians’; they are not pros – they are ordinary workers who have realised that, if we want a better future, we are going to have to stop relying on career politicians and build it for ourselves.
And that future starts with organisation. There are powerful forces ranged against us, but we have two things on our side.
The first is that the workers of Britain represent the country’s future, while our monopoly capitalist rulers represent a decaying and senile system whose future is in the past.
The second is in the simple truth expressed so beautifully by Percy Shelley: ‘We are many, they are few.’
Our rulers have put huge resources into destroying our once-proud working-class organisations and teaching us to believe that we are weak and insignificant individuals, entirely powerless to effect any of the change we so desperately need.
This is a truth they badly need us to accept, since it is the collective power of the working class that will finally end their corrupt and parasitic reign.
It is the ruling class’s job to try to disunite and demoralise workers; to try to stop us from coming together to organise and build; to try to stop us from replacing capitalism with socialism. It is our job to do it anyway.
As a new and unknown party, hampered by a total media blackout, even from organs of the so-called ‘left’, we could not expect to break through into the consciousness of our fellow workers overnight, nor to break the habits of cynicism and disaffection of the majority.
This disaffection is entirely to be expected. Workers whose jobs, GP surgeries, community centres, social housing and more have been steadily destroyed over the last four decades, without a finger lifted by a single ‘elected representative’ are right to conclude that ‘politicians are all the same’. Over and over on the doorsteps, our campaigners met workers who told them: “I don’t vote, there’s no point.”
It will take time for the Workers Party to prove that we are indeed something different and to galvanise those workers to return to the ballot box in places where we have candidates standing.
More importantly than persuading workers that there is now a point to voting, however, is the task of inspiring and mobilising them to join with us in rebuilding a mass socialist organisation that is present in every working-class community across the country.
What we need is not only a ‘voice’ in councils and parliaments that are set up in such a way that such a voice has very little chance of impacting policy, but also a force in the streets that is too strong to be ignored.
The Workers Party is determined to build and enable the working class once more to create such a force for itself. Whatever the result in any particular area, our candidates and supporters have put down a marker.
The Workers Party is here to stay and we are determined to build a new politics in Britain – to bring back hope to all those who have lost it, and to remind workers through their own experience that they have a strength in numbers that our rulers ignore at their peril.
Joti Brar, deputy leader
Note from Workers Party: A breakdown of the WPB results from across the country will be available on our election pages in due course. Amongst many excellent campaigns were a number of very solid votes in areas where we can expect to see real progress and advances, not least in Dover Town where David Kerr polled 261, in Chopwell where Andrew Metcalfe took 200 votes, in Rotherham where David Tillery and Thomas Darksen took nearly 200 votes between them and in Wolverhampton where the local branch secured 146 in Heath Town. Many candidates secured 5% in towns and villages where no socialist candidate has stood for many a year and in South Wales Central the party took 411 votes on the Senedd list headed by Tess Delaney, Frank Hinley and Steve Everett.