Scarborough & Whitby: Asa Jones selected as candidate

On Saturday 23rd March, members of the Scarborough & Whitby Social Justice Party Branch held a meeting at Scarborough Library to select their Parliamentary candidate for the next General Election.

Party members selected 23-year-old Asa Jones to be their candidate. Mr Jones, who lives in Whitby and works for a disability charity, took aim at both the Conservative and Labour Parties:

“Labour and the Tories are now united in their refusal to increase spending on our crippled public services and share an ideological commitment to cuts, austerity and privatisation.

In a speech made before the vote at the selection meeting, Mr Jones set out his vision for the foundation of a democratic socialist economy:

“We need to bring the railways, buses, energy generation and distribution and water immediately into common ownership and under the control of those who know those industries best: the people who actually work in them.”

Justice for the NHS

Asa also focused on the NHS in his speech:

“We desperately need to bring spending on health and social care back up to pre-austerity levels and indeed go even further to make up for the ingrained destruction caused by a decade and a half of Tory rule. We need to remove the private sector entirely from our health services – every pound that goes towards profit is a pound less to spend on patient care. Our overworked NHS staff are struggling to give the standard of care they want to give. This NHS crisis is caused by chronic underfunding and privatisation that was created by the Conservatives and that Labour plan to continue.”

Justice at Work

Mr Jones said it was his own experience of working in Scarborough and Whitby which lead him to seek the Social Justice Party’s nomination:

“I’ve worked in restaurants and pubs and I’ve seen people who work 40 hours a week struggle to get by. People can’t afford to live in their own communities anymore because the opportunities for work are so low-pay and insecure. I will fight for a real living wage, full rights at work for everyone from day one regardless of the type of employment, a ban on zero-hours contracts, repealing the Trade Union Act so that people can actually have power in their workplace and can maintain their own rights.

The path towards owning a stable home and living with security and dignity starts at work and our community desperately needs a representative who will deliver justice in the workplace and who will fight to reverse the mass-exodus of young people and young families from our coast.”

Preventing Climate Disaster

As someone who took part in the school strikes for the climate in 2019, he said he was also proud to represent a party that took the climate and ecological crisis seriously:

“Our parliament declared a climate and ecological emergency five years ago, yet the government continues to license new oil and gas fields when it will do nothing for energy security or lowering our fuel bills. Preventing climate disaster must surround everything we campaign for, so we need radical levels of investment in green industries and upgrading our renewable infrastructure to create new, secure jobs and help deliver us to a net-zero economy. We also need to be committed to modal shift in our transport system, to get people out of cars and planes and onto buses and trains.”

Campaigning Locally to win Nationally

Councillor Tony Randerson – who represents the Eastfield Division on North Yorkshire Council for the SJP – congratulated Mr Jones on becoming the party’s candidate and said he looked forward to campaigning together:

“Asa is passionate about making the lives of working-class people better, his energy and determination is refreshing after 19 years of a disinterested Tory MP who’s too scared to even visit the communities he represents. I pledge 100% support for Asa, whose work ethic is the same as myself and am confident if elected, Asa would make a very energetic, hardworking Constituency MP.

I can’t wait to start campaigning with Asa on building new social and council housing, a reliable transport system that’s publicly owned, decent pay at work and most importantly an NHS that’s fit for purpose, properly funded and completely free at the point of use. In particular, I am grateful for his determination to lobby NHS England for a Dental Practice to be restored in Eastfield – the largest housing estate in North Yorkshire.”

This is just the first of many candidates that we’ll be standing at the next General Election. The need has never been greater for there to be a genuine socialist alternative at the ballot box. The Social Justice Party will be building on the left’s greatest strength: a wealth of experience in grassroots, member-led campaigning to prove the case for socialism in Britain.