Gaza, Western Capitalism & the Erosion of Democracy

The tragedy of what is happening in Gaza, and indeed the West Bank, has served to highlight how the extreme right-wing nature of modern capitalism can quickly descend into authoritarianism. It has thus exposed the lie that we in the West live in a democracy. It is abundantly clear that the people of the world are overwhelmingly opposed to their governments’ continuing support for Israel as it prosecutes its genocidal war against Palestinians – and yet the world’s citizens are being ignored.

Socialist candidate slams Labour for Worker’s Rights U-turn

One of the few redeeming features of Labour’s policy platform was their ‘New Deal for Working People’ which included commitments to a real-living wage, a ban on zero-hours contracts and enshrining a ‘right to switch off’ in law.

But on 1st May, anonymous spokespeople for the Labour leadership began the process of briefing the big-business lobby about its plans to make a series of U-turns on worker’s rights over the coming weeks, in Starmer’s latest attempt to suck-up to corporate interests.

Source: Financial Times

Justice at Work

Taking to social media, Asa Jones – the Social Justice Party candidate for Scarborough and Whitby – slammed Labour for their latest U-turn saying:

On International Workers Day, Starmer is busy briefing the corporate lobby with promises to U-turn on his current pledges to ban zero-hours contracts and enshrine a ‘right to switch off’ into law.

Asa Jones – Social Justice Party candidate for Scarborough & Whitby

People in Scarborough & Whitby need an MP who will fight for justice at work and not cower to the interests of the super-rich.”

As a young person who has worked in the local tourist industry, Asa says he understands first-hand how low-pay and insecure work is contributing to the mass-exodus of young people and families from his costal community and believes a strengthening of worker’s rights and a real-living wage are crucial to making the Yorkshire Coast a place where working-class people can afford to live.

More spin from Labour

Speaking to the Financial Times, Labour insiders described plans to roll-back on the promise to enshrine a ‘right to switch off’ into law by making it part of a code of conduct and exempting small businesses. Labour’s previous claim to ban zero-hours contracts is also said to be watered down over the coming weeks.

Source: Financial Times

Despite these detailed reports of Labour’s behind-the-scenes promises to big-businesses, a Labour spokesperson – speaking to the Morning Star – insisted there would be “no watering down” of the party’s policies.

The Morning Star itself then pointed out that Labour has already watered down its promises regarding a worker’s rights package when it dropped its commitment to ‘fair pay agreements’ covering all industrial sectors and limiting them to just the social care sector. It seems fair to say that anyone trapped in low-pay and insecure work should pay more attention to what Labour does than what its anonymous spokespeople say it’ll do when considering who to vote for at the next election.

Unlike Labour and the Conservatives, who are united in their capitulation to the interests of big-business, the Social Justice Party will campaign on a comprehensive platform of expanding workers rights. Including delivering a real-living wage, the immediate reversal of all anti-union legislation, banning zero-hours contracts outright and promoting worker-led workplace democracy in both the public and private sectors.

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. 

Immigration and Refugees

Sir Keir Thatcher?

Peace March For Palestine

The Teesside Muslim Council organised a Peace March for Palestine on Sunday 5th November and the SJP were represented by a group of members who wanted to show their solidarity and support.

Justice for Palestine

Social Justice Party slams Government and Labour over new oil and gas licences

The recently formed Social Justice Party which launched at its conference in July of this year has condemned the Government’s decision to grant new gas and oil exploration licences as environmental vandalism.

Socialists Now Have A Party To Truly Represent Them

We are a socialist party founded on the principle of public ownership and one that places people and the environment at the forefront of our activities.

Social Justice Party councillor elected in Eastfield – a Hardy Left Report

A veteran Labour councillor standing as an independent socialist has regained his seat in impressive style.

Tony Randerson, who resigned as a North Yorkshire councillor after quitting his 30 year Labour membership, won the Eastfield by-election with a big majority, receiving almost half the votes cast. Labour came 3rd, with a 57% swing against them and behind the Lib Dems.

Tony’s ward in Scarborough, scores high for deprivation and disadvantage. As councillor there for a decade, his reputation for battling on behalf of residents has made him a popular and trusted figure. He is widely recognised thanks to frequent street surgeries and his trademark white cap.

Standing as a socialist, Tony focused his by-election strategy on running a clean campaign that addressed environmental concerns and community issues.

A former regional officer of Unite, Tony sees Labour as having lost its way. He joined other socialists, environmentalists and trade unionists in North East Yorkshire to build a new democratic socialist party. The Social Justice Party is in the process of being registered as a party and is looking to link with other left of centre parties across the north and beyond.