The Socialist Alliance stands for a massive redistribution of wealth and power from rich to the poor. London is a city with massive wealth in it, but this wealth is concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite while millions of us face transport chaos, low pay, job insecurity, homelessness, racism, poverty and despair. Only by ending the concentration of power in the hands of the rich minority can the enormous wealth that exists be used for the benefit of working people.
In London we can begin to make a change in the elections to the Greater London Assembly. We are standing in the elections to give working people the chance to vote for socialists for the GLA. We want a socialist London Assembly with the power to tax the rich to pay for the decent services Londoners are crying out for. We would launch a campaign, involving trades unions and communities to force the government to provide the resources London needs.
The Socialist Alliance stands for a fully integrated public transport system – with proper funding for bus, tube and train. London is one big traffic jam, with pollution poisoning young and old alike. Millions are forced to use their cars because public transport is an under-funded, expensive nightmare. Heavy freight dominates our roads. Things will only get worse not better if the tube is privatised. The provision of cheap and efficient public transport, along with policies to limit the number of vehicles on our city’s roads, would significantly reduce congestion and pollution.
- Stop privatising the tube. Buses and trains to be brought back into public ownership and control.
- For a fully funded and integrated public transport system to move people and freight around London that meets the needs of people and the environment.
- The GLA to tax the rich City corporations (which currently contribute nothing to London transport) in order to provide the cheap, accessible, safe public transport system we need that would encourage a reduction in the number of cars on our city’s roads.
The Socialist Alliance stands for decent, affordable homes for all. We want to end the scandal of over 100,000 homeless in London. The GLA should work in conjunction with local councils across London to adopt a planned approach to housing need. This would include:
- Building thousands of new homes every year in consultation with local communities, requisitioning empty property and second homes.
- Cutting council rents.
- Using the money from existing council housing sales on immediate repairs and renovations.
- Stopping all forms of housing privatisation.
The Socialist Alliance stands for a high quality comprehensive education open to all.
The quality of education varies enormously across London. Whilst working class areas suffer from chronic under-funding the rich manipulate the system to send their children to the best schools. At the same time Best Value and Education Action Zones are being used to privatise all our schools. Students are being made to carry the burden of their education through loans and tuition fees.
- End Education Action Zones.
- For a comprehensive education system with one London-wide Education authority, democratically controlled and properly funded.
- For free access to high quality education and training for all. We support a mass campaign of non-payment of tuition fees.
The Socialist Alliance stands for a health service, free and immediately available at the point of need.
The NHS is in crisis. Underpaid, overworked staff are leaving in droves. London continues to face the closure of wards and hospitals. “Private Finance Initiative” PFI combines privatisation with cutbacks in services.
- Ensure that every borough is covered by a fully resourced Accident and Emergency department.
- End PFI back-door privatisation.
- We demand a £7 billion increase in NHS spending, the minimum the BMA says is needed to properly fund our health service.
The Socialist Alliance stands for proper investment in our emergency services. The GLA will have overall responsibility for London’s emergency services. They have been allowed to run down to the point where lives are regularly put in danger. A socialist GLA would:
- Reverse the cutbacks in the fire service and give fire-fighters the pay and conditions they deserve.
- Rebuild the ambulance service, ensuring that there are sufficient resources to meet necessary response times.
Public Services For All
Above all the Socialist Alliance stands for decent services to meet the needs of Londoners.
The GLA should work with local authorities to ensure fully resourced public services at local level. This means means running our local services for public need not private profit, opposing all privatisations, including PFI and so called “Best Value” and fighting against cuts in jobs. We support taking back tax cuts for the rich and slashing the arms budget to provide proper health care, housing, education, childcare, public transport and other public services.
The Socialist Alliance stands for a world safe from environmental destruction. Whether it is tampering with our food, paving over our green spaces or polluting our rivers and air our planet faces environmental destruction. We need to take on the multinationals that threaten our health and welfare in the pursuit of profit. We stand for social control of industry and agriculture to stop the destruction of all our lives.
- For an efficient and clean transport system in London that will cut private car use.
- Take back into public ownership Thames Water to ensure clean water with better water management and conservation.
- Return all the privatised utilities to public ownership under workers and community control.
A Living Income
The Socialist Alliance stands for jobs with decent wages for all who want to work, and dignity and decent benefits for the retired and those who cannot work. It is the real wealth creators, the working class, who are made to pay for the bosses’ manufacturing recession with wage cuts and lay-offs. When the fat cats lose their jobs they receive millions of pounds in compensation. New Labour’s response is to force young workers off benefit and into slave labour “make work” schemes. The Socialist Alliance says:
- Fight all closures and redundancies.
- Companies threatening closure should be taken into public ownership.
- Profiteers should not be allowed to cut jobs.
- We want a 35-hour week without loss of pay, a minimum wage of a least £7 an hour and full trade union rights for all.
- We support restoring benefits and pensions to guarantee a decent standard of living for all.
- We will finance a huge job creation scheme in London – of house building, transport restructuring, school and hospital building – by levying a tax on the profits of the banks and finance houses of the City of London.
The Socialist Alliance stands for an end to all discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, nationality, religion, age, disability or sexuality.
We live in a society built on discrimination, dividing working people to try to keep us weak.
- We are for the right to asylum and the scrapping of all immigration controls.
- We are for real equality for women. All employers to give equal pay and opportunities to women. For a system of workplace crèches and state-run nurseries, free of charge available for all. For fully funded rape crisis centres and refuges for women and children who have been violently attacked or abused. Bring all private abortion provision into the NHS and ensure that sex advice, contraception and abortion are available to all women. Stop the persecution of prostitutes.
- End discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people. For full equality for same-sex couples. Defy Section 28 – and fight for its abolition – which prevents unprejudiced education on homosexuality in schools.
Crime and the Police
The Socialist Alliance stands for streets free from the fear of crime and from harassment by the police.
The fear of crime is being whipped up by cynical forces bent on imposing even further control over the lives of working people. We do not need more oppressive laws with more police to enforce them – we need more investment in social welfare services building strong communities able to look after themselves.
- We demand an end to the racism and corruption of the Metropolitan Police.
- Disarm the police. Bring the police under democratic community control.
- Stop the war on drugs – stop the persecution of drug users. The present policy only helps to make criminals of young people. Instead, decriminalisation of personal drug use should be linked with unbiased, fact-based education on drugs and all the associated risks to health, run in our schools and in the community.
- Put bus conductors and train guards back on our buses, tubes and trains and concierges on our housing estates.
- For a programme of investment in home security, better street and estate lighting and traffic calming measures to make our communities safer.
The Socialist Alliance stands for free cultural expression for all.
Across London community centres and clubs have been run down. In many areas young people have nowhere to go at night. We want to see a real investment in the cultural life of our city.
- For free access to all public leisure facilities and museums in London.
- For strict price controls to be imposed on entertainment institutions, from opera and the theatre to the cinema and football, to prevent them pricing working people out of attending them.
- For revitalised investment in community organisation and activity for all ages.
The Socialist Alliance stands for a democratic London.
In the GLA elections we are being offered the chance to vote for a US style Mayor (being paid £100,000) who will have sole responsibility for producing policy and appointing committees to run the city’s transport, police, fire service and land use planning. The role of the GLA will merely be to ratify or otherwise the Mayor’s proposals. This is not real democracy.
- We want to see a democratic decision-making London Authority, with the power to tax the rich to pay for decent services.
- The Mayor should be just one member of a broader, more representative body, which has the power to run London services directly on behalf of Londoners.
- All GLA members should be accountable to the people of London who elect them.
- No member should receive more than the average wage of a skilled worker in London.
People Before Profit
The Socialist Alliance stands for people before profit.
- For the immediate return to public ownership of the privatised utilities.
- For public ownership and democratic control of industry and finance.
By voting for the Socialist Alliance you can elect people to the Greater London Assembly who will speak up for workers, the jobless, pensioners and students, and against the bankers, the bosses and the profiteers. You can speak out against the way New Labour has abandoned many of those who elected it in 1997, in order to serve big business. And you can say you want a government that serves the working class as the Tories serve the rich.
Joining with the Socialist Alliance you can be part of the fight to fundamentally change the way our society is run – in the interests of the majority of working people, not the minority, rich elite.