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On Thursday, November 25, over 90% of Resist members voted to register as a political party. It came after an indicative vote on October 17 that backed the decision:
After voting with our members, they voted YES to start a real socialist party led by them!!!
Join us now to get involved in shaping and shaping our future! https://t.co/DkUmJj8RiP pic.twitter.com/yFUZY4DbUW
— 🇵🇸 RESIST: Movement for a popular party (@MFApeoplesparty) November 25, 2021
Former Labor MP Chris Williamson is one of the founding members of Resist. Williamson said The Canary that Resist supporters and the approximately 3,500 members will now decide on a name for this party.
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Build a meaningful alternative
Williamson took aim at Labor saying:
The Labor Party no longer represents the interests of working class communities. It is in the pockets of global corporations that are responsible for chronic inequality and potential climate catastrophe.
Thus, according to Williamson:
We must therefore build a meaningful alternative to the broken political system. Our goal will be to help galvanize political and civil opposition to the existing dysfunctional status quo. We will therefore continue to encourage collaboration with other socialist parties and with civil society as well.
When will he stand for election?
The registration process can take up to seven weeks. And since the next elections (the local elections) will not take place until May 5, 2022, Williamson estimates:
We will certainly be ready to present candidates next year
Elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly also take place in May 2022, but Resist only plans to stage in England, Scotland and Wales. In contesting the upcoming election, Williamson added:
We will work with other socialist parties to maximize impact.
However, he stressed that it was not just about elections:
we are not obsessed with electoral politics. The most important focus will be on building a social movement. Grassroots support will be essential to create opposition to the main corporate parties.
Its main policies
Williamson outlined Resist’s 10 core policies. Broadly speaking, policies aim to keep essential services in public hands. They deal, among other things, with the economy, housing, justice and education. Resist wants an economy that works for “the greatest number”. Plus, he wants a “comprehensive new green contract” for homes and businesses.
Other policies include replacing the monarchy with a democratically elected head of state, abolishing the House of Lords, and making elected representatives accountable. He also wants to abandon the trident nuclear program and withdraw the UK from NATO.
Number one on the list, however, is health and social services. Resist wants state-owned health care and social services that are “free at the point of delivery.” This is of particular importance given the Conservatives’ continued attempts to further privatize the NHS. The policies in full are:
- HEALTH AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE:
Public health and social assistance service, free at the point of delivery, including free dental and ophthalmic care.
- PUBLIC SERVICES:
Roll back all previous privatizations of public services, including health, education services, prisons and utilities, to ensure they are adequately resourced.
Providing free cradle-to-grave access to education and canceling outstanding student debt.
Build and acquire new social housing to address shortages and homelessness, applying strict ecological and spatial standards; regulating private sector housing; develop cooperative housing for sale and for rent.
Use the powers available to a currency-issuing nation to create a strong economy that works for the benefit of the many, not the few; put in place a truly progressive tax system; introduce a job guarantee system; Standardize a four-day work week; increase the minimum wage to make it a true living wage; make union representation a right in all workplaces and repeal anti-union laws.
- ACCESS TO JUSTICE:
Renovate the judicial system to ensure legal equality through access to legal aid for all; focus on community sentences rather than custodial sentences and prioritize rehabilitation over punishment; decriminalize substance abuse and treat it as a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue.
- GLOBAL GREEN NEW DEAL:
Invest in renewable technologies; insulate all residential and commercial premises to reduce carbon footprint and end energy poverty; introduce a climate change adaptation programme, including upland reforestation; end industrial agriculture and increase the sustainable production of arable crops.
- NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM FOR A SAFER AND PEACEFUL WORLD:
Scrap Trident program; withdraw from NATO; use its position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to promote peace and disarmament; demand a democratic UN; diversify the arms industries into socially useful ecological production.
- SOCIAL SECURITY:
Reduce the legal retirement age for men and women to 60; restore the universal principle of social security rights; extend paid parental leave to 18 months.
Replace the monarchy with a democratically elected head of state; abolish the House of Lords and remove all feudal privileges; decentralize power to local regions; prohibit paid lobbying; empower elected officials through participatory democracy.
Collaboration is ‘essential’
While acknowledging the difficulty of the task at hand, Williamson noted:
We know changing the political status quo will not be easy, but believe we have an obligation to future generations to try.
And by changing this status quo, Williamson believes “Collaboration on the left is essential”. If people are interested, they can find out more on the Resist website.
Featured image via Resist
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