The 2010 general election

They say general elections are about picking a government. This one's not. Or, at least, it shouldn't be: because there's no potential government out there worth picking. Whichever party wins the election, it's going to celebrate with a fresh attack on our basic living conditions. The Conservatives are longing to do it. They can hardly contain their excitement. If they win, they'll hit services, pay, and working conditions like Viking berserkers. Labour would do it with crocodile tears, and self-righteousness, and billows of rhetoric about Tough Choices; but they'd still do it. The last thirteen years prove that. And the Liberal Democrats are standing by, just hoping they'll be allowed to lend a helping hand.

We'd be wasting our time trying to work out which of that lot was the lesser of two (or two and a half) evils. The people don't have a dog in that race. So our priority at this election isn't to choose a government: it's to help build up an opposition, one that will be ready to fight against the next round of austerity measures. It will have to be an opposition based outside parliament—although having a handful of supportive MPs wouldn't hurt. In that context we should work to achieve the strongest possible vote for parties and candidates representing the popular opposition, even if they're not necessarily standing on a developed communist or socialist programme.

1. Several slates of Left-wing candidates will be contesting the election, put forward by organizations including the Respect Party, the Socialist Labour Party, and the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition. They should be supported wherever they are standing. Local formations that have broken away from Labour on a progressive basis (like Blaenau Gwent People's Voice) also deserve support, as do popular campaigns based around single issues (like Kidderminster Hospital and Health) and independents linked to the popular movement.

2. In a handful of areas, Labour or one of the radical petit-bourgeois parties (Greens, Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru) will have nominated candidates with a proven record of working with the popular movement outside parliament. These candidates should be supported.

3. There are one or two constituencies in which the British National Party has some chance of winning a seat. In those constituencies only, we urge a vote for whichever candidate is best placed to defeat the B.N.P.

4. In the large majority of constituencies, where none of these conditions applies, voters should register their opposition to the Establishment's candidates by turning out and spoiling their ballots.

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