Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Communist Party of Britain, Greater Manchester Branch Statement on the Manchester Gorton By-Election

Communists advise our supporters and other progressive people in Gorton to vote Labour in the forthcoming by-election, brought about by the death of Gerald Kaufman.

In line with our programme, Britain's Road to Socialism, Communists usually call for a Labour vote unless we are standing a candidate ourselves or there is an alternative left candidate with significant local labour movement support to vote for.

We are fully aware that the seat is being contested by George Galloway, former Labour and Respect MP, and we do understand that there will be those who for very understandable and positive reasons will be tempted to vote for him, whether it be his opposition to imperialist military intervention in the Middle East, his support for the Palestinian people (a cause also supported strongly by Gerald Kaufman), opposition to austerity or his support for withdrawal from the European Union.

But the bigger picture is that under Jeremy Corbyn, and with the phenomenal growth of Labour Party membership in support of him and his team, we have the best potential in decades for a Labour government committed to a progressive socialist agenda which rejects austerity, privatisation and racism at home, and imperialism abroad.

Furthermore, Labour’s Afzal Khan has made some strong statements in defence of workers’ rights and had the support at his selection of most of the local trade unions. He also has a strong record of support for the Palestinians and opposed the invasion of Iraq, which did so much to discredit Labour during the Blair years.

Finally, we believe that anything but a strong and decisive vote for Labour in this contest will be used nationally by the right wing inside and outside the Labour Party to escalate their campaign to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

27th March 2017

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