In this election socialists will be going forth into battle with the Shield of Unite against Fascism and the Sword of Respect.
Respect will be working in a united front with supporters and members of mainstream political parties, trade unions, community groups and ordinary working people to build MAXIMUM unity against the Nazis & expose the BNP as a Nazi party.
But we also need to go into working class communities with a programme that offers an alternative to the Nazis false solutions to the problems caused by thirty years of neo-liberalism
Dealing with the rats is not enough. You have to rip up the sewers where the rats breed.
Since 1997, New Labour have pursued a neo-liberal domestic policy and a neo-conservative foreign policy. The results have been a disaster for ordinary people at home and abroad.
The despair and anger caused by these policies runs deep, New Labour and the media are trying to deflect this despair and anger on to immigrants, asylum seekers and Muslims.
The 4 main parties in Wales are all wedded - to a greater or lesser degree - to neo-liberalism, that is why Respect aims to build a grassroots alternative to fight neo-liberalism in every sphere of society from the workplace to the ballot box.
In South Wales, Plaid sometimes claim to offer an alternative to New Labour. Yet their leader, has openly argued for a coalition with the Tories, their deputy-leader in the Assembly has called for a coalition with New Labour, while Adam Price MP supports a coalition with the LibDems!
How can you provide an alternative to the mainstream parties if you are in coalition with them?
Huw Williams, a Respect candidate in Wales in 2004 comments on Plaid:
Socialists do need to take on their arguments with regard to their solutions for Welsh workers. This is the weak link for Plaid. It accepts all the arguments of the free market and its consequences. It talks of the need to encourage Welsh businesses, which they see as more progressive than 'foreign capital'. At the same time it states that it would continue to encourage US and Japanese firms to invest. This implies the continuation of a low wage economy and huge tax handouts to the multinationals. These are the very policies which turn people against New Labour in the first place. Only grassroots-based, locally responsive socialist politics can provide a real alternative.
1. To End low pay and demand a living wage for all workers.
2. To tax the rich not working people to fund public services.
3. To fight for free education for all. We call for the restoration of a full living grant, abolition of all student fees and defend comprehensive education.
4. To defend council housing and build more sustainable council housing. We stand for cheap, affordable housing for all workers, close to their place of work.
5. To repeal the Tory anti-Trade Union laws.
6. To defend pensions and fight for a massive increase.
7. To stop attacks on asylum seekers, immigrants & Muslims.
We oppose prejudice of any kind, including racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and discrimination on the basis of disability.
8. To build opposition to Bush/Blair oil wars and international solidarity with workers of all countries.
9. To put people and the environment before profit and build a massive, grassroots movement to save the planet.
10. To end privatisation and re-nationalise all the privatised industries and utilities.