Resist will register as a political party to challenge the status quo

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On Thursday 25 November, over 90% of Resist’s members voted to register as a political party. It came after an indicative vote on 17 October which supported the move:

Former Labour MP Chris Williamson is one of Resist’s founding members. Williamson told The Canary that Resist’s supporters and membership of around 3,500 will now decide on a name for that party.

Read on...

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Building a meaningful alternative

Williamson took aim at the Labour Party, saying:

The Labour Party no longer represents the interests of working class communities. It is in the pockets of global corporations which are responsible for chronic inequality and potential climate catastrophe.

So, according to Williamson:

We therefore need to build a meaningful alternative to the broken political system. Our aim will be to help galvanise political and civil opposition to the existing dysfunctional status quo. So we will continue to encourage collaboration with other socialist parties and with civil society too.

When will it stand for election?

The registration process could take up to seven weeks. And as the next elections (the local elections) aren’t until 5 May 2022, Williamson believes:

We will certainly be ready to field candidates next year

Elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly also take place in May 2022, but Resist only plans to organise in England, Scotland, and Wales. In contesting the next elections, Williamson added:

We will work with other socialist parties to maximise the impact.

However, he emphasised it wasn’t 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 in building opposition to the mainstream corporate parties.

Its core policies

Williamson outlined Resist’s 10 core polices. Broadly speaking, the policies are about keeping essential services in public hands. Among other issues, they deal with the economy, housing, justice and education. Resist wants an economy that works for “the many”. Additionally, it wants a “comprehensive green new deal” for homes and businesses.

Other policies include replacing the monarchy with a democratically elected head of state, scrapping the House of Lords and making elected representatives more accountable. It also wants to scrap the trident nuclear programme and withdraw the UK from NATO.

Number one on the list, though, is health and social care. Resist wants publicly owned and “free at the point of delivery” health and social care treatment. This is of particular importance given the Tories’ ongoing attempts to further privatise the NHS. The policies in full are:

    Publicly owned health and social care service, free at the point of delivery, including free dental and ophthalmic treatment.
    Reverse all previous privatisations of public services, including health, education services, prisons and utilities, to ensure they are properly resourced.
    Provide free cradle to grave access to education and write off outstanding student debts.
    Build and acquire new council housing to address shortages and homelessness, applying stringent eco and space standards; regulate private sector housing; expand cooperative housing for sale and rent.
    Utilise powers available to a currency-issuing nation to create a strong economy that works in the interests of the many, not the few; introduce a genuinely progressive tax system; introduce a job guarantee scheme; Standardise a four-day working week; raise the minimum wage to a genuine living wage; make trade union representation a right in all workplaces and repeal anti-trade union laws.
    Overhaul the Justice system to ensure legal equality through access to legal aid for all; focus on community rather than custodial sentences and prioritise rehabilitation rather than punishment; decriminalise substance misuse and treat it as a public health not a criminal justice issue.
    Invest in renewable technologies; insulate all residential and commercial premises to reduce the carbon footprint and end fuel poverty; introduce a climate change adaptation programme, including reforesting the uplands; end factory farming and increase sustainable arable food production.
    Scrap Trident programme; withdraw from NATO; use position as a permanent member of UN Security Council to promote peace and disarmament; demand a democratic UN; diversify arms industries into socially useful eco production.
    Reduce state retirement age for men and women to 60; re-establish universal principle for social security entitlements; extend paid parental leave to 18 months.
    Replace the Monarchy with a democratically elected head of state; scrap the House of Lords and remove all feudal privileges; decentralise power to local regions; ban paid lobbying; make elected representatives accountable through participatory democracy.
Collaboration is “essential”

While admitting the difficulty of the task ahead, Williamson noted:

We know that changing the political status quo won’t be easy, but believe we have an obligation to future generations to try.

And in changing that status quo, Williamson believes “collaboration on the left is essential”. If people are interested, they can find out more on Resist’s website.

Featured image via Resist

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