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Keep Palestine as an election issue!

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As the general election enters its final few days the forty Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates standing across Britain on July 4th are fighting to keep opposition to the war on the Palestinians a key election issue.

In Chorley constituency in North West England a former member of the National Union of Teachers’ national executive committee, Martin Powell-Davies, is conducting a vigorous campaign against the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle. 

The Speaker, who is being supported by all the ‘mainstream’ parties in this election, is notorious for his role in February when he blocked an SNP Commons motion condemning the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people” from being debated in order to avoid embarrassment to Labour’s frontbench.  Martin is determined to make sure that’s not forgotten.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the country in South East England, the TUSC banner is being carried by the anti-war campaigner Momtaz Khanom, contesting the Folkestone & Hythe constituency.  As a Folkestone Stands With Palestine group activist Gaza has been central to her campaign.

As part of its effort to keep Palestine an election issue the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have asked all candidates standing in the general election to give a 150-word statement saying how they would use the MP position to help stop the war in Gaza.  The TUSC chairperson and Coventry East candidate, Dave Nellist, the socialist ex-Labour MP (1983-1992), has responded:

“I would use the position of MP and the platform it gives to support the campaign for the end of Israel’s war on Palestine and its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank”.

“I believe trade unions in Britain need to step up their involvement in the movement to end the war by mobilising more members to attend mass demos and calling for workers’ sanctions to block the flow of arms and supplies from Britain to the Israeli military”.

“Major firms in the defence industry should be publicly owned and democratically planned to develop alternative, socially useful production to replace production for war”.

“Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak both back imperialism in the Middle East and the bosses here in Britain.  I believe in workers’ unity between ordinary Palestinians and ordinary Israelis and socialism to secure a permanent end to national conflict and oppression with guaranteed rights for all”.

As in domestic policy so in foreign policy too, Starmer’s Labour now serves to defend the upholders of the capitalist system with its inherent inequality and exploitation of the working class, minorities and the dispossessed, and the international relations keeping the system in place.  As in domestic policy so in foreign policy too, the need for a new party that could achieve the mass political representation of the working class could not be clearer.

Martin, Momtaz and Dave are all speaking at public meetings this week to help keep Palestine as an election issue, with details on the TUSC website at https://www.tusc.org.uk/events/  Where you can, join us in our campaign.  ■

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