National Character? The Shame that is Kensington and Chelsea

Some interesting statistics and comment by Ash at https://architectsforsocialhousing.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/londons-local-elections-2018-the-consequences-of-voting/:-

“Out of an electorate of 95,378 people, 37,835 voted, 39.7 per cent of the total. Across the 18 wards, a total of 100,429 votes were cast, and 52,211 of these were for Conservative candidates, 51.98 per cent of the total. That was down from the 57.8 per cent of votes the Conservatives had in the 2014 elections; but out of the 50 councillors elected, 36 are Conservative, 13 are Labour and 1 is Liberal Democrat. That’s an increase of a single Labour councillor since the 2014 elections at the expense of a single Conservative councillor. Significantly, 18,578 more votes were cast than in 2014, but the Conservative vote actually increased by 4,220, which means more people came out this time to make sure they got back into office against the threat that Labour would take the borough. By my reckoning, the 71 people (at least) that died in the Grenfell Tower fire have cost Kensington and Chelsea Conservatives 5.82 per cent of the vote, or 0.08 per cent for every identified corpse, the loss of whose life has equated to the loss of 0.014 per cent of a Conservative council seat.

 As ASH wrote back in July last year when we published our report on the Grenfell Tower fire, how we react to this man-made disaster could turn out to be worse than the chain of decisions and shirked responsibilities that caused it, and this vote by the people of Kensington and Chelsea is a stain on what’s left of our national character.”

As communists we struggle with the concept of “national character”, stained or otherwise. For us this disaster and its consequences can only be understood in class terms. As the Communist Manifesto puts it, the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle. There are no fixes, social democrat or other. The sooner we change the entire system the better.

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CROYDON MAY DAY MARCH

As the coverage in the Morning Star on 2 May demonstrated, May Day is an important day for workers across the world but governments in the UK including, regrettably, Labour governments, have sought to de-politicise it by offering a Bank Holiday on the first Monday in May. Saturday, 5 May is therefore the first opportunity for many of us to celebrate May Day as it should be celebrated – an expression of our solidarity with all working people. The Croydon Communist Party will therefore be joining trade unionists and other progressive forces on the Croydon May Day March and Rally on Saturday, 5 May and encourages others to join us.

Marchers will assemble outside Marks & Spencer, North End Croydon at 12 Noon. We march off at 12.30 with flags and banners waving, led by the Schiehallian Pipe Band, and make our way up North End to the High Street and Coombe Road to rally at Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, CR0 1BD which also happens to be the HQ for the Communist Party and the office of Croydon CP. Speakers from 1.30 pm will include Ted Knight, Chair of the Croydon Assembly, Kevin O Brien Unison/Merton & Sutton TUC, Ellen Lebethe, Vice President NPC and Patsy Cummings (Croydon Labour Party).