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Graeme Jones, Bristol NW, Socialist Alternative


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what do you think is the most important issue in this election?

This is a difficult question. There are many, many issues, but what unites them all is the  widespread disillusionment in New Labour, its policies supporting private finance, attacking the public sector, cosying up to the bosses, and following George Bush into the Iraq quagmire.

why did you make the decision to stand in this constituency and for this party (as an independent)?

I live here, I have been a socialist for many years, and a member of the Socialist Party since October 2001. We decided to stand here because there are local issues over the closure of the local A&E facility, and the 'reorganisation' of Bristol hospitals.

what kind of vote are you expecting on May 5th?

we are having a good response on the doorstep. It is hard to judge at this stage. I would think 500- 1000.

aside from the vote what are you hoping to get out of this campaign?

To enter into a dialogue with workers in NW Bristol, to raise socialist ideas, to raise the profile of the Socialist Party, to meet people who would like to get involved in our campaigns.

in your view what is the greatest threat to our civil liberties at the moment?

Legislation enacted for so say anti terrorist measures. It could be used against legitimate protest, and the TU movement in the future.  ID cards follow on the heels of enlarged police powers, ASBO's Criminal Justice Act etc.

Blair has taken us to war three times since coming to power (not including the occasional ad hoc bombing raid) in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Can war ever be justified?
I am not a pacifist. I am opposed to the US imperialist war on Iraq, and all similar wars between nation states fighting for resources, profits or market share. As a socialist, I would defend the right of the organised working class to take up arms in order to defend their interests.

There is very little left to privatise in this country, if you had your way what would be brought into public hands?
Immediately, those industries which have overwhelming public support for renationalisation e.g. the railways, and to prove in practice that the commanding heights of the economy need to be brought into public ownership under democratic control.

Some environmental campaigners have started talking about nuclear power as a way to bring down CO2 emissions - what do you think of this?

The short term benefits weighed against the long term costs would have to be scrutinised by a committee representing all interested parties, except of course those representing the soiled hands and wrong motives of capitalism.


Asylum and immigration will be central issues in this election. What action on this issue would you like to see the next government push through?

Unfortunately, and at the Tories command, it is throwing a dust cloud up over the real issues facing working people. The next government will use race as a diversion, but I want to see the Trade Unions orientating towards and organising the migrant workforce, as the best way of protecting the wages of indigenous workers, and beating back the bosses' drive to lowering wages. A well organised campaign could cut across the racial scapegoating.






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