In a joint announcement today, the North West region of Left Unity has offered a public endorsement of the lead Green candidate Peter Cranie for the European Elections. Felicity Dowling, a former Liverpool councillor, and a Principal Speaker for Left Unity, said:
“In the last European Election the Green Party gained 7.7% of the vote and the BNP won the final seat in the North West region with just 8%. The Greens can command enough of the vote to ensure that Nick Griffin will lose his seat in the European Parliament.”
“Peter is a committed anti-racism campaigner, an active trade unionist and a confirmed opponent of austerity. If elected, he is committed to working with trade union campaigns through his European role.”
“Votes for Labour in this election will not help combat austerity. Labour has pledged to match coalition spending plans for their first year of government.
Left Unity is urging its supporters to use their votes in the most effective way to influence the national debate in the absence of a Left Unity candidate.”
“We call upon those in the North West who oppose fascism and who oppose austerity to use their vote tactically to elect Peter Cranie. It is crucial that the story of these European Elections is not just about UKIP and their anti-immigrant and anti-European agenda, but also shows there is electoral strength for a growing movement against austerity.”
In response to the endorsement, Peter Cranie commented:
“Left Unity has shown that they will approach politics in a different way and we very much welcome this endorsement in the North West.”
“As an anti-racist campaigner with the Merseyside Coalition Against Racism and Fascism for many years, the priority for all anti-racist voters has to be to ensure that Nick Griffin is ejected from the European Parliament.”
“We also must kick the legs out from under the coalition and the failed policies of austerity in this election. The final seat in the North West will be contested between the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and the BNP. If the Greens win, it will leave the Liberal Democrats in 5th place nationally in this election.”
“After these European Elections and Nick Clegg’s disastrous debate appearances, we want to see Liberal Democrats forced into a change of leader and a change of direction, bringing an end to this appalling coalition and an early General Election. The latest European poll by ICM shows the Greens level with the Liberal Democrats , and endorsements like this one by Left Unity, could be crucial.”
The statement from Left Unity follows a letter to the Morning Star newspaper earlier this year , where many North West Trade Unionists, among them a prominent 2009 NO2EU candidate, Alec McFadden, urged unity and for other groups on the left to back the Greens. In 2009 the combined vote of the Socialist Labour Party and the NO2EU lists was just 3%, but the Greens would have only needed an extra 0.3% to prevent Griffin from ever taking a seat in Europe.
Peter Cranie added:
“We respect the immense contribution that Bob Crow made to the Trade Union movement and that he was a committed supporter of NO2EU. The Green Party policy on Europe is that people should have a referendum now, something both the Greens and NO2EU could agree on.”
“Our door is open for dialogue and we must avoid a situation where the BNP are able to sneak back in due to a controversial media story allowing them whip up hate and prejudice close to the election. It’s our duty to do everything we can to eject Griffin from the European Parliament and I’ll work alongside all campaigners committed to that aim.”