Communist League election campaign

Published: Tue 4 Nov 2008 10:08 AM
Communist League election campaign
November 1, 2008
Media Release
The following platform is being presented by the Communist League in the 2008 general election. (See below or pdf attachment.)The League is standing two candidates, Annalucia Vermunt in Manukau East and Patrick Brown in Maungakiekie
For a working-class alternative
The worst capitalist financial crisis since the opening of the Great Depression of the 1930s is taking a grinding toll on workers and farmers worldwide. Economic and social conditions are worsening for working people. With the spread of a global recession, workers are being laid off in growing numbers. Prices of food, fuel, and other necessities outstrip take-home pay. Foreign-born workers are scapegoated for the ills bred by capitalism. Injuries and deaths mount on the job. Debt-laden toilers are thrown off the land and out of homes.
The wealthy capitalist rulers and their government - whether National or Labour - will continue their efforts to undermine our wages, job conditions, and living standards in their drive to boost "productivity". They have weakened our unions - workers' first line of defence. The labour of working people - which, if organised to meet human needs, could transform living conditions the world over - is instead turned against us, poisoning the air, soil, and water on which society depends. Trade protectionism among capitalist powers - and especially against semicolonial countries - rears its head.
Economic breakdowns and bloody wars are endemic to capitalism. What lies ahead for working people will be many years of sharpening class battles as we respond to escalating anti-labour assaults.
The Communist League campaigns for a course of action for workers and farmers to defend ourselves against the devastating consequences of capitalism's deepening world disorder and to advance our interests.
Join us in campaigning for the Communist League candidates in the 2008 elections! Help build a working class alternative to capitalist rule.
What the Communist League campaign fights for
We join and support efforts to organise unions and to extend and use union power to defend working people. The unions must organise all the unorganised. Such struggles are needed to fight for dignity on the job, more liveable wages, and health and safety protection.
Through their immigration laws the rulers strive to maintain a permanent category of workers with fewer rights. They are made vulnerable to super-exploitation by the bosses and denied equal access to health, education, and other social services. Fighting to end this division is a matter of life and death for the unions today. We demand: stop all deportations; grant permanent residence to all immigrant workers who want it.
Rising prices and unemployment make little difference for the wealthy. But they do for us. The debt slavery that is a permanent fact of life for working farmers is becoming ever more burdensome for working-class families too, including mortgages, credit cards, car financing, and student loans.
The Communist League candidates propose government measures to combat rising prices and joblessness. We demand regular cost-of-living increases in all wages and benefits, as well as legislation to shorten the work week, with no cut in pay, to spread available work to all. We call for the government to increase the minimum wage and to create jobs through a massive public works programme, at union pay, to build homes, schools, hospitals, roads, and public transport.
We call for a halt to farm and home foreclosures. Essential industries, like energy - oil, gas, coal, and electricity - should be nationalised and run under workers' control to enforce job safety, halt pollution, and make energy safe and affordable.
The availability and quality of health care for working people is deteriorating as services are run more and more as profit-gouging businesses. The government must guarantee lifetime medical care, accident compensation, and retirement pensions for all.
Workers' struggles and our unions are weakened by divisions and prejudices perpetuated by the capitalists. The labour movement should champion struggles for Maori rights; against racist dis­crimination; for women's equality and abortion rights; for affirmative action in jobs and education; for a halt to cop brutality; and to end discrimination against gays and other targets of bigotry.
In the guise of "fighting terrorism" both Labour and National have enacted draconian measures curbing the rights of working people to organise and act in our own defence. The October 15, 2007 armed police raids, targeting Maori rights supporters, show what the rulers are preparing. We demand: repeal all "anti-terror" laws; end police powers to spy on us; drop all charges against the October 15 defendants.
We support the international campaign to free the Cuban Five - framed-up workers railroaded to U.S. prisons in 2001 for keeping tabs on rightist groups in Florida planning violent attacks on the people of Cuba.
Both Labour and National have backed the increased deployment of New Zealand armed forces and police abroad, from the Pacific to the Middle East. The Communist League campaign calls for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all New Zealand troops and cops from Afghanistan, Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and everywhere else they are stationed. We demand an end to sanctions against Fiji.
We oppose the drive to block nations oppressed by imperialism from expanding electrification, including by developing nuclear power. Cancel the debt of semicolonial countries. End the embargo against Cuba. Lift all New Zealand tariffs and other trade barriers.
Defence of the lives and livelihoods of working people cannot be fought out solely in the workplace, or through union solidarity and militancy alone. The working class also needs its own political party to give voice to our struggles against the employers and the government. The unions should take the lead in championing independent political action in our defence.
Working people must build a revolutionary movement to replace the state power and class rule of the tiny propertied minority. We need to establish a workers and farmers government that can abolish capitalism, reorganise society in the interests of the vast majority, and join in the world struggle for socialism.

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