The Socialist Equality Party in Britain and the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party, PSG) in Germany are standing candidates in this year’s election for the European Parliament. The elections take place in the UK on May 22 and in Germany on May 25.
In their joint manifesto (available here) the parties explain that the aim of their participation in the elections is to unite working people against the capitalist European Union (EU) and its national governments in the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe.
In the run-up to the May elections, the reactionary character of the European Union is clear to see. In addition to imposing draconian austerity measures across the continent, the EU is neck-deep in US-led provocations against Russia over Ukraine. On the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, Europe once again stands on the brink of disaster.
The SEP and its co-thinkers in the PSG are seeking to mobilise working people against the destruction of their livelihoods and the danger of war. We insist that there is no peaceful or easy way out of the crisis. No reformist palliatives will suffice. Only the mobilization of the international working class to overthrow capitalism can provide a way forward. That is why at the centre of our campaign will be the fight to build sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International across Europe.
Britain’s anti-democratic electoral system effectively excludes working class parties from any genuine national participation through the imposition of extortionate costs—£5,000 per electoral region. For this reason, the SEP will be standing in the North West England constituency, which includes the major working class urban conurbations of Greater Manchester and Merseyside.
The SEP has selected eight comrades to run on its party list. We are proud to announce the launch of a new web site for the SEP, where it will be possible to follow the campaign, find out about our meetings and make a donation.
We call on all readers of the WSWS and supporters of the SEP to support our campaign and to become involved.
Chris Marsden, 51, is the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party and a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site.
Julie Hyland, 49, is assistant national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party and a member of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS .
Robert Skelton, 44, writes regularly for the WSWS, with a recent focus on the disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden of mass illegal surveillance by the US and British spy agencies.
Lucy Warren, 25, is a Learning Support Assistant. She joined the SEP in 2010 and is a member of its youth organization, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE).
Mark Dowson, 39, is a call centre worker. He joined the SEP in 2011 out of his experiences in the Occupy movement. He writes for the WSWS on the National Health Service and social conditions in Britain and Europe.
Ajitha Gunaratne, 46, works in the National Health Service. He joined the Revolutionary Communist League, forerunner of the SEP in Sri Lanka in 1990. He is a regular contributor to the WSWS on conditions in the NHS and to the SEP campaign web site, NHS FightBack.
Joe Heffer, 25, is a postgraduate student at the University of Liverpool. He joined the SEP in 2009 and is a member of the steering committee of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality. He writes for the WSWS on issues facing students and young people.
Danny Dickinson, 66, is a retiree, having worked as a seaman, car and rail worker and for the Pilkington group, St Helens. A socialist his entire adult life, he writes for the WSWS on the struggles of workers in Britain.