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For starters


AS SOON as there was even a hint of a general election in the South one candidate came forward. In a startling new departure Mr Crook decided to run on an "honesty" ticket. Nailing his colours to the mast he promised:

"VOTE FOR ME AND I WILL:

have a "no strings attached" £300,000 extension built to my house.

accept any and all donations from the "big fellow" the beef baron or any other benefactors who care to line my pocket.

ensure that all my land and that of my friends is re-zoned and accept with gratitude any coincidental increase in value.

establish a "one-stop shop" for any landowners in my constituency (or anywhere else!) who wish to avail of the re-zoning gravy train. All that will be necessary for entry to this shop will be brown paper bags full of readies.

ensure that the full rigour of the law is used to harass all those freeloaders who refused to pay water tax on the dubious grounds that they were "double tax". After all tax is only for little people and I don't see why the non-PAYE sector have to pay a whole 15% of the total tax bill.

have regular tax amnesties for unfortunate (non-PAYE of course!) people who are down on their luck or who are too busy/too mean to fill in those pesky tax return forms.

ensure that all receipts from the National Lottery are disbursed to needy golf clubs in my constituency.

refuse to go into coalition with any other party on the grounds of principle (unless of course the right offer - size of office, type of car, etc. - is made).

create sufficient "official adviser" positions to ensure that all my family and friends are gainfully employed and that each of them has a mobile telephone.

appoint as many people with the proper levels of expertise (i.e. they voted for me or are members of the ANY (fool can be a politician) PARTY) to as many state boards as possible. If there aren't enough state boards I'll create a few new ones.

attend (in the interest of informing myself about domestic and world affairs) any conferences on poverty/ urban renewal/ environmental crises etc. - provided they are held in warm and sunny climes.

have a runway built in my (newly re-zoned) back garden to allow easy access to the government jet.

sue any newspaper, radio or television station which says anything about my dubious past. Just because I have chosen to put myself before the people in a gesture of civic spiritedness (following repeated requests from some very important people) doesn't give anyone the right to ask questions about my past connections with paedophiles or with authoritarian regimes.

invite the union bureaucrats around for tea as often as possible and butter up their egos by making them think they're 'partners'.

I am prepared to enter coalition with any political party, after all I will find kindred spirits in all of them. If, perchance, there are a few "honest politicians" around - people who talk about justice, equality or other such bleeding-heart concepts - we'll soon sort them out. Quite simply, if they don't toe the line, we'll turn off the investment and let them share their poverty with each other."

Thousands of copies of his manifesto were distributed; his posters appeared beside those of Bertie, Dick and John; he was the first candidate to launch a special election intenet site. A good laugh? A cynical jibe at the politicians?

Yes, and more. Each leaflet and poster also carried information about anarchism, and about public meetings to explain the case for a real democracy where we actually have control over decisions that will effect us.

All in all, it was a fun project that connected with the widespread distrust of politicians (and there is no shortage of that with Michael Lowery, Ben Dunne's influence buying, the Blood Transfusion scandal, land re-zoning, etc.); and it brought many people into their first contact with anarchist ideas.

Now we have to build on that interest, to ensure that more and more people hear about the anarchist alternative. If you would like to help, or are interested in joining the WSM, please get in touch with us .

 

*****

Just out is Red & Black Revolution no.3, a magazine published by the WSM which covers issues in more depth than is possible in the space available in this paper.

Articles include a look at the successful anti-water charges campaign; ideas for building a new anti-capitalist movement based on the realities of the late 1990s; a previously unknown episode from Irish socialist history which details anarchist activity in the 1880s; interviews with South African and Italian anarchists; reviews of books discussing how trade unionists can use the internet, and the debate among anarchists on the best way to organise.


To index for Workers Solidarity No 51
To Andrew's recent anarchist publications page
To the All about Anarchism page