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You’ve picked a particularly bad time to start becoming a liberal. This year, London will see the biggest round of elections ever held in the capital. You’re probably not even registered, right? Amateurs…
If you’re serious, then be warned: you’ll have to sell out at least twice. First, there’s the vote for mayor, and it’s good news for anarchists. With Livingstone a dead cert on a winner-takes-all basis, the BNP doesn’t stand a chance. You’re still free to say up yours to the system.
But don’t get comfy. The neo-Nazis are standing a complete slate in the London Assembly election, and they only need 5 per cent of the vote to win a seat. If voter turnout is as low as it was last time (33 per cent), the BNP stands a really good chance of squeezing in. You probably could live with yourself, but could you live with the thugs in suits?
Finally, there’s the European Parliament election. Just 8 per cent of the vote will see the BNP get its first Euro MP.
So, you must vote in the Assembly and European elections. But who gets the dishonour of your inaugural vote? This is where you really will get agitated. Where the BNP stands a realistic chance, you will have to vote for a mainstream party (bar the Tories, of course) to shut it out. Picking a party that doesn’t stand a chance, like George Galloway’s Respect coalition, is a wasted vote. Elsewhere, voting for Greens, Respect or Democratic Socialist Alliance is not a completely useless enterprise.
But Agitated, as a fellow anarchist I have to ask: what are you thinking? Remember, as old man Livingstone says, if voting changed anything, they’d abolish it. Sounds like you need to go back to your “how to be a good anarchist” rulebook before you go over to the dark side.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns