Sutton used to be part of Surrey until the mid-1960’s – when it became part of an expanding London – forming a borough of Greater London. However, despite a shift into a London-centric cultural mind-set, those who dominate the electoral process are inherently Conservative, and this is kept in-place by a Local Council which functions through an often cynical and rightwing mind-set. Yes, on occasion the essentially middle-class voters have elected Liberal Democrat MPs (and more frequently Libdems Councillors), but this is only because the Libdems are essentially trumped-up Tories. Part of the problem is voter apathy amongst Sutton’s substantial working class, and the infiltration of the far-right into Sutton Council Estates. Whereas the better educated and privileged middle class understand the power of the vote, their working-class counter-parts feel completely alienated by the electoral process and tend to not register to vote, or if registered, refuse to vote – or worse still vote for the fringe far-right.
This demonstrates a failure of Socialism in the area to rectify this problem of political exclusion. In the meantime, a middle class that comprises of a minority of rich voters controls the political process in the Sutton area. These are mean spirited and mean minded individuals that are only interested in personal wealth and self-aggrandisement. These people do not care Social Services, the Welfare State or the NHS, and have no interest in the rights of the workers or raising the standard of living throughout the whole of Sutton society. As the workers of Sutton have no Socialist understanding, there is no class cohesion in the area. This situation means that the tens of thousands of workers living in Sutton are reduced to squabbling individuals with group bargaining power (such as found within unions). As a consequence, support for the Labour Party has never been substantial or even significant at any level. This has been compounded by a ‘New’ Labour that moved to the right and started courting the middle-class and espousing middle-class attitudes and values. As the huddled masses are not likely to rise-up anytime soon, the exercising of the vote appears to be the most direct form of accessing political power. With a left-leaning Jeremy Corbyn at the head of Labour, the working-class have an opportunity that has been missing for decades from within Labour. The working-class in Sutton have a chance to relieve the pressure upon the poor, the vulnerable and the ordinary by electing Labour Councillors in the upcoming May Local Elections.
Lenin (and Marx, for that matter), stated that where liberal democracy exists, the working-class should make use of it as part of a process toward a more fuller Revolution. Whatever the case, the UK in the early decades of the 21st century does not possess the same historical conditions of a Revolutionary Russia in the early decades of the 20th century. This is not to say that lessons cannot be learned, or that a Revolution is not possible, on the contrary, Lenin pointed-out that historical epochs can last years, months, days or just hours. The point to all this is developing a Proletariat education that can ‘see through’ the rightwing lies (and Trotskyite deceptions). It is not in the best interests of the working-class in Sutton to vote Tory or Libdems (and certainly not far-right). Sutton is a rotten borough that needs clearing-out from top to bottom. This can only be achieved with a change of elected representatives, and that means voting for Labour. This is the electoral process as it exists here and now. Is there any guarantee that Labour will be better than the Tories or Libdems? Within liberal democracy there is never any guarantees, (as the middle-class will always draw power and profit to itself), but under Jeremy Corbyn there is a definite motivation to put a stop to the most damaging aspects of Tory (and Libdems) ‘Austerity’ in the local area. This could mean eventually getting-rid of the hideous ‘Academy’ education system (and the privatisation of our children’s education), and a return to a fully State funded education system, as well as saving and rejuvenating St Helier Hospital and the implementation of a bin collection service that reflects the amount of Council Tax paid throughout the Borough.