Updated: Friday, 3rd April 2020 @ 6:26pm

Gorton by-election: Communist League candidate pledges fight against 'parasitic' capitalists

Gorton by-election: Communist League candidate pledges fight against 'parasitic' capitalists

| By Francesca Marshall

A communist trade unionist standing as a candidate in the Gorton by-election says a revolution to unite the British workforce against “parasitic” capitalists is needed.

Peter Clifford, a factory worker from Manchester formerly in the hunt for the Greater Manchester mayoral job, will run in the election on behalf of the Communist League.

Labelling capitalist bosses as a “parasitic layer” on the working class, Mr Clifford will campaign about issues such as capitalism, policing and tackling anti-Semitism.

“We want to take steps to strengthen working people and the struggles that they face,” he told MM.

“Our proposal is a proposal to fight for what we believe in and a fight against capitalism.”

The Communist League wants to impose a government-funded public works programme to provide jobs at union agreed wages. The scheme would also build infrastructure, housing and hospitals.

The 61-year-old said the scheme would be funded through taxation on large companies and their profits.

“It would involve a fight to get such a thing,” Mr Clifford said.

“It would be a massive mobilisation of unions to achieve this. I think the change is necessary, millions of people are in insecure work and we are becoming divided.

“We’re the people that produce the wealth, but we only get a fraction of the work in the wages that we get, and the rest goes to a small number of wealthy families.

“The wealth is there in what we create but the problem is the system is organised to benefit a handful of billionaire bankers.”

Mr Clifford also raised concerns about anti-Semitism stemming from the current economic climate saying that “Jew-hatred is always associated with capitalism in crisis.”

He emphasised the need to stop scapegoating on immigrants and Muslims and to look at the Cuban Revolution as an example of what working people can achieve.

The Gorton by-election is being called after Sir Gerald Kaufman died on February 26, aged 86.

Gorton has been a Labour seat since 1935 and was represented by Sir Gerald for 30 years.

He held it with a 24,000 majority at the 2015 general election, winning 67% of the total vote.

Mr Clifford will be running against Afzal Khan for Labour, Jess Mayo for Green, Jackie Pearcey for the Liberal Democrats and George Galloway as an independent.

The Conservatives and UKIP have yet to name their candidates. No date has yet been set for the election.