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Anti Election in Balsall Heath

Robin Gitt | 05.05.2005 21:58 | Analysis | Social Struggles | Birmingham

It was all a bit last minute but activists in Balsall Heath managed to get 200 A2 anti-election posters out fly-posted in the area. We didn’t manage to get round to taking down the ‘Vote for me’ boards up the lampposts as we normally do, but there’s still time to do that, so that we have boards ready to put up lampposts next time, obviously with our own designs on.

The poster design was done in two drafts, we accept that some of the terms might be a bit jargony and could do with further explanation but that is always the problem when you are putting across opinions that are outside of the mainstream, after all there’s enough arguments to have between ourselves as to what a street council would be and what it would be doing. So, we could have written a pamphlet on each section of the poster but you have a right game trying to get them to stick to a wall or electric box.

The feedback we got from passers by whilst out pasting, in daylight, was all positive. We even had a warm reception from the chair of the local residents group who you would have thought would be pissy about us fly-posting in the area.

This years action follows a long running tradition in the area to oppose the elections dating back to the days of the poll tax. In the past we have had the old classics ‘How do you tell if a politician is lying…their lips move.’ ‘Never trust a politician’ etc. We had a ‘The working class couldn’t give a XXXX for politicians’ design which was delivered to a couple of thousand doors. Leaflets were distributed for a spoof candidate ‘Robin Gitt’ whos election message ran along the lines of ‘I always thought politicians were just a bunch of self interested palm greasing liars…and then I thought. I could do that.’ And ‘A vote for me will be a vote for me.’ And recently we had a poster urging people to spoil their papers describing the three parties as all war parties. Yes even the Lib Dems!

The aims of the posters are to encourage people’s disillusion with politicians and put over a more political angle than the media reasoning of apathy. Often our propaganda includes some statement that if you want to change anything you have to do more than stick a cross in a box every four years.

Growing disenchantment with the parliamentary system is a good thing, all that we need is a similar dissatisfaction with capitalism and we could have the right environment for revolution in this country yet.

Robin Gitt


Hide the following 2 comments


22.05.2005 07:37

Well, 10,500 or so voters ignored you and voted Respect in that constituency. A shame we didn't shift another couple of thousand away from labour, or the chair of the Stop the War Coalition would have been the local MP, and would have been an excellent role model for young asian women up and down the country. All of which would have magnified the impact of Galloway getting in to something far bigger.


Respect are pointless

07.05.2007 22:51

I'd rather have a upside down monkey as my councillor then anything to do with Respect.

On the point of role models for ethnic communites, the respect talk is class colloboration, its a issue of power and class not Respect's opportunitism.

Viva the working class !

Forward to direct - action / self - organisation !

The anarchist point further explained, why do anarchists reject voting as a means for change ?

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