They tell us this will be the first truly "multi party" election and maybe they are right. It's certainly the first election where quite a few political parties stand a chance of not only getting Members of Parliament but also the possibility of being part of a coalition, ending the two-party monopoly.
In reality however there have always been a multitude of different parties standing in elections, its just that most of the time they don't get noticed or do for the wrong reasons.
Remember the Flying Yogic Party from the eighties? The Worker Revolutionary Party from the seventies?
Well maybe the latter, but who's around this time?
In the first of a short series of articles on the electoral fringe here is the Patriotic Socialist Party:
The PSP are standing two candidates in Batley & Spen and Newbury constiuencies, the latter being contested by party leader Andrew Stott. They are also running 10 candidates in the local elections that take place in some parts of the country on the same day. So who are they and what do they stand for?
Their website proclaims:
The Patriotic Socialist Party, officially launched on 1st January 2014, is the first and only party in Britain advocating patriotic socialism, an ideological position that embraces the patriotic values of a devoted love, support and defence for one’s nation and the cultural identity that makes it unique with the socialist objectives of public ownership of the means of production and the co-operative management of the economy.
It is an ideology that rejects the extremes of both Marxism and Nazism, instead promoting radical, progressive aims that revolve primarily around the desire to preserve national identity while working towards the betterment of mankind as a whole, highlighted by the slogan “You don’t have to hate anyone in order to love your country and you don’t have to hate your country in order to love mankind”.
Further to this, it is anti-discriminatory, anti-corporatist and anti-austerity while also promoting environmentalism, monetary reform, nationalisation, internationalism, workers rights and direct democracy.
The policy point that caught my attention from their "programme" was this:
Can't see the Irish being in any hurry to reunite with the rest of the UK, federation or no federation. Sorry guys.
There were also a couple of points from their constitution which caused me some concern. The first was this little gem:
Sounds somewhat authoritarian from where I'm sitting.
The other point that frankly baffled me was this (my emphasis):
What does that even mean?
Anyway if you want to find out more their website can be found here: www.patriotic-socialist.org