Not many people made the effort to participate in the Socialist Party primary on Sunday. Among the ones who did, only 30% – half a million people – supported Manuel Valls. Even people close to the SP did not appreciate the policy of Hollande and Valls, which has constantly offered gifts to the bosses and attacked the working class.
Benoit Hamon, who got the most votes on the first round, is now the favorite. He is supported by third place Montebourg. But their criticisms against Valls cannot make us forget that they had both been in Hollande’s government for over two years. When PSA closed its Aulnay factory, then Economy minister Montebourg said it was “unavoidable”. Hollande had promised 60,000 hires in Education, we are still waiting… and there were no more hires when Hamon was Education minister.
Now, Hamon promises a “guaranteed minimum income”. In his very vague project, there is mention of a €600 income after years of setting up. Not enough to live on! There is nothing here to solve the daily problems of employed and unemployed workers.
What’s urgent is to spread the work between all, without wage loss. A monthly €300 increase is also necessary. This is not unrealistic, as there is plenty of wealth around. But this would mean taking from the billions in corporate profits. This would mean challenging the power of the capitalists. All the politicians on the so-called left have refused to do that. When they campaign they can declare themselves enemies of finance, but once in government they serve the bosses. It makes no sense to believe the nice speeches from Hamon, Montebourg or Mélenchon, anymore than those of Hollande in 2012.
Workers can only rely on their force, when they are fighting. Last spring, the government did not fear the parliamentary battle from its SP opponents. But it did fear the possibility that the people who were mobilised in the streets, factories and among the youth would entrain millions of others, which would have changed the balance of power.
During the presidential election campaign, it is in our interest to express ourselves as clearly as possible. Only far left candidates, Nathalie Arthaud for Lutte Ouvrière, Philippe Poutou for the New Anticapitalist Party, are on the side of the workers. Our candidate, Philippe Poutou, an auto worker, does not run to make promises like politicians, but to make sure the voice of the workers and their necessary fights is heard loud and clear.