Communists tend not to have done very well in European elections since the advent of multi-party elections, but my local Communist League candidate was something special.
Celia Pugh polled just 38 votes in Bethnal Green and Bow, which, given that she voted for herself, means that she represented 3 per cent of her own voters. So lacklustre was her campaign that she polled 30 fewer votes than the Alliance for Change party’s Ejiro Etefia, a single-issue candidate standing on a platform of abolishing parking tickets.
It is also worth noting that the global overtones of “Communist League” are slightly misleading. There was in fact just one other Communist League candidate in 2004, a butcher who polled 37 votes in Edinburgh East. Perhaps he forgot to vote for himself. Amazingly the Communist League fielded even fewer candidates than the Alliance for Change, which mustered three. It seems to be a rare instance of individualist communism.
How did Pugh do so badly? Was it, I wonder, her slogans? History doesn’t relate what they were, but here are a likely top 5:
1. Power to the person.
2. From me according to my ability, to me according to my need.
3. Religion is the opiate of the mass.
4. Socialism in one person.
5. Worker of the world unite.