Lammy will be “completely under the thumb of the US empire” says challenger Nandita Lal

In the twelfth of our video interview series #CanaryCandidates, we meet independent candidate Nandita Lal – standing against Labour’s David Lammy

Nandita Lal is standing as an independent candidate in the general election against Labour’s David Lammy in Tottenham. And she told the Canary that:

He’s made it very clear that he’s going to be completely under the thumb of the American empire… What he is representing is basically status quo and no change towards Britain’s foreign policy, and no change towards its attitude towards military, defence, climate, anything.

She also suggested that Lammy benefited significantly from Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity in previous elections:

One of the reasons that David Lammy actually had such a big majority in both 2017 and 2019 was the Corbyn effect. There is so much love for Corbyn in Tottenham.

But he is definitely not an ally of Corbyn’s movement, as his position on the genocide in Gaza has shown.

Nandita Lal: Lammy has been awful on Palestine

Nandita Lal insisted that:

The worst thing [about Lammy’s actions on the genocide] is just the brazen lies, I think… There have been so many people who have confronted him… He’s just giving these… vacuous words which don’t mean anything because he actually did… abstain from a ceasefire vote in November.

Lal, on the other hand, has been a part of the local protest movement supporting Palestine in the face of the Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza. And she described how constituents trying to build an independent alternative to Lammy came together in working groups and decided:

We need a grassroots, independent socialist who’s anti-imperialist, who’s anti-capitalist, who is… against, basically, the ruling classes, and who is going to stand up for Palestinian people…

It is David Lammy who represents Tottenham, and he’s going to be the future foreign secretary, so it kind of felt like, since this group was born from the Palestinian struggle, that there should be someone representing Tottenham’s solidarity with Palestine…

We are here about 100 volunteers who’ve been leafleting and canvassing, and we haven’t really seen any other parties doing that a lot, so I think there is grassroots support for a change.

“Power does not want to concede. And it won’t concede without demands”.

Nandita Lal argued that her campaign is “moving the goalposts a lot”, showing that issues like Gaza are important to people in Tottenham. She also stressed that:

Power does not want to concede. And it won’t concede without demands.

And this is why, she explained:

We have to fight with all the tools in our armour, and this is just one of them. We have to keep building this mass movement… Let’s learn from the Palestinian struggle. They have shown so much in decades how you can struggle against a power that can feel invincible… We have to free our imagination.

She also criticised the main parties’ positions on the the resurgent far right, saying:

There is no clear opposition to it… There is no argument about the structural issues that are causing immigration, or that ‘what needs to be done to actually make people feel empowered?’… Nobody wants to leave their homes, so why are they leaving their homes?

In particular, she stressed:

Just someone who’s speaking… truth to power is really lacking, so then migrants just become the scapegoat… Capitalism actually creates these people who are stateless, who are without rights, whose lands have been destroyed by extractive economics… There are not many clickbait things that you can take from… talking facts or… actually saying that the ruling elite have… the system rigged.

Another issue she insisted on was the importance of working hard to end social cleansing and deal with the housing crisis. And she emphasised:

We have to put landlords out of business.

The two main parties are “bought off by the capitalists”, and ordinary people know it

As a recent press release from the National Centre for Social Research said, “trust and confidence in Britain’s system of government [is] at [a] record low”. And this is one of the comments that Nandita Lal has heard during her campaign. She explained:

It is a function in a two-party democracy, and which is also a capitalist economy, that they will be bought off by the capitalists. So that’s why it’s such an uphill battle for independents, because you are really just grassroots-funded… You will never be on a debate on the main channels, right?

The first past the post system – so many people have actually said that… this really needs to go. They don’t really care about the candidate, as much as they care about the system of it and how unfair it is.

For more on Lal’s comments on the election and other issues, see the full interview on our YouTube channel:

Watch and read all our #CanaryCandidates interviews here.

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