The local council and regional election results of the 10th of September 2023 in the nationwide elections in Norway was a clear defeat for the ruling coalition parties of the Norwegian Labour Party (AP) and the Center Party (SP). In previous articles, we discussed how the Norwegian Labour Party (AP) has not done anything about the shocking bank charges, the huge increase of the price of electric heating, the increased cost of food, diesel and petrol, and the prices of flats and apartments. Under the Labour Party government, none of the money that the Conservatives (H) took from the budgets (during the 8 years of the Conservatives (H) government 2013-2021) from the county councils or local councils was returned, so any deficiencies that now occur could have been stopped and some of the tragedies and layoffs could have been averted.
The leaders of the Norwegian Labour Party (AP) clearly made a choice when they joined with the Center Party (SP), binding themselves to the mast of ‘centralist’ politics. We say that the politics of the ‘centre’ has been a disaster for working class people and that a strong left needs to be built, implementing socialist politics, and that left parties like Socialist Left and Rodt could play a role in this process.
The election results show in one case (Oslo) that the Conservatives have now won their biggest electoral support since 1924 (in 1924 the Norwegian Labour Party (AP) had links with the leaders of the neighbouring and newly formed USSR).
Major offensive to privatise health care
There will now be major attacks against working people by the Conservatives and the Popularists (FRP) on regional councils. The regional councils run hospitals and the local councils run services like pensioners’ homes. The privatisation of these services will be the main line of attack from these parties. This means selling off and sacking health care workers, who will be fired and rehired, losing their pensions and earning lower wages.
The newly elected trade union federation (LO) leader has said that LO will fight these cuts, though not specifying what they will fight for. If the response to the last round of attacks is anything to go by they will accept voluntary redundancies.
We say the LO and the local trade unions must fight on the basis of ‘Not one job loss or loss of pay!
- Reverse all government cuts at (regional and local) council level.
- TUC (LO) and the local trade unions must fight for ‘Not one job loss or loss of pay!
- A massive social housing programme, to bring jobs and end homelessness.
- The nationalisation of the top supermarket chains, democratically run by workers, unions, and the local community, to ensure everybody can eat affordably.
- Let workers see the profits of the big banks – open the books! Nationalise the banks and insurance companies, under democratic workers’ control and management.
- Renationalisation of the energy industry.
- Huge government investment at regional and municipal levels, so that all the jobs lost can be re-gained, and affordable and properly functioning public services resumed.
- For a 30-hour working week, without any loss in pay.
- Make the rich pay for the cost-of-living crisis!
- For workers’/trade unions’ led mass campaigns to reverse climate change – socialist change to save the environment.