Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Former Brighton councillor to run for EU seat


A former Brighton councillor is to come out of political retirement to fight for a place in the European Parliament.

Working class activist Dave Hill, a political icon in the city in the 1970s and 80s, has vowed to make a radical comeback on the international stage.

Professor Hill retired from politics in the early 1990s after becoming disillusioned with the Labour Party and losing his hearing.

The 63-year-old became an academic at the University of Northampton and wrote 16 books on how education affects the class system.

At the same time he underwent ground-breaking NHS treatment on his ears.

Today, with renewed hearing, Mr Hill has announced he will be making a comeback and will run as a socialist MEP for the South East in the European Parliament elections on June 4.

He said: "With the new digital hearing aid I can hear enough to take part in political debate again.

"I was hailed a Labour moderate in the 1970s but Thatcher's class war against the working class, pay, conditions, public services, together with the rightward rush of Labour, made me into a Marxist and a strong socialist.

"I now have the chance to represent that socialist opposition to neoliberalism, privatisation, wage cuts and the EU gravy train in the European Parliament to represent the working class, the class from which I come and whose interests I try to represent."

Mr Hill, of Cumberland Road, Brighton, will be the lead candidate for the new Socialist group, NO2EU-Yes to Democracy, which is organised by the RMT union, the Communist Party of Britain and the Socialist Party.

He was a tireless political campaigner throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

During that time he stood twice as a Labour Party general election candidate for Brighton, served both the old Brighton Borough Council and East Sussex County Council and was leader of the county council’s labour group.

He left the Labour Party in 2005 after 44 years as a member and joined the Respect Party before forming the new NO2EU-Yes to Democracy group.

The United Kingdom will send 72 MEPs to the European Parliaments this year of which ten are from the South East.