Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/622/9463
A 'beacon of hope' in Gateshead
It's never been easier to get a hearing for the Socialist Party's ideas: on stalls, on the doorsteps, and even in the pubs.
Norman Hall, Tyneside Socialist Party
Such is the disillusionment in the establishment parties. We have had people stopping at our stall getting on the mobile to their friends and reading out to them the content of our election posters.
- Elaine Brunskill is the Gateshead Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in the 2010 general election. She is a Socialist Party member and Unison member, and is supported by the RMT National Council of Executives. For a full list of candidates see www.tusc.org.uk
For the first time in my experience in this area, we have had people asking us if it would be OK to take material away to show friends, family and fellow workers, before we have had a chance to ask them to take it!
There are now two pubs in the area displaying our material and the local Chinese takeaway has put a leaflet on the counter for waiting customers to read.
We have only been able to reach a small minority of the voters directly but already we can see the devastation caused by the capitalist crisis on the lives of working class people.
It's not just the unemployed and youth that are suffering.
I spoke to a worker in vehicle engineering who had been on a three day week for two years and as a consequence lost his home to the banks and had to declare himself bankrupt.
As he said, it's a strange system that costs you £600 to declare that you're broke.
We are the only party putting forward a beacon of hope in the face of years of misery proposed by the other parties.
Needless to say he, along with many others, is now considering voting TUSC. Whether all this interest will translate into votes is uncertain as pressure comes to bear to keep the Tories out, but what is certain is that there is no enthusiasm for New Labour and it shows the potential for a new workers' party.
Even our election communication delivered via the Royal Mail got an immediate response with a woman emailing our national office on receipt thanking us for standing and giving her a socialist alternative to vote for.
In The Socialist 28 April 2010:
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party election analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news