Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/774/17129
The Socialist 17 July 2013 |
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Durham Miners' Gala shows mood for new workers' party
From the platform of the Durham Miners' Gala Davie Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners' Association, mentioned this was the first time in 115 years there hadn't been a Labour MP speaking.
There was huge applause when he went on to say it was probably just as well considering recent events.
Bob Crow, RMT transport union general secretary, who called for a "new party of labour" also hit a chord.
The overwhelming majority of people we spoke to at our Socialist Party stall agreed that New Labour was no longer a party that represented working people, and now was the time to build an alternative. This included Labour Party members, one of them telling us: "I am a member - unfortunately!"
We also had the opportunity to speak to members of Unite who were sickened by the attack on their union by Labour leader Ed Miliband.
We pointed to the centre page article in the Socialist (issue 773) and suggested they put in resolutions to their branches calling on Unite's leadership to discuss disaffiliation from Labour and the need for working class political representation.
The following day I received a phone call from a Unite member whose branch meeting had just taken place that morning. The resolution had been unanimously accepted.
In total we had around 22 members selling our paper, and many others involved on their trade union contingent.
Many older workers we spoke to commented on how impressed they were by the number of young members we have.
Our stall also raised many smiles as people noticed the ginger bread bankers for sale - eat the rich! Reflecting this enthusiastic response we sold 230 papers and raised around £100 in fighting fund. Well done to all of our comrades (young and not quite so young).