Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/995/27367
The Socialist 16 May 2018 |
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Chesterfield May Day: march turnout great
Socialist Party members on the Chesterfield May Day march, 7.5.18, photo by Tessa Warrington (Click to enlarge)
Dave Gorton, Chesterfield Socialist Party
Glorious bank holiday weather brought a high turnout to the 40th Chesterfield May Day march and rally, where Unite's Len McCluskey and the National Education Union's Kevin Courtney delivered strong messages that the labour movement must fight back against austerity and a weak Tory government.
Len's warm mentions of the town's former MP, the late Tony Benn, and Dennis Skinner, himself in attendance, were in stark contrast to his justified attack on former North East Derbyshire MP, Natascha Engel, whose pro-fracking stance lost Labour a safe seat to the Tories at the last election. Labour had held the seat for 80 years. Engel has since become a consultant to Ineos, the company seeking to develop fracking in the area! The founder and boss of Ineos, multi-billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, has been declared Britain's richest man in the Sunday Times Rich List.
Many demonstrators were carrying Unison and Socialist Party placards calling for Derbyshire's threatened library services to remain in public hands.
Socialist Party members from Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield ensured the Socialist Party had high visibility on the day. Over 40 copies of the Socialist were sold, the top seller being Denise Tooley-Okonkwo, and nearly £100 collected for the Socialist Party's Fighting Fund.