Socialist Party
| Print

4 December 2019

Selling the Socialist

"Time socialism was back on the agenda"

Since the general election was called, Swansea Branch has been organising at least three city centre and one campus campaign stalls a week, usually comprised of a main Socialist Party campaign stall and a separate Young Socialist stall nearby.

Saturday 30 November was very much a successful day for us with 26 papers sold and 20 raised in fighting fund donations. There was a lot less hostility, a lot more openness and positivity.

While it is clear that there is still a silent majority who aren't talking about the election or their intentions, the polarisation has meant that those who care the most, either way, are more vocal.

Over the course of the two-hour stall we met:

An older woman from Coventry fondly remembering the legacy of Militant (forerunner of the Socialist Party) in the city; praising Dave Nellist as a worker's MP on a worker's wage, and Rob Windsor, "the best councillor I've ever had!".

A young, homeless bloke who was initially hostile to us. The previous week I had given him a paper and some leaflets, and after a long chat he said that he felt there was no reason for him to care about politics. This time he told me he had gone to the shelter to register to vote!

And finally, a working-class couple, both on Universal Credit, who gave us a raised fist salute and said it was, "time socialism was back on the agenda!"

There was also a steady stream of people concerned about the future of the NHS and education under the Tories, and the legacy of a decade of austerity.

It felt like a decidedly different stall to those previously, perhaps a reaction to the barefaced media smears against Corbyn, and the announcement of the Tory lead being halved in the latest major polls. It will be interesting to see whether this trend continues.

Gareth Bromhall, Swansea Socialist Party and Young Socialists

Great conversations in Stoke

In Hanley we spoke to a fella from Romania who told us, "Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto is good but it's not going far enough". He read out aloud from our Socialist Party leaflet, "A socialist government to take into public ownership the top 150 companies that dominate the economy and run them under democratic worker's control and management - that's exactly what we need!". He then bought a copy of the Socialist and donated 5 to our fighting fund.

Sam said she had never voted before, but will do this time because of Corbyn's policies, and will keep in touch with us via social media.

Cael told us that he has become interested in politics because of Corbyn, and will be voting Labour. He also wants, "to learn more about politics". But he was shocked about us being forced out of the Labour Party in the 1980s and that the right wing still existed inside the Labour Party.

A fourteen-year-old lad came up to us asked us for more information, and took away many different leaflets. As he walked off he stuck his fist in the air and shouted "the workers united will never be defeated!"

We had a great conversation with a young Keele University student which included why the Russian revolution was a victory for the working class, why the German revolution in 1918 failed and various issues concerning the current general election. She agreed to do an introduction on the German Revolution at one of our branch meetings, paid 2 for the Socialist and said she wants to join the Socialist Party!

Andy Bentley, Stoke Socialist Party

Change of mood in Newcastle

Despite the proximity of Christmas (lots of people had their heads down - determined to shop 'til they drop) we had a good response on our Socialist Party stall in Newcastle. There was a very strong anti-Tory mood.

Our call of 'Get the Tories out! Fight to save the NHS' was well received. People are worried that Boris will want to sell off what's left of the NHS.

The mood is definitely moving towards Corbyn. Even those who aren't too keen on him agreed it was his policies that would have them voting Labour. People are beginning to see his manifesto is pro-working class.

Socialist ideas are beginning to be discussed. People were telling us they were socialists.

One fella asked whether we thought Corbyn would stick to his policies. He agreed with our attitude that there were no guarantees, and there would have to be a battle to ensure Corbyn's policies weren't scuppered by the Blairites in the Labour Party.

I really enjoyed the stall. We had our hands shaken and people thanking us for getting out and fighting.

We sold 17 papers, raised around 20 in fighting fund and met a person interested in joining the Socialist Party.

Elaine Brunskill, Newcastle Socialist Party

Campaigning in east London

We had our best campaign stall of the general election so far. And the best response I've ever experienced in Stratford, east London.

People who might normally walk past our stall, wanted to stop and talk. Their interest had been piqued by Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies. And they were angry about Tory NHS lies.

The Labour Party stall was opposite us. They were sympathetic to what we were doing. One of them bought a copy of the Socialist for 2 solidarity price.

But we heard Labour activists excusing Tony Blair's NHS cuts and privatisation and complaining about how many children Boris Johnson has! That won't win over working-class people sceptical of all politicians, particularly following the negative role of the Blairites in power.

16 people bought a copy of the Socialist. Another two wanted to get involved with the Socialist Party. And we raised 20 on our card machine, for those that don't carry cash.

Ian Pattison, East London Socialist Party



http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29975




Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

The cover of Socialism Today issue 236

triangle21 Feb Preparing for the post-Corbyn era

triangle19 Feb Couldn't pay, wouldn't pay, didn't pay: the battle to defeat the poll...

triangle19 Feb Cuts and climate change cause floods

triangle19 Feb Striking to fight education cuts and marketisation

triangle19 Feb Labour Party and trans rights

triangle19 Feb Keep the pressure on to save Royal Glam A&E

triangle19 Feb 'Roses are red, violets are blue, BP and Shell - we're coming for you'

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle22 Feb Leicester Socialist Party: Fighting austerity & anti-trade union laws

triangle25 Feb Chesterfield Socialist Party: Is the time right for a new Scottish workers' party?

triangle25 Feb Bristol North Socialist Party: Trotsky's 'permanent revolution'

triangle25 Feb Birmingham SE Socialist Party: The role of a revolutionary party

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999