Southern and South East conference. Photo: Nick Chaffey
Southern and South East conference. Photo: Nick Chaffey

Callum Joyce, Southern and South East Socialist Party organiser

50 Socialist Party members – trade unionists, students, and community campaigners from across southern and south east England – kicked off the new year with our regional conference. We had delegates from new areas where the Socialist Party has built groups in the last year, including Hastings, Crawley, Aldershot, and Guildford.

Socialist Party general secretary Hannah Sell introduced the first discussion. She outlined the political turmoil ahead of us in 2024 – a diet of war and economic crisis being offered to the working class in Britain and internationally.

Hannah also highlighted the significance of the tremendous anti-war movement, and the wave of strike action over the last year. This shows that the working class is moving into action against the continuing attacks from this rotten capitalist system.

After discussing all this, we then broke into different workshops – on trade unions, youth, and elections. What practical steps do we need to take to make sure our socialist ideas effectively reach the widest-possible audience.

Movements across planet

Finally, Hassan Soweto, from the Democratic Socialist Movement – the Socialist Party’s sister organisation in Nigeria – spoke about the huge crises gripping the planet, but also the potential for mass movements to erupt in opposition to them, and the growing consciousness of the need for a socialist alternative.

In recognition of our confidence to go out and build the ideas of socialism in our workplaces and communities, over £1,100 of donations was pledged on the day to help fund our work, and that of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), the international organisation that the Socialist Party is part of.