Southampton – Bevois socialist campaign going down a storm

Nadia Ditta, Socialist Party member and TUSC candidate in Bevois ward

We’ve been extremely busy here in Southampton.

We have eight mosques in Bevois ward. Ten of us were out after Friday prayers, handing out special cards with a strong message of voting for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). This was received very well.

I spoke at the council’s budget meeting about the damage cuts are doing. I said:

“Investment is needed in people, and the quality of life we offer them. Areas such as Bevois ward need to stop being neglected, and to be invested in, or this horrendous poverty cycle we are in will just keep going around and around.

“When a country like the UK can send £100 billion to support wars, but then closes youth centres, closes old people’s homes, struggles to keep leisure centres open, stops meals on wheels, and hardly has fully functioning libraries, people are entitled to ask questions of the people who are supposed to be looking after their needs.”

The Daily Echo reported our Labour council leader saying that “over £500 million has been stolen from local residents”. So I said: “Now with the likelihood of a Labour government coming in, will the councillors be asking their Labour leader for this money to be replaced?”

Non-stop campaigning

We’ve been campaigning seven days a week – twice a day, with two different groups going out everyday.

We managed to get lots of women together for our campaign day, led by the community, organised by Noreen Younis. They managed to put 72 posters up in windows.

We have been invited to the local mosque for iftar. It gave us an opportunity to speak to the community.

I was also invited to Awaaz FM, a local South Asian radio station. It was the community hour, and really good questions asked.

We held a successful open Socialist Party meeting to discuss challenging Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak at the ballot box. How George Galloway winning shows a strong sign that things are changing. People are looking for an alternative.

We still have a Socialist Party campaign stall in the city centre every Saturday. And we attend protests for Palestine in Southampton.

We support local strikes. For example, giving solidarity to striking train drivers in Aslef union at the Northam Depot in Radcliffe Road. They are on strike to protect their working conditions from management attacks, and campaigning to renationalise rail from private profiteers.

I have made four short videos, and sent them out to the community. They’re doing the rounds, and have a real buzz going around the area.

I’ve have seen the videos up on people’s WhatsApp statuses, as well as other social media platforms. They are being viewed by thousands of people now.

What we are doing in Bevois ward is amazing. We are interacting with 40 to 60 people a day.

We are listening to the concerns of people. We explain what the Socialist Party stands for.

People want to join

We have people wanting to join the Socialist Party, and come to our meetings, as we resonate with them. They want to be able to feed their children, without using food banks.

So far, most of the people we speak to say they will vote TUSC. We haven’t really stopped since December, but more so since March!

We are giving people a different way of thinking. That we can fight for our future if we join together.

So bring on 2 May, and until then we keep going, we keep building!