Plymouth TUSC meeting. Photo: Plymouth SP
Plymouth TUSC meeting. Photo: Plymouth SP

Fully funded public services, a decent pay rise, and an end to the cost-of-living crisis… How can this be fought for with Keir Starmer’s Labour in office? The Socialist Party is organising public meetings up and down the country to discuss just that.

During the election campaign, we weren’t just asking for people to vote for our candidates, part of the 40-strong list standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), we invited them to come and discuss with us what way forward. Hundreds of new people came to a Socialist Party meeting for the first time, and lots of them have agreed to join the Socialist Party too.

Coventry organised two meetings in five days, with 55 people attending. Leeds also organised two meetings – for the start and end of the campaign – attracting 11 new people.

Four striking junior doctors attended in Smethwick. New people meant Socialist Party members were a minority in Chorley, Folkestone, and Hillingdon.

In Chorley, 20 of the 25 attendees were not yet Socialist Party members. In Hillingdon, 29 of the 38 people there were new.

Almost all of the 20 people in Folkestone were new people we’ve met recently. Leicester – as well as Walthamstow, Enfield, and Newham in London – all had 10 or more new people attending.

Four of the five brand new people in Leicester immediately agreed to join the Socialist Party. Alongside our candidate in Liverpool, nurse Jess Dean, a new member of the Socialist Party, got the chance to speak to the audience from our platform.

In Walthamstow, east London, a number of people joined both our meeting, and the local hustings on the same night. See the great response to our socialist candidate Nancy on the opposite page.

The Swansea meeting raised £340 for our fighting fund. In total, our general election fund is close to reaching £100,000, smashing our original target.

Come to a Socialist Party meeting near you

The Socialist Party has regular meetings in towns and cities across the country.

If you would like to participate:

Plymouth – low pay but fighting back

We heard from a care worker who struggles with desperately low wages. She also is a carer for her husband, and has had to fight for every scrap of help in the face of years of austerity cuts to services.

The local University and College Union (UCU) secretary said: “It was great to see the solidarity of the Socialist Party consistently on our picket all the time we were striking. Now we want to show our support for you.”

TUSC candidate Alex Moore had stood with them, unlike the Labour MP for the area, Luke Pollard.

There was plenty of interest in what we stand for and what our programme is. The discussion continued after the meeting had closed, and will continue after the election.

Alex Sampson

Gateshead – Labour and Reform run and hide

One member of the audience, a former Labour councillor, and still a Labour Party member, declared: “Here’s £20 – I’m hoping this gets me kicked out of the Labour Party”.

It seems that TUSC were the only ones standing in Gateshead Central and Whickham constituency with the confidence in our ideas to hold a public meeting. Labour and Reform didn’t even attend local hustings!

Elaine Brunskill

Leicester – future for young people

Saada Mohamed spoke about her experience as a young person. Ayomide Akinsinmide, a new Socialist Party member and student, spoke movingly about why she joined the Socialist Party, and the need for socialism for a better future.

One of the most enthusiastic responses was to our candidate Steve Score pointing to the combined wealth of the 350 richest individuals in the country – over £795 billion.

People at the meeting were disappointed with Labour’s business-centred manifesto, with a watered-down ‘new deal for workers’, little focus on nationalisation, and broken pledges during Keir Starmer’s leadership.

Of the 26 people, 11 weren’t yet members of the Socialist Party, and five had never attended a Socialist Party event before.

Alex Gillham

Only election meeting in Coventry

Unlike any other political party in the area, we were the only ones to hold a public meeting. Support from independents in Foleshill added to the meeting.

A supporter highlighted the increasing burden on Coventry residents, detailing how the people are paying more in council tax, bills, and food, yet receiving less in public services and quality of life.

Another central issue was the critical state of the NHS. Sheila, a nurse, said: “We don’t have a shortage of nurses in Britain. We have a shortage of nurses in the NHS”. The call for the NHS to be truly owned and managed by the people who rely on its services, and the professionals who sustain it, resonated.

There were questions raised about how we take up the main capitalist parties on immigration.

The meeting underscored that socialist ideas are not abstract theories, but practical solutions for everyday life.

Mila Hughes

Leeds – what next with Tories gone?

Sadly, the venue we booked was locked. But, instead, going to nearby Woodhouse Square, the atmospheric park stage actually worked to our advantage.

TUSC candidate Louie Fulton made a very passionate speech. He perfectly summed up our platform, why it is so important to see working-class representation in Parliament, as well as running on a platform of socialist ideas, when both of the front runners are staunch capitalist parties, which will just increase inequality and poverty.

We were asked about our workers’ wage pledge, highlighting how popular it is among people who have heard about it.

The discussion was around the results, what a Keir Starmer victory will mean to the working class, and opposing Labour’s right-wing turn in the wake of public euphoria over the end of this dreaded Tory government.

Tom Gibson

Northampton – what’s the alternative to Tory failure?

TUSC were the only ones in Northampton South standing a candidate on a no-cuts platform, representing the interests of the working class.

We heard from people who are fed up with a cutting council, which fails to deliver on its promises of affordable housing, and continues to outsource public sector services to private firms through rip-off PFI schemes. These schemes have led to unacceptable standards for Northampton schools, letting down families, and charging us extortionate interest rates for the privilege.

People don’t feel that the local Tory council or Tory central government represent them, and there was a clear lack of faith in a Labour government to offer anything different.

Yasmin Howie