Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/833/19671
Leicester party building school
Caroline Vincent, Leicester Socialist Party
Our party is not funded in the same way as the mainstream parties - we don't get corporate handouts. We rely on the money we raise through campaigning.
On 11 October, Leicester branch posed the question "why do we do stalls?" We were holding a day school on building a revolutionary party. We assembled at a cafe in Leicester town centre, ordered coffee and bacon sandwiches, and kicked off the discussion.
Members made many suggestions, such as raising the profile of the party, promoting upcoming events and testing out our ideas. Our key reasons for doing stalls were meeting potential members, selling the Socialist newspaper and collecting donations for our fighting fund.
The economic situation means the majority we meet are earning minimum wage or little more, are in precarious employment, or are affected by government cutbacks in some way. For this reason we can sometimes be shy when asking for cash. But since donations from the working class are vital to our work, we agreed to be both sensitive and bold.
We also went through logistical and organisational points, including dressing appropriately for the weather and bringing pens that actually work! Then we turned theory into action, and took our ideas to the street with a two hour town centre stall.
Using petitions for a £10 an hour minimum wage, we asked for donations by giving concrete examples of how money would be spent, such as printing material. We enthusiastically sold the Socialist, pointing out the front page article on striking to end poverty pay. Even the rain couldn't dampen our spirits - fortunately some of us had brought umbrellas, displaying how well prepared we are!
Three people had expressed an interest in joining, ten papers were sold, and an impressive £32 fight-ing fund had been raised. Clearly our bold approach had been a success!
After ordering more coffee (with cake this time) we discussed recruitment. We gave examples of things to say when we phone potential members, and how best to arrange a meeting for discussion. Contact details were assigned, with a plan to phone them all within 48 hours.
We ended the day with a social event where homemade curry raised a further £20 for the fighting fund.
The day left us full of renewed confidence and fresh ideas - and a good start towards hitting our branch's fighting fund and paper sales targets for this quarter.
In The Socialist 12 November 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
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