Socialist Party election appeal:
Don’t just boo – help fund the fightback!
Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party
At a Doncaster Care UK strikers’ reunion this month, any mention of local MP and Labour leader Ed Miliband’s name was booed. This is because of his refusal during 90 days of strike action to publicly support their fight against “a cost of living crisis” of a 35% pay cut, and against privatisation of the NHS.
But it’s not enough to boo, we need an alternative. That’s why at least five ex-strikers will be standing as Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates in May’s local council elections and TUSC are standing in all three Doncaster general election seats including Socialist Party member Mary Jackson challenging Miliband.
This all costs money. With at least ten Socialist Party members in Yorkshire standing as TUSC general election candidates, we need to raise at least £10,000.
First of the gang
First to contribute to the Socialist Party’s Election Appeal with £150 was part-time library worker Chris Bingham from Rotherham: “I think the most significant obstacle to socialist ideas taking hold amongst the majority of people is the exclusion or demonisation of socialist arguments in the media. That’s why TUSC’s strategy of the biggest ever left of Labour electoral challenge is ambitious, but achievable, to force that media to give socialism a mainstream platform.”
So far, fifty members have pledged to contribute £7,500 from around the region. This includes a week’s income of £400 and £500 from better paid trade unionists, £120 from a disabled South Yorkshire Freedom Rider, £100 from a student, £20, £150, even £300 from retired workers.
Tanis from Leeds, on a minimum wage zero hours contract has pledged £150 “to scrap zero-hour contracts”. Dawn Wheelhouse, a teaching assistant in Dewsbury has pledged £220 “to fight for £10 an hour minimum wage”.
Because of Con-Dem austerity, of job, pay and welfare cuts, some people can hardly afford to live, let alone donate much. But all members should be asked to contribute something and everyone can ask friends and family as well. The TUSC agent in York has received a £500 donation from his son in China!
And Socialist Party branches can organise fund-raising events specifically for the Election Appeal. Sheffield South branch raffled off Numsa (the South African metal workers union that’s committed to a new workers party) T-shirts and caps raising £132 and York Socialist Party are organising another of their “99 Club” benefit nights.
So don’t just boo the main parties, dig deep to help fund the socialist alternative.
You can donate on www.socialistparty.org.uk/donate, phone 020 8988 8777 to make a card payment, or post a cheque made out to “Socialist Party” to PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD. Please include a note to say your donation is for the “election appeal 2015”.
Thanks to Mick Griffiths who has donated £75, Chris Bingham (£150), Jeremy Short (£250), Kevin Pattison (£300), Michael Docherty (£250), Sharron Milsom (£120), Alistair Tice (£130), Kate Hutchinson (£20), Irene Simpson (£20), Kriss Barker (£5), Paul Chettle (£200), Steve Cawley (£100), John Marston (£100), Roy Farrar (£100), Iain Hunter (£130), Andrew Wilkins (£40), Joe Fathallah (£500), Dave Barton (£30), Grahaeme Higginson (£10), Nick Doyle (£50), Hannah Zucherman (£50), Wendy and Steve Minney (£40), Jean Thorpe and Gary Freeman (£350), Lincoln branch (£500) and Lancashire branch (£600).