Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/845/20176
Nine-fold growth for Grimsby Socialists
Val O'Flynn, Grimsby and Scunthorpe Socialist Party
At Christmas 2013, our branch had four members. In little over a year we've recruited an additional 33.
Geography and demographics have something to do with our success. We are isolated at the end of a motorway. Recently, Grimsby came bottom in a survey of life opportunities for youngsters. There is little employment other than low-skilled, low-paid, zero-hour contracts.
The area provides a large enough pool for us to recruit from, but is also small enough for us to have a big impact. And we do.
Even last April, with a membership just in double figures, we decided to stand nine TUSC candidates in the local elections. To our absolute delight, this got us banned from Labour Party offices!
This year we are standing in all 15 wards, and have a prospective parliamentary candidate for Grimsby. We are talking to the local Fire Brigades Union in the hope it will stand in Cleethorpes.
Local Labour MP Austin Mitchell is alleged to have said that "even if we selected a raving alcoholic sex paedophile we wouldn't lose Grimsby". Labour's contempt for working class people is clear.
We never miss an opportunity to make a noise. Before Christmas, Grimsby was the subject of Channel 4's 'Skint'. It featured our last remaining youth centre, run by the Rev John Ellis for the last 42 years.
After hearing him say it was wrong his kids are paying for what the bankers did, we approached him to stand in the council elections. Unfortunately his wife wouldn't let him as, at 72, he has been promising to retire. But he is supporting TUSC and will be speaking at a public meeting.
We are also fortunate in the press coverage we receive. Lack of resources at the local paper means they are often happy for us to fill their space!
Growing this fast does mean we have to work hard at developing ourselves. Discussion is constant. Between meetings, we stay in touch and do some of our organising electronically.
We are very ambitious. Enthusiasm and energy keep everyone interested and active, and attract new members. Grimsby and Scunthorpe branch is looking forward to another year of successfully building the Socialist Party.
In The Socialist 25 February 2015:
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