Dave Griffiths speaking, Stoke-on-Trent, 30.6.16, photo by A. Bentley

Dave Griffiths speaking, Stoke-on-Trent, 30.6.16, photo by A. Bentley   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Stoke-on-Trent: Meeting discusses how to get rid of the ‘blue or red’ Tories

Andy Bentley

An excellent public meeting hosted by Stoke Socialist Party took place last night in the Village Tavern, Stoke-on-Trent. Socialist Party, Green Party and Labour Party members attended along with union reps from CWU, Unison and other trade unionists from Unite, NUT and Usdaw.

The main speaker was Socialist Party West Midlands regional secretary Dave Griffiths who explained how the vote to leave the EU had sent shock waves through the capitalist establishment and the political parties that represent it.

Dave pointed out: “What big business and the establishment parties fear above all is a Corbyn-led government committed to an anti-austerity programme and supported by millions of workers. This is why they are prepared to discredit Jeremy Corbyn in any way they can. And we will fight to defend Corbyn in any way we can”.

The likely developments after the vote to leave the EU were discussed and in particular what needs to be done to get rid of this weak, divided Tory government and to get rid of the Blairite ‘red Tories’ from the Labour Party who are trying to remove Jeremy Corbyn.

Many other important points were raised including:

  • The Socialist Party’s analysis that civil war inside the Labour Party had opened up the minute Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader is now recognised by all. It can’t continue and all must be done to help Jeremy Corbyn win the battle.
  • The need to fight to get rid of Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt and our other local MPs, none of whom are backing Corbyn. A local Unison branch has backed a call of ‘no confidence’ in Tristram Hunt.
  • It’s extremely significant that some of the biggest trade unions are backing Jeremy Corbyn.
  • We need to do all we can to force the calling of a general election, instead of a Tory coronation of May or Gove or anybody else as prime minister.
  • It’s the lowering of living standards, decimation of our local services, housing crisis, privatisation, etc, which has laid the basis for the establishment politicians to fuel an increase in racism over many years.
  • Millions of ordinary working class people who voted Leave for all these reasons are irate that they are being accused of being thick, stupid or responsible for an increase in racist attacks.

This was a meeting not to let off steam or pontificate about how terrible things will be now that the great unwashed have had the temerity to vote Leave as a way of striking back at the capitalist establishment. It was more a call to action to fight to get rid of all the establishment politicians whether they are blue or red Tories and replace them with an independent mass political party with a socialist programme to represent the working class millions.

Dave summed up the meeting by reiterating the Socialist Party’s call for the need for a ‘conference of war’ to be organised as soon as possible, including trade unions, anti-cuts campaigners and others from both inside and outside the Labour Party, and regardless of how people voted in the EU referendum, to discuss what needs to be done.

At the end of the meeting a union rep and a young socialist woman signed up to join the Socialist Party.

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 1 July 2016 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.