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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2016

School talk on the struggle for the vote and its importance today

Scott Jones speaking at School 21

Scott Jones speaking at School 21   (Click to enlarge)

Scott Jones, East London Socialist Party

"I would like to vote, because I want a say in how my life is run and I know more than many who do!" This was one of the responses when I asked a room of 12-year-olds if they would like the right to vote.

On 11 November I had the privilege and pleasure to speak to two year 8 history classes at School 21 in Stratford, east London. I was invited to speak on behalf of the Socialist Party about Chartism, Suffragism and why their struggle for the vote is important today.

Chartism in particular, the world's first working class movement, I enjoyed learning about in school myself. And the parallels between then and now are huge.

Now most of Chartism's demands have been won. But having fought for pay for MPs so that not only the wealthy could afford to go to parliament, now practically all working class MPs have been absorbed by the capitalist class and its system.

The children asked many questions about politics today, including the US presidential election and about the historical struggle for the vote and changing the world.

I gave examples of what the Socialist Party stands for and why getting active and organised to fight for our rights is just as important as having the right to vote itself. The children are organising a re-enactment protest march around Newham soon which we have also been invited to participate in.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 23 November 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cash for rich and royals, cuts for the 99%

Tories drop 'pay to stay'

Tories plan pain with Brexit Autumn Statement

3.5bn on temporary housing for councils

'Just about managing': 2,500 worse off by 2020

Job figures mask casualisation

What We Saw


What we think

The Socialist Party and support for the Corbyn movement


Socialist Students

Fight back to save education!

Campaigning Socialist Students groups needed to hold student unions to account


N30 strike: five years on

Lessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike: when workers showed their power


International socialist news and analysis

USA: mass protests break out to #ResistTrump

Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment - fight for abortion rights

Spain: Students' Union surges forward in historic congress

Hundreds rally to celebrate anniversary of Students' Union and Izquierda Revolucionaria

UN climate change summit: more hot air from Marrakech


Workplace news and analysis

"I don't always feel that I'm a carer anymore" - a day in the life

Southern Rail Strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Reselection motion passed at Labour Party branch

Packed-out Socialist Party meetings hear American socialist and Black Lives Matter activist

School talk on the struggle for the vote and its importance today


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

The Socialist inbox

"I can't stop thinking about Socialism 2016 - it was truly brilliant"

Socialism 2016: what you thought


 

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