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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 April 2018

Growing Socialist Party branches involved in many campaigns

Tom Baldwin speaking at Socialist Party South West regional conference, 7.4.18, photo by South West Socialist Party

Tom Baldwin speaking at Socialist Party South West regional conference, 7.4.18, photo by South West Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Robin Clapp, South West Socialist Party secretary

Almost 50 members of the Socialist Party from across the South West attended our highly successful regional conference on 7 April, including members from areas where we've never had representation before.

Socialist Party national organiser Sarah Sachs-Eldridge began the conference with a detailed analysis of the current state of international relations, highlighting capitalism's intractable crises in the Middle East and elsewhere and the paralysis that grips the world's rich rulers.

She moved on to sketch out the political and social events unfolding in Britain. In the lively discussion members commented at length about the sharpened nature of the struggle in workplaces as bosses seek, by increasingly brutal methods, to beat back past gains made by organised workers.

A young member from Devon made the point that despite these assaults, workers are prepared to fight back and become organised across many sectors, as we have seen through the recent UCU strike which has boosted workplace confidence across the public and private sectors.

Much of the discussion revolved around developments in the Labour party, with Domenico Hill and others warning of the potential perils facing a future Corbyn-led government if it doesn't have a programme which fundamentally tackles capitalism. 35 years of brutal neoliberalism will not be unwound by a desire to restore 'fairness', but by the implementation of socialist policies that take into public ownership under workers' control and management, all the major monopolies, including the banks.

In the discussion on building the Socialist Party, I pointed to the many campaigns that our energetic members have been involved in. These include providing the only effective opposition to Labour's local government cuts in Bristol, organising successful protests against the bedroom tax and benefit cuts in Gloucestershire and initiating a campaign against NHS privatisation and cuts in Torbay. There our branch has grown to 16 members in an area more commonly associated as being the English Riviera, but where the scars of poverty are increasingly pronounced.

Successful and lively workshops around selling the Socialist, organising to recruit and integrate more women members and building our forces among young workers and students saw almost everybody join in, a sign that regional teams are beginning to be built that can take our work to the next level.

An army needs first of all a correct strategy and battle plan. But it also marches on its stomach and thanks to the fantastic catering provided by Beverley and the Gloucestershire mobile food crew, we amply fulfilled that requirement too, netting over 100 in profit. This was the 'icing on the cake' after an amazing fighting fund collection of 1,400 and another 3,110 secured for the building fund, taking our pledges to over 18,000.

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Finance appeal

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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 11 April 2018:


What we think

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

No to bombing Syria


Socialist Party news and analysis

Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party workplace news

NEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

PCS elections: Vote for Democracy Alliance candidates!

Surrey Unison takes the anti-austerity message to the chancellor's back yard

McStrike: ballot for strike action at six McDonald's stores

FCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

Aberdeen workers step up strike action against profiteering First Bus


Customs union

A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save our NHS candidate contesting South Yorkshire mayor election

South West Socialist Party conference

Socialist Party meeting to discuss fightback against cuts to women's services

To produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

Fighting fire cuts in Wirral

Hull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game


Local elections 2018

May elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care


International socialist news and analysis

Defend socialist councillor Kshama Sawant against lawsuits

Poland: huge demos against right wing government's abortion ban

Workers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

Ireland: March against misogyny and injustice


 

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