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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 February 2021

New members meeting in the South West - preparing for the battles to come

  (Click to enlarge)

Robin Clapp, South West Socialist Party

The Socialist Party in the South West held a very successful online meeting with new members who joined us in the last two months. Its purpose was to offer a question and answer session, with a couple of more experienced members taking up the issues raised.

Eight new members attended from Bristol, Gloucestershire, Devon and Dorset. Following introductions where everyone explained why they joined, the meeting fielded the first question from Cole about nationalisation and what we mean by it. Another member asked where we stood on the role of the police in society, and how that would change under socialism. Jane asked: "Where does the Socialist Party stand on the monarchy?" That one didn't take much time to answer!

Mark wanted to know about the role of cooperatives and social enterprises, a discussion then unfolded about the electoral system and our attitude towards lowering the voting age and proportional representation.

Questions were asked about how we counteract the danger of hierarchical structures developing within our party. This gave us the opportunity to explain how we operate, and the vital role of political education, as well as every member's general rights and responsibilities.

Our answers were kept short, further reading was signposted, and the topics discussed were all agreed to be good subjects for future discussions in our weekly branch meetings.

Our five new members in Plymouth were unable to attend as they were engaged in student rent strike meetings, but we will follow up this very successful initiative with a subsequent meeting geared towards them.

Political education can be challenging for all new members, but less formal formats like this encourage member participation. There's nothing better than hearing young members say, after they've heard us briefly sketch out our ideas, "that's great, that's what I hoped, and that's what I think too."

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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 3 February 2021:


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Launching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses

Why I am attending the TUSC local elections online conference

South Yorks TUSC ready for electoral fight


What we think

Workers' rights and safety: Trade union mobilisation could force more Tory U-turns


News

Socialist Students open letter to Rent Strike network

Children in care: Privatisation is not working

Multimillion-pound rental firm demands thousands from homeless asylum seeker

Covid outbreak at Kent asylum detention centre: Napier is not fit for purpose

New anti-protest law: State forces want more power to crush the protests that are coming


Workplace news

Usdaw conference stripped of democracy by leadership

Usdaw Broad Left rally brings together those campaigning for a fighting union

Strong union lead needed to stop DVLA Covid spread

HMRC: We demand a pay rise without cuts to terms and conditions

Workers fight British Gas 'fire-and-rehire' plans

Vote Steve Hedley for RMT general secretary

The NEU's 'big announcement' - lessons need to be learned

Yorkshire aerospace workers strike against pay disparity

Workplace news in brief


The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto - A guide to understanding society, and how to change it


Rolls-Royce

1971: Rolls-Royce crisis - when the Tories nationalised in order to secure the interests of British capitalism


Readers' opinion

GameStop: Billionaires hurt at their own game

The Socialist Inbox


International news

Covid 'vaccine wars' underline failure of capitalist nation states to deal with the global pandemic


Campaigns news

New members meeting in the South West - preparing for the battles to come

Why I rejoined the Socialist Party

Help us raise the funds to fuel the working-class fightback

Save our square: we need social housing and public services

Stop Labour council's eviction of Stratford Circus arts centre


 

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