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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 February 2021

Southern new members meeting - a vivid illustration of the appetite for socialist ideas

Young Socialists day of action, Southampton, 12.9.20, photo Young Socialists Southampton

Young Socialists day of action, Southampton, 12.9.20, photo Young Socialists Southampton   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Chaffey, Secretary Socialist Party Southern and South East Region

Despite all the limitations of lockdown restrictions, local branches in the Southern and South East Region recruited well last year. It has been a boost to many of our branches to have a vibrant and fresh influx of new members, eager to discuss socialist politics and to get active spreading our ideas.

Keen to encourage and develop the roles of every new member, we held a regional new members meeting in January. 15 took part alongside members of our regional committee and party organisers at the national centre. It was an excellent day of discussion, questions and ideas.

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, Socialist Party national organiser, introduced a brief outline of the role of our party, some key parts of our history, and our democratic structures. Sarah explained the importance for every member of the party to develop themselves politically and to play an active part in building the party, attending branch meetings, speaking, writing for the Socialist, and recruiting new members.

The morning's discussion drew on questions from everyone covering; the challenge of building left unity, how to succinctly popularise socialist ideas, our attitude to the middle class, party inclusiveness, discrimination under capitalism, the effects of education cuts, and raising finance for all aspects of our work.

In the afternoon we held three commissions on the Socialist newspaper, recruitment, and fundraising - trying to ensure everyone left the day with a task and a plan to build.

The meeting was a vivid illustration of the appetite for socialist ideas of this new wave of members. It is vital we encourage this and turn this enthusiasm into new members playing a role in their local branches.

It was a reminder of the work ahead for the party, the first of a new wave of members who will join us and build the party in the year ahead. Our Brighton branch recently held its AGM and elected five branch organisers, all new members who have joined since the start of 2020. The end of lockdown can't come soon enough!

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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.
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In The Socialist 17 February 2021:


News

Tory consultation on home-use abortion pills

Tory cladding money will not make us safe

Sham inquiry into 'progressive extremism' will not stop movements against capitalism

Cumbria mine: How can we fight for jobs and stop climate change?

Cryptocurrency bubble: Insanity of capitalism

News in brief


NSSN meeting

Online workers' rally: Taking fight to the bosses


Scotland

SNP's independence referendum 2 'roadmap'


NHS

NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

Boot private companies out of our NHS


Workplace safety

Covid workplace safety

Derby Toyota plant Covid crisis


Workplace News

Hackney teaching assistants strike against cruel and unnecessary job cuts

PCS: Reject the HMRC pay deal

Manchester Go North West bus drivers in all-out strike over fire and rehire dispute

London bus drivers set to strike over pay and conditions

Scaffolders' strike continues


Socialist Students

Strike back for free education

Socialist Students conference - Sunday 28 February


Campaigns

Socialist Party Black and Asian caucus

Remembering Mohamud Hassan - continuing the fight against police brutality

How you can amplify the Socialist's voice - Help us build subscriptions to the Socialist

Swarming the London Mayor's question time

Southern new members meeting - a vivid illustration of the appetite for socialist ideas

Doing all we can to fund the anti-cuts stand at the ballot box


Readers' Opinion

Film Review: Dear Comrades!

The Socialist Inbox


 

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