Just some of the events where the Socialist newspaper was sold in the past week…
Cardiff – Overwhelming backing for energy nationalisation
On our Socialist Party campaign stalls about rising gas and electricity prices, we have spoken to lots of people concerned and angry about the situation. On the most recent one, on 21 January, outside my local shops, people often mentioned that they already have to ration their heating in order to pay for food and rent.
They are worried what will happen when the price cap is lifted, and their bills go up even further. One homeless man explained he had been evicted due to falling behind on his rent, because he was paying high energy bills to keep a cold and damp property warm.
Everyone who stopped, both young and old, supported our call to nationalise the energy companies. Older people realised that it had been a mistake to privatise these industries, and that ordinary people are contributing to the wealth of the rich, on top of paying for energy.
One young woman brought up nationalisation before we could even mention it. Conversations quickly moved on to what else we should nationalise, and how appallingly out of touch both the government and the opposition are.
17 people bought a copy of the Socialist, and several people wanted to find out more about the Socialist Party, as they realised that capitalism cannot provide for our most basic needs.
Southampton – Anger at Johnson and alertness to NHS privatisation are growing
Everyone we spoke to at our Socialist Party campaign stall on 19 January signed our petition about NHS pay. Many were concerned about underfunding of the health service. There was a marked upturn in the number of people wanting to stop and talk to us.
There is much more awareness of the threat of privatisation hanging over the NHS. Fair pay for NHS staff is also an issue of concern. “We all need a pay rise”, one person reflected over the impending cost of living crisis.
There was unanimity regarding Boris Johnson – time for him to go! When the health service was barely coping, and ordinary people were suffering through lockdown, parties were going on in Downing Street. Johnson is seen as deceitful and a total hypocrite.
Several people lamented that the Labour Party would do no better in protecting the NHS than the Tories. They were interested to hear what we said about the socialist policies needed for the NHS – full funding, fair pay and to keep the health service in public ownership.
Many have no faith in the two main parties. People we met, particularly ex-Labour Party members, were at a loss, and felt there was no party that they could support. They showed definite interest in the idea of a new mass workers’ party.
Of the people we met, a good number were keen to find out more, and were pleased to buy a copy of the Socialist newspaper. We pointed out some of the articles they might find interesting.
One person said: “I will read this, you don’t get anything like this in my paper”. We raised £52, including selling 14 copies of the Socialist.