Isai Priya and Chris Newby, Socialist Party finance department
Socialist Party members were busy over the last few weeks getting our socialist message out in the council elections. Our key demand: oppose all cuts and closures to services, jobs, pay and conditions.
We reject the idea that some cuts are essential and that cuts are unavoidable. Councillors have the power to implement a no-cuts needs budget to save jobs, increase pay and invest in our futures.
The Socialist Party has been supporting many workers on strike, including those employed by Labour councils. Labour councillors are behaving no different to Tories and big business bosses by going on the offensive against their workers. At a protest outside the Local Government Association, the loudest chant by the Coventry, Rugby and Hackney striking bin workers was to Labour: “Shame on you for turning blue”.
Hackney Socialist Party members started election day visiting the bin workers picket line from 5am, then the picket lines for drivers and passenger assistants for special education needs (Send) pupils, and housing maintenance workers. Throughout election day in Hackney, 47 striking workers and others bought a copy of the Socialist, and 20 people said they were interested in finding out more about the Socialist Party.
The support for socialist ideas and the Socialist Party was reflected in sales of the Socialist and the donations we received. Carlisle branch raised £80 on two campaign stalls to nationalise energy companies. In Sheffield, we collected £140 during the election campaign.
At our Socialist Party national congress, 14-16 May, we will be discussing the perspectives for a fightback, and preparing the party for the mass struggles to come. As part of the congress, there will be a fighting fund appeal. If you are a Socialist Party member, your donation will be allocated to your branch fighting fund target.
So we can continue to get our socialist message out as widely as possible, we urgently need to smash through our fighting fund target.