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Posted on 7 October 2010 at 11:30 GMT

Fight the cuts: how we beat the Tories last time!

Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary and author of the new Socialist Party pamphlet 'How a fightback can stop the cuts'. Part one of five. (See below for more).

Around 80 people, many of them young workers and students new to the Socialist Party, attended our London Socialist Party and Socialist Students meeting on 6 October.

Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party

Lots of meetings have taken place in and around the central London universities over the last couple of weeks about fighting the cuts.

Part two

However, our meeting was different as it was not just a declaration of how terrible the cuts will be, or a general exhortation to fight back, but was a serious discussion about how the cuts can be fought, drawing on the lessons of battles against the Tories the last time they were in power.

The meeting watched an excellent film of the campaign of Liverpool City Council in the 1980s for more government funding, and the battle against the poll tax that started at the end of that decade.

Part three

Both of these achieved victories against the Tories - winning extra funding for Liverpool council services, defeating the poll tax and bringing down Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

In both, the forerunner of the Socialist Party, Militant, played a key leadership role.

Part four

Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party, spoke as the author of the new Socialist Party pamphlet 'How a fightback can stop the cuts'.

Hannah herself played a leading role in the massive school student strike in the mid-1980s against the Tories' youth training scheme.

Contributors from the floor reported on local anti-cuts campaigns in communities and in universities.

Part five

The importance of the 23 October London anti-cuts demonstration was stressed. Socialist Party members in the National Shop Stewards Network have played a central role in working with the London committees of the RMT, FBU and PCS unions to call the demonstration - the next most important step in building up the campaign against the cuts and keeping up the pressure on the TUC to act.

Most of those present who were new to the Socialist Party asked for information about getting involved in the party, and over 3,000 was raised in the Fighting Fund collection.

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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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Related links:

Hannah Sell:

triangleShould the Socialist still be produced during the Corona crisis? An exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist

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triangleCoventry Socialist Party: Tories out! Corbyn in with socialist policies

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triangleReckless, lying cheats

triangleUnited action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

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Cuts:

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triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

Socialist:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

London:

triangleGoing viral - Socialist comments and letters

Socialist Party:

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Sport and Coronavirus

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