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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 July 2011

Tolpuddle says: 'step up the action'

Tom Baldwin
The 2011 Tolpuddle Martyrs festival saw a record 10,000 people celebrate the victory of the early trade union movement , photo Rob Emery

Click for gallery. The 2011 Tolpuddle Martyrs festival saw a record 10,000 people celebrate the victory of the early trade union movement , photo Rob Emery   (Click to enlarge)

This year's Tolpuddle Martyrs festival saw a record 10,000 people brave the rain to celebrate the victory of the early trade union movement against draconian attempts to stop workers from organising to defend their living standards. Today we face the biggest onslaught against workers' living standards for a generation and further attempts to restrict trade union rights.

The mood was bouyed by the magnificent strike action on 30 June. Trade unionists from many different unions and sectors saw the need to step up this action and there was an excellent response to the Socialist Party's call for a 24-hour public sector general strike as the next step in the fightback. There was also a lot of support for the National Shop Stewards Network's lobby of the TUC on 11 September.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said in his speech that Britain should be more like Greece with a 48-hour general strike. This was received with cheers and applause but unfortunately no concrete proposals were made to make this a reality.

At one of the meetings on the NHS, Labour health spokesman John Healey slammed the Con-Dems' plans to dismantle the NHS. When Rob, a Socialist Party member from Southampton, asked about hospital cuts in Southampton, a legacy of New Labour's time in office, he was told "not to believe Tory lies".

The audience saw through this and speaker after speaker attacked Labour's record on health cuts and PFI as well as their refusal to support strike action on 30 June.

Over 140 copies of the Socialist were sold, along with 40 Strategy to Fight the Cuts pamphlets.

Youth Fight for Jobs also had a stall, building support for the Jarrow march in October. 80 was raised toward the march and trade unionists took away letters to build support from their branches.

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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.

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In The Socialist 20 July 2011:


News International scandal

Force Cameron out!

Get rid of Cameron, Murdoch and all they represent


Socialist Party news and analysis

Capitalism stuck in a blind alley


Anti-cuts news and campaigning

'No cuts' budgets or 'parallel' budgets?

Legal Aid Bill - Access to justice is under attack

Immigration Advice closure shows need for industrial struggle

Stop Swansea coastguard closure

Southampton council workers' struggle continues despite imposition of new contracts

Labour takes axe to Sure Start in Liverpool


The NHS

Privatisation and cuts undermine the NHS

A day in the life of a student nurse: Overworked - but happy to help


Socialist Party workplace news

Bromley Unison reps resign in protest at union's disgraceful actions

South Yorkshire journalists start all-out strike

Strike solid at BBC Leeds office

Renationalise Bombardier to save jobs

London NSSN meeting - 'real debate' on preparing for coordinated action


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Defending state education - Brighton academy victory

TUSC: Building an electoral challenge to Con-Dem and Labour cuts

Tolpuddle says: 'step up the action'

The Work Programme: is it only chasing people off benefits?


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Massive metal workers' strike


Selling the Socialist

Throw away the Murdoch rags!


Socialist Party review

Music review - "This place is coming like a ghost town..."


 

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Related links:

Tolpuddle:

triangleTolpuddle festival 2019: socialist policies to end Tory rule and austerity

triangleTolpuddle festival: combative trade unionism and anticipation of general election

triangle'Let the producers of wealth unite - and what can withstand them?'

triangleLarge and upbeat Tolpuddle event

triangleMood to defeat the Blairites

Strike:

triangleTower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

triangleTower Hamlets council strike

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

Socialist:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The socialist case for nationalisation

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Class struggle and the role of the working class in changing society

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: What is Trotskyism?

Labour:

triangleSocialist Party Wales: Starmer turns Labour right - Time for a new workers' party

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Labour - time for a new party for the working class

Cuts:

triangleNottingham unions fight council job cuts

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