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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 April 2015

Putting socialism back in LGBT politics

Pat Chadwick, York University Students' Union LGBTQ Officer

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) is once again on the frontline of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) politics.

After 30 years of obscurity, the group was brought to a mass audience last year. Its efforts to assist the miners in their 1984-5 strike against the Thatcher government were the subject of cinema hit "Pride".

At the time, homophobia and anti-worker vitriol went hand in glove for the government. Pro-capitalist publications like the Sun covered LGSM's involvement in the strike by spitting headlines like "Perverts support the pits".

Despite hostility, the London branch alone managed to raise the equivalent of 50,000 in today's money. In fact, they did this partly by shrewdly capitalising on the negative headlines with a sell-out "Pits and Perverts" rave.


The film's themes of working class solidarity and resistance have proved incredibly popular with teary-eyed audiences everywhere. It led to a re-founding of LGSM by bringing together thirty or so of the 'original cast' of activists.

Its members make no bones about their socialist politics, unlike their big-screen counterparts.

Two speakers recently opened the National Union of Students LGBT conference. They gave speeches that prepared the ground for the success of a Socialist Students motion shortly afterwards.

At a recent event in York, another LGSM speaker endorsed the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to a lecture hall of LGBT locals.

And working with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), LGSM has bolstered public support for the Kellingley and Hatfield pits facing imminent closure.


The group is set to lead several pride marches this summer, including London. The 1985 march was led by the NUM out of gratitude for LGSM's work, but these days has become a sickening pro-business festival. LGSM wants the union contingents back at the front with them and the Tredegar Miners' Band.

The popularity of LGSM is a growing counterweight to the dominance of corporate interests in LGBT politics. Accounts firm PwC has invited the group to address a corporate gala later this year. This is the same company which confiscated and never returned the NUM's strike fund in 1984! Activists' first thought is to attend and demand immediate reimbursement.

The Socialist Party welcomes LGSM's work in demonstrating the importance and popularity of a socialist approach to LGBT politics. We look forward to continuing work with them in the fight to end class, gender and sexual oppression.

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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.

  • 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.
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  • 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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In The Socialist 15 April 2015:

Socialist Party news and analysis

We can end the housing crisis

Labour - party of cuts

NHS is collapsing under a mountain of PFI debt

Low pay: Stop subsidising the bosses

Public sector wage restraint - myth and reality

Nuclear scrap

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Yemen: Brutal onslaught on country's poor

France: One-day strike against austerity

US: Kshama Sawant on Democracy Now

China: feminists released

Canada: first national meeting

Elections 2015

100% against austerity? Vote TUSC

Fighting local government cuts

We need a 10 an hour minimum wage

'Liverpool 47' councillors in TUSC challenge

Warrington Labour's 'time limit on democracy'

'The largest party you've never heard of'

Getting into god's chamber

Socialist Party workplace news

Glasgow and Dundee: All-out strikes demand fair pay

Glasgow strikers: 'We're all in it to win it!'

Bromley council workers show how to fight Tories

Lift workers strike over 'spy in the cab'

Unison health backs 10 an hour call

PCS: Defending check-off in DWP

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Putting socialism back in LGBT politics

Build TUSC with this paper

Election appeal update

Readers' comments and reviews

My life as a day centre worker

Review: Gods of Gold

Standing in line, hoping for work

Remembering a lost generation


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