Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/864/21082
From The Socialist newspaper, 15 July 2015
Record attendance at Durham Miners' Gala
Durham Miners' Gala 2015, photo by Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Elaine Brunskill, Socialist Party Northern region
A record number of around 150,000 people attended this year's Durham Miners' gala.
Many we spoke to were shocked and dismayed that the Tories had managed to scrape into power. But it was also apparent that Osborne's budget has created seething anger in working-class communities.
At our Socialist Party stalls we spoke to young people, workers, people on benefits, others who were retired and the mood to unite and fight back against austerity was tangible.
Our call to reject the Tory budget and to put pressure on the TUC to get off its knees and to call a 24 hour general strike definitely hit a chord.
One older worker I spoke to likened Cameron to Thatcher, saying, "He thinks he's invincible, but he's going too far and there'll be a backlash. Look what happened to Thatcher with the Poll Tax!"
A mother and daughter vented their anger at the terminology used by Osborne in his budget: "Nobody is fooled when he used the TUC's slogan 'Britain needs a pay rise', the only ones they look after are the rich."
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) had an excellent response. Also Jeremy Corbyn standing in the Labour leadership contest has led to a discussion about the idea of socialism and the need to fight austerity. Though, ironically, the Labour Party members I spoke to were not going to vote for him, one said "My heart says Corbyn, but my head says not!"
We sold in excess of 200 papers, raised around £300 fighting fund and sold £80 of literature. We also have a number of names to follow up who are interested in joining the Socialist Party.
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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 15 July 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Living wage lie
Fightback essential following Osborne's hatchet budget
Labour's austerity 'me too-ism' continues
Them & Us
International socialist news and analysis
EU revenge against Greek workers
Greece: Tsipras crosses the Rubicon
The Marikana report - a whitewash
International news in brief
2005: Jean Charles de Menezes shooting
Workplace news and analysis
Labour council axes union facility time
Cardiff teachers strike against 'death wish' workload
Transport workers shut down tube and railway
Biggest union clings to Labour, but considers law-busting strikes
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party feature
Reverse social care sell-offs
Socialist Party review
Orphan Black - refreshing take on sci-fi story
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Angry coordinated protests and solidarity
Osborne attacks youth... we take to the streets!
Record attendance at Durham Miners' Gala
200 march against closure of Longton Cottage Hospital
Bromley Unite members stop council tax bailiffs
Road accident highlights need to save school crossings
The Socialist 15 July 2015 |
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