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Record attendance at Durham Miners' Gala
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.
In The Socialist 15 July 2015:
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