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Political springboards and big boosts at Northern Socialist Party conference
Elaine Brunskill, Northern Socialist Party secretary
The Socialist Party northern regional conference acted as a political springboard, giving us a big boost for the tasks ahead.
Our first discussion on Britain was introduced by Ken Douglas, Socialist Party national treasurer. Ken started by highlighting the volatility of the period we're in and how growing numbers of young people are wanting to discuss socialist ideas.
Our members from Tyneside, Teesside and Cumbria discussed an array of topics: the rift within the Labour Party and Momentum and fears that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are constantly giving too much ground to the Blairites.
We discussed the possibility of splits in the Tory party over the EU referendum and the impact of further shockwaves in the economy.
There were also reports from the various campaigns and activities we have been involved in, including the reprieve of two respite centres and one day centre for the disabled which were saved from closure. This victory highlighted the importance of high profile campaigning. A fourth centre in Gateshead is still under threat.
Our members from Carlisle told how, after the devastating floods, we came up with an action plan. This includes the demand that Carlisle City Council should requisition the region's 1,586 identified empty properties to rehouse flood victims.
The conference was well timed to give us political direction in the forthcoming local election campaigns where we will be standing as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition across the region.
The upbeat mood of our conference was reflected in our fighting fund appeal which raised over £350.
Also, a big thanks to Norman Hall and Clare Hannaby who did a marvellous job catering for us all.
In The Socialist 16 March 2016:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Low pay feature
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party comments and reviews