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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 March 2016

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.

Shocks

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.

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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.

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In The Socialist 16 March 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike to fight cuts budget

Join the fight against poverty pay and zero-hour contracts!

Angry tenants march in London

Tories cut disabled dignity for tax breaks

Don't give state funds to reactionary Ukip and Tory EU 'outers'

TUSC names first 2016 election challengers

Ukip stands right-wing Tories for Welsh Assembly

NHS Bill - anger over Labour 's lack of support

Them & Us


Low pay feature

Living wage lie: end low pay with 10 an hour now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Unions must back junior doctors

Striking to save sixth form colleges

Doctors out in force for third phase of action

Trading extension defeated

A day in the life of a painter and decorator

May Day greetings in the Socialist

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party feature

25th anniversary of release of Birmingham Six


International socialist news and analysis

Bernie Sanders' campaign at a crossroads


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Pent Valley student speaks: Save our school

Big boosts at Northern Socialist Party conference

Invigorating and inspiring South West day school

TUSC urges Leeds Council to take action on private rents

Sprint finish for fighting fund in Nottingham as the quarter enters home straight


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Featured letter: Capitalism says blame yourself

Letters

Obituary: Max Neill, 1966-2016


 

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