Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1079/30494

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 March 2020

Selling the Socialist

Hackney Socialist Party

Hackney Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Moorfoot, Sheffield Council offices, 7:30am, Friday morning

"It's like the Mary Celeste in here" says first worker going in. But I still sell five copies of the Socialist. Less than usual, but not bad considering more than half the staff are now working from home.

I get some feedback on the front page headlines: 'Coronavirus - System in Crisis'. "That's an understatement" says one, "I think this virus will turn more people into socialists" says another.

I sell the Socialist here every week. I hear the F-word a lot. "Must be Friday". Still hear the F-word if I sell on another morning. "It's not Friday, is it?"

Shows the importance of being consistent to build up sales. Be friendly, be enthusiastic, not too much though at 7:30 am. "Morning", "hiya", boldly show the front page, offer everyone a copy. Only one or two never acknowledge me, so I call them out with my most enthusiastic "morning" call.

It means you get to know people. You end up exchanging pleasantries about holidays, grandkids and the weather. "Bet it's cold for you today?", like you hadn't noticed, stood there freezing. Football banter with the Blades fans, and the one Wednesday supporter. Call out the Tories, "morning comrade!" Talk to the ex-miner, the 'lefty' manager, the Guardian reader, the guy that holidays in Chernobyl. I kid you not - tells me it's now the safest place not to get coronavirus.

But we also talk about council cuts, the homeless sleeping rough by the office doorways, Brexit, Corbyn, the general election and now the Big C. You find out the union members, the Labour Party supporters, the young Corbynistas.

You build up regular readers, occasional sales and first-time buyers. "I've not got any cash on me", "take one, read it, if it's worth it, pay me next week", they always do. Or use a card-reader.

On average I sell 7-8 each issue, with a few for 2 solidarity price. I sold 14 when I shamelessly promoted my front page article on the NHS.

I got a May Day greeting from readers last year. Over the years here, I have met three council workers who bought the Socialist and have gone on to join the Socialist Party.

Alistair Tice

Reading: "Capitalism won't survive"

One young mum said: "Things are so difficult and have been for a long time, this crisis just makes life impossible. I can't see capitalism surviving this."

Patients and health workers at Royal Berkshire hospital stopped to take our leaflets, sign our petition and discuss the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

It was quieter than normal, but those that stopped thanked us for our campaign work and agreed with our central demands:

This crisis comes on top of the decade of austerity and reveals the impact of cuts, especially to the NHS - people are angry about that.

Carlisle: We won't make rent

The mood on the streets has changed, the fear is now palpable. This is what people are telling us:

One of the medical staff at Cumberland Infirmary told us she'd been working with a cough for weeks, yet there are no tests even for hospital staff. Another confirmed the panicky promises of more equipment were "too little, too late."

Their colleague added: "we've been understaffed and under-equipped for years, but the government has ignored all our warnings - now we're struggling under the effects of all the cuts".

Workers on their dinner break desperately told us they would carry on working, even if they caught the virus, because they couldn't get by on just 94.25-a-week sick pay: "That won't even pay my rent".

One of the five million workers in the gig economy said: "my boss has just told me the government is going to give him 25,000. That's what I get in two years, but I won't see any of that. He said I should sign on, but how can I live for five weeks with no money?"

Brent Kennedy

Southampton: Workers' sacked

Our campaign stall was still busy, even though it was very quiet in town. The picture is clear. Many workers are being laid off unpaid. How many? It must be tens of thousands across the country.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 25 March 2020:


What we think

Coronavirus crisis: Tests, full pay and funding - for all now

State intervention shows what is possible


Coronavirus news

Coronavirus and domestic violence: a double threat to women's lives

Coronavirus news in brief


Coronavirus workplace news

We need tests for all now! Nationalise production and research

Retail and the coronavirus outbreak - organise to defend workers interests

Transport union RMT demands action for coronavirus tube safety

Organising in the workplace in the time of coronavirus

Union independence must be maintained - a reply to the Trade Union Congress

University workers win full pay for casual staff

Bosses not workers should pay for JCB shutdown


Social care

Social care: "Not good enough by miles"


Poll Tax

30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built


Coronavirus organising

Coronavirus: What role could community support groups play?

Selling the Socialist

Like what we say, help us keep saying it - fund the Socialist

'Meeting' to discuss socialist ideas - more vital than ever during the crisis


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 March 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

The Socialist:

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleFundraising: An example to follow

triangleSocialism on the rise

triangleThe Socialist: back to weekly soon

Socialist:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Tories in Crisis

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: The Labour Party - what is its future?

triangleSocialist Students & Young Socialists national zoom rally

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Covid Schools + Tories = Chaos

Workers:

triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

triangleBlame politicians, not workers and young people

Pay:

triangleAngry health workers demand 15% now!

triangleOur lives and livelihoods at stake

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/9/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

16/9/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

16/9/20

Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'

16/9/20

Coventry

Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

16/9/20

NHS

Angry health workers demand 15% now!

16/9/20

Usdaw

Reinstate Richie Venton

16/9/20

Hull

Reinstate Tony Smith

16/9/20

Strike

Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

16/9/20

London

London bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute

16/9/20

Ireland

Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

16/9/20

PCS

PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

16/9/20

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

16/9/20

Socialist Party

Two weeks to donate: we need your help

9/9/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism

9/9/20

Amazon

Fight Amazon's anti-union spies

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999