The Socialist 14 May 2014 |
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Building TUSC, building socialism
Socialists and trade unionists are competing in 62 council seats in the south west under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) banner.
Even where TUSC isn't standing candidates, our 'no cuts' message gets support. Messages of congratulations came from socialists in north Devon and Cornwall, while in Weymouth and Swindon people phoned to say they want to stand next time.
In Plymouth, TUSC's 19 candidates range in age from 20 to 92. The Labour Party is rattled at facing the biggest challenge from the left since the 1920s.
In Bristol TUSC is contesting all 24 seats. Canvasses and daytime stalls reveal growing warmth for our decision to stand for the millions against the millionaires.
Along with the RMT union, the Socialist Party is a key part of TUSC. And the forces of socialism are expanding. In the last week we signed up new members to the Socialist Party in Gloucester, Bristol, Swindon, Plymouth and Weymouth.
Jack, a Bristol engineer, joined the Socialist Party after coming across us through TUSC. In Swindon Liam not only joined but has persuaded his parents to consider following suit.
Every new member has a poignant story: exploited by a pizza chain on a zero-hour contract, chewed up by a national bank, stripped of hours by a school having been a classroom assistant for years. But these workers decided to be passive victims of capitalism no longer.
In Plymouth, two more joined the Socialist Party in the last two days, one of them was met by comrades hosting a radical film evening at a local pub. Potential new members are everywhere - you're never more than a few metres from one!
In Exeter, where we're standing in an unprecedented eight wards and in Gloucestershire where we're contesting nine, a number of people, both new to us and familiar faces who watched our patient progress over the years, are now knocking on our door.
One new comrade in Bristol talked eloquently at the branch about how inspiring he found it when canvassing. Ordinary people were nodding and expressing support on the doorstep when he explained our ideas. This confirmed for him that our ideas spring from everyday reality.
Now a woman from Bournemouth wants to join. I'll ring her straight away and as things are unfolding, she may not be alone even in this most Tory of towns.