Poll shows that Socialism is on the rise!

Poll shows that Socialism is on the rise!

Socialism Rising

Socialism Rising

After the 2015 General Election many people will be understandably wary of polls, and for good reason.

However a poll released by YouGov certainly makes for interesting, and encouraging reading. A survey of 3905 people showed that British people are keener on Socialism than Capitalism and that 36% of people have a very favourable or somewhat favourable opinion of Socialism compared to 33% who have a very favourable or somewhat favourable opinion of Capitalism.

In the same survey, almost 1 in 5 people described themselves as Socialists.

As ever these poll findings should be treated carefully. No doubt what people understand as Socialism will vary greatly. But what we can say is that this confirms something we have said for a long time, Socialism is far from dead, on the contrary it is on the rise.

Hardly surprising given that it was announced earlier this year that the 62 richest people in the world own as much wealth as half of the world’s population put together.

So if you are one of the growing number of people looking at Socialism as an alternative to global capitalist crisis, why don’t you get in touch to join us or find out more? Change won’t just happen, we have to get organised. Fill in the form below!

 

Over 100 people join Coventry protest against austerity

Over 100 people join Coventry protest against austerity

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Over 100 people marched through Coventry on Wednesday in a protest against the austerity measures announced at the opening of Parliament. The protest, organised by campaign group Youth Fight for Jobs and supported by a number of groups and trade unions, had speakers from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), the People’s Assembly, Coventry City Unison and Coventry TUC.

The march around the City Centre was loud and energetic, with chants of “no ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts” and “if you hate the Tory Party clap your hands”! People were there from a number of different campaigns such as Coventry against the Bedroom Tax, Save the NHS campaigners from 38 Degrees,  workplaces, schools and colleges, as well as a number of people who had travelled from outside the city – from Leamington, Nuneaton and Bedworth. A number of people were on their first protest and a common remark was ‘it is time to do something’.

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The protest was mainly built using social media, with the turnout showing some of the anger people feel at the prospect of “five more damned years” of austerity.

Kris O’Sullivan, president of Coventry Socialist Students, spoke about the importance of solidarity over the next five years of austerity, giving the example of socialist activists and local residents preventing bedroom tax victim Archie Millar from being evicted.

One young woman, Steph, spoke passionately about her experiences of working on a zero-hour contract while trying to study – she was forced to leave her job after having to work 9 hour shifts without a break.

Young people protesting against Tory cuts to their future

Young people protesting against Tory cuts to their future

Speakers  talked about the need for a mass turnout on the People’s Assembly demonstration in London on 20th June – coaches are going from Coventry and everyone should book a place!

One attendee at the Coventry protest, Peter, a retired worker from Holbrooks asked ‘Where are the Labour councillors? They should be here protesting against the Tories!’ It was true, once again local councillors, our representatives were completely absent from a protest against austerity.

TUSC candidate for Sherbourne, Jason Toynbee, closed the rally with a speech about the need to build an alternative to austerity – whether it’s being implemented by Labour or the Tories.

Unison members marching against austerity

Unison members marching against austerity

The point made by Jason and others was key. Austerity is going to be the ‘new normal’. We face the battle of our lives to beat back the attacks that our coming. We need more and bigger protests. It is abundantly clear that the only future that capitalism offers is one of austerity cuts, attacks on working class people and closure of vital services  – whilst the rich continue to make huge profits. We need to fight capitalism – we think the best way to do that is to fight for a different type of system, a socialist society that puts people before profit, our lives before the needs of the super rich. Help us build this movement, it really is time to get involved!

Fill in the form below to get involved!

Why we’re protesting against austerity

Why we’re protesting against austerity

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We asked some of the people supporting the anti-austerity protest in Coventry on Wednesday 27th at 5pm in Broadgate why they believe it is important to take part. The protest has been initiated by Youth Fight for Jobs and has the backing of Coventry TUC, Coventry Unison, and Coventry Peoples Assembly.

Here’s what they said.

Non Frenguelli, an 18 year old school student 

Non Frenguelli

Non Frenguelli

“I’m protesting, not only because of the Tories’ previous privatisations of vital services such as the Post Office and the outsourcing of disability benefits to ATOS whose “fitness-for-work” assessment has wreaked havoc for hundreds of disabled people, but also because of the recent announcement to sell £780million of the NHS to 11 private firms. From recent privatisations of the NHS we have seen that it is inefficient and provides poor treatment for patients, further privatisation will be a disaster for the public. Cameron has promised the world’s first seven day healthcare service but that’s an absolute joke if his current plans for mass privatisation go ahead unhindered. My friends and I will be at the protest to show our anger at the government’s austerity plans and to show solidarity to those who are suffering under his regime.”

Sarah Smith, campaigner against library closures

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

“I’m protesting because Coventry Council wants to close Tile Hill library, Sure Start centre and youth centre, which will rip the heart out of this community. Every library outside the City Centre is threatened with closure – we shouldn’t let them close any!”

Nicky Downes, local teacher and TUSC candidate

Nicky Downes

Nicky Downes

“I will be standing alongside young people and students at the protest on Wednesday in defence of education and city services. This government is blaming teachers and schools through unnecessary testing, slashing budgets and enforcing privatisation through academisation. It is doing nothing to improve the life chances of young people or to end child poverty. We did not vote them in and we will fight back against all cuts to jobs and services.”

Aidan O’Toole, a Coventry Uni student

Aidan protesting at Cov Uni

Aidan protesting at Cov Uni

“I’m supporting the protest because young people didn’t cause this crisis, but we’re paying for it. We’ve had tuition fees trebled, EMA taken away and housing benefit for young people slashed. Most of us can’t get jobs, and the jobs we can get are mostly low paid and on zero-hour contracts. Young people didn’t vote for Cameron’s austerity – but teenagers who can’t even vote are going to suffer because of him.”

The protest is on Wednesday May 27th at 5pm in Broadgate. Please join us and build the fightback against austerity!

We encourage people to attend the massive anti austerity demonstration in London on 20th June organised by the People’s Assembly. There will be transport from Coventry, get in touch to find out more.

To put an end to austerity we will need to build a socialist movement to end capitalism. To help us and to get involved, click here 

As Russell Brand prepares to take on Farage…time to build the fight for socialist revolution

As Russell Brand prepares to take on Farage…time to build the fight for socialist revolution!

Brand

Brand

Many people across the UK are waiting in eager anticipation for the battle between Russell Brand and Nigel Farage on Thursday night’s BBC Question Time programme (11 December).

Over the recent period Russell Brand has been an outspoken critic of austerity and the political establishment where all three parties, Tory, Labour and Lib Dem, believe ordinary people should pay for the crisis. The 99% suffer at the hands of global capitalism and the 1% at the top continue to prosper. Brand’s series of shows, ‘The Trews’, have become popular as an expression of anger against the system, while his book, simply titled ‘Revolution’, captures the growing mood for change in society.

Meanwhile Farage has falsely painted himself as an opponent of the same political establishment, which is rich considering he is of true right-wing banking stock and would carry out even worse austerity given half the chance. UKIP, despite how it portrays itself, is very much part of the capitalist system, and part of the problem. For example, its two new MPs were recruited from the Conservative Party!

Fire minister Penny Mordaunt is also on the Question Time panel; three days after the latest firefighters’ strike in defence of pensions see the following footage of the demonstration in Buckinghamshire to defend sacked firefighter Ricky Matthews.

However the debate pans out on Thursday night, the Socialist Party is dedicated to fighting for revolutionary change and putting working people in control. There are sufficient resources in Britain and worldwide for us all to lead much better and fulfilled lives but under the status quo it is in fact the outmoded capitalist system which is holding us back.

If you agree with Russell’s call for a revolution and want to fight for socialism we need to make sure it is not just a pipe dream but that collectively we make it a reality.

The time to act is now – The Revolution needs you! Join us in the Socialist Party and our sister parties worldwide in 45 countries as part of the Committee for a Workers’ International, and let us make it happen!

If you are interested in joining with us to build a revolutionary socialist force in Britain and across the globe fill in the form below and we will be in touch.

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Coventry shows support for Palestine

Coventry shows support for Palestine

Protest in Coventry

Protest in Coventry

By Dan Crowter

Around 150 people gathered outside the Council House in Coventry to protest against Israel’s continued onslaught on Gaza. The mood was both sombre and angry as people read the names of the hundreds of innocent children who have been killed by Israeli state terror. Unfortunately this list is growing by the hour, with the latest attacks on Gaza perpetrated by the IDF.

The names of children murdered in Gaza were read out

The names of children murdered in Gaza were read out

It is not only the inhumane slaughter of innocent people. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in Gaza have been displaced, their homes and communities being reduced to rubble, with little or no access to basic amenities. The situation is nothing short of barbarism.

Socialist Party member Paul Hunt speaking at the protest. Anti-war placard from Israel can be seen in the background - in Hebrew, Arabic and English

Socialist Party member Paul Hunt speaking at the protest. Anti-war placard from Israel / Palestine can be seen in the background – in Hebrew, Arabic and English

Socialist Party member and Coventry Unison assistant branch secretary Paul Hunt spoke bringing solidarity for the people of Palestine from trade unions in the city.  He drew attention to the anti-war protests in Israel and the West Bank and the slogan raised by the Socialist Struggle Movement in Israel / Palestine (sister organisation of the Socialist Party)– “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation” which has been produced in Arabic, Hebrew and English . The protests in Israel are as yet small, however 6,000 have rallied in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities, with a common slogan being ‘Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.’

A member of the community expresses his opposition to the situation in the Middle East

A member of the community expresses his opposition to the situation in the Middle East

He also echoed the feelings of many on the demo when he said that the Palestinians can’t rely on any capitalist political leaders – the US and the UK have been sending money and arms to Israel, and Labour leader Ed Miliband described himself as a Zionist. The Egyptian Government are maintaining the blockade of Gaza, which keeps the Palestinian people in poverty and locked in an open air prison. We can’t trust establishment politicians to support Palestine. Rather it will be the support, solidarity and crucially mass action of workers and ordinary people across the Middle East and indeed the world which will be the only reliable source of support for the Palestineans.

The crowd on the Council House steps

The crowd on the Council House steps

Coventry’s Labour council leader Ann Lucas and deputy leader Phil Townshend both spoke at the demo and expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people – this is welcome, but what actions will Coventry Council take to support the Palestinians? They have refused to fly the Palestinian flag from the council building, which would be seen as a basic gesture of solidarity and support.

Stop Israeli state terror

Stop Israeli state terror

There will be more protests in Coventry in the future and we urge as many people as possible to attend the national demonstration for Palestine that will be taking place in London, Saturday 9th August. There will be transport from Coventry. Contact us for more details

If you want to join the fight for a socialist solution to the crisis in the Middle East, please get in touch by clicking here

 

Privatisation threatens postal service

Privatisation threatens postal service

TUSC campaigner Rob McArdle

TUSC campaigner Rob McArdle

The following article was written by Rob McArdle who is a campaigner for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and the Socialist Party. He is also a member of the Communication Workers Union and stood for TUSC in Lower Stoke ward in the recent local elections. The article was published in the current issue of ‘The Socialist’ newspaper.

Privatisation threatens postal service

By Robert McArdle, CWU member, South Mids Postal (Coventry, in a personal capacity)

On the very week Royal Mail reported a 12% rise in operating profits to £671 million, the newly privatised company was complaining about ‘market competition’ from the likes of TNT.

It’s ironic that directors at Royal Mail recently toured the country seeking to convince workers that ‘external investment’ was the only way forward for Britain’s postal service.

As we have highlighted in the Socialist, privatising Royal Mail would be a big mistake for the public. And now, within months of its undervalued sell-off, the threat to the universal postal service is again on the agenda.

The daily delivery service to the 29 million homes and businesses is threatened because competitor companies like TNT cherry-pick end to end delivery in places like London and Liverpool.

The industry regulator Ofcom responded by saying: “We would expect Royal Mail to take appropriate steps to respond to the challenge posed by competition, including improving efficiency.” In reality this means increasing workloads and pressure on postal workers.

Jobs

The threat of reducing the six-day delivery service would have a significant impact on jobs and services within Royal Mail.

It could also be used by management as a weapon to try and force through inferior working conditions and also have an impact on future pay deals.

Over the next few years we will see the battle lines being drawn between a management driven by market profits and the CWU union, who will need to defend their members against vicious cost-cutting attacks.

The historic deal that has just been signed by the CWU and Royal Mail protecting jobs and conditions, will be tested over the next two years. Postal workers are right to be concerned about their future once the agreed pay deal comes to an end. Thousands of jobs were lost at BT after privatisation of the telecoms company and those remaining workers have seen their terms and conditions weaken due to the ‘partnership’ between management and the CWU.

The lesson for postal workers is clear – they need the union to fight to protect the gains made over the years. Royal Mail bosses will continue their race to the bottom as they seek to increase profits for shareholders but the CWU will need to stay alert to the dangers of ‘partnerships’. Workers’ ultimate power lies in the ability to withdraw their labour as a last resort.

The solution for Royal Mail’s difficulties is simple; take it back into public ownership. Then the postal service could be delivering a service based on public need not on private greed.

Revolutionary Women and the fight against austerity – Part Two

Revolutionary Women and the fight against austerity – Part Two

Ellen White speaking at the meeting

Ellen White speaking at the meeting

We are pleased to publish the second and final speech from our meeting to mark International Women’s Day. Below is the speech from Ellen White, a member of Coventry Socialist Party. It has been slightly edited for publication. Part one can be viewed here

Women and the fight for socialism

By Ellen White

When I got offered the opportunity to speak today I found it quite daunting. Not because I couldn’t think of anything to say but because I could think of so many revolutionary women to talk about. The sad thing remains that most people have never even heard of these women and don’t fully appreciate what they have done for all of us.

Women have played an important revolutionary role throughout history. Well, Obviously some of you may say, after all we do make up 50% of the population and we have been here the whole time!

I suppose that the best example of revolutionary women was in the Russia Revolution. However historically women have largely been ignored in politics. Society managed to create the image of “woman” as timid, weak and even insincere. We have been subjugated and oppressed, associated with the home and the private sphere too much. Capitalism has doubtless benefitted form this is in varying degrees. While men worked we raised children and kept capitalism ticking along. For a long time women essentially provided free labour. We were even excluded from education.

So when women begin to openly revolt it is often for the simplest things, which can signify the most in so many ways. In 1917 the loudest cry that could be heard from the crowd in St Petersburg was for bread, and this cry was begun by women. Later people demanded freedom, democracy and revolution but arguably this was the beginning of one of history’s most important events.

This wasn’t the first time women had initiated movements and revolutions. The march on Versailles in October 1789, which now accepted to be the earliest and most significant event of the French Revolution was started by women in the marketplace who were near rioting over the price and scarcity of bread.

This developed into angry mobs, teaming with the poor and the oppressed who then marched to the palace of Versailles and by the next morning the Royal family and the entire French assembly were compelled to return with the mob to Parisand we all know what happened next! This was also the first open threat to the king’s authority.

Women today are now largely expected not only to take care of the family needs but also to work. The abilty to juggle all these things has been drastically affected by the government’s austerity measures.It is women who are suffering the most. Not now because of the need for bread, but because of the need for childcare, for benefit support in order to even go to work, to get enough money to buy the bread. Single mothers more than any other group are the people who rely on state benefits in order to merely provide food for their families. These are the state benefits that are being cut. This is why in one of the richest countries in the world families are going to food banks while others sit on riches. There is definitely something wrong with this system and we know from history that it’s not the women.

Sadly it has often been women that have suffered the hardest; countless studies will tell you that women will go without so her family can eat a full meal. Under this government the working classes are being attacked left, right and daycare centre.

If you are working class and women this is not just austerity, this is enforced poverty and we will not take it with solemnity. We should and will revolt.

I will leave you with children poem that I think most of you will know, that will illustrate my final point.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the message was lost.

For want of a message the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

History’s nail was bread. It was the peoples want for bread that led them to question and revolt. Had the rich just appeased them perhaps they would have accepted the rest as they done. Today’s nail is austerity. When the rich have lost their kingdom, through their own greed, they will look back on this day and regret that they hadn’t just given us what we rightly deserve now, because now, the only way is revolution.

Coventry Socialists campaign for public ownership of utility companies and show support for Kshama Sawant

Coventry Socialists campaign for public ownership of utility companies and show support for Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative in USA

Socialist Party members show support for Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative

Socialist Party members show support for Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative

Members of the Socialist Party in Coventry were out in the city centre today and other locations around the city building a campaign against the increase in gas and electricity prices, calling for these profit loving vultures to be brought back in to public ownership. Many people are having to choose whether to ‘heat or eat’ whilst huge profits are made at our expense.

Discussing with Saturday shoppers

Discussing with Saturday shoppers

We took great pride in letting people know about the Socialist victory in Seattle for Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative, displaying the poster supplement from this week’s issue of ‘The Socialist’ newspaper. Leaflets were also distributed for a forthcoming  anti-cuts meeting hosted by Coventry TUC.

Thank you to all who donated to our fighting fund, special mention going to the two separate donations of £5 that were given.

Letter in Coventry Telegraph supporting Brand’s call for revolution

Letter in Coventry Telegraph supporting Brand’s call for revolution

Brand

Brand

The following short letter appeared in the Coventry Telegraph newspaper today (Weds 30th October) from Socialist Party member Dan Crowter. We urge you to join the fight for socialism. Please fill in the details in the box below. 

It’s not often you turn on the TV and see a comedian calling for revolution, but that’s exactly what Russell Brand said on Newsnight last week! His passionate call for equality struck a chord with millions of people.

Our society is run by the super-rich. They control the economy, the media and our political parties. They caused the banking crisis, but we’re the ones paying for it! Russell Brand might not be right about everything, but he’s right that things need to change. We need a socialist system that helps the millions, not the millionaires.

Dan Crowter

Coventry Socialists welcome Russell Brand’s call for revolution

Coventry Socialists welcome Russell Brand’s call for revolution

Russell Brand v Paxman (photo from Huffington Post)

Russell Brand v Paxman (photo from Huffington Post)

Russell Brand has hit the headlines but not for the reasons you may come to expect from the comedian and actor. In an interview with Jeremy Paxman of Newsnight (click here for Youtube footage) Brand lays in to the present political and economic system and makes bold calls for revolution and a socialist egalitarian system. He eloquently expresses the disillusionment with mainstream political parties, addressing why many people do not currently vote and expresses support for the Occupy movement for putting on the agenda the idea of the 1 per cent against the 99 per cent.

Brand states correctly that the system is destroying the planet and makes many excellent points about the huge disparities in wealth. His ideas are not fully worked out and the Socialist Party would not agree with every single point – however we wholeheartedly welcome Brand’s comments which will no doubt express the anger that many millions of people in Britain and across the world feel towards the political elite and the capitalist system where a tiny minority own and control the wealth, leaving the rest of us struggling to get by.

To many his interview will be seen as a breath of fresh air compared to the stale, turgid ‘same old same old’ put forward by the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour.

His comments should be seen as a contribution to the debate about the need to change society, how we go about it and the need for a socialist society.

We urge people who are interested in changing society to consider joining the Socialist Party, which is part of a worldwide movement for socialist change. Nothing will change unless we make it. Click here for more information and to join