"Are you the socialist cabby?"
Liverpool taxi. Photo: Kevin Walsh/CC (Click to enlarge)
A taxi driver and Liverpool Socialist Party member
The likelihood of politics coming up on a cab journey is nearly guaranteed. I mainly see workers, dozens of times a day.
They're affected by community issues, working conditions and the political climate. I have the chance to offer a socialist perspective that people may never have had access to.
I get to endorse anti-austerity election candidates and contest stereotypes. When I challenge a lazy vote for Labour, or raise an anti-cuts alternative, the curiosities appear.
Workers, who are overworked and underpaid, appear disillusioned with the political landscape, only visiting it every other May, if they vote at all. Election turnout is a paltry 20% in lots of places.
I have managed to get socialist views out there, and counter the right-wing populism which is infesting communities. I've helped workers see a different way - rejecting bigotry and prejudices, uniting the working class to rise up and make a difference.
I have been able to offer the Socialist newspaper and leaflets on local issues to passengers willing to know more. I am currently selling 20 copies of the Socialist every month. The hope is that we can raise the political awareness of the community.
During lockdown, I have been the link to the outside world for many older passengers. I would be the only person some had seen for weeks. People took a socialist paper as it was the only socialist analysis they could find.
The pandemic forced people to reflect on their lives and livelihoods. They were willing to talk politics in a way they'd never have dreamt. They have felt the effects of austerity, and now they are feeling the effects of a precarious future of Covid austerity.
During lockdown people would ask if I had any socialist papers. Passengers now recognise me and say: "You're that socialist cabby, aren't you?"
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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 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.
- 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 Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 20 October 2021:
Fight for a socialist recovery
Tories to blame for GP crisis
Container delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning
Socialist nationalisation not bailouts for the bosses
Unite union policy conference
University workers ballot for strike action
Unite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs
Gwent valleys Stagecoach bus drivers strike for fair pay
Reinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike
Napo AGM 2021: Union placed on war footing
Scunthorpe scaffs strike for pay
People's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts
Brighton bin workers' victory in sight
Fight to defend homelessness services
Ealing People's Budget - cuts can be resisted
Northampton People's Budget - cuts and privatisation is a failed strategy
Fighting the cuts at the ballot box in Liverpool
Fall of apartheid
The fall of Apartheid in South Africa
COP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables
Save the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe
Austria: Chancellor Kurz resigns amid allegations of corruption
Obituary - Tony Davison: "I work for Militant, but Laing's pay my wages"
"Are you the socialist cabby?"
Housing crisis: Tories and Labour are not on our side
Liverpool arms fair: Hundreds of protesters defy police 'dispersal zone'
Hackney children's centres - more education cuts are devastating
Biggest protest yet to save Stratford Circus
Doncaster: Vigil condemns violence against women
I'm unemployed: For me vacancy crisis is a lie
TV review: Squid Game
The Socialist 20 October 2021 |
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