The Socialist 14 June 2017 |
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General election: what you thought about it
Click for gallery. Demonstrating against the DUP-backed Tory minority government in London, 10.6.17, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Readers respond to results...
What they said
They said Corbyn was unelectable.
They said socialism was outdated.
They said this manifesto was another suicide note.
They said the Tories would win a super-majority.
They said young people never vote.
They're not saying much now.
Dan Crowter, Coventry West Socialist Party
Bosses' crisis boosts workers
Comments in the West Midlands show a clear and growing understanding of the capitalists' political crisis and opportunities for socialists.
A young, working class, black woman spoke to Birmingham Socialist Party branch secretary Corinthia Ward. She'd just been to vote for the Blairite Labour candidate. "I felt sick, even dirty. But I had to do it for Jeremy Corbyn."
A friend who'd felt down about Corbyn's chances - particularly after the Leave vote, which we campaigned for on a socialist basis - rang me up to say this: "I'm so happy. Well done. You lot were absolutely right. Praise all your lot for what you've done."
Dave Griffiths, Socialist Party West Midlands region
Corbyn politicises student nurses
As a student nurse, over the last days I have found general chat turning to politics: who people voted for; excitement about Corbyn and his leadership of Labour.
Being an older student, I have had many of the younger students asking me questions such as "what is a hung parliament?" This new interest is encouraging.
As nursing students, we can see that the changes and political climate the Conservative government has been creating in the NHS are leading it into a black hole. Many of our conversations have focussed on how Corbyn seems the only realistic option to keep our patients and our careers safe.
We need to build on this momentum, and the stronger position for the left that Corbyn has built, by organising people and stepping up the fight for the NHS.
We have seen what can happen in the space of seven weeks. With a fierce and well-organised fight, just think how much positive change we can achieve together.
Katharine Youngs, Student nurse, Leeds Socialist Party
Click for gallery. Jeremy Corbyn's 'homecoming' election rally in Islington, 8.6.17, photo Mary Finch (Click to enlarge)
Youth reject pompous media
This is the first general election when I have been able to vote. I believed it was important to look into what each of the parties were offering.
The level of abuse the other parties have directed towards Jeremy Corbyn has shocked me. From leaflets appalled by his dress sense to vicious attacks on things about him that have been proven to be lies, the hatred against one man appears to have no boundaries.
Perhaps what is just as shocking is that newspapers, radio and TV stations continue to report this pointless personal smear campaign as 'news'.
You wonder why young people don't vote? Stop treating us like idiots. This election was too important to be decided on personalities like some reality TV contest.
I cast my vote for a programme to answer the injustices I have grown up with.
We live in one of the richest countries in the world, where multibillion-pound companies make their wealth employing people on zero-hour contracts. They exist side by side with pensioners forced to use food banks.
I voted to abolish tuition fees so I won't have debt of over £40,000 when I go to work in the NHS. I voted for a programme that does not seek to divide our communities through fear and threats.
I ignored the hate and urged everyone to use their vote based on who offers them a vision of a better and fairer way of running our society.
Aaron Humphreys, Liverpool Socialist Party
No way Mrs May!
Theresa May's opportunist snap election call has well and truly back fired on her and the Tories. The election campaign pitched the anti-austerity agenda of Jeremy Corbyn against Theresa May's "more of the same misery" message.
Labour s manifesto "for the many" against the Tories tax cuts fir the rich and savage social and welfare cuts for the poor. May still clings on to government propped up by a deal with the devil the DUP, but this election result is a huge rejection of what she stands for.
The Tories have no mandate for the continuation of the 1% pay cap in the public sector, no mandate for their attacks on the welfare state, no mandate for job cuts and office closures.
Their authority is in shreds. PCs members will be encouraged by this election result to stand and the fight. The Labour and Trade Union movement must come together to agree a programme of action to resist and overcome Tory attacks and defeat this weakened government.
For the many not the few!
Marion Lloyd, PCS executive committee member (personal capacity)
Corbyn surge wins pay rise
Thank you to Jeremy Corbyn.
I am writing this on the day before the elections, because Corbyn has already helped win a small victory in my workplace. We've just received an email off our employers that they will be giving a pay increase and increased holiday.
In a non-unionised workplace we have little power to confront our employers. But Corbyn's demand for £10 an hour and improved working conditions has given confidence to a wider layer of workers to speak up on the issue.
I am hoping this will also encourage more people to join a union as it shows that by fighting together, we can win.
Izabelle Grant, Leeds
Corbyn beats Blair
Corbyn got two million more votes than Blair got in 2001, and three million more than Blair got in 2005!
With the Tories in disarray there's no excuse now, Labour councils should refuse to carry out cuts to local services!
Jim Horton, North London Socialist Party
Mainstream media disgrace
During the run-up to the general election, the mainstream media coverage of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party - both TV and newspapers - has been, in my opinion, a disgrace.
We have been drip-fed downright lies, hidden behind sensationalist headlines.
I believe the fact that Labour increased its share to 40% of the vote, enjoying massive gains, suggests that the public now pay little attention to bigoted corporate journalism. It proves that the public are more than capable of reading beyond the sensationalist headlines - and, in fact, will search out the truth for themselves.
If the mainstream press is to enjoy public support in the future, it needs to rethink its strategy.
Jackie Murphy, Meltham, West Yorkshire
Fight Tory and DUP anti-LGBT+ bigotry
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is propping up May's weakened Tory government. LGBT+ people will rightly be outraged...
The idea that this party will now have some influence on the government is a frightening prospect for LGBT+ people. While Corbyn's policies have gained huge ground, the battle for rights and liberation is far from over.
Nonetheless, the DUP-backed Tory minority government is weak and wobbly, and pressure from the grassroots could topple it. We need to fight back against the Tory and DUP LGB-phobic and transphobic agenda, and fight for real socialist change.
Michael Johnson and Maddy Steeds, Socialist Party LGBT+ group
We've heard a lot about the student vote, but perhaps less of the politicisation of working class urban youth - maybe best illustrated by the magnificent 'Grime4Corbyn' movement.
I'm a longstanding fan of hip-hop and have noted its increasingly materialistic and reactionary stance.
But where mainstream hip-hop acts see the solution to the ghetto as getting money and fame to escape it, grime instead seeks to challenge the existence of the ghetto in the first place.
This is of huge cultural and political significance. The champions of Corbyn and of socialism should welcome the grime movement.
James Hinchcliffe, Manchester
Click for gallery. Protesting against the DUP-backed Tory minority government after the June 2017 general election, 10.6.17, photo Mary Finch (Click to enlarge)
The youth weren't inspired to come out as "Brexit revenge." We were inspired by Corbyn on jobs/health/education/housing/poverty
Suzanne Beishon, Leyton
Corbyn is the absolute boy.
Stephanie Hammond, Harrow
The TUC should call a national day of action against austerity.
Eric Segal, Folkestone
Neoliberal French Socialist Party hammered in parliamentary elections. Would've been the fate of Labour, if Blairites had ousted Corbyn.
Niall Mulholland, East Ham
Lessons from the British elections: Bernie would have won.
Calvin Priest, Seattle, USA
Now that London is a solidly Labour city, can we have the spirit of the manifesto at local level? Can you stop school cuts please.
Nancy Taaffe, Walthamstow
So can they play 'Liar Liar' on the radio yet or not?
Katie Simpson, Northampton
Amber Rudd looking for the "Magic Tory voter tree."
Dan Crowter, 9 June, Coventry
Click for gallery. Jeremy Corbyn's 'homecoming' election rally in Islington, 8.6.17, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Reports: just some of the marches and events after 8 June
At four in the morning on 9 June, listening to Theresa May snivel through her 'victory speech' on the radio, I was sure she'd be out before the sun rose. I was wrong.
The Tories struggled on in a misguided attempt to cling to power. As details of their possible agreement with the sexist, racist, homophobic DUP began to grace newsstands, the Socialist Party was already calling a protest.
We joined people protesting and celebrating on Whitehall on that Friday evening.
Then at lunchtime on 10 June, under a smiling sun, several thousand people gathered to reject the Conservatives' austerity and proposed pact with the DUP.
Many young people - whose political consciousness has been ignited by the first Labour platform in decades to offer left policies - spoke to us about their hopes for the future.
"I think there will be a general election in six months or sooner" said one woman - one of dozens who had just signed up to the 'Young Socialists' campaign.
Protesters marched from Parliament Square towards Downing Street to football chants of "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!" (sung to the tune of Seven Nation Army). We sold over 100 papers on the day.
We must now build on the young people entering the labour movement, to ensure a swift victory in the next few months... or weeks... or days...
Ellen Kenyon-Peers, Lewisham Socialist Party
The mood was incredible. Scores of people, young and old, stopped by to sign our petition calling for May's resignation.
Socialist Party placards were popular and our message and leaflets readily accepted. There was a combative mood throughout the demonstration.
Copies of the Socialist were selling like hot cakes. There is a mood to stand up to the Tories and their rotten deals, and to support socialist policies.
The Socialist Party will be an integral part of the struggle to come.
João Félix, Cardiff Socialist Party
I think it is worth noting that on our campaign stall a number of people came to sign our 'Tories out' petition with words to the effect of "I'd normally say just let her get on with it now the election is over but this DUP deal is the last straw."
We sold at least 70 copies of the Socialist today. Political consciousness is raised and the mood is for change.
Richard Edwards, Cardiff Socialist Party
Our weekly campaign stall focussed on the chaos within the Tory party. We got positive feedback, even from some Tory supporters.
Following that, Huddersfield Socialist Party had an informal meeting between some of our branch members and people we have been campaigning with on local issues.
We had two people join the Socialist Party, and two others took away membership forms.
Mike Forster, Huddersfield Socialist Party
There was obvious delight with Corbyn's success from the majority of all ages in the city centre on 10 June, and disbelief from a few angry and despondent Tory supporters.
We had a noticeable increase in interest from young people, and sold almost 30 copies of the Socialist. Most of the young people signing our petition were first-time voters won over by Corbyn's policies.
Geraint Davies - the Swansea West Labour MP who increased his majority thanks to Corbyn's popularity - came in for criticism. His election material urged voters to remember that they were "not voting for a prime minister."
We fully agree with the actions of one voter who, while holding his nose, put a cross in Davies's box - but wrote alongside: "Corbyn for PM - Deselect Davies!"
Alec Thraves, Swansea Socialist Party
Increased interest was shown with more discussions on our 10 June campaign stall. Another young unemployed woman joined the Socialist Party and immediately agreed a regular subscription. We had increased sales of the Socialist and lots of thumbs up.
Keith Dickinson, West London Socialist Party