Attendees at UK general election rally speak: “The Socialist Equality Party is what I want to dedicate my efforts to building.”

The reports delivered to the Socialist Equality Party general election rally in Holborn and St Pancras, London, provoked an important discussion, centred on why there were not more socialists and wouldn’t there be a degeneration of any socialist government. This raised an important discussion on Stalinism, which was warmly received.

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WSWS reporters spoke to some of those in attendance on their response to the rally.

Abdalla, a student, said, “I attended today because a close friend explained to me that Labour and Keir Starmer are not the party we should vote for. Rather what we should vote for is socialism and the Socialist Equality Party. The SEP are trying to bring change for the working class. They are shedding light on what is going on with the war in Ukraine and the genocide in Gaza.”

Responding to the appeal at the meetings conclusion for attendees to join and build the SEP, Abdalla said, “Dedication to change is what I was looking for. The Socialist Equality Party is what I want to dedicate my efforts to building.

Abdallah (right) with Socialist Equality Party candidate for Holborn and St Pancras Tom Scripps

“Some students have emotional understanding over the war in Gaza. The correct and most rational way to think about this situation as a student, is that to be a working class person and to be supportive [of Gaza] you have to be a person who is working with other working class people and supporting the Socialist Equality Party.

“I thought especially hearing Joe, his words were clear and a lot of misconceptions that I had myself were put into correct perspectives.”

Zakaria attended the meeting with a relative, Mali. “As young people we want change. We are losing hope in the political system. We want this kind of socialist ideology where the working class must have its own say. We are against the capitalists.”

Mali said, “The Labour Party and Tory Party are the same party. We came here today to listen to the equality people. We are fighting for justice, we are fighting for equality and freedom. That’s why we came here and that’s why we support your candidates in the election.”

Asked what they thought of the internationalist platform at the London rally with speakers from Europe and the United States, Mali said, “That’s brilliant”.

Zakaria and Mali

Zakaria said, “We should have a one world system. We are globally connected to each other. What I learnt today is that problems in the US will affect us in the UK, it will filter all over the world. We need one ideology for the people.

“Most of the youth are losing hope, and without hope the future is bleak. The current system is not working for the youth. Socialism is for the working people. That’s the thing about it. We don’t want a system that is just for the few and the people who have the power. But this party is for the working people, the majority.

“It is the major corporations that take advantage of wars, but it is no good for the people, as the cost of living just goes up. The military and security budget in the United States was now over $1 trillion and the same thing will happen in Britain. It will keep going up. And that money should go to education, to health care and helping the poor people.”

Julena, a Latvian-born Russian, said, “I liked the speeches today and really liked Tom Scripps’s speech. You are telling the truth. The speaker [SEP candidate Darren Paxton] explained about [Wikileaks founder] Julian Assange and I am happy that he is out of prison. I would like to shake Assange’s hand.

“I think America wants another war. After the Second World War America became the main power. It had a strong economy. I think that America wants war to take out the problems it has with its economy, which is not strong now. A lot of money and our taxes are going to the military and we are paying for it.

Julena (left) and Tom Scripps

“We don’t want war. In the Second World War in the Soviet Union 27 million people lost their lives. The Russian people never want war. My grandmother says ‘We can struggle and try to get by, but there is only one rule. We don’t want war’. Because my grandparents were in that war and know what it was like. Stop war!

“The rich people have a bunker underground and they can go there in war, and they don’t care about the poor people.”

Two members of the Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee came to the rally.

One said, “I was happy to see the candidates for the elections at the meetings who came from all over the world, especially Joe who came from America. Everything they said was spot on.

“[SEP US Presidential candidate] Joe [Kishore] explained that in the US election you have a candidate who is senile and you’ve got the racist Trump. It’s just a two party set-up. It’s the same here, but it’s three parties. In England we have the Labour, Conservatives and Liberals. We’ve got to change it.”

Speaking about the decline in workers’ living standards another said, “before the start of COVID our food shopping was £100. Now its £400. All the big corporations are taking the profit; Walmart, Mars factories, GSK, the pharmaceuticals companies.

“They increase inflation and it devalues wages. When I joined Royal Mail about 20 years ago my shopping basket full was £5. A shopping basket now is £50. And I’m not just talking about the bill for myself. There are single parents, mothers, who have to pay this and have the pay the travel on top and everything. It’s going back to the Oliver Twist days: ‘Please sir, can I have some more?’

“Gaza is not a single issue. It’s about a lot of things. Equality, human right, workers’ rights. It is all about the gas in the Gaza Strip, which BP will make a lot of money from. Each country wants its share. America usually gets the big spoils, Britain is second, France gets a little bit left and everyone else gets the scraps. When they bombed Iraq, the American company Halliburton got a contract for rebuilding. Labour has sold us down the river. They are nothing but a far-right group.”

Another postal worker said, “I thought Tom spoke well. He is from the young generation and it is important that we bring socialism to the young generation.”