Thursday, November 6, 2014

News from the Branches (1962)

From the August 1962 issue of the Socialist Standard

Good news from Glasgow Branch which is going strong propounding Socialism to workers in Scotland. Eleven outdoor meetings were held in June, three of them in Edinburgh. Audiences averaged 100 and literature sales totaled £5. A collection of £3 was taken at an indoor meeting and £5 at the outdoor ones. Average attendances of members was nine.

Swansea Branch held a successful debate with the Liberal Party represented by R. Gool. The SPGB representative our comrade Harris gave a critical survey of the history of the Liberals demonstrating how their reformist policy was of no value to the working-class, and that there was no alternative to Socialism if workers wanted a better way of life. The Liberal attacked the idea of the "class-war" and belittled the Party because it was small and therefore ineffective. He argued that the Liberals were concerned with "day-to-day" issues and gave a list of reforms which he claimed would solve all the problems of the British. Good questions were put from an attentive audience who were clearly sympathetic to the Socialist case. Literature sales, 16s. and a promise was made by a member of the audience to donate her late father's books by Marx and Engels. More indoor meetings are planned especially in view of the interest shown at this debate.

Coventry Group have linked up with Birmingham Branch to conduct propaganda meetings in the Midlands, the first of which was held in June. This lasted for two hours with an audience never below 100 and at times 200. Other meetings will be held in Coventry and surrounding towns. SS subscribers have been notified of future meetings. The local library ban on the SS has been lifted as from June.

The newly formed Bromley Group is already very active busily canvassing the constituency with introductory leaflets and following up with sales of the SS and are finding the method very successful. Comrade May addressed a meeting at the local library. Advertising was made by handbills and posters. (Poor positions were chosen by the bill-posters so members quickly placed more in prominent positions). A van literally covered with posters for the meeting was placed in a busy shopping area on a Saturday. The same was intended on the Monday but was met by a police reception committee. A challenging letter in the local press failed to evoke any response from the Colossi to whom it referred. A contingent of CND supporters attended the meeting and were challenged to debate. Socialist Standard and pamphlets were sold and a collection of £2 taken and a report appeared in the local press. A lively and very promising start.

Bloomsbury Branch have sadly learned of the death of Nat Posner, who had been ill for some time. A member for over twenty years, he had known and supported the Party a long time and had interested workers in Socialism for more than forty years. Some of these joined the Party thirty years ago becoming very active in propaganda work. Originally working as a group at their place of work they sold thousands of Socialist Standards and pamphlets and took regular weekly collections for the Party from sympathizers over a period of years. Thus, our comrade Posner by quietly and patiently convincing others, set off a chain of socialist activity. He was a frequent chairman at outdoor meetings especially at Hyde Park; a consistent and staunch member, he will be missed.
P. H.

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