Manchester meeting: “It’s like a blindfold being taken off”

After the meeting, Danny, a student at Manchester University, spoke with SEP National Secretary Chris Marsden.

He is from Ardwick in Manchester, where he helps with youth work in the community. This, he explained, has given him an insight into what is happening in “the wider society.” He said, “We definitely need to know what’s going on at the top and trickling down, affecting young people.”

Danny said that he “dropped out of school at 14” and “here I am 10 years later expecting to get a first class honours degree.”

He came to the meeting as a result of a discussion with an SEP member campaigning in his area. He said, “I liked your ideas of nationalising the banks and redistributing wealth, especially with what’s going on in the country. I am from a working class area where there is a lot of unemployment and benefit-dependent people with a lot of social problems such as drugs.” He added that he “knew about the basics of socialism, such as the democratic ownership of the banks.”

Danny said the meeting was good and he liked the way his question on how to go about organising workers was taken up by the speaker. “There’s an obvious bigger picture. I was asking more on a micro level, how to get working class people mobilised into taking part in the movement. I understand what was explained to me. It was well articulated and I will do a bit more reading, find out and come back with new questions.”

He bought a copy of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain) and gave a firm “Yes” when he was asked whether he would be coming to more of our meetings.

Jo, an IT worker, also spoke to the World Socialist Web Site. She explained, “I came along because I can see what is happening, but I didn't know what outlet there was for me to do anything. I just saw you guys on the street campaigning and you were talking about exactly what I’ve been trying to tell my friends all this time.

“I have just lost complete faith in any political parties. I don’t trust anything they say; the government or the news. I’m second-guessing everything.

“It’s good to come to somewhere and know that there are likeminded people and that there is something that can be done about it. It’s not just people who are angry about it, but who are actually doing something.

“I pretty much agreed with all of it tonight. Lucy hit very close to the bone. It was upsetting and very hard to listen to. For a lot of young people it is very hard to hear. When you suddenly come to the realisation that the government doesn’t watch your back and that the people that you believed in and trusted are corrupted and you can’t trust them, a lot of people will struggle with that and they will try to fight against that.

“I will stick evidence in the face of my friends until they are blue. They will fight the whole way because they just don’t want to believe it. People think ‘the government has always got my back. If I lose my job I will get a new one.’ The security blanket will be torn away from them. They will want to hold on to that, but that will change.

“I think it takes persistence. I’ve done the same with a few of my friends. They don’t always believe you at first. But if you keep telling them, ‘look at this, have you seen this?’ they start to see it for themselves. It’s like a blindfold being taken off and you realise what is going on around you.”