SOME 80 people attended a conference in Manchester organised by the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs on Saturday. The morning session was boosted by about 200 firefighters who turned up for what was billed as a rally in support of their strike.
There was huge applause for FBU general secretary Andy Gilchrist, RMT general secretary Bob Crow and Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union. Bob Crow and Mark Serwotka spelled out both practical solidarity for the firefighters and voiced the fury of FBU members at the way the Labour government is attacking them.
Other speakers at the opening rally included MPs John McDonnell and Alan Simpson. They spoke out in support of the firefighters, 'But the main thrust of what they had to say was that we should all be in the Labour Party,' one firefighter told Socialist Worker. 'If anything, people are considering leaving the Labour Party.'
Appeals for people not to leave the Labour Party and for activists present to try to rebuild local Party organisation dominated the rest of the day.