Campaigning for Socialism Chesterfield

Val Graham

In 1984, Chesterfield hit the headlines as a hostile press sought victory for the Liberals in a by-election which was won by Labour’s Tony Benn on the streets and in the factories where he attracted 90% name recognition. The Party and Tony fought on issues relevant to people’s everyday lives, and the wider involvement of the labour movement, including women, was key. Encouraged by Tony, Chesterfield Labour Party adopted its own democratic, socialist and internationalist Aims and Objects and hosted the Socialist Conferences. The Party and Tony unequivocally supported the miners and their leadership in the strike of 1984-85.

Tony travelled the country raising support and was responsible for the BBC’s admission that they had reversed their film footage of the police charge at Orgreave – thus discrediting the pickets. Tony was involved in planning our 30th anniversary event which, though very ill, he attended in spirit to mass applause.

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