Socialist Party campaigning in Guildford. Photo: Surrey Socialist Party
Socialist Party campaigning in Guildford. Photo: Surrey Socialist Party

Laurence Dunn, Surrey Socialist Party

I have been involved in grassroots trade union activity for many years, founding the Northumbria Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) branch and holding some officer positions in that union. I came across anarchism at a young age, being given texts to read by a secondary school teacher. Over time I became disillusioned. We were forced to overcome hurdles put in place by the leadership to take part in on-the-ground organising drives. Having been a member for over seven years, I became depressed and burnt out – dropping out of political activity for some years.

I had been exposed to the Socialist Party’s ideas for some time, having met members in Newcastle and played football with some of them! The Militant Tendency (the Socialist Party’s predecessor) was a well-known boogey-man of the capitalist class in Britain, so naturally, that made me want to investigate their history.

After my experiences in the IWW (not all bad, there are great members who are still close friends and I learnt a lot), I was left demoralised, crushed even. From that point I kept my head down, became very pessimistic and begrudgingly ‘accepted my lot’. This feeling deepened during Covid which caused further health problems and problems keeping up with my rent. I lost my small place and had a rough time.

However, watching the strike wave emerge over the last year and having a terrible manager who harassed work colleagues moved me out of my inertia. I was sick of ‘yes-sir’, ‘no-sir’ and I realised I wasn’t alone. My experiences told me that it wasn’t ‘one big union’ that was needed, but a political party of dedicated socialists, with clear thinking and the will to fight in every avenue – the workplace, on the political field, everywhere, tooth and nail, for socialism.

After a bit of shopping around, I contacted the Socialist Party. An organiser got back to me straight away. It’s the best decision I have made in a long time. The level of commitment, consideration, attention to detail and organisation astounds me every day.

Since then, the Socialist Party has grown quite significantly in my area – with a branch beginning to form in Guildford and new members inspiring me with their level of interest and enthusiasm. I have every confidence we will continue to grow and become a strong presence in the area.

Ultimately, I joined the Socialist Party because I am a socialist, and I found an organisation that isn’t playing. We are serious about fighting for socialist change.