Oscar parry (second left) campaigning with the Socialist Party. Photo: Martin Reynolds
Oscar parry (second left) campaigning with the Socialist Party. Photo: Martin Reynolds

I’m convinced that socialist ideas can be successful

Oscar Parry, South West London Socialist Party

I joined the Socialist Party following my disillusionment with the Labour Party’s treatment of Jeremy Corbyn after the 2017 election. Seeing the vicious attacks on him from Labour’s bureaucracy convinced me that Labour is firmly in the control of right wingers who are not interested in what the membership wants.

Starmer’s centralisation of power, and banning of any remaining socialist voices, has led to a membership drop of 170,000. There are plenty more people like me!

I was still hesitant about joining the Socialist Party after attending a few branch meetings. But after participating in a national trade union demonstration with the Socialist Party, I saw the appetite for our ideas, and support for the programme among union activists and the public.

I then realised that the reasons we have discussions on political theory and history is so we can understand where our ideas come from, and draw lessons from the struggles of workers and young people around the world, and historically.

The Socialist Party’s attention to developing the confidence of members is very impressive. We are always encouraged to take the next step. Whether it’s speaking for the first time at a branch meeting or even at a national event.

The effect of this on new members like me has been dramatic. From not feeling confident enough to speak in a branch meeting, I can now make a 20-minute speech in front of hundreds of people!

The real sense of democracy at national events, like Socialism 2022, is palpable. Hearing how members from all areas of the party can have a real say in deciding the best approach, and discussing the programme, is inspirational. And we bring that sense of democracy into the campaigns we’re involved in, like the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN).

All contributions from comrades young and old, new members and seasoned veterans are all valued and discussed equally. I’ve learnt more about the party’s history as Militant, and its leadership of the successful anti-poll tax movement, which brought down hated Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher. This, and our current role, attempting to influence trade union conferences and pressuring union leaderships leftwards, convinced me that our ideas can play a major role in national politics.

Meeting members from all over the world, who are part of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), and getting a real update on the political situation in different countries has been amazing.

Anyone who supports socialist policies should join the Socialist Party today, it will change your life!

Join the fightback – join the socialists

Visit socialistparty.org.uk/join