Photo: Hugo Pierre
Photo: Hugo Pierre

Socialism or barbarism in Teesside

Daniel, Teesside Socialist Party

Today I call the Socialist Party my political home at a time when my physical home of Teesside desperately needs the kind of change only the Socialist Party can offer.

Teesside is an area riddled with poverty that has been in a period of managed decline since the 1980s. Local Tories will accuse anyone who points out this fact of ‘talking down Teesside’, in a bid to browbeat anyone who speaks out into sanitising their criticism.

Meanwhile, local Labour Party politicians will occasionally point out the symptoms of the problem (which 13 years of Blair’s Labour government did very little to alleviate), while failing to properly diagnose the root cause of those aforementioned problems.

The root cause is capitalism. The system that makes a few rich on the back of our work, and has now cruelly taken many of those industries away in the name of outsourcing and globalisation of supply chains to further increase profits. All the while leaving areas like Teesside – with a proud industrial, working-class heritage – languishing with some of the highest rates of unemployment, poverty and crime in the country.

Only through working-class organisation can we change our course from that of cyclical crisis and continuing deprivation to one of hope of a better world. The Socialist Party offers that kind of hope. That is why I joined; we have a simple choice, socialism or barbarism?

Living with the consequences of Tory rule

Saige, Swindon Socialist Party

Living through the pandemic, when I had to self-isolate, I experienced NHS waiting times rise drastically. I was pushed to the bottom of so many lists waiting for life-saving care.

The anger I hold over this definitely pushed me to sign up and join the Socialist Party at a local campaign stall. Reading articles online and seeing my own views and emotions reflected provided hope that change was possible.

Obviously, despite this, I look at house prices and the cost of uni, and things still seem bleak. I am queer, neurodivergent, disabled and transgender – I am a person living with the consequences of the Tory’s fearmongering and finger pointing.

Being 16 years old, I am only just developing politically, David Cameron is the first prime minister I remember. I may not yet have the knowledge or the language to explain why or how this is the state of the UK but the demands of the Socialist Party, to me, are a way to envision and enact a future where I and those around me can survive.