Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/879/21770

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2015

Why I joined: "I already feel as if I am finally home"

Socialism 2015 Saturday rally, photo Senan

Socialism 2015 Saturday rally, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Richard Price, Gloucestershire Socialist Party

I have been a socialist ever since the day in 1984, when nine years old, I recall my father swearing about Maggie Thatcher during news coverage of the miners' strike. When I saw his reaction, I realised I was witnessing an important struggle, one full of pain and injustice, and I instantly knew what side I was on.

Fast forward to 1992, when, as a 17-year-old, I was just too young to vote in that year's general election. I had a driving lesson on polling day, and I will never forget asking my instructor, an ordinary working class bloke, who he would be voting for.

He said he had been thinking of voting Labour for months, but that he would "probably bottle out and vote Tory" after all.

Tony Blair

In 1995 Tony Blair was elected Labour leader. I admit, I fell for it. He inspired me, so I joined the Labour Party. They were the party of the working class, of the common man - they were socialists, right?

In New Labour on the other hand, policy was decided by a few at the top, and the discussion of political ideas took a back seat.

There were election victories to celebrate, but as a local government worker, I found myself on strike over pay and pensions under a Labour government. It seemed absurd, and I was struggling to square the circle. This was not what I had envisaged.

In 2003, Britain joined George W Bush in the invasion of Iraq. I demonstrated in London against the war, and said I would step down as constituency chair and leave the Labour Party if we went through with it. I knew I had to go.

Con-Dems

I became heavily involved in my trade union, which was the focus of my political activity until, in 2010, the Con-Dems were 'elected', and I felt compelled to do something. Against my better judgement, friends in the Labour Party helped persuade me to re-join. I hoped it would feel as if I was back where I belonged, but it never did.

Labour councils pushed through cuts and Ed Miliband committed Labour to following a programme of austerity. I could see the election defeat a mile off, Labour was not offering an alternative.

I did not see Jeremy Corbyn's victory coming, however I supported and welcomed it. The contest itself reopened old wounds in Labour, and, while the left of the party has won, it's not the end of the battle. I began to ask myself whether Labour's so-called 'broad church' was more of a cavernous cathedral. How had I ended up in the same political party as the likes of Liz Kendall, Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt?

The Socialist

I know a few local Socialist Party members that sold the Socialist and have always enjoyed talking to them. They regularly run a stall in my local city centre, where I recently signed a petition on the NHS and bought a copy of the paper. We got talking, and they invited me to their next meeting, and to Socialism 2015.

It was at this event, listening to the inspirational words of comrades at the various sessions and the rousing speeches of Roger Bannister, Hannah Sell, and others at the rallies, that I realised the Socialist Party is where I belong; where I had always belonged. I already feel as if I am finally home.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

How to defend Corbyn and defeat austerity

We can defeat the Tory cuts!

Tories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers

Athletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

Councils won't spend a penny

Them & Us


Socialist Party features

The end of social housing? How can we solve the housing crisis?

How can young people organise to support Jeremy Corbyn?


International socialist news and analysis

Paris terror attacks


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors: first strikes in 40 years

Trade union action needed to fight for steel jobs

Historic London bus drivers' agreement

Reinstate sacked CWU reps

Pro-Corbyn mood among Usdaw members

Support for Roger Bannister in Unison election

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments and reviews

All NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike

A day in the life of a Game retail worker

Why I joined: "I already feel as if I am finally home"

Robert Tressell's characters are all too real to me

My struggle for an income I can live on


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour bans union activist

Thousands march against India premier's bloody sectarianism

Strike to save Lambeth libraries

Gaining momentum in Lewisham

Anger at care home closure


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 November 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Socialist Party:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Cuba after the Castros

triangleEast London Socialist Party: 'Made in Dagenham' Ford women workers' pay strike 50 years on

triangleStop Trump! Build for 13 July student walkouts

triangleSolid strike at Tesco Dagenham distribution centre forces pay talks

triangleVictory: how school strike beat 'academy' privatisers

Labour:

triangleTories prepare for possible snap election

triangleStudent leaders claim one million on the streets against Brexit - fight for a workers' exit

triangleAntisemitism, Israel-Palestine, & the left

triangleChesterfield May Day: march turnout great

Socialist:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleHow 'Prevent' training fosters racist paranoia

triangle40 attend Socialist Party housing campaign launch in Windsor

The Socialist:

triangleLet's sell 1,000 extra copies of issue 1000!

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Celebrating the 1000th issue of the Socialist

Labour Party:

triangleTories' continuing EU quagmire is Corbyn's opportunity

Election:

triangleSweden: Socialist elected leader of 77,000-strong tenants' union

Working class:

triangleMay 1968: Revolutionary explosion as two thirds of workforce join strike

Tony Blair:

triangleLeft comic's take on politics will have you in tears

Strike:

triangleMay 1968: 'Communist' leaders hand power back to defeated bosses

Socialism 2015:

triangleWhy I joined: "The same values that I believed"

Austerity:

triangleAction demanded from new council

Cuts:

triangleAds won't fix it: fight mental health cuts as well as stigma

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

23/5/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

23/5/18

Film

We can learn about struggle from the mass trespass of Kinder Scout

23/5/18

Mental health

Ads won't fix it: fight mental health cuts as well as stigma

23/5/18

Racist

How 'Prevent' training fosters racist paranoia

16/5/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

9/5/18

Obituary

Obituary: Tony Byrne 1939 - 2018

2/5/18

The Socialist

The Socialist inbox

2/5/18

Obituary

Obituary: Roy Corke 1945-2018

18/4/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

18/4/18

Film

Vital depiction of fight for Aids prevention and treatment

11/4/18

The Socialist

The Socialist inbox

11/4/18

Sexism

Moving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

11/4/18

Trotsky

Striking analysis in heat of 1917 will deepen any reader's understanding

4/4/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

4/4/18

Obituary

Obituary: Lorraine Dardis (1965-2018)

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999