On an upward trajectory: my experience as a new Socialist Party member

Nick Slater

Being a dad with four small kids to look after, it can sometimes seem difficult to fit in being an active member of the Socialist Party.

However, the harder life is, the less space you have to breathe, the more you need socialism and to get active!

The change for me started to come when a few of us established a regular Socialist Party presence in Torquay with meetings and a Saturday stall.

For a long time, local politics have been dominated by the establishment parties and latterly Ukip. Hopefully, now, a deeper shade of red can sink into people’s hearts and minds as a growing backlash against our Tory Mayor and MP develops.

There is no doubt that the Socialist Party is the only real alternative to Tory austerity in a very run down, dispirited and mostly politically switched-off area.

I feel that through our new stall and activities we will and are slowly changing that. Positive action, for me, has developed a deeper realisation and appreciation that this is what it’s all about.

Being a friendly and public face of much needed ‘outsider politics’ is perhaps just what a town like Torquay needs. A stall manned by two or three members who clearly care about other people, equality, and fairness in local and national life is a very appealing to lots of people who don’t see this happening anywhere else, least of all in the local government buildings, newsrooms and town hall.


Any worries about time and other life commitments seem to lessen in magnitude. It all feels right and fits together, becoming enjoyable and fulfilling rather than another bloody chore or job to tick off the list!

People of all ages see us as people they can let off steam at as we listen and calmly offer a largely unheard of alternative. And while ‘socialist speak’ can seem dated to older (often wealthier) residents, it sounds very fresh and optimistic to local young people – who know nothing except for difficult living conditions, lost ambitions, growing debt and how much harder life has got under this government!

The stall sells the Socialist and has other socialist material for those who need answers to their political problems and we have campaigning petitions to sign. We also did door to door canvassing in the Torbay area promoting a real anti-cuts council candidate which upset the local Blairite Labour candidate!

To a new member, our Socialist Party activity makes me feel more energised rather than burdened by it all.

It’s all an upward trajectory for socialism in Torbay that I am very proud to be a part of.