Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1119/31966
From The Socialist newspaper, 3 February 2021
Why I rejoined the Socialist Party
photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Kieran Barlow, Grimsby and Scunthorpe Socialist Party
18 months ago, I left the Socialist Party following a political dispute which led to a small opposition group splitting off.
After careful consideration and reflection over the last few months, I now know this was the wrong decision for me, and the wrong direction for working-class people in Britain and internationally. I came to this conclusion as I realised that the arguments used in the dispute contradicted what was taking place on the ground.
So I watched from the sidelines as the Socialist Party intervened in my local area and across the country on the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, climate strike protests, and campaigned alongside NHS workers fighting for a 15% pay rise. These experiences concretely contradicted the accusations that the Socialist Party did not intervene in, or consider the urgency and importance of, social movements.
As a revolutionary organisation we have to acknowledge and adapt to social movements due to how quickly they can rise and fall. Although with a correct orientation, perspectives, and programme, these movements can be drawn towards the workers' organisations, and activists can be won to a revolutionary party like the Socialist Party.
During the dispute, the Socialist Party was critiqued as wanting to be just a propagandist organisation. However, it is the critics of the Socialist Party who have a wait-and-see attitude, rather than taking a pro-active role in trying to promote a new workers' party.
As someone who had previously stood as a candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in North East Lincolnshire, and gained over 20% of the vote in the 2018 local elections, I'm really pleased that the Socialist Party, along with the RMT trade union, has relaunched TUSC's electoral challenge against Starmer's Labour.
The decision to write this statement has not been forced upon me, nor was I approached by any member of the Socialist Party to rejoin or write this statement. The reasons I approached the Socialist Party to rejoin four months ago are outlined above. They stem from reading both organisations' material and contrasting them against what each were really doing on the ground.
I made a conscious, but personally difficult, decision to approach the Socialist Party again. After several discussions and attending branch meetings for three months, I have rejoined. I would recommend anyone else looking for a fighting, working-class, socialist organisation to do the same.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 3 February 2021:
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Launching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses
Why I am attending the TUSC local elections online conference
South Yorks TUSC ready for electoral fight
What we think
Workers' rights and safety: Trade union mobilisation could force more Tory U-turns
Socialist Students open letter to Rent Strike network
Children in care: Privatisation is not working
Multimillion-pound rental firm demands thousands from homeless asylum seeker
Covid outbreak at Kent asylum detention centre: Napier is not fit for purpose
New anti-protest law: State forces want more power to crush the protests that are coming
Usdaw conference stripped of democracy by leadership
Usdaw Broad Left rally brings together those campaigning for a fighting union
Strong union lead needed to stop DVLA Covid spread
HMRC: We demand a pay rise without cuts to terms and conditions
Workers fight British Gas 'fire-and-rehire' plans
Vote Steve Hedley for RMT general secretary
The NEU's 'big announcement' - lessons need to be learned
Yorkshire aerospace workers strike against pay disparity
Workplace news in brief
The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto - A guide to understanding society, and how to change it
1971: Rolls-Royce crisis - when the Tories nationalised in order to secure the interests of British capitalism
GameStop: Billionaires hurt at their own game
The Socialist Inbox
Covid 'vaccine wars' underline failure of capitalist nation states to deal with the global pandemic
New members meeting in the South West - preparing for the battles to come
Why I rejoined the Socialist Party
Help us raise the funds to fuel the working-class fightback
Save our square: we need social housing and public services
Stop Labour council's eviction of Stratford Circus arts centre
The Socialist 3 February 2021 |
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