Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/841/20004
The Socialist 28 January 2015 |
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Why I joined the Socialist Party
Lisa Bainbridge, Lambeth Socialist Party
In 1997 New Labour swept to victory with a promise of a 'third way' for British politics. I'd just arrived in the UK from Australia. I grew up during the Cold War, and my politics didn't stretch much further than no nukes and vote Labour.
This changed after the attacks on the Twin Towers. I remember the moment it was announced the UK would be sending troops to Afghanistan. People said it would be over in weeks. I couldn't imagine how anyone could think that; the USSR had got bogged down there for decades.
A few brutal years later, Tony Blair announced we would be going to Iraq. I joined the march against the war in the hope the wishes of the many would win over the interests of a few. We know how that turned out.
Then came the financial crash. This was the moment, people were occupying the streets, capitalism was in crisis. The nature of capitalism had been revealed, rampant greed and corporate corruption laid bare.
But the more time passed, the more the mainstream media narrative changed. It was no longer due to exploitation and trading toxic assets. It was all caused by overspending on public services. Of course it was!
Labour just started apologising. I kept the faith for a while, until I saw Ed Balls announce Labour's promise to carry through Tory cuts. Labour was not speaking for me anymore.
The next day I saw Dave Nellist, chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC - see page 9) on the BBC. It was the first time for a long time I'd heard someone with real ideas about how the lives of working people could be transformed. I immediately got on the website, registered my support for TUSC and joined the Socialist Party.
The night before writing this, I watched Syriza sweep to victory in Greece. For the first time since 1997 I feel change in the air.