Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/910/23206
The Socialist 13 July 2016 |
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Why I joined: "I no longer felt isolated from politics"
Corinthia Ward photo Helen Pattison (Click to enlarge)
Growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s I only ever knew Labour as the party who gave us Tony Blair, privatisation, tuition fees and the Iraq War. When I reached voting age I was told Labour was meant to be the party for working people but during my whole life I had seen no evidence of this.
I knew the Tory party were not to be trusted as I heard the horror stories of Thatcher, however, I was also too familiar with the horror stories of Labour from my own personal experience.
My earliest memory involving politics was sitting in front of the news as a child and seeing the first UK bombs hit Iraq and in my mind I saw innocent people and families dying. Knowing there wasn't a parliamentary party who fought for my interests or for that of people like me made me feel helpless and isolated throughout most of my life.
In spring 2015 I attended a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) meeting in my local town due to a leaflet being put through my door. There I saw TUSC chair Dave Nellist speak as well as my local TUSC candidate Ted Woodley. It was the first time I had ever heard people fight for the things I believed in; ending tuition fees and fighting for nationalisation.
It was through my involvement in TUSC that I was introduced to the Socialist Party and went to a branch meeting. There I learnt about the party's history (as Militant) and the issues which they fight for.
Talking with people at the meeting meant I no longer felt isolated from politics and was able to connect with like-minded people. Everyone involved in the branch had been welcoming and friendly and it didn't take me long to join.
Being a member of the Socialist Party has not only enabled me to find my political voice but also to understand politics on a class basis, giving me confidence to fight for issues I believe in and I feel more empowered than I did before.
But overall, the main point when talking to someone about why they should join the Socialist Party is how you will no longer feel alone or isolated. To know there are people on your side and feel the same as you.
With the surge in support of Jeremy Corbyn, it's an exciting time to be a socialist. The opportunity exists for a mass anti-austerity party completely different to the Labour Party I grew up with.