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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 February 2015

Why I joined the Socialist Party

'Last November I heard Kshama Sawant at Socialism 2014', photo Paul Mattsson

'Last November I heard Kshama Sawant at Socialism 2014', photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Beth Sutcliffe, Lewisham Socialist Party

I come from a small mining village in Kent, so I was quite politically aware while growing up. I often had conversations about politics with my parents.

In 2008, just after the financial crash, I was 14. I remember asking my mum if everything would be back to normal by the time I left school at 18. She said she didn't think so.

It seemed baffling to me then, as it does now, that something so seemingly abstract could affect people's lives so directly. The news was constantly repeating the names of American real estate companies that, before then, I had never even heard of.

Since then, the coalition government has set its sights on those least able to pay. We are to take responsibility for this capitalist crisis. Labour has been equally eager to assure us they will continue with austerity should they win the election.

Debt tripled

I will finish university in May with 50,000 worth of debt at the age of 21. The fees I pay were tripled from 3,000 to 9,000 a year. Even so, university workers are forced to fight employers over paltry pay 'rises', amounting to pay cuts in real terms.

I used to read the news and feel frustrated and powerless, and at times I still feel like that. But joining the Socialist Party has given me a way to fight back, and cause to be hopeful for the future.

Last November I heard Kshama Sawant and Paul Murphy, members of our sister parties leading huge struggles in the United States and Ireland. They were two of many speakers at Socialism 2014, the Socialist Party's annual weekend of public discussion and debate. Their example proved to me that change is possible, and that perhaps there is a socialist alternative on the horizon.

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In The Socialist 4 February 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Get organised and fight back

NHS crisis: Establishment parties can't be trusted

Fracking in trouble, from Lancashire to Lanarkshire!

Death, taxes and energy profits

Hands off our housing benefit!

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Cuba: Capitalist restoration threat accelerates

Greece: Syriza announces anti-austerity policies

Victory of the Marigold gloves


Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting for one London bus pay rate

Strike called off in face of inadequate pay offer

FBU recall conference: escalate pensions action!

Ferry workers win pay and conditions battle

National Gallery workers walk out against privatisation

Lambeth College strikers return to work

Ongoing battle to protect pay and conditions at college


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Londoners march for Homes

Academies victory: one down, four to go!

Rebuilding the student movement in Leicester

Gateshead fights for working class heritage

Election appeal 2015

Campaigns news in brief


Readers' comments

Why I joined the Socialist Party

At least we got Labour's fish and chips!

Disciplined for political comment


Socialist history

Miners' strike: vibrant array of support groups


 

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Pay:

triangleHealth workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

triangleSummer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

triangleEquity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal

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Debt:

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Kshama Sawant:

triangleUS: "Launch a mass, working-class fightback"

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triangleThe ongoing capitalist crisis and the struggle for a socialist world

Fees:

triangleTop unis threaten cuts if tuition fees

Austerity:

triangleGeneral election looms... Capitalists in chaos: Fight for socialism

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