Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/842/20044
Why I joined the Socialist Party
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.
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.
In The Socialist 4 February 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns