Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/941/25072

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 March 2017

Why I joined the Socialist Party

"After seeing the branch's effect in the community, I decided to join"

'They shall not pass!' Butterfields campaigners, photo Waltham Forest Trades Council, photo Waltham Forest Trades Council

'They shall not pass!' Butterfields campaigners, photo Waltham Forest Trades Council, photo Waltham Forest Trades Council   (Click to enlarge)

Lee Armstrong, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

"I'm a product of New Labour, mate!" I remember proudly, maybe viciously, informing a fellow first year student in 2009.

He was a pedigree conservative, fresh out of the shire and had clearly misjudged his recently acquainted course mate, me. Confused, he waffled an apology and skulked off to find Orlando, who he knew he'd be on safer ground with.

I'm from Newcastle, born in 1989 with one of my earliest memories being of my mam celebrating Gordon Brown's first budget because he "did something good for pensions that would help out nana".

In 2017 I look back on both these moments and think how much mine and the world's perspective has changed. New Labour's legacy, built on the foundation of Thatcher's free market society, is rotting at the roots.

Many of society's problems today come from this unleashing of the free market. The deregulation and empowering of the financial centre has resulted in an eleven year depression and a City of London-centric economy.

Instead of building council houses (or any houses) we have a generation locked in the private renting market. Our schools have been turned into businesses - and not very successful ones.

New Labour, started the privatisation of the NHS, further weakened the power of trade unions, hiked up student fees... I could continue.

The 1990s saw a period of boom in the West and New Labour filled me with an incredible optimism for the future but if I'd considered capitalism's history, I'd have seen what was to come. In the last 200 years capitalism has caused in Britain alone five major depressions.

Karl Marx reveals a lot about the structure of capitalism and predicted so much about our present-day lives. He acknowledged that capitalism was needed to drive the development of technology to a time in which society no longer needed to exploit workers' labour to prosper.

Karl Marx

And as the Bank of England recently warned that in the next decade 50% of the UK work force will be replaced by technology, another of Marx's observations seems to have been proven true.

At first I was sceptical of the Socialist Party, and went to a meeting after gentle persuasion from a friend. But I was shocked and humbled, after meeting a group of people who gave up their spare time after work, organising the working class and supporting the vulnerable.

I witnessed how action was better for my local community, more than sharing news articles on Facebook, or hoping Parliament's gears would turn into action from signing an online petition. After seeing the local branch in Waltham Forest's positive effects within its local community, I decided to join.

And came to an obvious realisation that it's better to try and make the world a better place, even in the tiniest way, than to continue sitting in a pub expressing misery.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 22 March 2017:


What we think

Tory splits brought to the surface - Corbyn must go on the attack


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories scrap housing benefit for under-21s

Fight Tory attacks on women and children

Socialists demand reply to Livingstone's smear of Militant

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Northern Ireland: divisive election a warning

Jobstown Not Guilty: defend the right to protest

Netherlands: Heavy defeat for austerity government

Yemen: families left to starve by multinationals


Workplace news and analysis

Merseyrail guard found not guilty of "endangering safety"

End the seven-year public sector pay cap!

Aslef offer: unity needed with the RMT

Battle steps up in Unite general secretary election

Derby TAs' strike suspended after new offer

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

March against racism: Refugee Rights has lively bloc

We'll fight to save our NHS!

Biggest ever protest by Orgreave campaigners

Join the march against NHS cuts and privatisation in Cumbria

Battle for Wallsend walk-in NHS service

East London demonstration against A&E closure

Salford: International Women's Day meeting


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

"After seeing the branch's effect in the community, I decided to join"

'I'm writing this to tell you about the plight of disabled people'

Precise, visceral account of working class heroism

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 March 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Socialist Party:

triangleSocialist Party Wales: Starmer turns Labour right - Time for a new workers' party

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: How was slavery abolished?

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Is socialism against 'human nature'?

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: The Great Depression - When capitalism crumbled

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Capitalism is bad for mental health

The Socialist:

triangleThe best place to start - join the Socialist Party

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleBristol Socialist Party: Organise, Fight - the Socialist Youth charter

triangleBLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

Socialist:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Who were the Black Panthers?

triangleEast London Socialist Party: How to be a trade union organiser

triangleEast London Socialist Party: A socialist charter for young people

Labour:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Labour - time for a new party for the working class

triangleEnd the scandal of sweatshop labour

Capitalism:

triangle75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government

Marx:

triangleWorld economic crisis: A Marxist approach to the coronavirus crunch

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

8/7/20

School

TV: The school that tried to end racism

8/7/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

8/7/20

Racism

Books that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

1/7/20

TV

From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

1/7/20

US

Readers' opinion

1/7/20

Socialist Party

I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

24/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

24/6/20

Covid

A timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

17/6/20

Windrush

Tears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

17/6/20

Grenfell Tower

Three years on: No justice for Grenfell, no peace from BLM

17/6/20

Film

Film: Da 5 Bloods - entertaining but politically constrained

17/6/20

Profit

Two-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

17/6/20

Letters

The Socialist inbox

17/6/20

Socialist Party

Why we joined the Socialist Party

10/6/20

Racist

Readers' opinion: Things will never be the same

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999