As a teenager, I was involved with various activist groups, including SWP, road protests and animal liberationists. Then life took over, and my activities outside of work tended to revolve around that wonderful place known as the pub. Two decades later, with a tory government in power again, that feeling of injustice is back with a vengeance. I have worked in care work for the vast majority of my adult life, and seeing how devastating this government has been to so many vulnerable people, I had to do something. I have been a union rep for 12 years on and off, but this didn’t fulfil that need to make a difference. I needed something more, somewhere I could discuss the changes that need to happen, rather than just shouting at the news on a daily basis.
Through chance, TUSC appeared in front of me, hidden away in a BBC report in a list of all the party’s standing in the local elections. As I started to look into this new party, I became convinced. I have said (some say shouted) for years that the unions should stop paying for the Labour party, a party that has distanced itself from its roots, and from the every-day person. New Labour, while probably not as bad as a tory government, is not a party of the left anymore.
My timing could have been better, my wife was expecting our first baby together, the unions were calling everyone out on strike, and I’m trying to get involved in another group! With work and family, I couldn’t afford any time to get to the meetings of the socialist party, and I dare say I was seen as one of the many ‘armchair’ supporters, who often get in touch but are then never seen again.
But here I am, a fully paid up member of the Socialist Party, and waiting for a new son any day now. Again, perhaps my timing for trying to write this could be better, as I panic every time my phone rings! I am determined to attend more of the meetings when I can, and if I change jobs I hope to stand in the local elections for TUSC. I see TUSC as the only viable option for the unions, and the working person, to make a stand against the three main party’s. Finally, for the first time in over twenty years, it feels like there is a party of the left worth voting for.