Sunday, 16 September 2012

Why I joined the Socialist Party not the SWP

Firstly I’d like to say to any SWP readers of this blog this is not meant in a sectarian putting our party before yours kind of post but a realistic reflection on why I join a party which in numbers is slightly smaller, less of a web presense, less well known perhaps and what some would say has less going for it. Well firstly I was in the labour party briefly at best for a spate of a few months. I’ve been criticised by some such as Owen Jones who brings it up every time we debate that I was a labour party member and yes I admit it I did vote for Ed balls in the leadership elections. I’ve never tried to hide that fact. We all make mistakes we all are naive when first getting into politics. I was only 21. I’d just started getting into politics and felt at the time Ed balls was making the right noises in opposing the cuts. How wrong was I!! I have since realised my error but do not dodge any difficult issues I realise I was wrong, so be it. We can all be duped in our early days in politics and I certainly was. We are not all brought in to politics with the perfect outlook the absolute pure class perspective and no blemish’s at all. I admit it I was wrong, wrong to ever think labour were any alternative wrong to think Ed balls stood against the cuts and wrong to think parliament can deliver change in any form. Whilst saying that I accept many will be taking a similar route to myself at this very moment and accept those who feel alienated by the cuts and the onslaught of attacks on the working and middle class’s today and make the decision to get involved. I realise many will opt for the line of least resistance to say I’m involved I oppose the cuts and will unfortunately join labour. I understand this. I was there. I was that person I describe. I thought Labour opposed the cuts. I was however wrong, very wrong. In politics I do not see a problem with admitting you were wrong, as long as you admit that honestly and up front is fine. It’s then what you do after that which counts. If you say oh well I was wrong but carry on as before what do you learn? Nothing I feel Whereas I took a conscious decision to leave the labour party. A decision not taken lightly by many today but for me it was an easy choice. I’d looked on the internet for more left parties/groups I first stumbled as I’m sure many do across the SWP. Whilst in the labour party moving more to the left singled me out for much abuse, you’re a communist, a leftie, a trot were the jibes levelled at me. Another was if you’re too left your let the Tories win we can’t allow that. I ran into the bureaucracy of the labour party I admit. I was feeling more and more my class instincts and said openly to a CLP labour party meeting I oppose all these cuts. To the local labour party councillor on Herts Country Council, Sharon Taylor, Leader of Labour run Stevenage Borough council who I raised this issue with. I said I oppose all these cuts why should we be making any cuts. Should we not take as our base line as opposing all cuts. She gave me as Sharon is known for a load of spiel on why we can’t fight all cuts and that to appear credible and not militant and to regain power we must conform to what we are being asked. I fumed I was not happy but kept this in check I walked out of that meeting astonished and angry that these are labour party officials who will not and do not see any way of fighting the cuts. Even at a local level. I was angry and this field my desire to fight the cuts even more finding out in the middle of this disability benefit were to be cut and labour would not fight these cuts was the final straw for me. I had to leave but to where Many see the SWP as the biggest and most vocal force on the left even still today. Many feel if you leave the labour party to the left you will join the SWP Well I didn’t. I read their website I still subscribe to their daily emails but I did not however join them. Why was this? You may ask Well locally the SWP have nothing, But that is not my sole reason, I joined the Socialist party formally Militant and I do still believe the majority who stuck with the SP are the true founders of Militant and live on in its name in class, action and programme. Programme is a big part of my reason for joining and continuing to be a member of the SP. I did not just join as I think they have the right policies and demands to win elections. I took a different outlook I knew the SP were not simply about winning elections they were about more than that. That more was about changing society I have wholly brought into their ideas and am well I’d like to think so a advocate of their our ideas and I would now consider them my ideas too as till date I have not disagreed with anything we have said, done, or acted on. This may change as we are a democratic organisation and disagreements do come up as much as outsiders may doubt this but we do disagree. But instead of other parties expelling and disciplining those who do disagree we debate democratically and try to come to some sort of arrangement and a position to move forward. We do not write anyone off we feel that any working class person can become a Marxist and understand our ideas but at the same time we realise a minority of the class, the most advanced layer will be won to our ideas. It’s what we do with those ideas which matters. I daily try to raise the ideas of genuine socialism now. Since my transition and it was a transition not a brainwashing or anything I reject that I came to my own conclusions in time and I stand by that. I do believe we need to change society and only the working class has the revolutionary power to do that and that the Socialist party with its international across the globe featuring over 42 sections in the CWI is best placed to carry this task out for the betterment of the human race.

1 comment:

  1. i don't think you need to kind of apologise to SWP people, its your own political trajectory and story, and its not "sectarian" for you to write it.

    i was different to you, but on whether more politically minded people join this or that organisation doesn't matter as much compared to the numbers of people who stay involved with labour, or who leave and simply switch off from politics.

    Sadly there are many more of these people than there are of us. our challenge [even as different organisations] is how can we win wider layers who we simply don't reach today. How can we deploy more people in campaigns, protests, strikes for socialist change.

    So its good for you to write, and keep fighting for genuine change.