The combination of war, economic crisis and disillusionment with Labour is opening up a new debate among thousands of working class people about the sort of politics we need to ensure a better future for the majority of the world’s population.
This is why a series of meetings organised by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) on the theme of Why You Should Be A Socialist have struck a chord- and attracted big audiences keen to discuss ideas about how the world could be transformed.
Over 100 people – young and old – attended the meeting in Liverpool on Tuesday of last week.
Those at the meeting agreed it was one of the best events on the left for many years.
Postal worker Daniel Miles was one of 18 people who joined the SWP at the meeting. He told Socialist Worker that he thought the event was a real boost for the left.
“I was impressed with the speakers who all talked about how to change things for the better,” he said. “Preston Respect councillor Michael Lavalette spoke about the attacks on working people and what he is doing about it locally – it really resonated.”
Alex May, a social worker who rejoined the SWP at the event, said that the meeting attracted an inspiring mixture of new people and longstanding campaigners.
“The meeting gave a real feeling that the left is going somewhere,” he said. “It was clear that there are a lot of people beginning to ask some fundamental questions about the world- and that the SWP can connect with them.”
In Leeds, over 120 people crowded into the meeting on Wednesday of last week.
The audience was mostly young and many raised questions about what sort of alternative to capitalism we need and about possibilities for organising resistance.
Building for the meeting created quite a buzz in itself with three people joining the SWP in the run up to the event.
Some ten people joined the SWP on the night, including a local Unison union shop steward and several students from the city’s two universities.
Kathryn Wilson, a student from Leeds Metropolitan University, told Socialist Worker that she had been thinking for a while about whether to get more involved and the meeting had convinced her to join the SWP.
“It is the big ideas that make a real difference,” she said. “The speakers talked about what the economic crisis means in ways that really brought it home. They talked about the contrast between the way it affects rich and poor people around the world.
“It was a very emotive meeting- people were really passionate about the problems we face and about the fact that we can change them.”
For details of meetings in your area or to join the SWP, email firstname.lastname@example.org phone 020 7819 1172