For someone who did not grow up with Marx in the household, the road to joining a socialist party is not straight and easy like a motorway. Instead it is a meandering and confusing country path, involving many twists and turns.
From a young age, I was brought up with the sense of an ‘other’. Protestants were different, and that’s why we avoided their areas, why we went to different schools and why there was conflict. I accepted this as ‘just the way it is’. However, as I grew up, I made friends from the Protestant community and what I found was a collective viewpoint that the division between Catholics and Protestants is totally futile.
The party isn’t backed by big business, it’s not made up of establishment politicians who represent the interests of the richest 1%. It’s there to represent the people and help create a mass movement to end the tyranny of capitalism, allowing us to create a fair and equal society where everyone has the right to the best possible medical care, where everyone has equal opportunity to be educated without the worry of a massive debt over their heads.
Jeremy Corbyn’s call to scrap tuition fees and to introduce maintenance allowances is a welcome development in the fight for free education. Although there is a way to go before these reforms are won, the Labour Party’s proposal to invest an extra £25 billion into education in England offered a clear alternative to the long-term programme of cuts and corporatisation.
The surge in price rises continues unabated. Official figures released in May put inflation at a rate of 2.9%, with most economists predicting further price rises this year.