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going to socialist party meetings?

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by Jon-of-arc, May 19, 2012.

  1. Jon-of-arc

    Jon-of-arc Stealing yo' likes

    Yo, need some political advice...

    Around 2006, I decided I wanted to "help make a difference" to the world. Randomly, I met the local anarchist group in my town and they were happy to involve me, despite me saying openly that I wasn't really sure about where my politics stood.

    I got involved, we did some things, and I can look back on that period of my life with a bit of pride, knowing that I got involved in a community campaign that I believed in, and feeling good about the way that it was conducted.

    At a certain point, I kind of fucked up my life. At around the same point, the anarchist group seems to have become less active.

    Since getting my life semi-back on track, I have tried to get back involved in politics. This has only really been for the last 8 months or so, and hasn't been entirely successful. There seems to be little going on that I really feel I should be helping. The only thing I have done is some "green party" canvassing. The green guy knows that I'm not 100% with his party, but he is a mate and was grateful for all the help he could get around last month.

    The one thing that does interest me locally is the Socialist Party. One member works in my office and I vaguely know him through previous politicking. He had invited me along to a meeting.

    But, a, anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to my posts in politics knows that I'm hardly knowledgable, and have pretty flakey views when it comes to socialism. And b, the SP seems dry as fuck and I can't tell what local campaigns they're into that i can get involved.

    And it is important for me to get involved, to be doing something. I got a sense of purpose out of previous actions. I'd like to get this again. But internet research suggests the SP is a bit.... I dunno, motionless?

    Anyway, i'd be grateful if people were nice to me on this thread. Thanks.
  2. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Go along? See if you agree with them - if you don't or aren't ready to commit what have you lost?
  3. Jon-of-arc

    Jon-of-arc Stealing yo' likes

    That's the plan. But I was hoping to get a bit of insight before i did.

    Thanks, though.
  4. Spanky Longhorn

    Spanky Longhorn urban friend of israel

    To be honest (and speaking as someone who definately is not a trot) I think hanging out and doing a bit of work with the SP would do you the world of good politically - you may or may not stick with them, but I think they would help you learn a bit and get a bit of structure.
  5. goldenecitrone

    goldenecitrone ubi sunt

    Have you got a gun? IWCA are looking for new members.
  6. Edie

    Edie Well-Known Member Enforced Holiday

  7. Jon-of-arc

    Jon-of-arc Stealing yo' likes

    This may sound naieve, but I dont give much of a fuck about learning politically. Well, maybe I do, slightlu. But I dont see.politics as something that complicated that I should have to have a fine understanding of marx before I should allow myself an opinion.

    Or maybe I should. But I think it more important to be making changes in the world than to have exactly perfect politics.
  8. Been waiting years for someone to say this on urban. Good on you. Nail on the head, imho.
  9. Jon-of-arc

    Jon-of-arc Stealing yo' likes

  10. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Edie's meeting was Socialist Party of Great Britain - I assume you're talking about Socialist Party of England/Wales?
  11. Jon-of-arc

    Jon-of-arc Stealing yo' likes

    I have no fucking idea.

    Pretty sure its the "main" one. Ive read the paper. Its hard to read.
  12. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    If their paper is "The Socialist" that's the SP. If it is sold by elderly people from Clapham and talks about abolishing money it's the SPGB.
  13. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman farts lol

    I'm sure it will be the SP if you've bought the paper - our paper is called the socialist - is that it?

    As people on here know, I'm in the SP but I'll try and answer objectively.

    There will be discussions on political theory and history if you go to meetings but although you say you're not interested in learning about Marx etc. it can't hurt to have a look can it? Not everyone there will have read the Marxist classics so you won't be looked down on for that - you'll be made welcome - especially as you say you're ready to get your hands dirty and get involved in campaigns. And if there's anything you want to know about the party just ask - provided you broadly agree with its aims I think you'll find it something you can get involved with (I still don't agree with everything but I do on the important stuff).

    Of the trot groups I'd say, from personal experience, that it's the least "culty" one of all and the only one that doesn't get "wtf, you're metal" type looks from people on the street. Although there are one or two people still obsessed with 20th century Russia there's less of them than in other groups. And if you're wanting to get involved in local campaigns it's certainly the best left group to join - that's precisely the reason why I joined just over a year ago, after a couple of years in the political wilderness after almost being put off politics altogether by another group that will remain nameless.

    In fact, when I joined I did almost exactly what you've just done - appealed to the wisdom of Urban to help me decide. The thread's here and there were 20 pages of responses so it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to take a look at it.

    My advice would be to go along and have a look - you don't have to join to go to meetings or get involved in campaiging, I went to meetings and did bits and bobs on and off for about a year before I joined and I've known people do the same for even longer. So I'd suggest that you go to a few meetings and maybe do some campaigning activity then have a think about whether it's for you.

    But even if you do go and don't think it's for you don't be put off - the most important thing is that you're active IMO and there's other groups out there. I nearly made the mistake of letting bad experiences in a group put me off and I'm really glad I didn't.

    Hope that helps.
  14. Jon-of-arc

    Jon-of-arc Stealing yo' likes

    Thanks, sn. Exactly the type of advice I was hoping for.
    SpineyNorman likes this.
  15. imposs1904

    imposs1904 Thread Killa'

    i'm only 40 you twunt :mad: :D
  16. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    :D only slightly elderly
  17. imposs1904

    imposs1904 Thread Killa'

    isn't the average age on urban fortyish?

    eta: I just remembered that when I joined the Labour Party as a 15 year old, I went along to the local Labour Party ward meeting and, with the exception of the ward secretary and myself, the average age of the Labour Party members in attendance was about 50-55. They spoke very fondly of Arthur Greenwood. ;)
  18. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    may well be - makes me nearly eligible for the youth wing ;)
  19. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Moon23 was ex-SP :eek:
  20. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    he went to a meeting once, I don't think he was ever a member
  21. stuff_it

    stuff_it Nerd burglar

    With the way things are going 75 will be the boards average retirement age. :(
  22. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman farts lol

    If I recall correctly he didn't know whether it was us or the SPGB he'd been a member of so he can't have been too heavily involved.

    He became an anarchist after that lol
  23. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    shortly before his LD career, and support for right wing libertarian nutjob groups :facepalm:
  24. articul8

    articul8 Guilty of Idealism

    Me and a couple of mates went to a launch meeting for the SLP in Trimdon, Co Durham (Blair's patch) - we were by at least 40 years the youngest people in the room.
  25. temper_tantrum

    temper_tantrum The beauty of the ride

    Find your local anti-cuts group and get involved with them. Use that experience of actual organising and campaigning to refine your political views. Then consider what political parties if any suit you. You may encounter them as part of your anti-cuts work, in which case you'll be able to build up your own assessment of their positions and perspectives.
    el-ahrairah, jakethesnake and BigTom like this.
  26. Jean-Luc

    Jean-Luc Well-Known Member

    Ah, but which is the "main" one? The SP(GB) has been going since 1904. SP(EW) is the current name of the Militant Tendency after they were booted out of the Labour Party in 1980s - that's why they're so "elderly" (if being in your 50s is elderly). They were teenage Militants. See if you can guess which one this elderly gentleman represents.
  27. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman farts lol

  28. binka

    binka !!!!!!!!!

    bit of a coincidence because ive been thinking about getting involved in something locally. now i have a job and am back in manchester it no longer seems ok that my sole contribution to the anti cuts movement is to go on my laptop and tut at various outrages
    Jeff Robinson and Jon-of-arc like this.
  29. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman farts lol

    Glad it helped. Thinking about it your situation isn't that different from what mine was. I'd been involved politically years before (mainly antifascist and union stuff) but my life took a bit of a downwards turn for about a decade (drugs in my case). I wasn't in the least bit interested in political theory or history but then when I sorted myself out I decided to get involved again and joined the SWP. It was a bit of a disaster but it did give me an interest in history and political theory and I ended up going to college and then uni to study history and politics, at which point I joined the SP. So you never know, might get a taste for it - I'd have never thought I would have.
  30. Spanky Longhorn

    Spanky Longhorn urban friend of israel

    Don't think anyone was suggesting you should - no one really says that on here since the SWP posters fucked off.

    Having said that you are a bit flakey and there are some important points the SP could probably help you with as much as I don't agree with them on lots of things.
    stuff_it likes this.

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