“I have been a socialist since 1973 when I became active in the struggle against capitalism while at school. My socialism was ignited by witnessing my father, a construction worker, lose 3 jobs in under twelve months as a result of a massive recession. It struck me that capitalism was an absurd and wasteful system if it couldn’t use the building skills of unemployed workers to build new homes with the enormous stockpiles of materials left idle by slump, while hundreds of thousands lived in slums, semi-derelict tenement blocks or were victims of rapacious private landlords. In a socialist society, owned, directed and controlled by working people (the true producers of wealth) how straightforward it would be to use workers’ skills to build needed homes that were genuinely affordable and constructed in harmony with the requirements of the environment. Capitalism distorts human interaction to the degrading spectacle of workers having to sell their labour power, which in turn is exploited and produces surplus value (profit) for a tiny billionaire elite who raise themselves above the rest and treat the world like their private plaything.
Almost 50 years on, with mounting evidence of the incompatibility of capitalism with being able to create a worldwide harmonious way of living, with competition leading to the squandering of both human and natural resources and a climate threat that the competing capitalist blocs and nation states are unable and ultimately unwilling to tackle, I am more convinced than ever that poverty, want, disease, unemployment and the killing of hope can only be reversed by struggling for a democratic socialist alternative – in every country. The real extremists are the few who hold the 99.9% to daily ransom. Socialists proceed simply with the unarguable conviction that the wealth of the world should be controlled and owned by the 99.9%, a very reasonable proposition in which a secure future could become the norm for all.
I am a member of the Socialist Party of England and Wales (www.socialistparty.org.uk) and presently sit on its national committee.”