Member's Stories

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Member's Stories

Why politics matters

Arrun Degenhardt, Sheffield University

For me politics has always had a fairly central role in my life.  Growing up in a household with political parents is obviously a major factor in the developing of a political compass, but I was also exposed to effects of politics in the real world from a young age.  Whether it was attending anti... Read more »

Suki’s story

Suki Ferguson, Northamptonshire

I grew up in a rural part of Northamptonshire, in a farming community with naturally Tory leanings. My parents gave me a sense of the political spectrum – my father being a free market Conservative farmer-turned-accountant, my mother a Lib Dem-inclined social worker (funnily enough, the marriage didn’t last!). I attended private schools and though... Read more »

Putting transport on the activist agenda

Simon Norton, Cambridge and London

When I was 14 I accidentally came across some London Transport publicity. This led to me developing passions for public transport and for the countryside (at that time London Transport ran buses in the Home Counties, which were less urbanised than they are now).  I remember voting in the 1973 GLC election. One of the... Read more »

What matters to me

Grant Ford, Edinburgh

I grew up in a high rise flat on a “scheme” on the edge of Edinburgh in the 70s. My Dad was a bricklayer and my Mum is still working as a Home Help.  My parents split up and our safety net was our extended family and Social Security…things were tough and we went through... Read more »

Poll Tax and beyond

Paul Nicolson, London

Since the poll tax in the 1990s I have been living in a permanent state of humanitarian indignation at the misery of debts enforced by the state and the private sector against statutory minimum incomes, in work and in unemployment, which are so low that debt is inevitable. That is the largely unrecognised consequence of... Read more »

A Common Purpose

Ruth Boswell,

I was a child during the war and understood only too well what it meant to have a common purpose. Then came Atlee and the Labour victory. I didn’t then understand its significance but years later I helped a friend conduct his campaign to become a Labour MP. I was friends with Nye Bevan and... Read more »

How Goldsmiths changed me

Beth Robinson, Worcester

West Midlands

My name is Beth and I was born in Worcester and lived there until I was 18, where at this point I went to university at Goldsmiths College to study English Literature. With my parents being left-wing themselves, my opinions were influenced by them but I have gone on to developed my own viewpoint, although... Read more »

Turning points

Ruth Lister, Nottingham, East Midlands

North East

My name is Ruth. I'll tell my political story with reference to key influences and turning points. My earliest influence is of course my parents. They did not have a direct political influence, as my mother was on the left and my father the right although if there was a liberal candidate they both voted liberal in elections. But they did influence my world view.

A breath of fresh air

Christopher Owens, Newham


I've been a member of the Labour Party for about 30 years, and I've become increasingly frustrated at the widening gap between the leadership and the membership of the Party

Changing things for the better

John Wood, Liverpool via Scotland

North West

I was born in Liverpool, brought up in small town called Neilston in Scotland (where I have not lived for 8 years but still call 'home') and am a committed socialist

My name's Adam. I grew up in rural Perthshire, on the edge of the Highlands of Scotland. My family have owned the same chunk of land there since 1232. When I was wee, my dad was the shepherd on the land, my mum trained as a counselor and looked after the four of us as we build dams in ditches and tree houses in the woods.

When you get passed 60 you realise that telling the story of your life is a bit too long-winded and complicated. How I came to Compass is less so.