SSP

Domhnall donaloc at peterquinn.com
Thu Feb 28 05:38:34 MST 2002


I am glad we have found something on which we don't (totally) disagree,
Brian. You seem to know a great deal about the SSP, so a few questions
follow at the end:

>The SSP is an interesting case. I was in Glasgow six
months ago and at that stage the organisation was
still growing rapidly. Since then, its membership
growth has stalled as have its opinion poll ratings.
There is a strong emphasis being placed on the
possibility of the party picking up seats in many (if
not all) of the regional lists in the next Holyrood
elections.

They are being over optimistic but not entirely
unreasonable. They may well pick up a couple of extra
seats (a little over 6% of the vote over a region is
needed). The question is, where can they go from
there.

Every party goes through growth spurts and takes a few knocks - if it takes
a few more seats to add to Sheridan's, then they will become a greater voice
in the parliament. Surely this will encourage further growth? Sheridan's
single seat was the most important one, he was the flag-bearer and increased
the overall profile of the party. His commitment acted as a focus to the
party's growth - the more MSPs the greater that profile. They will be able
to raise more issues on the floor and highlight the conservative nature of
the Scottish Labour Party and SNP - they will also polarise within those
parties and thereby force them to adopt more openly left-wing positions or
increase internal dissent. That will cause frictions with New Labour in
London and popularise left-right politics. This isn't overnight revolution
we're talking here but it is progress - the popularisation of our
conceptions.

>On the other hand, membership isn't growing fast
enough (and at this stage it has to if they are
serious), the Youth organisation is a joke, their
weekly newspaper is losing money hand over fist and
there isn't that much money to lose.

A few questions:

Is the SP still involved in the SSP or have they left/been forced out like
in the SA? Why do you feel there is a need for a specific rate of growth in
membership? What is the stage that you say the SSP is at?

I would ask others to comment on youth movements generally. The one we are
always told of is the Basque youth movement, Harrai. The highlight of their
annual activities is a weeklong trek every Summer culminating in a massive
pop/rock concert organised by the group. The weekend has between 20-30,000
participants and the concert is really well attended. The whole thing forms
part of their popular youth culture and has been going for decades. The
Cuban Youth movement are also held up as a good example so what are the
factors which make a good youth movement?

Is mise,
Domhnall.



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