On the SSP and "reformism"

John O'Neill johnfergaloneill at eircom.net
Mon Sep 9 06:32:29 MDT 2002

On the SSP and "reformism", the SSP doesn't claim to
be a revolutionary organisation. Its leadership
describes it as a broad socialist party or a militant
socialist party or even a combat socialist party but
never as a revolutionary socialist party. If our
description annoys you John, feel free to ask the ISM
for a better one :-)

I canvassed with 20 to 30 members of the Socialist Party not one of them
described the SP to the electorate as a revolutionary party. They talked
about the needs of the area, the work record of the canditate, the unjust
bin tax and a plethora of other issues that were/are important to the
working class in Swords. They didn't talk about revolution, or even mention
the SP vision of socialist society. I also attended a briefing meeting with
the SP canditate to give us canvassing notes, election issues etc. Once
again no mention was made of the fact that the SP was a revolutionary party.

Tommy Sheridan SSP elected representative in the Scottish Assembly said in
an interview; "Our party is clearly an anti free market party. We believe in
collective ownership and control, which makes us unashamedly socialist" The
SSP manifesto calls for Nationalising industry in Scotland, confiscating
corporate assets and making Scotland an independent socialist republic that
would be an " international symbol of resistance to free-market
explotation." TS went on to state; "We reject the increasing anarchy of the
free market in favour of a more equitably controlled and sane economic
system where our countries vast wealth and resources are democratically
owned and controlled by the people of Scotland and not the profiteers." -
Sounds revolutionary to me!

So what is the difference between the SSP and the SP in their activism?

If the SP/CWI argued in the past for entryism in the Labour Party because it
was the party of the working class. They have ceased with this strategy (a
SP executive member advises that this is because the LP are no longer a
working class party) then shouldn't the SP be trying to build a party of the
working class or do they argue that the SP is the party of the working
class? If so, it should accomodiate both revolutionaries, progressives and

Your dismissal of the DSP discussion is surprising considering the SP
(England) about turn on it's involvement in same and a coreographed move
from the (Irish) SP regarding the Left front against Nice. The London CWI
comintern has been busy!:-(

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