[Marxism] New Scottish Socialist Formation

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Tue Aug 29 12:11:40 MDT 2006

The following statement has been  drawn up by Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary 
Byrne in consultation with hundreds of  socialists, trade unionists and activists 
the length and breadth of Scotland. It  announces the formation of a new 
Scottish Socialist Movement/Party, which will  be officially launched on Sunday, 
September 3rd in Glasgow.
Launch Meeting: Central Station  Hotel, Glasgow - 1 pm.

Solidarity - A new  movement for socialism in Scotland 

This meeting believes we share a historic responsibility to provide  people 
in Scotland with a socialist alternative  to the pro-market agendas of New 
Labour, Tories, Liberal Democrats and the SNP.  Many working class voters are so 
disillusioned with politicians that they do not  vote at all.  
The war in Iraq and  Afghanistan continues its  deadly course and Lebanon  
lies in ruins; the latest stage in a regional conflict at the root of which lies 
 the same free-market agenda that has devastated working class communities 
the  length and breadth of Scotland. Immigrant communities are  under attack, 
Islamaphobia is on the rise and our civil liberties continue to be  undermined.  
The scale of anger and disillusionment with New Labour is growing and the  
need for that socialist alternative is more urgent than ever. Sadly, the SSP is  
no longer able to play that role. 
We agree it is now only possible to take the socialist movement forward  by 
immediately launching a new political party that will become, in time, the  
broad party of socialism in Scotland - bigger, better and bolder than that which  
has gone before, a fresh movement with an attractive, pioneering, and 
inclusive  spirit, welcoming to all who join, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, age, 
 sexual orientation or disability.  
We will demonstrate SOLIDARITY WITH those fighting against low pay and  
oppression. SOLIDARITY AGAINST poverty and discrimination in all its forms.  
SOLIDARITY FOR an independent socialist nuclear free Scotland. 
Our new party will be   
A campaigning movement - against social injustice and  poverty, for a decent 
living wage and pensions for all, against hospital  closures and local service 
cuts, for empowered communities and trade union  rights, in opposition to 
racist discrimination and bigotry and all forms of  oppression, for our civil 
liberties, and for public ownership and democratic  control of our major 
industries, land and assets.   
A democratic movement - for an  independent socialist Scotland, a modern 
pluralist republic that harnesses our  collective energies, talents and wealth for 
the benefit of all our citizens  while safeguarding and respecting individual 
freedom in all its  aspects. 
A workers movement - that will  support trade unionists and all workers in 
struggle, fighting for the rights of  workers in Scotland and internationally 
whether  or not they are already organised in a trade union, for the repeal of 
all  anti-trade union laws. 
An anti-war movement - opposing all imperialist wars wherever  they occur and 
the current occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine.  
A grass roots movement - that will  be active in campaigning around the 
issues that matter in all parts of  Scotland, from the borders to  the Northern 
Isles, from the Hebrides to the oil rigs of the North Sea, in our streets, in our 
communities and our  workplaces, reaching out to people, and engaging in 
constructive political  debate. 
An environmentalist movement -  campaigning against new nuclear power 
stations and for the removal of Trident  nuclear missiles from the banks of the 
Clyde,  campaigning positively for massive investment in renewable technologies, 
and a  truly integrated and modern publicly owned transport system, for 
environmental  justice for all.   
A young peoples movement -  that aspires to be the natural political home for 
young  people, supporting campaigns for a decent minimum wage, free education 
and  affordable housing. 
An internationalist movement -  committing ourselves to solidarity with 
working and oppressed peoples in  struggle across the globe, engaging with and 
supporting international resistance  to capitalism, neo-liberalism and 
A socialist movement - that  fights for the redistribution of wealth from big 
business and the millionaires  to working class people and their families.  
We call on everyone who shares our vision to join us.   
Then a separate motion on  organisation 
We agree that our new party will contest all eight list seats in the  
forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections, and will contest targeted council  
seats across Scotland.   
We call on members, regions and branches of the SSP to disaffiliate from  
that broken organisation immediately and affiliate wholesale to the new  party. 
We resolve to launch a national campaign of rallies and public meetings  
across the country to sign up new members. 
Name, constitution and program of the new  party 
The party will proceed for the time being under the working name of  
Solidarity – Scotland’s Movement for Socialism   
We will hold a founding party conference in November to discuss our  
constitution and campaigning priorities. We further agree that the name of the  new 
party will be decided by a One Member One Vote ballot of the membership in  time 
for that conference. 
This meeting resolves to set up a Steering Committee to plan launch  rallies, 
deal with the media and to prepare a draft constitution and agenda for  the 
founding conference. The Steering Committee shall also have responsibility  for 
consulting with the membership and producing a shortlist of names and party  
symbols for consideration, and accepting as bona fide party bodies new 
branches,  regional councils etc. 
The interim Steering Committee shall consist of MSP’s Rosemary Byrne and  
Tommy Sheridan, two individuals elected from each region (with an understanding  
that there will be regional flexibility on the way members are elected) plus 
two  from each platform.   
We further call upon the members to meet as soon as possible to organise  
regional meetings, branches where appropriate and other interim committees until  
we agree a constitution and democratic structures for the new party at the  
conference in November.  

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