[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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