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Sean Robertson, Scottish TUSC candidate for the Highlands and Islands Region

On Saturday 20 February, the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) launched our election manifesto for the Scottish elections in May.

More than 40 attendees, including socialists, trade unionists and community activists, took part. It was announced that Scottish TUSC would be standing to offer working-class people a genuine socialist alternative to challenge the pro-big business, pro-cuts mainstream parties like the Tories, the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Scottish Labour.

Chaired by Sinead Daly, the conference kicked off with a discussion on the need for a socialist alternative for workers. Michael Hogg, a Scottish regional organiser for the RMT transport workers’ union, opened the discussion. He explained that, while he and his union support an independent Scotland, independence alone is not enough for workers. The pro-independence SNP government has backed big business, including in the rail and ferry sector, and does not back workers in struggle. Meanwhile, Labour’s rightward turn and position on independence makes it unelectable.

Lynda McEwan, a candidate for TUSC’s West of Scotland regional list, speaking on behalf of Socialist Party Scotland, said that the queues of hundreds of people waiting in the snow in Glasgow for food handouts is a true picture of 21st-century capitalism in Scotland under the SNP government.

Brian Smith, lead TUSC candidate in Glasgow region and Glasgow City Unison branch secretary, who has a proud record of fighting for low-paid workers, said that Scottish TUSC was a step towards building a desperately needed new workers’ party in Scotland.

He added: “As socialists we fight for all reforms to improve the conditions for workers, but reforming capitalism won’t be enough. We socialists want to change the world. We can use this election as a platform to expose the limits of capitalism and fight for a socialist future.”

In the second session, Philip Stott, of Scottish TUSC’s national steering committee proposed TUSC’s election manifesto. The document lays out the broad commitments that TUSC candidates must agree to in order to stand under the TUSC banner.

The manifesto, which was unanimously passed by conference, calls on socialists to fight for a socialist recovery for the working class and for an independent socialist Scotland. At the heart of these policies is a call for the major sections of the economy to be brought into public ownership under democratic workers’ control, and for all jobs threatened by the pandemic to be saved, including by nationalising companies threatening redundancies.

Scottish TUSC standing will mean at least 1.5 million people throughout Scotland will have the choice to vote for a genuine working-class, socialist alternative in May’s Scottish election.

Do you want to join the fight for an Independent Socialist Scotland? Could you stand for socialism as a Scottish TUSC candidate in your local area? Contact Scottish TUSC via email at [email protected] or find us on twitter @ScottishTUSC or facebook.com/ScottishTUSC.