Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/193/8105

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2001

Philip Stott, from the Committee for a Workers International (CWI - the international socialist organisation which the Socialist Party is affiliated to) in Scotland reports on the conference of the Scottish Socialist Party, held in Glasgow.

Scottish Socialists weigh up ambitious plans

THE SCOTTISH Socialist Party (SSP) annual conference took place on 10-11 February. Attending on Saturday were 200 party members, with 100 on Sunday.

The conference began with an introduction from Tommy Sheridan which mainly concentrated on the intention of the SSP to try to stand in all 72 parliamentary seats at the general election and the ambitious target of averaging 1,000 to 1,500 votes per constituency.

The SSP candidate in a council by-election in Irvine won 27.5% of the vote on the previous Thursday.

This result, and the numbers attending the conference, showed the continuing successes of the SSP which is welcomed by the CWI.

The manifesto that the SSP will fight the general election on and election strategy was debated on Saturday morning. A CWI member, Sinead Daly, moved a motion from Kilmarnock SSP branch which committed the SSP to refusing to participate in an SNP administration at Holyrood.

There were three SSP members who argued we should keep our options open but the resolution was overwhelmingly passed.

Amendments from Dundee West which argued for working-class control of industry were passed.

This replaced phrases in the manifesto like "popular decentralised management" when referring to nationalised industries.

Unfortunately former CWI member Alan McCombes, who proposed the manifesto, opposed an amendment from Kirkcaldy committing the SSP to an independent socialist Scotland as a step to a socialist confederation of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.

He argued he was not opposed to it but the manifesto had to be kept short and it was not the same as a programme.

This still leaves the SSP silent on the specific relations a socialist Scotland would have with other countries in the British Isles.

Alan also opposed the amendment from Dundee East on wealth redistribution, which explained that to gurantee a fundamental redistribution of wealth it was necessary to nationalise major sectors of the economy as well as supporting increased taxes on the rich. Both these amendments were lost.

CWI members also called for a widening of the SSP's general election propaganda, particularly not just to campaign amongst young people on the issue of legalising cannabis.

Guidelines

SATURDAY AFTERNOON saw the most heated and contentious debate.

The executive had proposed guidelines for platforms that argued that there should be no "party within a party" and "platforms should not enter party discussions with a predetermined line."

The guidelines also specifically opposed the right of platforms to sell public journals.

Richie Venton moved the resolution for the SSP executive, Philip Stott also from the executive and a CWI member, moved an alternative set of guidelines which maintained the right of platforms to publicly sell and distribute material and act as an organised force with the SSP.

Philip argued that the voluntary unity of the SSP had ensured the growth of the SSP up till now and going down the road of placing specific bans on the selling of journals would repeat the mistakes of other socialist parties like the SLP.

He argued that it was ironic that comrades like Richie Venton, who had been expelled from the Labour Party for association with Militant, could move such a resolution.

He also pointed to the hypocrisy of the current leadership platform, the International Socialist Movement (ISM), who hold nine out of eleven leadership positions on the executive.

The ISM acts as a bloc to pursue their policies, while at the same time moving guidelines that would remove the right of other platforms to do the same.

The executive motion was passed by two to one (around 60 voted against).

Many newer SSP members voted for the guidelines because speakers like Alan McCombes stressed they would be "voluntary".

In the face of opposition and disquiet the SSP Executive also had to retreat from its attempt to downgrade the Annual Conference by requiring that a referendum of all SSP members would be held to finally decide whether any conference decision to change any of the Party's "seven core objectives" would be implemented.

At the end of a debate this Executive motion was remitted, something that does not mean that this proposal could not be proposed again in the future.

The SSP's support and membership have grown over the past year, although the conference was not given any membership figures, and the growing disenchantment with New Labour offers it more possibilities.

In the coming year the SSP needs to consolidate its recent successes, while continuing with campaigning, recruitment and political debate to strengthen its ideas.

Joe Higgins from the Socialist Party (Ireland) and Bob Labi from the CWI gave solidarity greetings to the conference. 25 attended the CWI fringe meeting with two new people expressing an interest in joining.

50 copies of the new CWI journal the International Socialist were sold at the conference, as well as a number of copies of the new CWI pamphlet on the Philippines and the CWI pamphlet on the Socialist alternative to global capitalism.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 16 February 2001:

"BOG OFF" BLAIR

STUDENTS FIGHT FEES

Education - Labour's Year Zero

Drugs giants scramble for profits

Sellafield's lethal gas

Scottish Socialists weigh up ambitious plans

Arrests at Faslane's big blockade

Socialist ideas and organisation for the 21st century

Israeli election: A new period of insecurity


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 February 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Socialist:

triangleHillingdon Socialist Party: Fighting for socialist policies after the election

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Fighting for socialist policies after the election - what will be needed?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The election results and what comes next

triangleCome and discuss with us after the election

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: General Election result - what does it mean?

Scottish Socialist Party:

triangleThe left unions and the Labour Party affiliation debate

triangleShould trade unions be re-affiliating to the Labour Party?

triangleWill Scottish 'Rise' alliance offer a way forward?

Scotland:

triangleEdinburgh: Socialist Party Scotland general election public meeting

triangleGlasgow: Socialist Party Scotland public meeting

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Committee for a workers international:

triangleSocialism 2019: the Saturday rally, 2nd November 2019. Reports of the event will be posted soon.

triangleWhy I joined: I want a future for my generation

CWI:

triangleNorthern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

Glasgow:

triangleStriking workers defy the race to the bottom at Glasgow and Aberdeen airports

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

4/12/19

Pharmaceutical

End profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

4/12/19

Labour

Prepare now for the struggles after 12 December

4/12/19

The Socialist

Keep up to date with our election coverage

4/12/19

NHS

News in brief

4/12/19

Hillsborough

Hillsborough justice eluded

30/11/19

London

Unite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

27/11/19

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

27/11/19

University

Resist attacks against free speech on campus

27/11/19

Council

End council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

27/11/19

Tories

Tories launch 'non manifesto'

27/11/19

Labour

Labour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society

27/11/19

Monarchy

Prince Andrew outrage exposes establishment

27/11/19

Tory

Tory election campaign's dirty tricks and lies

20/11/19

Wages

Wages flatline, while shareholders profit

20/11/19

Internet

Broadband: privatisation has failed to deliver, time for a socialist plan

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999