SSP Executive statement on ScotRef

The Scottish Socialist Party Executive met this weekend to discuss the political situation ahead of this week’s debate on a second independence referendum at Holyrood. National spokesman and former Yes Scotland board member Colin Fox issued the following statement on behalf of the party.

“Scotland is today at a turning point in our history. The campaign for a second referendum on Independence is about to get under way and we will soon be asked to choose between two hugely contrasting futures.

Independent Socialist Scotland

“The Scottish Socialist Party therefore reiterates our commitment to an independent socialist Scotland, a modern democratic republic. Our message to Scotland’s working class majority is that you will be economically, socially and politically better off with Independence and we urge you to vote for it. Supporting Scotland’s democratic right to self-determination does not make you a nationalist, it makes you a democrat. The SSP are not nationalists. We are socialists who support self-determination.

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Fox: Prospects on winning a second independence referendum

The Scottish Socialist Party is committed to Independence. For us it is the way to radically change Scotland, tackling our low wage economy, the affordable housing crisis and shifting power and wealth decisively in favour of Scotland’s working class majority.

In firing the starting pistol on another referendum campaign today First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is making Scotland’s EU membership the central and overarching issue in the entire debate. It is a risky strategy. For there is a danger it sidelines the real economic and social challenges facing millions of Scots everyday. Securing a Yes vote in Scotland’s working class communities remains the key to winning this referendum. Therefore any campaign must put an inspiring vision of a transformed new Scotland in front of the Scottish people and offer them the prospect of meaningful advance.

We have clearly come a long way from the consensus reached by the Yes Scotland board in 2014 when we agreed we would only propose another vote when we were ahead in the polls and had been for some time.

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Fox: The EU alone won’t win Indyref 2

by Colin Fox

It is widely reported that Nicola Sturgeon is about to call a second referendum on independence with autumn 2018 her preferred date. Indyref 2 is set to take place before Britain formally leaves the EU. The SNP leader’s calculation is that a majority will vote for independence in order to remain, theoretically at least, inside the European Union.

Before analysing the wisdom or otherwise of this plan let me remind readers why the Scottish Socialist Party supports independence.

For us independence is about transforming Scotland’s economic, social and political landscape forever. It is about tackling the appalling levels of exploitation, inequality and injustice suffered by millions of Scots every day at the hands of ruthless employers, landlords, landowners and financial speculators. It is about tackling the chronic shortage of affordable housing and appalling levels of child poverty and fuel poverty. There was a time when this task was seen as being achievable in Scotland via a powerful UK labour movement. Not anymore.

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Scottish Socialist Voice Forum to debate indyref tactics

In its 20 years of publication the Scottish Socialist Voice has had support for independence as a cornerstone policy.

In the 2014 campaign, the Voice regularly carried arguments and articles in favour of a Yes  vote from leading campaigners across a range of viewpoints and organised discussion forums on aspects of the campaign.

As the calling of a second referendum draws ever closer we are organising another Voice forum aimed at taking a critical look at the politics of a renewed independence campaign and specifically what needs to be done to win the crucial working class majority to vote Yes.

Speakers at the event include:

  • Councillor Mary Lockhart (speaking in a personal capacity)
  • Gordon Martin, Scottish organiser RMT
  • Ben Wray, Common Weal
  • SSP national spokesman Colin Fox

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Defend the free bus service from attack

by Sandra Webster

In the SSP we believe that public transport should be free for all – and that it should meet public needs. We recognise the barriers that are experienced by our communities. On the West Coast and in so many other areas across Scotland, transport has been placed in the hands of private companies who put people before profit. Where I live in Paisley, an example is McGill’s – a local bus company’s decision to stop a direct service to the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow. Instead, in addition to a two hour bus trip – there is now an additional 20 minutes walk to the children’s hospital. My family relied upon the direct service to make these frequent trips easier.

There was no direct accountability into a community’s needs – they simply made a unilateral decision based on profit over all.

I read today the Scottish Government are putting out another consultation about the blue concessionary bus passes. These offer so much freedom to people with disabilities and adults over the age of 60. People who may be socially isolated and on a restricted income can travel without concern about the spiralling costs of public transport. Access to a bus journey can be a lifeline for many isolated folk.

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Trump and the U.S. Election and What Lies Ahead

by Robert W McChesney in the US

For the past eight weeks, almost everyone on the American left—or to use the vernacular, the progressive community—has been addressing the Trump election, the impending Republican total control over the federal government, and how best to resist it.

The fascist currents running in Trump’s agenda and program are not difficult to locate: full throttle jingoism and militarism; nods to white supremacists and bigots; minimal interest in civil liberties or the rule of law; contempt for science when it interferes with political and economic ambitions; routine dismissal of all criticism from the news media or otherwise as “lies” combined with routine outrageous lying; contempt for the dispossessed and blind worship at the alter of wealth and privilege.

As with all right-wing “populists,” those seemingly anti-establishment progressive planks crucial to drumming up votes before the election—e.g. anger at Wall Street and corporate power; criticism of mindless imperial wars; concern about attacks on the working class standard of living; plaintive wails about the corruption of politics in Washington and its domination by moneyed interests—are immediately thrown overboard once the election is won.

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Submission covering letter to Draft Independence Referendum Bill

The SSP submitted a contribution to the Draft Independence Referendum Bill. While the questions were largely technical in nature, we included a covering letter to ensure that our thoughts on a second referendum are clear and unambiguous.

While it is important to review arrangements for the organisation of the next Independence referendum, the Scottish Socialist Party believes that thought needs to be given to the political context of that referendum. The issue of independence is not simply a constitutional question; in which independence is an end in itself. Rather, it should be seen as a means to an end. The purpose of independence is to provide a vehicle for the transformation of society; to create a Scotland radically different from what we have at present. This approach should also inform the next referendum campaign.

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Victory to the Cuban Revolution

by Connor Beaton

Today, 1 January 2017, marks the Triumph of the Revolution in Cuba, a public holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the victory of the Cuban Revolution 58 years ago.

The Scottish Socialist Party stands in solidarity with all the peoples of the world who are fighting oppression and exploitation, including the Cubans, whose Revolution offers many lessons to socialists in Scotland and further afield.


Cuba’s life expectancy, at 78.45 years on average, is among the highest in the world – on par with Western Europe and ahead of the US. There is universal, free access to health care and, in 2015, Cuba became the first country in the world to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Cuba abolished illiteracy in the immediate wake of the Revolution and now boasts a literacy rate of 99.8 per cent, tenth highest in the world.

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