by Kevin McVey
The Scottish Socialist Party has unveiled it’s lead candidates for the 2011 Scottish Parliament regional lists for the election to be held next May.
The list includes two former MSPs, Colin Fox and Frances Curran, SSP councillor on West Dunbartonshire council, Jim Bollan, along with leading SSP activists.
The SSP’s decision to contest all Scottish Regional lists will mean that every voter in Scotland will have the opportunity to vote for Scotland’s socialist party, founded in 1999.
The Scottish Socialist Party will campaign for the rejection of public spending cuts, for an alternative policy putting people before profit and for the core policy of the party, an independent socialist Scotland.
SSP co-spokesperson Colin Fox said;
“Working people are being hammered by the neo-liberal policies of the four establishment parties in Scotland.
“The Scottish Socialist Party is the only political party in Scotland that stands up for working people and we will be campaigning for an independent socialist Scotland in the coming Scottish Parliament elections as we have done in every election since our founding in 1999”.
Top of SSP lists for 2011 Scottish Parliament Regional seats
Central Scotland: Kevin McVey
Kevin McVey is 45 and has been actively involved in politics since 1984. Expelled from the Labour Party in 1989/90 for his involvement in local and national anti-poll tax campaigning, Kevin was a founding member of the SSP.
Kevin worked in the Tax Office for 20 years and PCS branch secretary for 3 years. Kevin is currently SSP National Secretary.
Glasgow: Frances Curran
Frances Curran, 49, was SSP MSP for the West of Scotland from 2003-2007, introducing a bill to provide free school meals which was ultimately voted down by the Parliament. Frances got involved in socialist politics when she joined the Labour Party Young Socialists in the early years of the Thatcher government, eventually being elected onto the Labour Party National Executive at 23 years old. Frances is currently co-spokesperson for the SSP.
Highlands and Islands: Pam Currie
Pam Currie is 35 years old and lives in Glasgow with her cat, Banjo. She teaches in a Further Education college and is an activist in the EIS teachers’ union.
A Gaelic learner, Pam sings in a choir, enjoying her first trip to the National Mod in October 2010.
Pam is a Quaker, a feminist and an LGBT activist who has been involved in campaigns ranging from the peace movement to the Vigil for a Scottish Parliament. A graduate of the University of Paisley, she has also studied with the Open University and at Ruskin College and believes ‘lifelong education’ should be available and affordable to all.
Lothians: Colin Fox
Colin Fox joined Motherwell Labour Party Young Socialists in 1980, beginning a life of campaigning for socialism that continues 30 years on. Colin was SSP MSP for the Lothians from 2003-2007 and is co-spokesperson for the SSP. Colin co-organises the Edinburgh Mayday Festival and re-founded the Edinburgh People’s Festival in 2002. Aged 51, Colin lives in the Inch area of Edinburgh with his wife and two children.
Mid Scotland and Fife: Morag Balfour
Morag Balfour is a Quaker, vice-chair of Scottish CND and a member of the Iona Community. A firm believer in nonviolence, Morag regularly participates in peaceful direct action at Faslane. She has recently been involved in a pioneering befriending scheme supporting ex-young offenders released from Polmont YOI and is a former national co-chair of the SSP.
As well as experience of working directly with people, she has campaigned on wider issues such as nuclear disarmament and to prevent the building of a massive landfill site in the West of Fife.
North East Scotland: Angela Gorrie
Angela Gorrie, 23, first came to Dundee in 2005 to study at Dundee University where she was active in the campaign to remove Special Branch from campus and the fight for young workers’ rights. Now working in customer services and a member of USDAW, she has recently been involved in campaigns ranging from the retention of local services and calling to end unfair hospital parking charges to highlighting the inequality of the current Council Tax.
In her spare time Angela enjoys walking, football, cricket and music.
South Scotland: Colin Turbett
An SSP member since 2001, Colin was a candidate for the Party in the 2005 and 2007 elections. He has been a qualified social worker since the late 1970s, working with the victims of a system that breeds inequality, racism and poverty. Chairperson of the 2500 strong North Ayrshire UNISON Branch, Colin is involved in the fight to save council jobs and services in one of Scotland’s worst areas of economic decline. Very interested in rural affairs, he is author of the SSP pamphlet ‘Rural Socialism and Scotland in the 21st Century’ and is an ardent campaigner for the rights of Scottish Gypsy Travellers.
Colin is a longstanding trade union activist, he is currently Chairperson of North Ayrshire UNISON branch.
West of Scotland: Jim Bollan
Jim is SSP councillor for Leven Ward on West Dunbartonshire council. 63 years old, Jim first got involved in socialist politics 40 years ago when shop steward at Babcocks. Jim was at the forefront in the campaign to save Leven Cottage care home and the campaigns to save two primary schools, Christie Park and Renton Primary.
When he has any spare time Jim can be found walking his dog.