Scottish Socialist Party

The Scottish left: the strongest nationalists

Published on: Mon, 26/06/2017 - 09:43

Ann Field

“The Labour Party in Scotland has been wiped out.” That was the verdict of the Socialist Party Scotland (SPS) on the 2015 general election. The next step was: “The trade union movement must now prepare to build a new mass party for the working class.”

In alliance with the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the SPS had stood ten candidates in Scotland under the ‘Trade Union and Socialist Coalition’ (TUSC) banner. Their votes ranged from 0.2% to 0.7%, and amounted to only 1,772 in total.

But that did not constitute a “wipe-out”.

The slump in the Labour vote in 2015, explained the SWP, demonstrated

SNP goes back on promise to scrap Council Tax

Published on: Wed, 09/03/2016 - 10:42

Dale Street

The SNP ditched another of its previous manifesto commitments — big time — when it announced plans to reform the Council Tax system in Scotland last week.

For well over a decade the SNP has promised to scrap Council Tax. In 2003, the current SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said: “There is no doubt that the SNP’s proposal to scrap the Council Tax in favour of a fair local income tax is hugely popular with voters.”

In 2004, the current SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “Every vote for the SNP in the European election will be a vote to axe the Council Tax.”

The SNP manifesto for the 2007

Scottish Labour: turn outwards, or close down?

Published on: Wed, 17/06/2015 - 11:46

Dale Street

“Can the Scottish Labour Party listen and learn from its defeat on 7 May?” asked Katy Clark, former Labour MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, at last Saturday’s Campaign for Socialism (CfS) conference in Glasgow.

The 70-plus Scottish Labour members attending the event were clear about some of the things that Labour needed to do in response to that question. The same cannot be said of the Scottish Labour Executive Committee, meeting at the same time.

Speakers at the CfS conference emphasised the need for local Labour Party branches to turn outwards and campaign alongside of trade unionists and

Scotland: to get trade union unity, break up the unions?

Published on: Wed, 13/06/2012 - 09:30

An article in the current issue of Scottish Socialist Voice, newspaper of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), proposes that the existing British trade union movement should be broken up into its national components.

The article begins with a lament for the opposition to Scottish independence expressed by unions at the recent congress of the Scottish TUC.

This hostility to Scottish independence is attributed to the fact that the STUC’s biggest affiliates are all “signed-up supporters of the Labour Party ... British-based organisations ... run by London-based bureaucracies.”

But, continues the

Scottish gains for SNP and Labour

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2012 - 08:18

Labour and the SNP were the winners in last week’s Scottish council elections. Lib Dems and Tories were the losers.

Labour won an extra 58 seats, giving it a total of 394 in Scotland as a whole. The SNP won an extra 57 seats, giving it a total of 424. The Lib-Dems lost over half their seats, slumping to 71. The Tories lost 16 seats, leaving them with 115.

Labour failed to make inroads into the SNP vote — most of their gains were from the Lib Dems — and the SNP did win some seats from Labour.

SNP results were no repeat of last year’s Holyrood elections, and they came nowhere near winning

Sheridan from the sideline

Published on: Mon, 06/02/2012 - 18:49

Review of “Tommy Sheridan: From Hero to Zero? A Political Biography”, by Gregor Gall.

Sheridan’s gifts as a speaker and his ability to relate socialism to ‘bread and butter’ issues allowed him to popularise the basic ideas of socialism. He did this more successfully than perhaps anyone else in the history of Scottish socialism.

As the figurehead and public face of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), he helped socialists ‘break out of the ghetto’. At its height, the SSP had a membership of thousands and six MSPs in Holyrood.

Central to Sheridan’s ability to popularise socialist ideas and help

Tommy Sheridan: not the only sinner

Published on: Tue, 19/07/2011 - 22:58

Peter Burton reviews Downfall by Alan McCombes

Alan McCombes describes Tommy Sheridan as his “closest political companion for 20 years”.

He met Sheridan as a young recruit to Militant (forerunner of the Socialist Party) in the mid-1980s, and worked with him in the poll tax agitation in Scotland (1989-90) which made Sheridan famous.

With the majority of Militant/SP, McCombes and Sheridan quit the Labour Party in the early 1990s, setting up Scottish Militant Labour in 1992, the Scottish Socialist Alliance in 1996, and the Scottish Socialist Party in 1998. McCombes and Sheridan split from Peter

Tommy Sheridan: not the only sinner

Published on: Mon, 18/07/2011 - 18:40

"Downfall" is the unfortunate title and story as told by Alan McCombes (AM) of the demise of Tommy Sheridan and the left in Scotland. The title - yes it’s the same title as the film about the last days of Hitler - is a clear signal to the reader about what's coming next. There follows a 318 page character assassination by a man whom AM himself describes as his “closest political companion for twenty years”.

In the introduction AM gives his reason for writing the book at this time. "The record has to be set straight and not by a detached journalist but by a central participant in the events at

Why Doesn’t the Scottish Socialist Party Join the SNP?

Published on: Sun, 15/05/2011 - 10:10

The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) won just 8,722 votes (0.4% of the total votes) in the recent Holyrood elections.

A pretty poor result?

Not according to the election analyses which the SSP has now posted on its website. In fact, or so we are to meant to believe, the election outcome is a harbinger of great things to come for the SSP.

And here’s how it’s done.

Stage one: Argue that the SSP’s score is not really as bad it might appear at first sight.

Yes, the result was “disappointing”. But this was “inevitable when the fiasco of the Sheridan affair is added to the steamroller effect of the

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