Socialist Worker

For a different war

Issue No. 1840

'WE ARE an anti-war and a pro-war party. We are opposed, under any circumstances, to the unleashing of mass murder on the innocent civilians of Iraq. But we are also committed to a war - a war on poverty and inequality.' In his keynote speech Tommy Sheridan summed up the two key issues that dominated the Scottish Socialist Party's (SSP) annual conference held in Glasgow last weekend.

He also sent journalists from newspapers like the Daily Mail scurrying when he said, 'Our message to asylum seekers, whether seeking asylum from torture, persecution, hunger or poverty, is come to Scotland and build your new life here.'

The most exciting debate of the conference was on the question of the war against Iraq. The SSP has played a key role in building the anti-war movement and the 100,000-strong demonstration in Glasgow on 15 February.

This clearly lifted the conference. A number of delegates talked about organising strikes and mass action if war breaks out. Sadly an amendment was passed which equated the might of US imperialism with those who participate in acts of individual terrorism as a method of fighting back.

When it came to the election manifesto for the Scottish Parliament coming up in May, delegates voted for six key pledges:

  • Abolition of the council tax in favour of a new Scottish Service Tax based on income.
  • Free school meals for every state school pupil in Scotland.
  • A £7.32 an hour minimum wage for all Scottish public sector workers.
  • Create 24,000 jobs by introducing a 35-hour maximum working week across the public sector.
  • End PFI and clear the private profiteers out of Scotland's public services.
  • Oppose and obstruct any war for oil.

    In recognition of the hard work members of the Socialist Worker Platform has done inside the SSP and its work inside the anti-capitalist and anti-war movements, four of its members were elected to the 14-strong executive committee of the SSP. Also nearly 100 delegates attended the Socialist Worker Platform fringe meeting.

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    Article information

    Sat 1 Mar 2003, 00:00 GMT
    Issue No. 1840
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