Socialist Worker

Activist voices debate the future of the Scottish left

Issue No. 2015

“I would join a new party set up by Tommy Sheridan. I think that a lot of students would join it.

“I would like to see a new party being more involved in decentralised broad movements like Stop the War, rather than trying to control the movements or setting up its own campaigns in opposition.”

James Foley, student at Glasgow University not aligned with any SSP platform, who recently complained to Scottish Socialist Youth (SSY) about their decision to hold an SSY camp on the same day as the Scotland wide protest against the bombing of Lebanon.

“I am not a member of the SSP but we have always supported anyone who stands up against injustice. Tommy Sheridan, like George Galloway, has always supported workers.

“Speaking personally, I would support Tommy whichever party he is in, though I would have liked to see him back as leader of the SSP and fighting on that basis.”

Sultan Feroz, secretary of Aberdeen trades council

“I am angry that many of us have to leave the SSP after all the work we have put in. The atmosphere in the party has been terrible in the past couple of weeks.

“It’s not functioning as a party. We can’t stay in.

“I think that the faction that attacked Sheridan would rather destroy the SSP than lose control of it.

“They also claim to speak for all women in the party, but they don’t. There are many working class women in Scotland who will support a new party.”

Louise McLeary, branch treasurer of SSP Kirkcaldy branch in Fife

“The situation in the SSP has been going from bad to worse. In the past two months the apparatus and their clique on the executive have totally ignored the party and the decisions of the national council.

“Perhaps we could have waited till the conference in October, but the constant vile statements in the press from the anti-Sheridan faction make it impossible to either reconcile with them or wait that long. Personally I see a new party as the only way forward.”

Rowland Sheret, Stirling SSP branch

“Socialists across Scotland have real decisions to make in the coming weeks. It is clear that the current situation is not sustainable and the party has to consider how best to move forward.

“Our decision to back the 3 September meeting and to support Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne was not easy to make.

“But this region is united in its opposition to the hijacking of the party by a small minority of senior members and we feel it may be best to discuss moving on.”

Mark Gilroy, chair South of Scotland regional council

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