.............................................. ...............................................

Scottish Socialist Party New Year message

by Colin Fox,
SSP national convenor

I want to begin by saying Happy New Year to the men and women I met on Tesco’s picket line at Livingston in June.

Happy New Year to the men and women I met on the posties picket lines in October. Happy New Year to the men and women I met on the Deptartment of Work and Pensions picket lines and to the Glasgow care workers.

Happy New Year to the peace movement in Scotland of which the SSP is proud to be part. I salute you all for your courage and your ideals and I look forward to working with you again.

Each of these groups realise that despite the predictions of high paid ‘commentators’ that the Scottish Socialist Party was finished and ‘discarded into the dustbin of history’, we’re still here.

Our party has survived the worst year in our short history. It was a tough year, no one knows that better than I. But lets be absolutely clear, the extraordinary set of events which the fledgling SSP had to face would have pole-axed any party. If Alex Salmond for example had done to the SNP what Tommy Sheridan did to the SSP the nationalists would not be sitting in Bute House today. They would have found themselves exactly where we were.

And yet we have come though this hell, bloodied and bruised yes, but we’re still here.
Still campaigning against the barbaric British and American occupation of Iraq, still campaigning against Trident nuclear weapons based on the Clyde threatening the world with annihilation, still fighting back against the ever widening inequalities in Scotland that sees financiers, industrialists and Chief Executives award themselves national lottery style bonuses for cutting off pension rights to their employees, still on picket lines across Scotland supporting low paid workers, still the biggest socialist force in Scotland, still recruting and producing the country’s only socialist newspaper.

And we expect 2008 to be a year of further progress. Why? Because the vital need for a party of the left remains, one that is capable of providing an alternative to the neo liberal parties of the rich.

2008 will bring huge changes to the economic and political picture in Britain. We are witnessing the end of the economic credit bubble which Britain has lived off for the past 15 years. House price inflation is slowing dramatically, for the last two months of 2007 it fell sharply. The US economy, upon which the entire world economy depends is headed for recession. World commodity prices especially for food and oil are soaring and the prospects of an economic slowdown are clear.

This is the news New Labour has dreaded for a decade. They benefited politically from the boom and they will suffer in the slump. Gordon Brown has already had a very bad year. His anticipated honeymoon as the newly installed Labour Prime Minister was rather more short lived than anyone predicted. He is now even less popular than his predecessor. Labour backbenchers are seen arguing for inflation busting pay rises on top of their mega salaries desperate to augment their pension arrangements before the election is called. This tells you all you need to know about their morale. Labour is preparing for life in opposition just as it has been forced to come to terms with it in Scotland.

The nightmare prospect of a Tory government at Westminster has returned with a vengeance and will, amongst other things, add a dramatic further twist to politics in Scotland by sending the ‘national question’ rocketing up the political agenda once more.
All these factors will change the current political landscape in Scotland utterly.

For the SSP 2008 will bring its trials and tribulations for sure, but we can see signs of optimism in the political centre of gravity of the Scottish people. Like us they are opposed to privatisation, they are opposed to nuclear weapons and our troops being used in imperialist war games, they are in favour of a Scotland where our vast wealth is shared our far more evenly, they are angered by corruption and greed in our political classes and they are in favour of a modern democratic republic.
They face the prospect this coming year of fighting to defend their standard of living and their public services and they know they can count on us.

The Scottish Socialist Party will continue to rebuild in 2008. We will work with others in the unions, communities, the various progressive groups and radical campaigns in pursuit of the independent socialist Scotland we seek.

0 Com:

Post a Comment