SSP welcomes new members at conference
Socialists buoyed by referendum engagement
The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) held its biggest party conference in several years in Edinburgh this weekend, after the party saw membership surge during the campaign for independence.
Co-convener and former MSP Colin Fox told delegates: “This conference is four times bigger than our last one. Our branches are stronger, our visibility is greater and our reputation much better. We have made fools of those who talked of ‘A post-SSP political landscape in Scotland’ back in 2012.”
The party has trebled in size since the referendum, he said.
Among the new members was Labour for Independence founder Allan Grogan, who had left Labour and joined the SSP ahead of the conference. Grogan said he had joined the SSP as “they reflect the real socialist values I have campaigned for during the referendum campaign and throughout my life as a Labour Party member”.
Grogan also called for the party to step into the political mainstream. “It is time for the Scottish Socialist Party to step out from the comfort zone of the political fringes, to begin to campaign for the 40 per cent of Real Labour socialists who are lost and without a home,” he said.
The SSP submitted advice to the Smith Commission on further devolution, despite being excluded from the talks. The SSP was one of six parties registered with the Electoral Commission for the referendum campaign, but Lord Smith had confirmed only political parties represented at Holyrood would take part in the commission. Fox said the case was undermined by the fact the Conservatives were represented by an unelected university professor, Adam Tomkins, with Westminster MPs Greg McClymont and Michael Moore representing Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and Councillor Maggie Chapman representing the Scottish Greens.
“It all begs the question, if Lord Smith fails such basic tests of democracy, what chance is there he will get the what further powers Scotland should get exercise right?” Fox said
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