Jul 07 2017

ADDRESS TO THE LEFT UNITY CONFERENCE ON JUNE 24th

Allan Armstrong was delegated at the RISE National Forum held in Edinburgh on 8th April to be its representative at the LUP conference on May 20th. Due to the General Election this was postponed to June 24th. Attached is the full version of the talk he prepared for the conference held in London. In the event, because of time constraints, the oral version was slightly abridged.

This was first posted on the LUP blog:- http://leftunity.org/rise-speaker-addresses-lu-conference/

ADDRESS TO THE LEFT UNITY CONFERENCE ON JUNE 24th

I would like to thank the LUP for providing me with the time to address your conference as a visiting representative from RISE.

Many of you here today are old enough to remember the heyday of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), which had a considerable impact throughout the UK. The SSP united the overwhelming majority of socialists in Scotland and at its height had 6 MSPs. It inspired the Socialist Alliance (SA) in England and Wales. Although the SP and the SWP managed to sabotage the SA the SSP’s downfall was an almost entirely Scottish affair. This can be largely laid at the feet of a certain Tommy Sheridan.

After 2004, socialists in Scotland were very divided. IndyRef1, though, provided an opportunity for socialists to regain political influence. Young socialists, largely unaffected by ‘Tommygate’, initiated the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) in 2012. This coalition, or united front, brought together, not only many of the previously divided socialists, but the Left in the SNP and the Greens and a majority not involved in any party. Continue reading “ADDRESS TO THE LEFT UNITY CONFERENCE ON JUNE 24th”

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Nov 28 2012

UNITING THE LEFT IN SCOTLAND ON A PRINCIPLED BASIS

On February 5th, 2011, after the ending of the court proceedings arising from ‘Tommygate’ [1], the SSP held a special meeting in Glasgow to discuss the lessons to be learned from the whole affair. The SSP annual conference, held in Dunfermline in April, also considered aspects of this.

It became quite clear, that not only was the leadership of the SSP not prepared to examine its own conduct during this period in a critical manner, but that it had also retreated from the decisions made at the party’s post-split Conference in 2006. Then the leadership had advocated a unanimously supported pro-socialist unity strategy. That conference had also pledged the party to oppose any initiation of action in the bourgeois courts, or resort to the bourgeois media, over disputes amongst  socialists, a decision that was subsequently breached.

The sometimes highly personalised attacks, either made by, or allowed without any criticism from the leadership, upon comrades who had stuck by the party through the whole of ‘Tommygate’, led to both resignations and the emergence of party dissidents not in any platform.

Continue reading “UNITING THE LEFT IN SCOTLAND ON A PRINCIPLED BASIS”

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