The Socialist Worker platform justify their decision to walk away from the SSP
There can have been very few times when there was such widespread public revulsion against the government. Lebanon is on everyone’s lips and the world seems an increasingly dangerous place in Bush and Blair’s hands. It seems that the only people who do not see the connection between imperialist war and the growth of terrorism are a few Cabinet time-servers.
In that sense the need for a political formation that can express and organize that anger and frustration was never more urgent. We know the people who are demanding that kind of organization; we have marched with them on anti-war demonstrations and most recently in protest at the destruction of Lebanon by Israel. We mobilised with them for the G8 demonstrations and most importantly for the Alternative Summit that followed the Make Poverty History march.
The potential for a mass organization of the left that can draw together all these people is obvious. Yet it is also very clear that the SSP has completely failed to build it.
The reasons for that are political. Underlying the bitter personal exchanges of recent months is an idea of political organization very different from ours. We joined the SSP to build a mass party that could draw together those opposed to war, those fighting discrimination and oppression, those who had joined an anti-capitalist movement to fight the multinationals and their political servants, those who were shocked at environmental collapse, those Muslims who were now more than ever the object of racism and harassment.
That is still our purpose. Sadly, it is obvious that the SSP is not that party, as we had hoped it would be, and despite the work and effort we put in to try and make it happen. Yet the need as well as the potential support for this broad, democratic and active anti-capitalist organization are greater than ever. And there are many both inside and outside the SSP today who have stated their commitment to the project. That is what we now have to build. And it is important that people have the opportunity to express their support in their activity as well as electorally.
We can build that united activity around the key issues on which there is already broad agreement. We are opposed to the imperialist war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Lebanon. We are in solidarity with the Muslim community in Britain who are part of our movement. We are committed to fighting racism in all its forms. We are internationalists who see ourselves as part of a global struggle against the capitalist system. We are implacably opposed to all and any discrimination on grounds of gender whatever form it takes. We are committed to social justice and the proper use of society’s resources for the benefit of all its members. We are for the defence of pension rights. We support trade unionists wherever they struggle to improve and defend their members’ rights and conditions of work. We are for a defence of the environment against the rapacious economic instruments that destroy it in the name of profit.
Today it is clear that war is the central question that unites us all. A new Scottish left can find its focus and its launching point in our common revulsion against Blair and Bush’s war. On September 23rd the whole of the British left will march on the Labour Party Conference in Manchester under the banner Out Now Britain and America out of Iraq, Blair out of power. Let that be the founding moment of a new Scottish left that looks resolutely out at the world and shares the determination to change it.
Mike Gonzalez for SW Platform
Motion passed at SW meeting on 20.08.06
At a members meeting held today in Glasgow, the members of the Socialist Worker Platform of the SSP unanimously agreed the following motion.
This aggregate of the Socialist Worker Platform recognises with some sadness that the SSP is no longer the broad and open mass party of the left we committed ourselves to building when we joined it some five years ago. While the imperialist war intensifies and spreads into Lebanon, and the level of public anger and opposition grows, the SSP has proved unable to respond to that anger or provide any direction for it.
The potential for building a broad and inclusive organization of the Scottish left is as great as ever. It is the duty of socialists to respond to and build on that potential. We welcome the initiative of calling an open public meeting of the Scottish Left on September 3rd in Glasgow and will actively work to build it, in the belief that it could represent the first stage in building new political formation that can answer the needs of the many socialists and activists in Scotland, embracing all strands of the movement including Muslim organizations taking a leading role in the antiwar movement and all those involved in the resistance to G8.
The SW Platform believes that the ‘Time to Go’ demonstration at the Labour Party conference in Manchester on September 23rd can provide a common focus for every section of the movement and a launching point for a new Scottish left that will be open, democratic, internationalist and committed to the building of a new and better world.