This should be read in conjunction with the RCN Statement to Conference.
Conference holds Tommy Sheridan’s anti-party actions to be responsible for the damage inflicted on the SSP and on the socialist movement in Scotland, aided, in particular, by the decisions taken by the leaderships of the CWI and SWP. The decision to split the SSP through the formation of Solidarity represented a major political mistake, which has left the working class severely weakened in the face of the current capitalist offensive.
We recognise however that to rebuild the party and this movement we must ensure that our own party structures, our constitution, conference decisions and internal, democratic procedures are adhered to. Therefore the SSP must:
Encourage debates where political differences and attempts to make SSP office bearers accountable for their actions are addressed without acrimony and personalised attacks
- Apply our constitution equally to all members.
- Insist that all officers of the party adhere to party policy.
- Not elevate any individual or group to the position of
Great Leader/s. The party has democratic structures to ensure this does not happen and these must be adhered to.
- The membership of the party must be trusted.
- Reject any attempt to resort to the media or other bodies for personal financial gain, when information is sought about the conduct of people involved in the socialist and labour movements.
This conference re-emphasises SSP Conference policy passed on October 20th, 2006
- SSP members should avoid resort to the state’s courts when seeking redress for politically motivated attacks on their behaviour
- When SSP members are subjected to politically motivated attacks by the state or media, they should be able to call upon the support of the SSP Executive Committee to conduct a party campaign including the following tactics as deemed appropriate:
- articles in the party’s press
- direct appeals to the trade union members in the state bodies and/or media responsible
- calls for boycott actions
- SSP members should not resort to the non-party media when making allegations against other SSP members. Such allegations should be brought initially before the appropriate party body at the level concerned with the right to appeal to a higher level, the ultimate appeal being the SSP Conference.
The elected press officer should be responsible for day-to-day responses to the outside media, when members are under attack. The press officer is directly responsible, initially to Executive Committee, then to the National Council, and finally to the National Conference.
Also, the party must now seek to carry through the decision of the post-split 2006 SSP Conference which welcomes back former members without recriminations, especially now that they can clearly see the tragic implications of the misguided actions of Sheridan, Solidarity, SWP and CWI leaderships.
The SSP continues to welcome members from other organisations provided they accept the aims and constitution of the SSP. Platforms and networks in the SSP exist to benefit the party as a whole by encouraging wider debate drawing on varied experiences.
Principled unity is our strength. We have a duty to the working class and the cause of socialism to maintain socialist unity and to conduct ourselves in a combative, determined, confident, but friendly manner aimed at convincing thousands that the SSP’s principles and policies coincide with their interests. The future is ours, provided we collectively seize it. (Passed overwhelmingly 20th October 2006).
We must also try to win back the largest group of all – those former members who left the SSP and did not join Solidarity. They have raised criticisms, not only about egotism of Sheridan and the unattractive sectarianism and splitting tactics of the SWP and CWI, but also of those badly misjudged actions of the SSP in attempting to deal with these problems. These former members, many still active in their trade unions, communities and political campaigns, currently form an important bridge to those wider sections of the working class whom we need to win over once more to principled, socialist unity.