Below a letter I sent to The Scotsman today responding to an article about Bob Crow's [RMT] efforts to unite the left in Scotland.
I read Mark Smith's piece in today's Scotsman [New socialist party to fight general election, 14/1/10] with some interest as you may imagine. My interest quickly turned to indignation however as I realised that neither Bob Crow nor anyone else has been in touch with the Scottish Socialist Party about this London based initiative to unite socialist groups in Scotland. No letter, no email, no text message, no phone call let alone the courtesy of an invitation to meetings held 'last week in London' or ' in Glasgow on 30th January'.
Such an attitude hardly bodes well for the comradely and mutually respectful relationship required here. Readers will be forced to question the seriousness of such a proposal when the biggest socialist party in Scotland and the fastest growing in the country is excluded in this way.
I'm surely not the only person who thinks we need another socialist party like we need a hole in the head. We have too many as it is.
Mark Smith, who never made any attempt to speak to the SSP before writing his piece, is also wrong to suggest we are 'warring' with anyone on the left. We are entirely focused on offering working people in Scotland that desperately needed alternative to the 4 neo-liberal, warmongering parties who misrepresent us at Westminster.
Over the past 6 months I have been campaigning up and down the country, from Aberdeen to East Lothian on behalf of those 70% of Scots opposed to Britain's ongoing military occupation of Afghanistan. Equally our party is working with others to make the case that it is the rich, the bankers and their political classes who got us into the worst recession in 80 years that should pay for it, not tens of millions of working families as all 4 of our opponents believe.
The SSP has enjoyed, as a consequence of our efforts in recent months, our second strongest period of growth in 10 years. We remain committed to left unity, indeed our record shows we have achieved more on that score than anyone else, and we continue to strive to unite every democratic socialist in Scotland under one effective banner worthy of working people's respect and support.