Sunday, 5 October 2014

SSP protests our exclusion from Lord Smith's Devolution Commission

Dear Lord Smith, As you know the Scottish Socialist Party was one of three political parties to establish and lead the ‘Yes’ campaign. Six parties in total were formally engaged in the Independence Referendum over the past two years, three on the Yes side – the SNP, Greens and the SSP - and three on the No side – Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. I am therefore disappointed that your Commission has decided to uniquely exclude one party, ours, from the process now under way to consider what further powers might be devolved to Holyrood following the referendum. This approach does not in my opinion reflect well on your Commission’s integrity nor suggest the process is as democratic and inclusive as it ought to be. In the instructions laid down for your Commission by Prime Minister David Cameron asks you ‘To convene cross-party talks and facilitate an inclusive engagement process across Scotland to produce, by 30th November 2014, Heads of Agreement with recommendations for further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament. This process will be informed by a Command paper, to be published by 31 October and will result in the publication of draft clauses by 25 January. The recommendations will deliver more financial, welfare and tax raising powers, strengthening the Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom.’ The Prime Minister’s explicit instructions are therefore not reflected in your decision to exclude our party from this process. It is surely self-evident that excluding the Scottish Socialist Party from ‘cross-party talks’ is not exercising ‘an inclusive engagement’. The argument some use to justify our exclusion on the grounds that we currently have no ‘Parliamentary representation’ fails to appreciate that the referendum was not a Parliamentary process but an unprecedented public debate that resulted in an extraordinary level of engagement from all sections of society. To exclude the SSP is to exclude an important constituency of opinion in Scottish society. I therefore ask you to reconsider your decision to exclude the Scottish Socialist Party and extend to us the same rights offered to the 5 other parties formally engaged in this debate. I look forward to your earliest reply. Yours sincerely Colin Fox, Joint national spokesperson, Scottish Socialist Party

8 comments:

  1. amazed you haven't been invited

    you did have MSPs once in Scottish Parliament

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  2. They must have something to fear from a true Scottish party as against the three no groups who are all HQ'd in london... BUT... as long as we continue to play by their rules what can we expect....

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  3. I agree, ye have every right, have won the right to be there. That's from an SNP member as well.

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  4. The more the merrier Colin.

    I would love you guys at the table. They will make up the rules as they go tho. keeping you out as you would be too loud a voice .

    Keep up the fantastic work though .

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  5. anything we can do to help protest this?
    (from another snp member and fellow yesser :)

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  6. I agree Colin, and that's as a Green. Democracy does not begin with exclusion!

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  7. is there a petition for the SSP to be included in Smith commission? If there is can you start tweeting and posting it on facebook. if not can someone start one. twitter is starting to be enraged you're not part of it.

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