Richie Venton, North Ayrshire organiser of the Scottish Socialist Party, has revealed the party is to campaign for a ‘Yes Alliance’ to contest the Westminster elections next May.
Mr Venton told the3towns.today, “Savage cuts to benefits, pay, jobs and people's basic democratic rights, announced in the wake of the Referendum, have driven increased numbers of Scots to favour independence. Even those still unconvinced of full-scale self-government are strongly in favour of vastly increased powers for Scotland over benefits, taxation and measures to protect us from the Tory-led Coalition.”
The SSP activist also pointed to a strong public feeling that next year’s UK Election presents an opportunity to “punish” the Labour Party for its “collaboration with the Tories in blocking independence, leaving us at the mercy of Cameron's dictatorship of the obscenely rich.”
The SSP is continuing to campaign in North Ayrshire for the Scottish Parliament to receive all of the powers needed to transform the lives of everyone living in Scotland. At street-stalls and public meetings in local towns, the socialist activists have argued that a £10.00-per-hour Scottish minimum wage should be paid to every worker over the age of 16, and for the creation of a benefits system that supports people “instead of demonising them”.
Other SSP policies include a ban on fracking and that the ‘Big Six’ energy companies and the green energy sector should be taken into democratic public ownership to banish profiteering and fuel poverty. In addition the party wants to see the repeal of anti-trade union laws introduced by the Tory Government of Margaret Thatcher, and the implementation of a progressive taxation system where the very rich and big business “pay their fair share to fund decent public services”.
Richie Venton said, “We have these distinctive policies, often radically different from those of the SNP. For that reason alone, we are not prepared to give a blank cheque to the SNP in the 2015 elections. We will not be calling on people to just vote SNP and forget their differences with them on key matters of policy.
"However, we are stepping up our appeal to the SNP, Greens and people of no political party who made up the very successful YES campaign to sustain that united front in the Westminster elections. That's what our recent SSP national conference agreed unanimously.
"We want a pro-independence, anti-cuts alliance that agrees one candidate in each constituency, to challenge the Tories and Labour, appealing to not only the 45-percent who voted Yes, but to the No voters who want a radically fairer distribution of wealth and power.
"We believe the beauty of such an alliance is that it would appeal to outraged, disenfranchised Labour voters in a way that the SNP on its own never will, with socialists, greens, SNP members and independents standing as candidates in an agreed allocation of seats.”
Mr Venton, a veteran socialist campaigner, noted, “I have spoken at several local YES groups that support such a multiparty alliance, including many people who have recently joined the SNP.
"The Scottish Socialist Party will never drop its commitment to an independent socialist Scotland, but we are eager to reach agreement with others in the interests of resisting Tory attacks on the working class, and of keeping the flames of social justice and independence alight, through a pro-independence, anti-cuts alliance for May 2015.”