The Scottish Socialist Party is Scotlands
newest and fastest growing political party. Launched in November 1998, the SSP now has over
2000 members organised in a network of over 50 branches stretching from the Northern Isles
to the Solway Firth, from Hadrians Wall to the Hebrides
Already, the SSP commands the support of around one in 20 voters, as measured in a
series of opinion polls conducted by the System Three polling organisation.
The party is represented in the Scottish Parliament by Tommy Sheridan, one of
Scotlands highest profile MSPs. It is also represented in several local councils,
and includes within its membership some of Scotlands most respected trade union,
environmental and community activists.
The SSP is the only political party in Scotland which produces its own newspaper, the
Scottish Socialist Voice.
Politically, the SSP is:
A pro-independence party which fights for a Scottish socialist republic whose resources
are owned and controlled by the people of Scotland.
An internationalist party which seeks to build solidarity links with all those resisting
inequality and injustice across the world.
A democratic party which is controlled from the bottom upwards by the grassroots members
rather than from the top down by an elite hierarchy.
A pluralist party which seeks to unite socialists from all traditions while allowing
platforms and groupings the right to organise within the party.
A progressive party which opposes racism, bigotry, sectarianism, sexism and homophobia.
A campaigning party which fights for immediate reforms and improvements in the lives of
A visionary party which challenges the conventional idea that capitalism is permanent or
invincible and which advocates the socialist transformation of Scotland as a step towards
a socialist Europe and a socialist world..
An environmentalist party which stands for a halt to the plunder and destruction of our
natural environment by global big business.
A diverse party that encourages the full participation of women, elderly people, young
people under voting age, disabled people, people from Scotlands ethnic communities,
and people from Scotlands gay community.
The SSP will contest every seat in Scotland in
this general election. For a brand new political party, this is a monumental achievement;
the SNP, for example, was unable to achieve such a goal for the first three decades of its
Our purpose in mounting an all-Scotland challenge in the coming general election can be
summarised in five points:
*To drag onto the centre stage of politics key
issues such as poverty, inequality and public ownership which will be generally ignored by
the four main parties.
* To provide every adult in Scotland with the
opportunity to vote for a party which offers an alternative to the free market and
* To clearly establish the SSP as the fifth
political party nationally, and the third party in urban, working class Scotland.
* To attract thousands of new members into
active involvement in the fight for a socialist Scotland.
* To continue the momentum that is propelling
the SSP forward and to prepare the ground for a spectacular socialist breakthrough in
the next Holyrood elections, scheduled for May 2003.
AIMS AND PRINCIPLESThe SSP bases itself upon the triple pillars of
independence, socialism and internationalism. Here we briefly summarise the importance of
these three component parts of our political philosophy.
Repeated opinion polls have shown a majority of
Scots in favour of redistribution of wealth; greater spending on public services; higher
pensions and benefits; an improved national minimum wage; the scrapping of anti-trade
union legislation; and the removal of nuclear weapons from the Clyde.
Yet under the UK political system, all of these powers are in the hands of the Westminster
government. Although devolution marked a modest democratic advance, the powers of Holyrood
are strictly limited. Even the overall budget of the Scottish Parliament is determined in
The Scottish Socialist Party believes that Scotland is a nation and has the right to control its
own economy, its own welfare system and its own defence policy.
We stand for a fully independent government in Scotland which has powers over the economy;
the welfare state; taxation; employment and company law; overseas trade; interest rates;
exchange rates; and defence.
As well as political freedom from Westminster rule,
we want to build a Scotland which is free from poverty, free from inequality, free from
exploitation, free from social injustice, free from homelessness, free from
discrimination, free from insecurity.
We believe the only to achieve genuine freedom for the Scottish people is by building a
socialist Scotland which harnesses our wealth and natural resources for the benefit of the
people of Scotland.
We repudiate the idea that nothing can be done in the teeth of global capitalism: that we
are too small, too weak, too poor or too powerless to make a stand.
Scotland has an abundance of resources including thousands of miles of coastline; vast
expanses of uninhabited land; an endless supply of clean water; colossal reserves of oil;
a highly skilled and well-educated workforce; a rich cultural heritage; and a talented
artistic community which includes some of Europes top writers, musicians and
The raw material exists to build a radical new Scotland which will stand up to the forces
of globalisation and capitalism and become an international symbol of resistance against
inequality and social injustice.
The Scottish Socialist Party strives to forge
close links with socialists, trade unionists and environmentalists across the world.
We recognise that especially in this age of global communications and transnational
capitalism, the battle for socialism cannot be confined within the borders of a single
country. Our long term goal is to replace global capitalism with global socialism via the
establishment of a world-wide confederation of socialist states, co-operating harmoniously
to end poverty, starvation, disease, war and the threat of environmental catastrophe.
The biggest contribution we can make to the movement for socialism internationally is to
build the beginnings of a socialist society here in Scotland.
The Scottish Socialist Party stands for united action by working people across
the UK to defend services and living standards under attack from Westminster. We welcome
the decision of the Socialist Alliances in England and Wales to stand candidates in the
coming general election. We welcome the recognition by socialists in England of the right
of the peoples of Scotland and Wales to self-determination. This can assist us to build
internationalism from below.
POLICIES and PRIORITIES
The SSP does not pretend that we are on the verge of forming a government.
We believe that our day will eventually come, when the majority of the people of Scotland
decide that socialism is the best road forward. In the meantime, the SSP will fight
for the following immediate changes:
Over the past 20 years, the gap between rich and poor in Scotland
and across the UK has widened into a gaping chasm.
In Britain 32 per cent of children live in poverty. This is the highest figure in the
European Union, and compares with just 5 per cent in Denmark, which has the lowest figure.
The UK government spends just 13 per cent of its GDP (total wealth produced) on social
welfare benefits. Along with Ireland (which also spends 13 per cent of its GDP on welfare)
this is by far the lowest figure in Europe. Eight countries spend over 20 per cent of GDP
on benefits; while Belgium and the Netherlands spend 25 per cent.
At the same UK has become a tax haven for the rich. As a recent article in the Spectator
magazine pointed, there are an estimated 200,000 wealthy tax exiles from France now living
in the UK, attracted by the low rates of taxation of the rich.
Meanwhile, the wealthiest 1000 people in the UK own assets worth £146 billion
almost ten times as much as the total annual spending in Scotland on the NHS, education,
social services, housing, transport and emergency services combined.
New Labour has aggravated the economic and divisions in society by emphasising indirect
taxation rather than direct taxation a traditional policy which punishes the poor
and rewards the rich.
The Scottish Socialist Party stands for an all-out war
against economic and social inequality. As a start, we will fight for a shift from
indirect to direct taxation, increased taxes on the rich, and increased resources to end
Our immediate priorities are to fight for:
* A national
minimum wage of at least £7 an hour. This would bring Scotland into line with the
European Decency Threshold.
* The restoration
of the link between pensions and earnings which would mean almost £100 a week in
todays money for a single pensioner. The SSP will fight
for that level of basic state pension to be restored immediately, as a modest first step
towards bringing all pensioners up to at least the level of the weekly national minimum
* The reversal of
all benefits cuts introduced by the Tories and New Labour. This would include the return
of benefits stolen from 16 and 17 year olds by the Tories; the restoration of income
support and housing benefit to students; the restoration of lone parent benefits slashed
by successive governments; the easing of the harsh rules governing disability benefits;
and the index-linking of all benefits to earnings.
* The abolition of
the council tax and its replacement by a service tax which would shift the burden for
local taxation onto the wealthy. The SSP has already drawn up
detailed proposals explaining how this new system could be implemented even by the
Scottish Parliament, notwithstanding its limited powers in other areas of the economy.
* A reversal of
the cuts in top rate taxation and Corporation Tax carried out by the last Tory Government.
From 1979 until 1988, the top rate of taxation in the UK was 63 per cent. After three
years of New Labour, it remains at just 40 per cent. Corporation Tax on big business was
reduced from 52 per cent to 33 per cent. New Labour has slashed it further, to 30 per
cent. These measures would raise at least an extra £10 billion in the UK and £1 billion
in an independent Scotland. Scotland alone.
* The scrapping of
the ceiling on National Insurance contributions, which means that no NI is paid on
earnings over £575 a week. This would raise an extra £500 million in Scotland and £5
billion across the UK.
* The slashing of
VAT from 17.5 per cent to its 1979 level of 8 per cent. Twice as much money is now raised
by the UK exchequer from VAT than from corporation tax on business. The SSP will campaign for this balance to be reversed.
* An end to high
fuel taxes at the petrol pump which have proven ineffective in reducing car use
reintroduction of the special taxes on North Sea oil scrapped by the last Tory government,
which would mean Petroleum Revenue Tax and royalties levied on every barrel of oil
produced. Ultimately the SSP stands for complete social
ownership of North Sea oil in an independent socialist Scotland.
According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, there has been a
long-term downward trend in the proportion of GDP spent on public services. In th
emid-1970s, the UK govenrment ploughed over 50% of all wealth produced into public
services. Today that figure is stuck below 40%.
Although health, education and local government services are administered by the Scottish
Parliament, they are dependent upon the block grant allocated by Westminster.
The SSP will campaign for an end to the block grant system
and for the Scottish Parliament to take control of all taxation raised in Scotland,
including income tax, VAT and corporation tax.
This would allow a Scottish government to determine its own budget in line with the needs
of the people of Scotland.
In addition, we will campaign for the Chancellor's so-called war chest, amounting to tens
of billions of pounds, to be invested in health, housing, education and local services
rather than squandered in tax bribes.
In specific areas of the public sector, we will campaign for:
The SSP will fight for:
* Annual increases
in health spending in Scotland of 10 per cent a year or £2.5 billion over four years to
bring the health service up to the spending level of the top European countries.
* The abolition of
NHS Trusts and the creation of a democratic NHS involving representatives of the medical
professions, other health care workers, and local communities in the planning of
* A halt to PFI,
PPP and other privatisation schemes, and the bringing back into the public sector those
parts of the NHS that have already been privatised.
* The abolition of
prescription charges, eye test charges and dental check-up charges.
* An end to all
private medicine and the incorporation of private medical facilities and resources into
* A ban on tobacco
* The replacement
of Invalid Care Allowance which works out at barely £1 an hour with a new
carers allowance equivalent to the national minimum wage.
* The replacement
of the triple MMR vaccine and its replacement with separate vaccinations for measles,
mumps and rubella, backed up with a high profile education and publicity programme to
* The taking into
social ownership of the pharmaceutical companies and their incorporation into the NHS.
* No fluoridation
of Scottish water.
The SSP will fight for:
* Proper funding of further and higher
education. Spending per student is now just 60 per cent of its 1976 level in real terms.
We will campaign for a return to at least that level of funding.
* The complete abolition of all fees in the
Higher and Further education sectors.
* The abolition of the student loans system
and its replacement with a universal student grant linked to the national minimum wage.
* Maximum class sizes of 20 in all primary and
* Reversal of all privatisation and
part-privatisation of schools, colleges and other education facilities.
* An end to streaming and other forms of
* Schools to be turned into wider community
facilities, providing adult education and cultural activities in the evenings and at
* A national forum to be set up in Scotland
representing parents, teachers, students and schools to help shape the school curriculum
and to ensure its relevance to the needs of pupils and students in the 21st
The SSP will fight for:
* The bringing back into public ownership of
all rail, bus, ferry and airline companies privatised by the Tories.
* All fuel revenues to be ring-fenced for
public transport, and a shift in the burden of fuel taxation from the motorist at the
petrol pump to the oil companies.
* The setting of a maximum fare of ten pence a
mile for all rail journeys and five pence a mile for all bus journeys. We will also
campaign for free internal public transport within each local authority boundary to slash
* Free travel for all pensioners, children and
* The abolition of road tolls and the bringing
of PFI projects such as the Skye Bridge back into the public sector.
* A halt to all new motorway construction and
the use of the roads budget to maintain existing roads.
* The introduction of special subsidies to
encourage transfer of heavy freight from road to rail.
The SSP will fight for:
* The cancellation of Scotlands £4
billion housing debt.
* The launch of a major new renovation and
house-building programme to rid Scotland of all sub-standard housing within three years.
* The reduction of all council rents by 25 per
* An end to all council house sales.
* An end to large scale housing stock
transfers into the private and semi-private sectors.
* The abolition of assured tenancies and the
right of all tenants, including those in private rented accommodation, to a secure tenacy
The SSP will fight for:
* An inquiry to establish how much in real
terms has been removed from local councils by central government since the mid 1970s, when
the assault on local spending first began.
* The restoration of local government finance
to at least the levels of the mid 1970s.
* The cancelation of all outstanding poll tax
* The abolition of the council tax and its
replacement with a Scottish Service Tax, based on ability to pay. This would shift the
burden of local taxation from low and middle income to higher income households.
* The abolition of the uniform business rate
and the return of this power to local government.
* A re-assessment of local government
boundaries to redress the balance between cities like Glasgow and Dundee which have
suffered financial hardship since reorganization and the wealthy suburbs which have
benefited from the changes.
* In addition, we will campaign for the
Chancellors so-called war chest - which amounts to tens of billions of pounds - to
be invested in health, housing, education and local services, and to raise pensions and
benefits, rather than squandered in tax bribes.
The SSP stands
against the phoney consensus that asserts that the free market and private ownership of
the economy equals competence and efficiency.
There is widespread public contempt towards the private fatcats who measure success by the
size of their profit margins and the value of their shares. There is also growing
realisation that the privatisation programme implemented by Thatcher - and now accepted by
New Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP - has been a gigantic rip off.
British Telecom was sold off for a bargain basement £4 billion; yet in the past five
years alone the company has raked in four times that amount in profit. Railtrack was sold
off for £1.8 billion in 1996; three years later, shares had soared by 350 per cent and
the company was valued at £5 billion. Last year, Scotlands biggest privatised
company, Scottish Power made almost £1 billion profit, enough to give every pensioner in
Scotland over £20 a week towards their fuel bills.
For most of the past decade, the Scottish economy has grown, as part of a more general
economic upswing across Europe and America. This has meant falling unemployment and rising
revenues for the government. But when the present growth spurt comes to an end and boom
turns to bust, it will be manual and low grade clerical workers, public service workers,
pensioners and lone parents who will pay the heaviest price.
Even now, with the economy surging forward, the trend is towards an unskilled, sweatshop
economy with low wages, long hours and oppressive working conditions. The hype surrounding
New Economy gloss over the real world of Silicon Glen, the call centres and
the dot.com companies, where low pay, intolerably long hours and prison camp conditions
Even these jobs are precarious; and many economists expect the wholesale of millions of
jobs in banking, insurance, packaging, retail and assembly-line work as a consequence of
The SSP believes that the case for a socially-planned economy
is more clear than ever before. Technological progress under capitalism might mean more
millionaires - but it also means more misery for the millions. Under socialism, technology
will be used to slash the length of the working week and pave the way for a spectacular
explosion of culture, sport, leisure and education.
The SSP is committed to building a new, democratic socialist
Scotland which will stand up the forces of globalisation, privatisation and capitalism.
In the meantime we will fight for:
* The bringing
back into public ownership under popular, democratic decentralised management -
those industries, services and utilities privatised over the past 20 years.
* The extension of
public ownership to include other key sectors of the economy including North Sea oil, the
big banks and financial institutions, and the major construction, transport, and
* The introduction
of a £7 an hour minimum wage and a 35 hour maximum working week.
* Workers control
over health, safety and other workplace conditions.
* Confiscation of
the assets of any company that pulls out of Scotland in search of more profitable
environments; and legislation to force these companies to provide redundancy payments
equivalent to two years salary to allow a reasonable time frame for retraining and
* The replacement
of unelected boards of directors with democratically elected boards which would involve
representatives of the workforce and the wider public.
The SSP is an environmentalist party which fights for the right of people
to live in a clean, safe and healthy environment. The SSP will link up with other
socialists and environmentalists internationally to campaign for world-wide action to
protect the planet and its natural resources.
Here in Scotland, we will back any appropriate direct action to resist pollution and
environmental destruction. As our contribution to the global fight for a clean, green
planet we will fight for the following policies:
* The removal of Trident, and all nuclear
weapons from Scotland.
* The decommissioning of nuclear power
plants and the establishment of a diversification agency which will guarantee the
livelihoods of all workers whose jobs are dependent on nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
* An end to all nuclear dumping in
Scotland and a ban on the dumping of chemicals and explosives at sea.
* Intensified research and development of
alternative energy sources.
* Legislation forcing businesses to use
renewable materials for packaging.
* More stringent controls to restrict
pollution caused by industry.
* Democratic social ownership of energy,
including oil, gas, coal and electricity.
* An end to opencast mining in Scotland.
* The closure and sealing off of all toxic
* Properly funded investigation into the
link between the incidence of childhood cancers and the proximity of electricity pylons
and mobile phone masts.
* Full consultation
with local communities and proper planning permission be sought before any mobile phone
masts are erected.
Rural Scotland is in deep crisis. Even before the
foot and mouth outbreak, thousands of small farmers were already teetering on the verge of
Much of the balance is ripped off by supermarket giants like Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury
and Safeway. these retail giants pile up record profits totalling billions while their
suppliers in rural areas plunge deeper into recession.
The depression affecting parts of rural Scotland has been further aggravated by
under-investment and neglect by both absentee and local landowners.
The SSP stands for a radical new approach to land and
agriculture which shifts the balance of power away from agri-business, the supermarkets
and the landowners into the hands of small farmers, rural communities and consumers.
In the short term, we will fight for the following policies: *
A system of price controls to be imposed on the big supermarkets to bring prices in the
shops more closely into line with the prices paid to the farmers. *
A five year ban on GM crops to enable further research to take place. *
Greater regulation and enforcement of hygiene standards to rebuild public confidence in
subsidies to encourage small and medium sized farmers to switch to organic farming.and to
assist them establish direct markets in towns and cities. *
The transfer into public and community ownership of all unoccupied and under-utilised
land, including sporting estates and feudally owned land. *
The setting of a maximum landholding acreage, varying from region to region depending on
geography, fertility etc.
* The introduction
of a land betterment tax to supplement local government income and to deter land
An end to the Common Agriculural Policy which pays farmers not to grow food.
The SSP will fight for: * The scrapping of all anti-trade union laws' including laws
restrictiong the right to picket and to take unofficial solidarity action. * Automatic union recognition where one or more worker joins a union. * A minimum wage of £7 an hour, bringing us in line with the
European Decency Threshold. * A 35 hour maximum working week, with no loss of pay. * Workers' control over health, safety and other working conditions. * Opposition to Social Partnership and full independence of trade
unions from employees. * An end to New Labour's monopoly over the unions' political levy,
allowing workers the choice of paying a political levy to socialists and others closer to
The UK has some of the most repressive laws in the
world, including anti-trade union laws, secrecy laws, and laws which restrict the right to
The SSP will campaign for: *
The repeal of the Criminal Justice Act 1994. *
The scrapping of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) legislation which allows the
state to conduct intensive electronic surveillance of innocent individuals. *
The repeal of so-called anti-terrorist legislation such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act
and the Emergency Powers Act. *
Democratic, community control over the police, and the disbandonment of the secret
intelligence services. *
A major shift in emphasis away from imprisonment to community service, especially for
those convicted of non-violent crime. As a general rule, we would oppose women with young
children being imprisoned except in extreme cases.
Europe and the WorldThe SSP rejects totally the frenzied
British nationalism of the Tory Party and organisations such as the UK Independence Party.
In the age of the Internet, satellite TV and high speed air travel,
there can be no room for Little Englander or Little Scotlander politics which pretend we
can cut ourselves adrift from the rest of Europe.
The SSP stands for co-operation and
solidarity among the peoples and nations of the European continent.
At the same time we reject the naive notion that the European Union is
a benevolent institution serving the ordinary people of Europe.
In its present form, the EU exists solely to promote free market
capitalism and to boost the profits of big business at the expense of the working class
and the poor.
It is also an undemocratic, hierarchical institution in which immense
power is concentrated into the hands of unelected commissioners.
will fight for the following policies: * Opposition to all
attempts by the European Union to pressurise member states into carrying out spending
cuts, privatisation and deregulation.. * Co-operation among
socialists and trade unionists across Europe to fight for a continental-wide four day week
and £7 an hour minimum wage. * United action across
Europe against racism and fascism and an end to the policy of Fortress Europe. * Opposition to the big
business Euro project, while promoting our long term vision of a voluntary and democratic
confederation of socialist states across Europe. * An organised boycott of
any referendum on the Euro organised by New Labour or the Tories, with the SSP arguing that the Scottish economy should be run neither by the
Bank of England or the European Central Bank, but by the people of Scotland. * Withdrawal from NATO. * The closure of the
nuclear submarine bases on the Clyde and an world-wide campaign for international nuclear
disarmament. * The cancellation of the
£32 billion Eurofighter project with guaranteed employment for those workers across
Europe involved in producing the jets. * The abolition of
powerful international quangos such as the World Trade Organisation whose goal is to turn
the planet into a free marketeers paradise where transnationals can pile up sky high
profits at the expense of living standards, working conditions and public services. * The cancellation of all
Third World debt.
The SSP will
fight for: * A peaceful solution to
the conflict in Northern ireland. We oppose sectarianism and support any steps towards a
united socialist challenge to the pro-big-business policies of the Westminster, Stormont
and Dublin governments. * The demilitarisation of
Northern Ireland. * A socialist Ireland
built with the consent of the people of Ireland, on both sides of the community divide and
on both sides of the border.
The SSP believes that
drug prohibition and the criminalisation of drug users has failed to make any serious
impact upon illicit drug use.
Since the 1970s, the number of drug convictions and the number of drug seizures have
multiplied ten times over.
Tens of thousands of young people have been harassed and criminalised for the use of
relatively harmless drugs such as cannabis, while the grim toll of heroin deaths continues
to grow ever longer.
Meanwhile, criminal drugs grow richer more powerful and more violent creating an
atmosphere of terror and mayhem in many working class communities.
The SSP campaigns
Licensing the sale and production of cannabis for medical and personal use to break the
link between soft drugs and potentially lethal drugs such as heroin. *
Increased resources to help addicts break their heroin addiction, including an expansion
of detox, rehabilitation and counselling services staffed by trained drugs workers. *
Breaking the stranglehold of the criminal drugs gangs by providing clean pharmaceutical
heroin on prescription to those addicts who are not yet ready to come off the drug. *
A radical social programme to tackle the roots of hard drug abuse including a huge
expansion of cultural and sporting facilities at community level. *
Responsibility for drugs policy to be determined by the Scottish Parliament rather than
In our society, most of the key decisions that
affect our everyday lives -our work, our children, our environment, our health, our food,
our education, our public transport, our housing - are taken b2hind closed doors by
bureaucrats and business moguls.
The SSP stands for a root and branch reorganisation of
society to transfer real power from the business moguls to the ordinary people of
The type of socialism we are fighting for has nothing in common either with Eastern
European-style Stalinism or with Old Labour-style bureaucratic corporatism.
Instead, we stand for the dismantling of the hierarchies and bureaucracies which run
capitalism and the maximum decentralisation of decision-making right down to communities
In the meantime, we will campaign for the
following policies: *
Abolition of the monarchy, the House of Lords and all other remnants of feudalism. *
A bonfire of the quangos - and the replacement of these unelected, unaccountable
institutions with elected, accountable and transparent new bodies. *
The introduction of genuine proportional representation for all public elections. *
The lowering of the voting age to 16 and the right of everyone who is entitled to vote to
stand for public office. *
Maximum decentralisation of power over local decision-making down to community councils. *
The reorganisation of socially owned enterprises to involve the workforce and the wider
community in strategic planning.
The SSP is
striving to build a tolerant socialist society in which racism, sectarianism, homophobia,
ageism and discrimination against women disabled people have no place. We envisage a
society in which diversity is a strength and where each individuals contribution is
valued. The SSP was among those organisations who campaigned
for the repeal of Section 28/2a. We will participate in any genuine campaign to defend and
improve the position of minorities and to ensure that women who form a majority
achieve full social, economic and political equality.
Specifically the SSP will campaign for:
Equal representation for women at all levels of government. *
Full employment rights for all employees, including part time and temporary workers. This
would include the right to job share from the first day at work. *
A total of one years paid maternity/paternity leave, the balance to be decided by
the parents themselves. *
Free nursery provision for all pre-school children and the establishment of after-school
and holiday clubs in every locality for school-age children. *
Full funding for refuges for women attempting to escape violent relationships, and for
services that support women who have experienced violence, rape and child sexual abuse.
The provision of suitable housing for women and children fleeing domestic violence. *
The right to safe, legal free abortion on request and for all women to have access to
abortions, regardless of where in Scotland they live, age culture or circumstances *
Full funding for family planning clinics, with free contraception on demand.
Specifically the SSP will campaign for:
The scrapping of all racist immigration and asylum legislation *
The welcoming of asylum seekers into Scotland, and the scrapping of the humiliating
voucher system. *
Action to counter discrimination against minorities in housing, employment and the legal
Full support and assistance to those forced to defend themselves against racist attacks. *
Increased funding to provide public information in ethnic languages.
Specifically, the SSP will campaign
An end to discrimination against gays and lesbians in parenting and adoption *
The recognition of same sex partners in pension and insurance schemes. *
Full support and assistance to those resisting homophobic violence and intimidation. *
An end to all discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS.
Specifically, the SSP will campaign for: * The repeal of the
Disability Discrimination Act and its replacement with new legislation outlawing
discrimination against disabled people in all spheres of society. * A fully accessible public
transport system . * The adaptation of housing,
where it is requested, to meet the needs of disabled occupants. * The conversion of public
buildings to facilitate access for disabled people. * The right of disabled
people to participate fully in all aspects of society * Full funding of community care to meet the needs of disabled people, their
carers and other who support them.
Specifically, the SSP will campaign for:
* Free fuel, phone installation and TV
licenses for all pensioners.
* Equalisation of the retirement age at 60, to
be reduced to 55 within a five year period.
* Continuing employment and educational
opportunities beyond retirement.
* An end to discrimination by employers
against older workers.
Culture, Sport and
Over the past decade, a
mini-cultural revolution has swept Scotland. The surge of new talent in literature, film,
music and other branches of the arts has added colour and vitality to Scotlands once
prison grey cultural landscape.
It is notable that much of that talent has emerged from the working class, and has
exhibited a healthy contempt of elitism and traditionalism. At the same time, the growing
ethnic diversity of Scotland has contributed significantly to the progressive evolution of
Scottish national identity.
Nonetheless, in the unequal profit-crazed society in which we live, millions remain
socially excluded from cultural life. The SSP is in favour of
encouraging talent, while broadening participation in all aspects of the arts,sport and
Specifically we will campaign for: *
Free access to all public recreational and cultural centres, including art galleries,
sports centres and museums. *
The provision of Gaelic language lessons for all children and adults in Scotland who wish
to learn the language. Gaelic and Scots to be given equal legal status with English. *
A recognition that Scottish national identity now includes a variety of cultural and
linguistic influences. The SSP will fight for special
resources to be allocated to assist the development of the various ethnic cultures that
have enriched Scotland over the past 40 years. *
Support for those football supporters fighting to regain control of their clubs from big
A proportion of tickets at football grounds theatres and cinemas to be set aside for free
entry to pensioners and other on benefits and distributed through community councils. *
Public funding to establish a national film studio in Scotland to develop the outstanding
acting, writing, directing and film-making talent that has emerged over the past decade. *
Public funding to establish local recording studios across Scotland to encourage musical
talent to flourish among Scotlands young people. *
The replacement of elitist quangos such as the Scottish Arts Council with more
representative institutions involving people from all spheres of the arts, including
popular theatre, popular music, film and comedy. *
The establishment of a Scottish Six OClock national news, and responsibility for
broadcasting to be transferred immediately to the Scottish Parliament.
The SSP will is
committed to ending the cruelties systematically inflicted on millions of animals in the
name of cheap food and free trade.
The SSP will campaign for an end to: *
Live animal exports: *
Foxhunting and other forms of hunting with hounds. *
The use of animal testing in cosmetic and military research. *
The unnecessary use of animal testing in medical research.
STANDARDS and CONDUCT
We do not pretend that the manifesto could be
implemented in full without a major political battle with the London and Edinburgh
political and business establishment.
But make no mistake about it: the Scottish Socialist Party is
prepared to engage in such a battle. A group of Scottish Socialist MPs would wage a
political war of defiance and extra-parliamentary action on behalf of the working class
and the poor of Scotland to reclaim the rights and conditions that have been robbed by the
rich over the past 20 years.
At the same time, they will use their public positions as Tommy Sheridan MSP has done to
build popular support for the idea of overturning capitalism and beginning building of a
new democratic socialist society.
The Scottish Socialist Party will insist on basic standards
of conduct from its elected representatives. Specifically we pledge that all Scottish
Socialist MPs will :
* Live on no more than the average wage of a skilled
Scottish worker, to ensure they remain truly representative of the people who elect them. *
Publish details of all their expenses and how these expenses have been spent. *
Publish details of any outside activities for which payment has been made - for example TV
appearance fees, or payments for journalism. *
Provide a monthly report of their activities which will be published in the party
newspaper, the Scottish Socialist Voice and in local bulletins to constituents. *
Open at least one publicly accessible office or shop to provide advice and assistance to
Call regular surgeries and open meetings to which the general public are invited to ask
questions and offer advice. *
Be prepared to actively support workers struggles in defence of jobs and living
standards, and community struggles in defence of facilities and of the environment.
Socialist Party is unique in Scottish politics. It is the only party that stands
unequivocally on the side of the working class and the poor against big business and the
If you are poor, if you are a lone parent, if you are a pensioner, if you are a student,
if you are a low paid worker, if you are disabled, if you are a council tenant, if you are
a trade unionist, if you are a slave labour trainee on a government scheme, if you are
unemployed, if you are homeless, if you are an asylum seeker, the Scottish
Socialist Party is your party.
The SSP also welcomes into its ranks professional workers, home owners, others who may not
personally suffer poverty and insecurity but who are dismayed by a government and a
society that can spend billions on nuclear weapons and Eurofighter aeroplanes, yet can
scarcely find pennies to wage war against poverty at home.
In the first elections to the Scottish parliament the people of Glasgow defied the opinion
pollsters and the media commentators elected a socialist MSP, Tommy Sheridan. Since then,
the sole Scottish Socialist MSP has made a profound impact.
A century ago, the newly formed Labour Party pledged to rid Scotland of warrant sales. One
hundred years and seven Labour governments later, poindings and warrant sales were still
being carried out every day across Scotland. Then, a Scottish
Socialist Party MSP was elected and a new party less than two years old with
a single MSP is on the verge of achieving what Labour has failed to achieve in a century.
If that is that is the impact that one Scottish Socialist MSP can make imagine the effect
of a group of SSP MPs elected to the Westminster parliament.
Dont waste your vote by sending yet another grey politician to London. Instead, make
your vote count - by voting for the party that will shake things up and make things