Next Saturday will see the creation of a new Socialist Party formed in Scotland to fight the Scottish Parliamentary elections next year
According to the Herald newspaper
The grassroots anti-austerity movement, anchored around the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and the Scottish Left Project (SLP), has been taking shape over the last eight months under the nickname the Scottish Syriza.
However it will be be formally launched as RISE, which stands for Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism, in Glasgow next Saturday [August 29, 2015].
Up to 1000 activists are expected to attend the Marriott Hotel for the event, which will include more than 30 speakers and examine policies for next May’s Holyrood election.
Among those taking part will be representatives from Syriza, Spain’s Podemos movement, Quebec Solidaire and Black Lives Matter, plus independent MSP Jean Urquhart, German MP Andrej Hunko of the Left party Die Linke, and Mike Small, founder of the Bella Caledonia blog.
There will also be a message of support from veteran journalist Tariq Ali.
Describing itself as “Scotland’s Left Alliance”, RISE will field candidates exclusively on regional lists, from which MSPs can be elected with as little as 5.2 per cent of the vote.
As part of an electoral pact to maximise the chance of socialist MSPs being elected, the SSP will refrain from standing candidates, giving RISE a clear run.
The umbrella model is based on Syriza in Greece, which was formed in 2004 as a coalition of 13 radical groups, including Maoists, Trotskyists, feminists and environmentalists.
The Respect element of RISE refers to equalities -- it has no links to George Galloway’s party.
The new name, with its whiff of revolution, is intended to catch the attention of voters drawn to the left in response to the Tory government, but who doubt the commitment of Scottish Labour and the Scottish National Party to radical change.
Apparently RISE stands for:
- Respect: We stand for a society where we end racism, sexism, discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and where people of all backgrounds, colours and creeds are treated with respect and dignity.
- Independence: We stand for Independence for Scotland. But our Independence is based on ending neoliberalism, austerity and the membership of NATO. We are for ending the monarchy and putting people in charge.
- Socialism: We are for a social alternative to capitalism where people run the affairs of our society democratically and where the vast resources of society are utilised in common, rather than for the super-rich.
- Environmentalism: We believe that environmentalism must be central to social change. Our world is being destroyed by the ruthless pursuit of profit over everything else. Sustainable ecology – where we maximise our enormous renewable energy potential to power Scotland – at the heart of a radical vision for change.
- "Nous sommes écologistes" ("We are environmentalists")
- "Nous sommes de gauche" ("We are on the Left")
- "Nous sommes démocrates" ("We are democrats")
- "Nous sommes féministes" ("We are feminists")
- "Nous sommes altermondialistes" ("We are alter-globalists")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec pluriel" ("We are from a plural Quebec")
- "Nous sommes d'un Québec souverain et solidaire" ("We are from a sovereign and united [literally: solidarity-showing] Quebec")
- "Un autre parti, pour un autre Québec!" ("Another party, for another Quebec!")
Already there has been speculation that it could lead to defections from the SNP to the new party .
It will be interesting to see if this will lead to s significant number of MSPs elected via the List System on the RISE ticket.
There has been a number of articles by Unionist that Scotland under the SNP is becoming a single party state.
Though there is no complaint that a similar situation exist in Wales under "Welsh" Labour .
I bet those who moan about the SNP having to many MPs and MSP for a democracy would go into panic if the opposition turned out not only to the left but also committed to Independence.
From a Welsh point of view a Syriza type of alliance among left wing groups in Wales which is also committed to Independence seems unlikely.
Too many Welsh Socialists are still committed Unionists or as they try to put it
"I'm not a Nationalist , I'm an Internationalist"
It is a bit of a enigma that in order for there to be a left alternative to Plaid there needs to be successful Plaid Cymru and probably a legislature that can promote real change.