Socialist message becoming more familiar in Edinburgh Southby Calum Martin, SSP election agent in Edinburgh South Edinburgh South has been a narrow hold for Labour in the last two Westminster elections with a majority of 316 over the Lib Dems in 2010. The extent to which the people of Edinburgh have been sold out by their current crop of erstwhile representatives is clear. Austerity bites; Zero Hours Contracts and poverty wages abound through much of the city.
It is against this background that the SSP in Edinburgh has raised its banners to say that change for the better is not only absolutely essential, but is inherently possible. The SSP’s campaign in the area, is taking a highly proactive course. The first batch of 25,000 leaflets for door to door delivery are now nearly all finished.
SSP canvassing teams are also working through the constituency, bringing back several membership applications with them already! The SSP’s distinctive message is becoming more familiar in Edinburgh South. A worker’s MP on a workers wage, calling out parliamentary corruption. A guaranteed £10 Living Wage, tackling exploitative bosses. An alternative to austerity, rejecting the neoliberal agenda of the Westminster parties. These have been the key messages we’ve been working to put out, and signs of progress are starting to appear. Getting that message out is long work and often hard work, but it is essential work. If we want to make a real difference, at the heart of doing so is effectively taking the campaign to the streets and into our communities.
Building the SSP in Glasgow South West
by Voice Reporter
Our Glasgow South West candidate Bill Bonnar is currently co-chairperson of the Scottish Socialist Party and has a strong connection with the Greater Govan part of the constituency, having worked there for a number of years. The political make up of the constituency is typical for a Glasgow seat with the Labour Party winning around 60 per cent of the vote at the last election and the SNP coming second with around 20 per cent. It will be a lot closer this time. The Scottish Socialist Party’s campaign is already well underway. There have been regular stalls in key parts of the constituency and the first batch of 10,000 leaflets are being distributed.
The first of two public meetings will be held later this month and the party will also have coverage from Sunny Govan Radio, the local community-based radio station. The aim is to put over the distinctive and positive case for voting for the Scottish Socialist Party. This will focus on issues like the £10-an-hour living wage, resistance to the Westminster austerity programme and the SSP’s campaign for an independent socialist Scotland. The last 12 months has seen a massive rise in the fortunes of the Scottish Socialist Party in this constituency in terms of membership, campaigns and profile. We want to use this election to continue to build the party as Scotland’s party of the left.
SSP is here to stay and build in Glasgow East
by Liam McLaughlin
With the Lord Ashcroft polls indicating a seismic shift in opinion here in Glasgow East with the SNP in a double figures lead, it’s no surprise that Ed Balls and Vernon Croaker have been seen scurrying around the East End these past few weeks. Only this Sunday it was revealed in the Herald that some Labour insiders are saying the seat is now “unwinnable” and that too much resources are being thrown at trying to save Maggie. Just as a reminder, this was one of only two seats in the whole of the UK that the Tories lost a deposit in 2010, and it’s been a labour stronghold since the 1930s when it was then the old Bailleston and Shettleston seats, bar a surprise by-election win on a recount for the SNP’s John Mason in 2008.
Over the next seven or eight weeks until the General Election, we will be taking our unique socialist message to the area, particularly highlighting our unwavering commitment to a £10 an hour minimum wage for all over 16, an end to Zero Hours Contracts and a workers MP on a workers wage who is representative of the great people they will have the privilege and honour to serve. While being realistic about our chances in a first past the post UK General Election, I’m very proud to be flying the flag of socialism in my home constituency and am quietly optimistic of a respectable voting figure. Regardless of who wins this seat on 7 May, treating Glasgow East as a number on the board are over, and of that I’m determined to make sure. The days of Labour hegemony in Glasgow East look numbered, and after 7 May, the Scottish Socialist Party are here to stay and build.
Election shenanigans in Paisley and Renfrewshire South
by Sandra Webster
The past two weeks have been interesting for us. I as a candidate had to keep to my manifesto and “Get Dougie Telt”. There was a story in the local press about how Douglas Alexander alone by writing to the health minister had saved our much-loved Children’s Ward at the RAH from closure. Douglas had attended none of our meetings. He turned up for a photo opportunity for at the maximum 30 minutes and held our banner. He tweeted his picture as proof of his involvement. I called him out. The response on social media as amazing with thousands of people sharing my response and responding. It is evident the Labour Party are concentrating on the NHS rather than what they can change in Westminster.
In the real world though, we continue to campaign in communities by setting up stalls and talking to folk to let them know there is an alternative to voting Labour and SNP. I am grateful for the support of my branch and especially those of my campaign team Alan Wyllie and Geoff Knowles. We would appreciate more support though and thank everyone who has offered personal pledges. Blue skies are coming and we look forward to taking out to the communities we live in that a vote for the Scottish Socialist Party is an alternative. As a comrade Wullie Cunningham said, vote SSP and vote with your heart and mind. We will encourage folk that we are not a protest vote but an alternative to the present state of politics.