Glasgow South West – Bill BonnarThe Scottish Socialist Party campaign in Glasgow South West is now in full swing. Regular stalls, leafleting and canvassing are already giving the Scottish Socialist Party a high profile particular compared to other parties. The campaign is also allowing the party to focus on key issues such as the £10-an-hour living wage, immigration, anti-Trident and, of course, independence.
With one public meeting in Govan on UKIP and Immigration successfully under our belt; another is planned for Penilee. The topic, among others, will be MPs salaries and expenses. Only one hustings has been arranged to date in the constituency; by Sunny Govan Radio although the our candidate Bill Bonnar has spoken at a housing event and a hustings organised by Amnesty International; both in Glasgow city centre. The local branch are also well on top of social media with regular features advertising our campaign. With three weeks to go the party is now stepping up its campaign and whatever the final vote it is already proving to be a success.
Paisley and Renfrewshire South – Sandra Webster
Blue skies are here at last and comrades from Renfrewshire along with comrades from Ayrshire and Inverclyde have been using every opportunity to meet the public. We continue with stalls and soapboxes three times a week and have been thrilled by the wonderful response we have received. This fortnight we have been concentrating on Glenburn (where Sandra lives). This will be the venue of our first public meeting where we will be calling for an end to austerity and showing how our policies offer a real alternative. Sandra had her first fortnightly column calling for a ten pound minimum wage now and was also mentioned in an election round-up discussing fracking. Renfrewshire is one of the first areas to be granted a licence. The success for our press must go to Alan Wyllie for his efforts and relationship with our local paper. From our experience folk are keen to hear about the Ten Pound an Hour living wage now and zero hour contracts. Only a few weeks to go but we continue to challenge the politics of the other candidates and are enjoying chapping doors and hearing folk’s opinions. We will use this election to build in local communities and ensure we have a strong base in the Holyrood and local elections. Many thanks to all the comrades who have given up their time and came through to support us. We truly appreciate you!
Edinburgh South – Colin Fox
With now only weeks remaining to the General Election, the campaign in Edinburgh South constituency is now well under way. We’ve made good headway so far: we’ve delivered 20,000 campaign leaflets; we’ve held our first public meeting of the campaign, delivering 5000 leaflets for that in a mere five days; stalls and canvassing are also well underway across the constituency. Yet despite all that the real brunt of the campaign is still to come: we’re currently readying our campaign leaflet for the Royal Mail postal run, of which we’ll be producing some 50,000 for this constituency alone; we’re finalising the details of our next public meeting, this time down in the Inch, towards the South-East of the constituency; canvassing runs are being mapped out to cover substantially more of the constituency. Our message is clear, and unrivalled for its principle and commitment to a truly better society. Our campaign plan is clear, geared towards building a substantially stronger SSP presence across Edinburgh South, and raising the profile of the SSP. What we need now is also clear: the more activists and the more financial resources that can be drawn together from across the East coast, not only the greater the impact will be on Edinburgh South, but also the greater the experience gained for other branches will be—a vital element for activists across the East coast to be able to take back to their own branches as we prepare for not only a rousing few weeks of General Election campaigning, but also for taking the SSP forward to the 2016 election dawning on the horizon. The Edinburgh South campaign is well under way. Let’s be sure we continue to keep the flag flying properly!
Glasgow East – Liam McLaughlan
The SSP’s campaign in Glasgow East is stepping up a gear, with a series of public meetings featuring our candidate Liam McLaughlan and others on fighting poverty pay, Zero Hours Contracts and benefit cuts. We are conducting mass leafleting and street action, engaging with working class people on the issues affecting them, rather than cheap sniping and false promises. We are the only party calling any public meetings, where local people can hear and debate our policies. We have no fear of being cross-examined on the measures we advocate to redistribute wealth and transform the lives of thousands in one of the most deprived districts in the country. “We think having such a young and talented candidate will encourage more young ones to get involved in politics,” said a couple at the first of our meetings, in Liam’s home ground, Easterhouse. “Our daughter is 17, she’s showing an interest after seeing that Liam is standing, and we will encourage her along to the next one.” They both joined the SSP at the end of a superb discussion—as did several others, who’d braved torrential rainstorms to attend and discuss a £10 living wage, taxation of the rich, creation of decent and secure jobs, abolition of Trident, and the whole big vision of a socialist Scotland. Liam is the youngest candidate in Scotland, is the only Glasgow East candidate living in the local community, and as a retail worker and student shares with other local people the struggle to survive on low incomes. One of the SSP policies most in tune with the people we’ve met is that Liam would only take an average worker’s wage. “They’re out for themselves, and they’ll tell you anything to get a cushy job”, was the view of the other parties one woman expressed to me at a street stall. We are proud to raise the socialist banner high in a district that was at the heart of Red Clydeside.