RISE MSPs vital to stop SNP moving right


cm-kezia dugdale-ian gray

LABOUR LEFT? no one should expect Kesia Dugdale to pressure the SNP from the left – nor can we expect such socialist opposition from the Greens (Photo: Craig Maclean)

by Colin Fox, lead RISE candidate, Lothians  • Politics and public opinion are full of contradictions. Take the survey published this week showing the Scottish Government atop the league table of trusted European administrations. Most impartial observers would question how such conclusions are reached and treat the findings as merely the latest flotsam and jetsam the internet throws up, but ‘cybernats’ across Scotland have been feverishly retweeting the result as if it were gospel.

Sceptics might also point out the survey appeared just days after Nicola Sturgeon performed her dramatic U-turn on Council Tax abolition dumping her party’s decade long commitment to progressive taxation.

Such U-turns can undermine trust in Government but they are often based on cold calculations and political pressures.

Like Labour before them, the SNP frequently buckles under pressure from the right-wing neoliberal establishment. And they will be even more pliant after the Scottish General Election.

This is the party remember who in 2012 dumped its long standing opposition to NATO membership for an independent Scotland. And they buckled too in 2007 under pressure from Donald Trump (Yes, that Donald Trump) and granted him permission to bulldoze a previously protected Site of Special Scientific Interest to build his luxury golf course and hotel complex in Aberdeenshire.

More recently they capitulated to market pressure from Anglian Water and sold off Scotland’s publicly owned non-domestic water supply.

This Scottish Government also handed INEOS, owners of the Grangemouth oil refinery, a blank cheque to frack and import non-conventional gases yet refuse members the right to debate the issue at SNP Conference.

The SNP claim to be against austerity but make cuts. They privatised Edinburgh’s Sick Children’s Hospital after condemning similar projects carried out by Labour. And they refuse to rule out the privatisation of Scotland’s iconic ferry company CalMac when its contract to provide lifeline services to the isles comes up for renewal in June.

They refuse to see an independent Scotland repeal the worst anti-union laws in Europe. They promised in 2007 to rid energy rich Scotland of the scourge of fuel poverty by 2015 but have now abandoned that pledge altogether. Poverty and inequality in Scotland have gotten worse since 2007 as the SNP failed to use the significant powers of intervention available to them at Holyrood.

The YES movement needs to be wary about what the future SNP Government plans too. For they have already refused to seek a mandate for a second referendum on Independence. They have put their own party interests ahead of the independence cause concluding it more important to retain John Swinney’s rural Perthshire seat and Fergus Ewing’s Highland constituency than make the much needed case for self-determination.

This is a huge error of judgement the whole independence movement may bitterly regret. What if a majority for independence materialises over the next five years? Does Nicola Sturgeon think the Tory Government at Westminster will waste such a potent weapon as her failure to seek a mandate from the Scottish people for another vote?

Labour made a similar error 100 years ago relegating their commitment to socialism to the dim and distant future and prioritising Labour seats in Parliament. Look where that got them. No one knows what Labour stands for anymore. And that same fate awaits the SNP. Both parties are more interested in power for its own sake than achieving either a socialist Britain or an independent Scotland.

The SNP is streets ahead in the polls because the over-ridding mood in Scotland is anti-Tory. We cannot allow that mood to be undermined by neoliberal pressures post-election. That is why the election of RISE MSPs on 5 May is so vitally important.

Someone needs to keep left-wing pressure on the next SNP Government. It is highly susceptible to pressure from neoliberal big business influences. The job cannot be left as some have suggested to the SNP’s ‘left wing membership’. For they are nowhere near as left-wing as many believe and have done no job at all so far.

Indeed the failure of internal dissenters in keeping the SNP ‘honest’ are stark as the list of its failures above amply demonstrates. To be fair, Salmond himself tried it back in the 1980s and was expelled. SNP members are easily browbeaten by ‘loyalty tests’.

The Yes campaign saw how it works as we were continually handicapped by our collective inability to hold the SNP leaders to account for its failures during the 2014 referendum.

We were repeatedly told dissent and constructive criticism would jeopardise the chances of a majority vote. Now the SNP machine threatens Scots with the ‘return of the Labour bogeyman’ unless complete submissiveness is shown to Nicola.

No one should expect Kesia Dugdale to pressure the SNP from the left nor can we expect such socialist opposition from the Greens. Applying left wing pressure on the SNP can therefore only come from RISE. That is why it is so vital for Scotland’s working class majority and progressive opinion to get RISE MSPs elected on 5 May.

1 Comment on RISE MSPs vital to stop SNP moving right

  1. Agree im snp supporter who feels let down and impatient for Indi vote 2 no date im not alone amongst snp voters word is if no date in next year ssp rise will indeed rise and snp will end up like labour I myself am interested in becoming member of rise ssp as met Colin fox years ago and he is a man of the people all he best rise


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