Saturday, 15 November 2014
I must admit to being a bit, well more than a bit really, unsettled by the latest pronouncement from the Scottish National Party that it will allow ineligible candidates to stand under an independence banner with the support of the SNP. If they want to amend their constitution to allow new celebrity members to stand then that is a matter for them, but if they are to support candidates from other parties who have been prominent in the independence movement and expect them to take the SNP whip then that is a different story.
It is, and has long been my opinion that every voter who supports the aims and ambitions of the Scottish Socialist Party should have the opportunity of going into the polling booth and placing their cross against the Red Star of the SSP in every election where we have a candidate. No 'ifs' nor 'buts', we should be sailing under our own flag all of the time. If we fail to gather sufficient support from the electorate despite having the best raft of policies then so be it. It means we must work harder to get our message across. We can't blame the electorate for our own failings.
But the latest plans of the SNP look like a giant step towards a social democratic one-party state within a capitalist framework and I'm not sure that such a one-party state led by the SNP and packed with the great and the good of independence minded celebrities is a price worth paying for our independence. We should be thinking long and hard before we get our people involved.
We were useful in the referendum campaign and I held my tongue because the end was, in my own opinion, great enough to justify the means, but does everyone remember the howls of protest from the SNP when we were excluded from the Smith Commission despite being represented on the Yes campaign board. Neither do I, but if you lie down with dogs then you get up with fleas and we should remember that duplicity for a long time before we get involved in supporting them given their record of failure to support us.
We have our own vision of independence and it doesn't coincide with theirs except at the most basic level. That is what we should be standing for and campaigning for. We should not be looking for scraps from the SNP table