Thousands join fight for independent socialist Scotlandby Ken Ferguson While David Cameron’s son wore tartan pyjamas and the queen reportedly “purred” as the No vote was announced, pro-independence socialists across the country reacted rather differently. Although on the losing side in the referendum, they spelt out loud and clear that they were not defeated by contacting the Scottish Socialist Party—first in tens and then hundreds and finally thousands—and joining it in the fight for an independent socialist Scotland.
In this decision, they clearly recognised the principled campaign waged by the party in the long referendum campaign both as key players in the broad Yes campaign where we worked with all sides of the movement and as partisans of our own distinctive vision of Scotland as an independent socialist republic.
Of course, for those who saw through the usual media stereotypes of the party and knew of its consistent championing of a socialist republic alongside our work on fuel poverty, against Trident, combating racism and sexism, backing workers in struggle and a myriad of other struggles, this came as no surprise.
But for thousands of others who met the SSP in meetings, whether called by Yes or the party, heard its case on stalls and doorsteps and read our views in the Scottish Socialist Voice—still the only socialist newspaper written and published in Scotland—it was a revelation.
The reality of a united socialist party guided by a core of policies and principles but working with others from the SNP, Greens and all the many individual groups and organisations blew away the fog of distortion and misinformation which, however perpetrated, served only the opponents of independence and socialism.
As the thousands flooded in to join, dedicated party members worked tirelessly to ensure that each of the 2,500-plus applicants received a mailed response and information about the party within two days of contacting us.
These contacts are now being followed up individually, and new members contacted with details of their local branches—which are also multiplying in numbers—to allow them to participate in the struggles ahead.
This unprecedented growth in membership has been a major boost for the SSP and its capacity to play its part in the struggles that lie ahead but it will also strengthen both the Scottish left and the wider, ongoing Yes movement.