Saturday, 5 December 2015

Why I Won't Be Standing For Rise Alliance.

This Saturday, RISE, Scotland’s Left Alliance launched their first democracy conference. Within the last 7 months, as a member of the Scottish Socialist Party and their Executive Committee, my agenda has been predominantly consumed by this electoral alliance. While as an individual I have been against this, I fully respect and intend to honour the democratic decision made by our party to be a part of this alliance and try to ensure a socialist voice in Holyrood following the Parliamentary elections in May 2016.

Personally, however I cannot put my name towards this alliance as it is not something which I believe is in the best interests of the Scottish Socialist Party or the people of Scotland as a whole. When I joined the SSP after the referendum I fully believed that we could move from the periphery of the Scottish political landscape and appeal to the 60% of Scots who have socialist values but do not recognise it in name, than the 6% of the wider left we were attempting to court. This belief has not changed, although the task has become somewhat greater with the creation of RISE.

I still passionately believe that the SSP has a huge role to play in Scottish politics, that with a coherent message we could become the pivotal bloc which ensures Scottish politics remains on the terms of fairness, equality and social justice.

This is why it pains me to say that our alliance with RISE will further push us to the extremes of the political debate, that we will continue to appeal to the 6% than the 60% as long as we are a part of this alliance. I would also suggest that our values of democracy, of which coming from the Labour Party greatly appealed to me, have taken a hit in the creation and forced nature in which our voting process on this took place.

I have been asked by many friends and colleagues as to whether I will put my name forward for the RISE candidacy within the North East. Rest assured, had this been a nomination to represent the Scottish Socialist Party I would have gladly thrown my hat into the ring. However I cannot consciously stand for a political group in which I do not believe in nor feel represents my views and the great majority of the constituents which I would seek to serve.

It is in light of this that I will not be seeking the candidacy for selection for the RISE alliance in the North East of Scotland.  


  1. Agree 100%. Many comrades in Dumbarton/VoL Branch will also agree.

  2. And you made this decision just before you knew what Rise's policies would be why?

  3. Policies already published in conference pack. Not really policies that are the issue though if you read the statement David.

  4. I totally agree with you, Allan.

    The left made great gains in the early 2000's, but learned nothing after the Sheridan debacle. Rise is a reboot with a slightly more "democratic" veneer, than the SSP back in 1999. The SSP, through real debate, sometimes heated, became the most democratic party in Western Europe. But its shrinking and the cling to power of certain individuals, slowly eroded that. What the new cadre have learned is that power does not have to be in elected posts, but in assumed power. Shafi is the face of the leadership, as is Boyd. The movers and shakers and those who draw up lists of political enemies and dissidents; move others to do the dirty work of the bovver boys etc, hide in the wings, or chuckle from the top table while others shout "we have no top table.."

    Electorally, Rise is dead in the water come May. It's a train wreck that is going to smash the young people who have been love bombed etc by the "pale,stale, crossgendered" people who gave been using the same dreadful tactics since the late seventies, inherited from the pale male stale people who went before them. Slp /Rise has been a huge tragedy for the Scottish Left and for the push towards democracy we could have made in the SSP.

    Slight of hand, hidden decision making bodies, denouncing of those who disagree and love bombing of new, vulnerable recruits yet to form solid political analysis. Clap when required, leaflet and sell our papers. "Lets all Rise."

  5. I have asked this question over and over and no-one seems to be able to give me a positive answer, so here I go again:

    What does/did the SSP get out of funding, guiding and running whole swathes of Rise including a lot of the circles of a soon to be new political party?

    I am looking for an answer which focuses on the positives of the SSP as a political party setting up a competitor not as I usually get how uniting the left can be beneficial?
    Thanks Drew

  6. "I still passionately believe that the SSP has a huge role to play in Scottish politics, that with a coherent message we could become the pivotal bloc which ensures Scottish politics remaiins on the terms of fairness, equality and social justice." Hear , hear Allan. I joined SSP on back of Indy-ref campaign, and the policies they espoused. I wish the Alliance well, but hope it's not overeached itself in trying to reinvent the wheel after the progress made.The SSP has a pivotal part to play in the Scottish Elections 2016 and beyond. That should not be forgotten or omitted.

  7. This is the reason the that Rise and the SSP will continue to be on the distant fringes of Scotland's political debate as they can't agree. I'm left of centre in my political views, but they left in Scotland can't agree and the vote will be fragmented and splintered between Rise & Solidarity. The question I now ask myself is if the SSP are not standing candidates at elections is what's the point of them remaining as a political organisation?

  8. Rise didn't have any policies before the conference Allan - they were all voted for on the day - 40 odd motions.

    You didn't attend the launch, you didn't submit any motions or argue for or against anything at the policy and structures conference. If you had differences of opinion, though frankly you have yet to express a single one in this article you could have tested your opinions among the membership. You didn't.

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  10. Allan as far as Im concerned motions were submitted and argued at our conference hence the policies of the SSP. Rise is not a party nor our party the SSP agreed to work in an alliance with rise until May 2016 that is all. Why then would you or I take time out of our busy schedules to submit ideas and motions to an alliance which the SSP membership has not agreed to be party of after May 2016, it makes no sense what so ever for us to help an alliance who by its own admission will become a party and thus it must become a competitor of the SSP in future elections. Maybe David can explain what the SSP as a party get out of this alliance, Im not interested in hypothetical responses about a united left, Im only interested in what the SSP will get out of funding, running and steering the policy of a future competitor?

  11. I'm not a member of the SSP g so that's not a matter for me. Apparently a large majority of SSP members want to be part of rise so you should ask them.

    But I would say that an argument that begins from the point of view "what does my particular group get out of this" has been an unhealthy influence on the left. Socialists should start from what benefits the movement.

    1. It was a question that was meant to be very very party specific, remember the SSP leadership are in place to do whats best for the party the members decide on policy, if any one feels that the party does not serve the best interests of the people then they go to the party and lay a motion before it or they leave and join another one.

      Thats me now had 100% of all respondents strayed (due to lack of the ability to answer the specific question posed) and gone to the united left good argument.

      Lets not sit on the fence do you believe the SSP has been an unhealthy influence on the left?
      and that we havent not only started but continue unlike a party in its infancy to work in communities for the communities? or are you going to duck this question as well!!

      Remember now Rise went on bended Knee to court the SSP as you continue to depend on our members and our money!!

      As an aside how would you feel when RISE finally comes clean and become a party if an other movement came along and asked you as a rise member to help with policy, run its meetings and fund them, I guess you would say whatevers best for the left!!,

  12. One of the great misunderstandings here... "The ssp leadership make decisions for us." If you mean the ec or colin etc, this has been the biggest misunderstanding of the new members, and has gone some way to make it true. Hence so many leaving the party, or thinking of leaving soon.