THE Scottish Socialist Party has re-launched its Falkirk branch – the latest of many new branches across Scotland – as the countdown continues to next month’s referendum.
Speaking at Tuesday night’s meeting in Falkirk, leader Colin Fox said the party was now “unrecognisable” from this time two years ago, having launched (or re-launched) branches all over Scotland.
He said: “I think the Yes campaign has been terrific for us, and we’ve been terrific for them. We’ve really helped each other in what has been a massive grass-roots movement in support of independence. The big challenge for us is to continue to build on that after the referendum.”
Mr Fox, who was one of six MSPs the party boasted at Holyrood until 2007, said it was crucial not to lose that support after September 18 – whatever the outcome of the vote.
He downplayed the significance of the opinion polls, pointing out that a significant section of the electorate did not respond to pollsters, but were more likely to vote on September 18 than at any other election.
He also urged socialists in the SNP and Scottish Labour to join the SSP now, not later. “The SNP and the Labour Party are social democratic parties, they’re not socialist parties, and if some of their members want to hear more socialist voices, they should be with us,” he said.
The Falkirk branch, which recently held a successful public meeting headlined by ex-SNP deputy leader and former Labour MP Jim Sillars, also elected new officers to key positions.
Graeme McCaffery was elected chairman and Stephanie Pride as secretary. Both highlighted local campaigns that had been and could be successful and urged anyone interested in getting involved to visit the SSP’s weekly stall, which will be held every Saturday from 12 until 2pm in the High Street.
Mr McCaffery, of Stenhousemuir, added that the support the party had already received through working with the Yes campaign and promoting the socialist case for independence was extremely encouraging and suggested there were many people in the town who could be won over to the SSP’s views.