A united left party for Scotland? Och aye:
The new electoral pact, anchored around the Scottish Socialist Party and the grassroots Scottish Left Project, will meet representatives of Greece’s ruling party Syriza in Edinburgh today, as well as members of Spain’s left-wing Podemos movement.
The gathering is expected to discuss tactics for the 2016 election, when the new Scottish anti-austerity coalition hopes to return Socialist MSPs through the regional list system.
The development comes just days after Quebec Solidaire, the radical coalition in Quebec’s National Assembly, agreed to give its support to the Scottish alliance.
Delegates unanimously backed the move at their conference in Montreal last week, at which Scottish trade union activist Cat Boyd spoke on the Left’s post-referendum revival.
And yes, that IS a Canadian connection there. We have at least as many Scots here as there are in Scotland, it seems.
And this unite-the-left move gives a boost to those on this side of the pond, as well:
Amir Khadir, a Quebec Solidaire National Assembly member, said: “Austerity, whether British or Canadian, has left the vulnerable behind and impoverished ordinary people.
“But there is hope, as Cat Boyd reminded us about the struggle of ordinary people in Scotland and how Yes voters said Yes to a new and different country.
“The rising momentum behind the Scottish Left Project gives us hope and courage to fight for justice at home and solidarity abroad.”
Having a united left party puts Scotland not only on a par with Greece and Spain, but also Venezuela, whose ruling party, the PSUV, is the example to follow. When Chavecito first became president in late 1998, he was backed by Venezuela’s many small leftist parties, as well as his own, called the MVR (Fifth Republic Movement). This coalition broke the four-decade-old Fourth Republic duopoly of the “liberal” AD and the religious-conservative COPEI, which was put in place by the Punto Fijo pact after the ouster of Venezuela’s last military dictator, Marcos Pérez Jiménez. Prior to that, there were many leftist parties and splinter movements breaking off of each from time to time, but with no single presidential candidate to back, they lost to the corruptos of the ruling class every time. No matter how unpopular an AD or COPEI candidate was, he could still roll right over the leftists, even though their combined numbers were greater. It took an outstanding candidate — Hugo Chávez, already a national hero since his failed uprising in 1992 — to change all that. He later united all but a few of his leftist supporters in one party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), while in office. (The Venezuelan Communist Party, the PCV, supported him and still supports his successor, Nicolás Maduro, but would not come under the PSUV umbrella, preferring to retain a separate party identity. Splinter factions of various other pre-existing left parties also chose to go their own way; their lack of power and conviction speaks for itself.)
If the yet-to-be named Scottish left party manages to follow Venezuela’s example and get behind a candidate who is intelligent, brave, and serious about unity, like Chavecito, it should have nowhere to go but up. In spite of wankers like this:
Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: “It’s no surprise to see this group modelling itself on a party currently presiding over the most chaotic economy in Europe.
“I’m sure they can come up with enough of their own crazily damaging ideas without getting input from other radical left-wingers.”
That’s right, Alex, sneer while you can. You won’t be able to work up the energy once one of them has taken your seat!