On April this year I rejoined the Scottish National Party (SNP) after a number of years in the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP)and Solidarity Scotland's Socialist Movement. Nothing has changed I still remain a republican socialist since the mid 1980s.
The SNP is not a republican party but is Scotland's leading party of Independence. The SNP of course does have republicans, republican socialists within it. In view of this I can enjoy meeting Left Nationalists like myself in the party or share the same goal of Scottish Freedom with the more right wing elements in the party. However I would say it is a party at ease with itself and everyone is friendly. Most in the party are left of centre which makes radical Scottish Republican Socialists such as me stand out.
But what of the Scottish Left and how do we define it? Well it is not just members of the SSP or Solidarity. Members of the Scottish Trade Unions should be included. Then they are various parties such as the Communist Party of Scotland and individuals in the Democratic Left that make up the Scottish Left. Also there is the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement (SRSM) and their brand of progressive Left wing Nationalism and activism.
With this in mind the Scottish Left should be a strong voice in Scottish politics. However there are much disunity and an element of sectarianism which is apparent. I wonder if I should be surprised by this but I am not when we are all up against an authoritarian British state and their Unionist media.
So what is the answer? I feel the answer lies in republican socialist beliefs and practical steps towards unity. There should be more republican socialist Conventions in the future and less attacks on the SNP with it's social democratic outlook.
The SNP have an important role to play in Scottish society. That is convincing Scots of the merits and positives of Scottish Independence. And implementing policies as best they can while remaining for time being the minority administration in the Scottish Government.
In view of this all is not well. The public services face cuts which have been delayed in large part for the moment. This means a clear choice for voters come the Scottish elections. Vote for a party that stands up for Scotland and the difficult times that lie ahead. We need to convince the public that a vote for Labour in Scotland is a wasted vote. We end up with right wing Westminster dictates and it happened again in history that we get Tory rule of sorts while being tied to the union.
Only by voting SNP as the largest most effective pro-Independence party can we hope for change within the limits of constitutional nationalism and what it has to offer. In other words Nats working progressively in parliamentary politics. Elections show that the SSP and Solidarity are going nowhere. Which is a pity because they are supposed to be pro-independence parties despite having the Brit Left hanging on their coat tails.
It never made sense to me having different pro-independence parties standing candidates against each other. What we need is for their members to vote SNP in seats where the Nats can win. What is missing is practical unity amongst those who clearly are aligned with the Scottish Independence Convention and therefore naturally support an Independence Referendum. Which I think the SNP proposals in the Referendum Bill will be put to the test in March 2011.
Anyway I am happy now to be back in Scotland's most effective party in the campaign for Independence and standing up for Scottish interests.
As I said at the beginning I have not changed my politics it is republican socialist and I have entered a party such as the SNP that can make Independence possible. Then only we can begin a real effective struggle for our beloved Scottish Socialist Republic.
Yours for Scotland