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IS THE SSP NOW THE REAL VOICE OF SOCIALISM IN SCOTLAND?

Byline: TOMMY SHERIDAN, CATHY JAMIESON

YES

By TOMMY SHERIDAN, MSP Convenor of the Scottish

Socialist Party

YESTERDAY I chaired a press conference announcing the decision of the Socialist Workers Party in Scotland to join the Scottish Socialist Party.

It means there is only one significant socialist party in Scotland.

Tony Benn rightly says that there are too many socialist parties and not enough socialists.

Well, we have solved that problem.

And I would appeal to all socialists in Scotland to join us.

There are good socialists, such as Cathy Jamieson and John McAllion, still in the Labour Party.

But Labour not only no longer represents socialists or the working class, increasingly it represents and is funded by the rich.

This is why the poor have got poorer under New Labour and why, scandalously, they have spent less as a proportion of national wealth on public services, such as health and education, than the Tories under John Major.

It must also be painful for someone like Cathy to be deputy leader of the Labour Party which, in contrast to her CND past, expands the nuclear menace on our shores at Faslane.

It can't be easy being a socialist in the Labour Party.

I hope we can welcome comrades such as Cathy and John into the Scottish Socialist Party in future.

NO

By CATHY JAMIESON, MSP Deputy Leader of the

Scottish Labour Party

TOMMY Sheridan and his new friends have nothing to offer the poor in Scotland.

Their claim to represent the left in Scotland is laughable and their policies would most harm the very people they claim to speak for.

It is the Labour Party in Scotland which stands for social justice.

Late First Minister Donald Dewar vowed that the battle against poverty would be at the top of the agenda in the Scottish Parliament.

And Henry McLeish is equally committed to that aim. We could fill Hampden Park with the children we have lifted out of poverty since coming to power.

The Scottish Socialists with their new friends from the Socialist Workers Party will make for an unhappy marriage which will end in an acrimonious divorce.

The Labour party grew from the trade union movement and we continue to work together to fight for workers.

When Motorola workers got the worst possible news last week, pounds 10m of aid for training was announced to help them back into work.

Contrast that with the new party's offer of sit-ins and megaphone diplomacy.

The Scottish Socialists offer irresponsible gestures, empty slogans and dangerous policies.

Scotland's working class will not be taken in by them.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 2, 2001
Words:432
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