:: Friday, January 09, 2004 ::

Party Time

Brian Nugent of The Scottish Party (see post below) contacts me to point out that the main emphasis of TSP is for an independent Scotland outside the EU as opposed to the SNP position of 'Independence in Europe'. Brian is a former SNP candidate for Westminster and the Scottish Parliament and was a party member for nearly 30 years. He is also appealing for supporters to help him come up with the £150 fee to register with the Electoral Commission, so I think it is fair to say TSP is not a mass movement at this stage.

His founding document notes “Do we need to be part of the EU? Look no further than Norway for an answer. A country blessed by much the same resources and many more logistical problems than Scotland but one of the richest countries in the world. In comparison to Scotland, Norway is independent and has twice voted against membership of the EU!” This is quite true and the SSP has made the same point. However the question is also what you do with those resources when you have them.

The biggest source of dissent in the SNP seems to be from those on the left who see the leadership's move to the right on social and economic questions (eg their promises at the last election to give tax breaks to big business, that needy social group) as a sellout.

The recent defection of leading SNP left Lloyd Quinan to the SSP is indicative of this tension. With the SSP now gaining affiliation from RMT branches in Scotland the party is shaping up as the main force to the left of Labour, the SNP and the other big business parties.

I am sceptical about the political space this leaves for the likes of TSP. The main constituency would still seem to be those in fishing and similar industries, and the SNP, whose strongholds are in the rural North East, still have that area pretty much sewn up.

:: Alister | 4:27 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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