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Socialist splits over independence

Allan Green is understandably angry that the SSP's spin on Scottish independence does not tie up with reality (Letters, October 11).

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He does not need to question my judgment but that of one of his affiliate organisations, the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement, who sent an open letter to SSP activists in March and claimed that: ''This year's SSP conference will have at least four motions to conference attempting to undermine SSP support for Scottish independence.'' The same open letter also alleged that ''there remains a failure in the SSP to make Scottish independence a key objective of the SSP at the centre of our campaigning work.'' These are the words of Mr Green's own affiliate members, so either he has been amiss in his duties in allowing misinformation to be circulated in the public domain or these affiliates are not telling the truth. In either event the integrity and honesty of the SSP are in serious question. Mr Green should also consult the words of Paul Wilcox, of Socialist Resistance, as a sympathetic observer at the SSP spring conference, who, reporting on their debate on independence, said that: ''At least 20% of SSP members are opposed to independence.'' Crucially, despite what Mr Green claims, Mr Wilcox reports that SSP co-chair Catriona Grant opposed the resolution on clause 5, sponsored by the SRSM, which would have enshrined independence in the SSP constitution outwith even amendment by the traditional two-thirds majority. My understanding is that the SNP does advocate a limited constitutional monarchy subject to the final will of the Scottish people, but eschews the totems of feudalism, which is why there are no SNP representatives in the House of Lords. All the available facts seem to show that by contrast the SSP is at heart a totalitarian Trotskyist party which is deeply split over the national question. Andrew Doig, 8 Moorburn Place, Linwood.

IN replying to Andrew Doig of the SNP Alan Green, national Secretary of the SSP (Letters, October 11), was factually correct when he says that a founding constitutional paragraph clearly states: ''The SSP will campaign for an independent socialist Scotland with the aim of establishing a Scottish Socialist Republic.'' The problem arose when unionist platforms, allowed under the false guise of ''Unity'', attempt to pass motions each year demanding that the party drop its independence clause and rename itself the Great British Socialist Party. Their idea of unity can be compared to Rambo in among peace campers or nuclear spies allowed in the SCND. To prevent this reoccurring each conference the ''Scottish Republican Socialist Movement'' platform twice tried to ''entrench'' the independence clause before it ends like the infamous Labour Party's ''Clause IV''. If you don't use it you lose it. The SRSM motion was soundly defeated by overt, covert and hidden unionist platforms alike, including the Ubiquitous Twig (Special Branch, stupid). The sheer venom, even of those who claimed to agree with the motion, ranged from calling it ''undemocratic and Stalinist'' to out-and-out point-blank hostility to independence, showed their true faces. As in any other party's conference it was the rumours preceding the motion that helped to destroy it. Many Scottish Republican Socialists, in other parties and none, are put off joining the SSP because of the vociferous and active presence of unionist bloc busters. Some call this a ''dualist'' policy. Others call it duplicitous. The sooner the SSP points one way and leads from the front the sooner this puir nation will get the government it needs to deal with all the very important side issues. The symptoms of imperialist wars and poverty-related issues at home will never be resolved and will continue, as long we ignore the root cause, namely Anglo-Capitalist Imperialism and being subdued and ruled by a greedy and rapacious neighbour. Shouting about far-away places, the further away the safer, is all very courageous but can earn no respect from these oppressed nations we are helpless to support as long we act as colonial subjects at home. Cuba had the guts to take on Yankee imperialism. Have we the guts to take on British imperialism instead of posing as fashion accessory Che Guevara mannequins? Donald Anderson, Scottish Republican Socialist Movement Platform, 22 Southampton Drive, Glasgow.

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