Thursday, 14 April 2011
SSP's Holyrood Manifesto
The Scottish Socialist Party launched our manifesto for the 2011 Holyrood elections yesterday at a press conference in Glasgow. With me at the launch were the other top of the list candidates from across Scotland. Frances Curran (Glasgow), SSP Councillor Jim Bollan (West of Scotland), and myself briefly outlined the main points in our magnificent manifesto [which can be downloaded from the SSP website] for the assembled press pack.
We gave the people of Scotland a cast iron guarantee that if they elect SSP MSPs on May 5th we will not vote for cuts to public services, to jobs, wages or conditions. This is a very important commitment because this will be the first Parliament faced with a reduced budget so MSPs will either vote for cuts or fight them.
The SSP has never, in twelve years, voted to cut public services or the standard of living of working people and we have no intention of starting now.
Second we stressed that we are committed to scrapping the hated and unfair Council Tax. We intend to replace it with an income based alternative which sees the wealthy pay more and the poor exempted.
And last, but by no means least, is our support for an independent socialist Scotland, a modern democratic republic. Whilst other parties dilute their commitment to independence we remain passionate about it. And as we will endure the sycophants cooing over a Royal wedding in the last week of this election campaign we felt it important to restate our commitment to a modern democratic republic for Scotland.
The press conference was well attended as the picture shows. As well as the BBC and STV film crews, several other photographers and journalists were present and their questions reflected their growing recognition that support for the SSP is increasing noticeably.
The coverage of our manifesto launch has, as usual, been patchy; some good, some bad, some non-existent. STV news carried a full interview and the greatest column inches were found in the Aberdeen Press and Journal. So, hats off to them for fair coverage and Dunces Caps to the BBC, The Daily Record and the other tabloids for ignoring us once again.