Building the SSP in
by Thomas Swann
IN announcing Campsie Branch’s AGM, held on the 28 November in
As Neil rightly noted, “that is what the Scottish Socialist Party is about”.
Having learned the lessons of the last two years, we are ready to keep doing things and, indeed, to do them better every time. With this in mind, those in attendance at the meeting set out a plan designed to make the SSP as visible possible in the coming year.
Given the area Campsie Branch organises in, composed of individual, often poorly connected villages, members know that they have to be modest about what can be achieved, but also that the most important thing they can do is to not allow people to forget that the SSP is still here.
One of the inventive methods of maintaining such a presence that was agreed was to begin a regular Saturday morning socialist cultural event.
Beginning with a film screening in early January, this will hopefully become an alternative source of information and entertainment that people in the area can come to rely on and associate with the party at large.
Continuing with a series of talks and other activities, this morning will provide the local communities with an educational voice they might otherwise never hear.
In addition to this, the branch agreed on a number of new positions aimed similarly at reasserting the role of the SSP within the area. In doing so, members took up a number of suggestions that were made at the National Council meeting in August.
This included appointing Bill Newman and Mark Callaghan branch press officers, to see that the cultural events the local party organises are as well publicised as can be, and also to provide the local newspapers with stories and information that they may be currently overlooking.
This follows the excellent example set by comrades in other branches.
Campsie Branch is also planning to launch a local edition of the Voice, in order to inform residents about both the activities of the party, and also goings on in the area that aren’t reported elsewhere.
For example, one of the press officers has been tasked with accessing the local council meeting minutes, in order that these can be published to make people aware of aspects of council decision making that may effect them, but that they may never hear about.
A member was also appointed to redesign and run the branch online presence, in the form of a blog which was set up for the May elections but which has fallen into disuse since.
This will provide a space on the internet that both those inside and outside of the SSP can refer to to see what work Campsie Branch members are involved in.
Some of the methods Campsie members intend to implement in the near future are ones that have already been proved successful by other party members. Some are the invention of those in the branch themselves.
It is crucial in the future that branches share their experiences of activism so that, as Chomsky argues, they can learn from mistakes and come back with better approaches that will not fail.