Saturday, 14 December 2013

Open Letter to local Labour Party activists

from Willie Telfer, SSP Campsie Strathkelvin Organiser

Many groupings look to their elders for sage advice on the future. This should be the case in relation to local labour activists approaching the independence referendum next year.

Willie Telfer (left) "Labour Party activists would do well to listen to Canavan and Charlie Gray - stalwarts of long standing commitment to true 'Labour' values."

Look at the position of the once giants of the local Labour party, Dennis Canavan and Charlie Gray. Names from the local past when a labour party branch was an integral part of the life of every town and village in Strathkelvin, where the pursuit through representation of social justice provoked large numbers of ordinary folk to become active to ensure their election to Westminster and to the Strathclyde region.

With their experience and their long standing commitment to true Labour values surely the modern day Labour activist would be well advised to listen to them on independence. Denis is of course a national co-chair for a Yes vote and is proving a powerful advocate who is respected by all in Scottish politics, he links independence  with the opportunity to build a progressive society which could show the way for other progressive forces in UK . Gray would agree with that opportunity,though his recent declaration for independence is perhaps more targeted at the heart and soul of Scottish Labour and those activists that still carry the torch for socialism in an organization embarrassed by the very word.

The fact is that the Labour party in an independent Scotland would and should go back to being the mass party of the people,of the working class. It would be free of the shackles of chasing the minds of middle England, placating the Sun, the Mail and the Express, Old Scottish labour values for Scottish people, I believe they would see a regeneration of activism as they rediscover the cause.

The recent white paper on independence shows at present that amongst the larger parties the SNP have at least a decent idea of politics for a cause and in coalition with the SSP, the Greens and other forces on the left, the message of a fairer more just Scotland will gain the day.

I say the only place for a true socialist to be,no matter which party banner they fly, is in the yes camp. Don't take my word for it comrades, Canavan and Gray are calling you again to build a better country and to save the soul of the Scottish Labour party itself.

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