Issued discussed ranged from the Scottish Economy, the fight for an Independent Socialist Scotland and Internationalism to Ireland and the environment. The party opened up discussion on reform of the local taxation system with a proposal for a new service tax based on wealth. The SSP also reviewed its internal workings with an equality policy and the reform of Party structures. Plans to switch to a delegate conference were rejected in favour of all members having the right to vote at conference.
Other debates included the repeal of Section 28, with the party committing itself to the repeal of this homophobic legislation. The issue of Ireland remains controversial, with the SSP deciding to continue its policy of working for workers ' unity in the North.
It was not all talk however, as well as hearing about the recent mass arrests at Faslane nuclear sub base, party activists went out on to the streets to confront anti-abortion campaigners who were picketing a clinic. The reactionaries quickly packed their bags.
There were several international guests at the conference. Visitors attended from the Portugese Left Bloc, the Danish Red-Green Alliance, the Norwegian Red Electoral Alliance (RV), the French LCR, the Irish Socialist Party and the Australian Democratic Socialist Party. There were also representatives of the Committee for a Workers' International and the United Secretariat of the Fourth International.
The ISM intervened with a leaflet and fringe meeting. Speakers at the meeting were Frances Curran, national convener of the ISM, Peter Hadden of the Socialist Party (Ireland) from Belfast and Niall Mulholland of the CWI. A number of delegates expressed an interest in the ISM, and we will be holding meetings around Scotland in the coming period.
The conference continued the strategy put forward by the ISM, of building a new voice for the Scottish working class, of creating a combat party of socialism.
ISM Fringe Meeting Leaflet
For more information and full conference documents see the SSP Website