SWP Join SSP - United socialist force created in Scotland.

On May 1st the Socialist Workers Party in Scotland joined the Scottish Socialist Party. This historic development creates a united socialist party in Scotland for the first time in a generation. This development is a very positive step forward for socialism in Scotland.

How They Voted

The SSP Executive Proposals on the SWP joining the party, as amended by the guidelines below, were passed by 25 votes to 3 at the SSP National Council.

RESULTS OF CONSULTATIVE SSP VOTES ON PROPOSALS FOR THE SWP TO JOIN THE PARTY

For Against Abstentions
East of Scotland 34 1 1
Highlands and Islands 30 11 6
North East Scotland 15 13 0
West of Scotland 53 11 2
TOTALS 132 36 9

The SWP Scottish Aggregate also voted on the proposals to join the SSP. The result was 113 for 2 against and 3 abstentions.

GUIDANCE NOTES ON THE PROPOSALS FOR THE SWP TO JOIN THE SSP

At the meeting between representatives of both parties on 2 April it was agreed to try to come to an agreement on finance, full-timers etc, to allow the SWP to join by May Day, at a further meeting on 6 April. We had believed that an agreement was reached and a statement on behalf of the SSP Executive was distributed to branches.

However, the SWP still had a number of disagreements that they wanted to raise with the SSP. These disagreements included:

FINANCE

• The SWP asked for the 2 (ex) SWP Area Organisers to cover Edinburgh and Glasgow (alongside the existing SSP Area Organisers). That the SWP student organiser would now work alongside the SSP Area Organisers.

• The inclusion of the term absorption of the SWP in the statement.

• The SWP asked for their 2 (ex) SWP full timers to be included on the Executive and for 2 representatives of their platform, arguing that the existing National Executive of 12 be expanded to 16, until conference 2002. The 4 would have full speaking rights but be observers. There was failure to agree on this point.

Keith Baldassara (SSP Treasurer) was able to explain the SSP financial arrangements to Julie Waterson and Jimmy Ross on Tuesday 24 April and this matter has been resolved.

Representatives of both parties met later on 24 April. It was agreed to put the following points to the memberships of both parties at the respective meetings on Sunday and to ensure that the Guidance Notes received as wide a readership as the original statement, on the web and internationally:

SWP PAID WORKERS

To clarify the references to review in the SSP statement, the following was agreed:

"This review of the overall development of the party, taking into account the outcome of the election, will begin in June and could run up to the SSP Conference in February 2002, if there is not a mutually acceptable agreement in the meantime."

THE TERM ABSORPTION

It was agreed to seek to replace "absorption" with "unity and unification."

EXECUTIVE

It was agreed to seek to replace the reference to .. one of the organisers transferred from the SWP to attend Executive meeting as an observer. with:

".. both ex-SWP Area Organisers should be co-opted on to the Executive to attend as observers."