SSP branch secretary resigns after bitter row
McClemont blasts decision to enter into left-wing alliance
The secretary of the Rutherglen branch of the Scottish Socialist Party has resigned from the party and blasted their decision to enter into a left-wing alliance.
David McClemont, who reactivated the branch eight months ago, announced his decision on Facebook earlier this week.
Since taking over as branch secretary Mr McClemont has breathed new life into the party in the local area.
They held a series of public meetings and featured in the Reformer for their protest against Wetherspoons in Cambuslang’s use of zero- hour contracts.
Most recently, the branch had a run in with PayPal over a Cuban-themed night held in the town.
But he said this week he could no longer be part of a party and criticised RISE, the left-wing electoral alliance hoping to make inroads in next year’s Scottish elections.
In a letter to national secretary, Bill Bonnar, he said: “As you know I have been a member of the SSP since the year 2000 and stuck with the party through the good times of 2003 through the bad times of the Sheridan split.
“Over the last few years when the party was at a low ebb I thought about leaving as the party did not seem like it would recover from the damage done to it by its former convener however I was delighted when the Indyref gave the SSP a new lease of life with an increased membership and new branches appearing across the country.
“I reactivated the Rutherglen Branch and am proud of the job I have done over the last eight months in building the branch as Branch Secretary.
“I feel that this second chance and the work done since the referendum has now been thrown away by entering into an electoral alliance as part of RISE.
“I am disappointed that the unashamedly working class identity of the party and its hard won reputation as being the most implacable AntiTory political party has been so easily cast aside to adopt a far more middle class, superficial politics seemingly more concerned with the SNP than the Tories.”
He also says RISE is an attempt to find a “short cut” to electoral success.
RISE, which stands for Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism, was launched in Glasgow on Saturday.
Based on a coalition of the Scottish Left Project and the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), it describes itself as a grassroots movement which grew out of the independence referendum.
The SSP haven’t contested an election in Rutherglen since 2005 when Bill Bonnar won 1164 votes at the UK General Election.
I am proud of the job I have done over the last eight months in building the branch David McClemont
David McClemont resigned from his post as branch secretary