SSP branch sec­re­tary re­signs af­ter bit­ter row

McCle­mont blasts de­ci­sion to en­ter into left-wing al­liance

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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