The Future of the Left in Scotland

rise_web-871x461Now that the election has concluded, and people are looking for analysis, it is worthwhile noting some thoughts about RISE, and in more general terms, the priorities for the radical left in years to come.

Elections are always difficult for the far left, and particularly difficult in post-referendum Scotland where so much of the socialist inclined vote is soaked up by the SNP, and the Greens, who have deservedly returned more MSPs. 

But the process involved in getting this far has led to the development of an entirely new generation of socialist activists. These people have worked against the odds, with minimal resources and with a short time scale and are focussed on moving the project forward. They are a source of inspiration, but more than that, I fully believe them and many more who will join their ranks to be the future of the Scottish left. Their skill, togetherness and talents will make an impact on Scottish politics. There is no doubt about it.

Those young activists are coupled with the re-engagement of a cross section of experienced socialists as a result of the process of renewal and alliance building. These veterans of the movement have seen many a difficult election, but now they can see real potential to develop again, with years ahead to grow and debate strategy.

In addition, the candidates were outstanding, dignified and drawn from diverse backgrounds. They are a credit, and have a big future ahead. They had the guts to stand up and promote an irreverent socialist campaign, and had the courage of their convictions in a difficult political atmosphere. Many were moved to tears by their struggle and determination to make sure the lives of ordinary people were heard in the debate.

Their time will come. When it does, this experience will be looked back on as an important learning curve.

1462380269593Registering where we made mistakes

We in RISE made three major strategic miscalculations. Firstly, we imagined the organic base of a new pro-indy left organisation to be far larger than it was. By the time we had launched, the energy of the referendum had been incubated in the SNP. This may have been different if we had launched in the days after September 18th 2014, but even then, the result of the No vote was to begin a long, Cold War, as opposed to the Scottish spring that would have emerged post Yes.

Secondly, we convinced ourselves of there being political space for the far left in an election where the SNP, Labour and the Greens were all competing for the radical vote. Imagine that, underwritten by the national question, which would boost the SNP even if they did slide to the centre. In 1999 and 2003 when the SSP broke through, the space for the radical left was much more accessible.

RISE in amongst this, given we had just four months to electioneer, and tiny resources in comparison to others actually managed to compete well on the campaign phase, but on the night the results in black and white highlighted the difficulties this election brought.  Even if we had run the perfect campaign, and had good luck along the way, we may have added another percentage point or so on to the vote. The objective circumstances matter, and force of will cannot turn the tide of elections.

Thirdly, we believed that the election could be fought on the basis of ideas, when in fact it was always going to be a highly tactical election. In the early stages of RISE in late 2015 we seemed to be at the centre of a storm around tactical voting. There was a stream of derision focussed on RISE for ‘vote splitting’. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to move on to different footing after our policy conference in December, it stuck as a constant reference point.  This also gripped us in a permanent war footing in relation to the SNP at a time when vast numbers of left-wingers are casting their vote for them. That said, we were right to expose the weakness of the SNP policy platform and campaign approach – that will count in the future.

These strategic problems were combined with the every day difficulties involved in competing for votes with limited time and resources. 

That said our reports, videos, unique campaign platform and our high calibre candidates managed to move the politics of RISE on, and it is thanks to these efforts that many continue to join on the basis that the need for socialist ideas impacting mainstream politics is a necessity not an option. We were right to use this election to work out how much radicalised energy from the referendum would translate into votes for a far left option that involved both the social movement aspect of the radical left and the SSP.

Defeats are not easy. But we have to recognise where we are, and what has been built. The beginnings of a new unity, the recruitment of hundreds of now committed activists, the development of name recognition, a strong media presence, a strong youth and woman’s movement and the battle hardening that limited resources and bad election results bring.

RISE is here for the long haul, and it will undoubtedly grow now that it has a coherent and dedicated activist base. It will host a major conference of the European left in June discussing the future of the EU, it will build on areas of policy strength, it will develop its networks and intervene intellectually, it will entrench its national organisation into localities and, as it already is doing, in the trade unions. It has years now to develop and in the long run it has a bright future, especially as it has such promising and talented youth.

But true as that is, simply stating this is simplistic and in its own way tribal. If that is where this article ended, you would correctly conclude that it does not contain enough strategic thinking, and that in essence it is just the ongoing project of the far left in Scotland with a bit of boosterism to get it through a difficult period. It is not enough. We made a big turn during the referendum away from leftists clinging on to parties, defending them as the one true voice, towards raising our ideas to a mass movement that millions of people could relate to.

In truth, the forces of the radical left in Scotland now have to think in much broader terms about where we go next, and we have to be much more ambitious about what can be achieved. We have to put our forces in to a wider framework that moves us forward strategically, not just as an organisation that can recruit people and engage the public with a policy platform.

In truth, the forces of the radical left in Scotland now have to think in much broader terms about where we go next, and we have to be much more ambitious about what can be achieved. We have to put our forces in to a wider framework that moves us forward strategically, not just as an organisation that can recruit people and engage the public with a policy platform.

And so, learning from the last year, we need to work out what is happening now, and how best we can advance the cause of socialism and the radical left at a time of capitalist decay and constitutional crisis.

We need an extra-parliamentary movement

The Scottish right is emboldened by the new batch of Tory MSPs. They will be a constant source of opposition, and as a result they will be the platform for the Union. They may be able to exert pressure on a variety of questions to win concessions. But more than that, the Scottish right as well as having a strong position inside Holyrood, can also use this to rebuild ideologically in the society as a whole.

The commentators of the right, for example, are now less abstract and by definition more in touch with the weekly mechanics of parliament. This does not mean there will be a mass revival – nothing of the sort. But it does mean there is a viable outlet for right wing Scotland to pin itself too, an outlet with some clout.

More young Tories will join and become involved, sensing monetary rewards in the form of jobs and potentially as future MSPs. To them, it may start to feel less toxic. Ruth Davidson, will continue to try and detoxify the Tory brand. Some will remember Murdo Fraser’s intervention in recent years calling for the wholesale rebranding of the Scottish right, dumping the Conservative tag. These things may come to pass. Whether or not a full scale transition takes place, this is a change that the broad movement for the progressive left in Scotland should take seriously.

All of this revolves around the national question. Consider Labour’s manifesto. It contained many left wing policies. While their campaign appeared at times shambolic, their rhetoric was designed to appeal to their base, as a method of rebuilding. They didn’t chase the centre, knowing that was already dominated by the SNP. But they just couldn’t overcome the fact that their base has a different take on independence.

And so we see in broad terms two major plates implant themselves in Holyrood in a Scotland which a superficial analysis suggests has become ‘ulsterised’. The SNP on the one hand, the Tories on the other, and the dividing line: Scottish nationalism versus British continuity.

But this analysis – ulsterisation – is wrong headed in the extreme. It is deployed, interestingly enough, by the unionist right, and the unionist left. Both misunderstand that questions of class and nation are bound up with not just a split on the independence question, but of left and right as an extension of it.

George Kerevan, East Lothian SNP MP, is therefore absolutely correct to come to a different conclusion:

 “There is no third way in Scottish politics any longer. It is an independent, socialist and green Scotland – or a Unionist, Tory and exploited subsidiary of the City of London.”

This will define the political landscape in the coming years. As a result it requires us to develop a broad movement for independence again – because that is what is going to define the balance of forces in the coming years, and in parallel the oppositional movement to the brutal austerity being unleashed by the Tories from Westminster. That movement requires radical content to mobilise the communities that injected people power into the referendum and befuddled the British State.

In addition to this overarching movement we need to agitate for wider campaigns on big issues facing the working class and the left that we can move on in the here and now. In these campaigns the left of the SNP should be involved, alongside the Greens and RISE.  We will also need to turn campaigns like Better Than Zero, into real social movements to develop radical organisation that can express the millennial discontent bred by precarious work and historic wealth inequality. Alongside this we need a militant anti-austerity street movement that can exert pressure at every level of its implementation.

The next election will likely see the clash outlined by Kerevan intensify; and it may be the ‘indy ref 2’ election. What will count is the political atmosphere generated in the years running up to it. The socialist left may not be in a position to break through electorally, but we can be a fighting force on the ground, and can make a massive impact in the years ahead if we apply ourselves to a strategy of building movements and developing for the future. We need to be there to keep pulling society leftwards. With the Tories now as firm opposition we have a duty to this task.

Time to think, time to build

For now, RISE will open up to discussion and debate about the way forward. That will be a lively, respectful and outward looking forum, led by members. But I hope that we will discuss more than the prospects for RISE itself, and place ourselves in a broader context, where yes we will have to face some uncomfortable truths, but where also we can re-energise for what can be an exciting period ahead. Every successful left wing organisation in history has been as a result of an organic relationship with the outside world. Moral indignation about injustice is not enough; we need strategy, aims, a record of achievement and recognition of where we have failed. That is the test of political maturity.

In the vein, as well as developing activism, we need to invest resources into rebuilding the theoretical and ideological weight of the left, which needs enriched to guide a new generation of left wing campaigners. Popular education, reading groups, ideological forums of debate and discussion, left wing political festivals – all are needed going forward.

The great thing about politics – even in moments of trouble – is that it is evolving constantly, and therefore new fronts open up all the time. What you need though, is a stable and talented group of people to travel the road with. If nothing else, I believe that we now have that under development once again on the Scottish left. 

The task now is to work out how we can make that hard work effective in the struggle to come. That should start with working out not only what defines RISE, but what unites us with the movement we need to develop as outlined previously. The election has not been an easy one and there are many people, not just in RISE, who would have made a huge impact as MSPs. That will come, in time. Political representation in the parliament is important, but it is nothing without an extra parliamentary movement. Let us, for now, focus on that important and necessary work. Not only will that will shape the coming years, it will also build a longterm base for the election of socialist MSPs in the future. 

Comments (30)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Unfortunately the Left have shot themselves in the foot all too often. In the days after the referendum I wrote to some of those at the centre of RIC telling them to get on and continue to campaign for their beliefs , still using the same name. As RIC it was understood that EVERYONE on the left or in any way left leaning were working together for a Socialist Scotland.

    What happened was that the various tiny group leaders, excluding Solidarity, went into a room for months to navel gaze to finally come up with a name the nobody knew or understood. The voters saw it as the usual renamed SSP with squabbling factions trying, in an opportunist way, to blow life into what had been RIC.

    We saw the results last week. They are back where they started years ago and have missed the opportunity.

    1. Craig says:

      Who did you write to?

      FYI that’s not what happened.

  2. David McCann says:

    Maybe the answer lies in Gareth Hays article in Common Space?

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      It doesn’t, because what Gareth suggests would not have been allowed by the electoral commission.

  3. Graeme says:

    “There is no third way in Scottish politics any longer. It is an independent, socialist and green Scotland – or a Unionist, Tory and exploited subsidiary of the City of London.”

    The problem with quoting Kerevan is that he’s talking complete and utter cobblers.

    The SNP is not and has never been a socialist party, and certainly not by any definition since it came to office in 2007. I’m not even saying this is a bad thing, the majority of people in Scotland are clearly not socialists, or the political economy would be very different.

    People voted for competent if cautious social democrat government and more of the same, not for Marxism. Scots have never voted for the far left in large numbers, and almost certainly never will. Could it be that Scottish people have a social conscience, but, unless you are applying very loose definitions they are no more socialist than anyone else? If people can’t be convinced to put in a X in a box for the far left once every years then it’s hard to see how they can be convinced to overthrow global capitalism.

    I agree that anti-austerity campaigns are important, but I don’t see how RISE will mobilise the left of the SNP against cuts which are often being overseen and implemented by SNP councils and the Scottish government. Would the strategy be to only focus on Tory cuts? If not then the SNP membership is so much larger that I fail to see how it will be done without turning into a party political campaign.

    Much of RISE’s future will be dependent on whether or not the SSP decides to stay affiliated. If it decides not to then it’s hard to see what space there would be left for RISE.

    1. Anton says:

      Well said.

  4. George Gunn says:

    I too was worried by the Radical Indepedence Conference morphing into Rise as people did not know, if we are to be honest, what it was. I suspect that most of the 1,000 or so on the Highland list voted for Jean Urquhart, not Rise. Hindsight is all very well but some foresight might have helped. Other than the result Rise achieved on May 5th what other result did you actually think was possible?

    I always thought RIC was a vital part of the referendum campaign in 2014 and it is only through this uplifting and educational work will the socialist message be extended. I agree with Graeme in many ways except that Kerevan wan’t talking total bollocks. The reality is that it is Independence verses the Union and the only people who are talking about Ulsterisation are the Tory propogandists such as Torrance. It is the Tories we should attack, not the SNP.

    From Baltasound to Berwick the country urgently needs an open ended, on-going and energised debate about what kind of society we want Scotland to be. We all desire an independent and equitable nation. Let us all work to that end. Let us educate our own people so they can enjoy the possibility of freedom.

    1. Dougie Blackwood says:

      I’m a left leaning member of the SNP and will try to persuade from within that we need more radical action.

      I campaigned with RIC by knocking doors in Easterhouse and realised, as I went round, just how disenfranchised many of the people living there are. As results now show, Labour has deserted it’s erstwhile followers in the pseudo-Tory “New Labour” takeover and the voters now follow SNP who do care about the poor and the downtrodden.

      I really want a rainbow parliament but until we get real power through independence and while we have the present electoral system we need to vote for the only realistic way to keep the unionists from power in Holyrood; that means SNP or Green.

  5. Bert Logan says:

    Dont use the term ‘Left’ – its polluted by the problems. Lets not call it socialism – its polluted by the problems.

    Call it society.

  6. Mr T says:

    George Kerevan may say “There is no third way in Scottish politics any longer. It is an independent, socialist and green Scotland – or a Unionist, Tory and exploited subsidiary of the City of London.”

    Trouble is that his East Lothian constituents don’t necessarily think they’re exploited. Labour MSP returned on a higher majority. Conservatives up 69%. Only the Lib Dems had a worse % performance than SNP compared to 2011.

  7. Jimmy Haddow says:

    Hi Comrades,

    The article says “we imagined the organic base of a new pro-indy left organisation to be far larger than it was. By the time we had launched, the energy of the referendum had been incubated in the SNP. This may have been different if we had launched in the days after September 18th 2014, but even then, the result of the No vote was to begin a long, Cold War, as opposed to the Scottish spring that would have emerged post Yes.”

    I would like to post a Marxist post-election analysis of the Scottish election last by the Socialist Party Scotland, one of the component parts of the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition which stood in the parliamentary section in the election. Nevertheless I have to say that in the days following the independence referendum the Socialist Party Scotland called for the launching of a new socialist party to offer a political home to young people and the working class. Tommy Sheridan, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and also the leadership of groups like the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) rejected such an approach. This section of the left effectively fell in behind the idea that the interests of the working class and socialism should play second fiddle to the task of achieving independence. Tommy Sheridan called for a vote for the SNP. The SSP proposed a Yes alliance with the SNP and the Greens to contest the 2015 Westminster election. It argued that between them they should agree that “a single pro-independence candidate should contest the seats”. The SSP even argued this would be an ‘anti-austerity’ bloc. Of course, this was rejected by the SNP. The RIC leadership said it was too early to challenge the SNP and delayed the launch of the RISE coalition (Respect, Independence, Socialism, Environmentalism) for a year – to August 2015. Only Socialist Party Scotland and the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) advocated the need to act urgently and launch an independent political voice and organisation for the working class. The failure to take these necessary steps in a timely manner, alongside the enhanced standing of the SNP leadership, led to a mass influx into the party of over 80,000 people. Unfortunately, the political leaders of the SSP, Solidarity and RIC just did not have the political foresight to see what their prevarication would lead too.

    http://socialistpartyscotland.org.uk/2016/05/08/scottish-elections-snp-win-new-openings-socialist-left-alternative-emerge/

    1. Greg Moodie says:

      Why the left never get anywhere, in a nutshell.

      1. John Mooney says:

        Precisely Greg!

      2. Doug Daniel says:

        I stopped reading at “I would like to post a Marxist post-election analysis”, but in reality I should have stopped at “Hi comrades”.

    2. Craig says:

      Again that’s not all true tho

    3. Neil Scott says:

      Somewhere between Shafi’s article (it wisnae our fault, but we are the only way forward) and Jimmy’s sectarian usual fare (it wisnae our fault, but we are the only way forward), stands someone with their eyes opened, and mouth and hands to cheeks, walking across a bridge; an inaudible scream piercing their head… Inner turmoil making them shake and quake, but glued to the spot, thinking through the noise of others… “Just go out and change the world, stop telling us how it should have been done. Just go chain yourself to a closing library, a redundant classroom assistant or a struggling carer…”

      Sobs.

    4. Pogliaghi says:

      “Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Scottish Socialist Party?
      Reg: Fuck off! ‘Scottish Socialist Party’. We’re the ‘Socialist Party Scotland’! ‘Scottish Socialist Party!’.
      Francis: Wankers.”

      — (almost) Life of Brian

  8. Onwards says:

    “The next election will likely see the clash outlined by Kerevan intensify; and it may be the ‘indy ref 2’ election. What will count is the political atmosphere generated in the years running up to it.”

    The 2021 election is very likely to be the Indy Ref 2 referendum, where a strong pro-indy majority is needed.
    Those on the left need to ask themselves what is the best way to achieve that.
    We now know that the SNP can’t depend on a majority.

    Is running RISE candidates again in constituencies and bad mouthing the SNP all over again really the best way to go ? When we need the SNP as the driving force of the independence movement.

    RIC did an amazing job registering disenfranchised voters, and boosting the YES turnout for the first referendum. That is where their strength best lies. As a political movement, not a political party standing candidates of their own in an already crowded field. Especially when the potential for vote splitting is genuine, and the Greens already exist with much the same agenda. It makes no sense.

    The best way to achieve change in the meantime is to join the established parties and influence them from within. There is a limited period of time to achieve independence – and an independent Scotland is where socialist policies are more likely to have a place and the Tories are more likely to be a minority voice.

    1. Dougie Blackwood says:

      Politics is a long game and do not know what will happen between now and the next UK election; it may be that Brexit will push us into Indy2 but I think that’s unlikely.

      If we get to 2020 with no change to the position we should then campaign on the platform that a majority of seats for SNP is a mandate for independence. That would be a real election campaign, just like 2014 and nothing like the recent Holyrood election.

      Our stunning victory last time is now ignored in the South and our MPs are overwhelmed by the numbers of English unionist votes. There is little point in remaining is a parliament where all of our people’s views are sidelined.

      If we win next time bring the MPs home to Scotland and do as the Irish did and demand independence other by agreement or UDI.

      1. Paul says:

        I voted yes in 2014 and will vote yes the next time I get the chance to, but 55% of Scotland voted No. To suggest that we could declare independence through any means other than victory at a referendum is undemocratic. Even if all 59 MPs from Scotland were to be SNP next time, that could happen on 40% of the vote. The only caveat to this position is that if the Scottish Parliament called a referendum but Westminster blocked it then the SNP could call a snap election and say that a vote for them is a vote for independence (or hold the “illegal referendum”), but I don’t envisage Westminster ever blocking a referendum.

        Taking independence when there is any doubt that it is what the majority want would be wrong, as much as I support independence.

  9. Mark Crawford says:

    Initially I joined RISE because I thought it would be worth exploring as an option, but I quickly left in December last year when it became apparent that there’s very little support in the organisation for proper left-wing militancy (in one meeting I attended to discuss possible policies, one member said RISE had to avoid being seen as “anti-growth” and that renationalisation of the energy industry would be a bad idea).

    I don’t see the Scottish left going anywhere in the next few years unless it rediscovers the virtue of militancy – something that I imagine to be very unlikely.

    1. Craig says:

      1 meeting
      1 person

      This made you leave?

      Yet RISE policy is to have a nationalised energy industry.

      The democratic conference (where policy was voted on) was in the first week in December, finding it hard to understand why you would leave after conference (that voted for what you wanted really policy) because of a meeting where 1 person said something you disagree with that would have no baring on policy going into the election.

      1. Mark Crawford says:

        “finding it hard to understand why you would leave after conference (that voted for what you wanted really policy) because of a meeting where 1 person said something you disagree with that would have no baring on policy going into the election.”

        That’s because you’re reading too much into the comment – I gave one example of a person who wasn’t unrepresentative of the members of my local “circle”. And, actually, although I bought a ticket for the “democratic” conference, I didn’t bother attending because I had already decided to leave.

        If I believe that militancy is the essential ingredient for this sort of project, and it turns out that most of the people in my local group are not at all militant, then perhaps it is my job to suggest that RISE is not the organisation for them… Oh, but wait, all of these people were (unlike myself) members of the SSP! And not one week prior to the meeting I’m referring to, I had been present at another meeting during which Mr Shafi had actually said that the idea of RISE existing without the SSP’s involvement was – quote – “unthinkable”. Well, tell me Craig, in such circumstances, whose job was it to leave? My own? Or half the membership of the local SSP group?

        So, stick that in your pipe and smoke it. And if you are who I think you are, then I suggest you think twice before hitting the reply button, unless you really want me to go into lots more detail on a public forum…

  10. Frank says:

    There are traces of analysis in this piece, however, Shafi is at heart a propagandist who thinks in slogans and most of this is typical left wing hype and hyperbole. Anyone who has been around the far left can quickly decipher propaganda like this. ‘Building extra-parliamentary movements is left wing speak for demonstrations, whilst lines such as ‘militant anti-austerity street movements’ are the politics of illusion.

    The claims that Rise are the new unity party are problematic and ignore the existence of Solidarity and the Trades Unionists for Socialist Coalition, both of whom are barred from Rise, yet outpolled them at last week’s election despite only a fraction of the publicity. Moreover, the SSP are debating motions on whether or not to disaffiliate from Rise and many of the youngsters Shafi mentions are arguing for that disaffiliation to take place – in fact it’s the SSP old guard who supported Rise.

    The SSP’s 2003 result is always quoted in articles like this, yet that result was the exception not the rule and the breakthrough in 2003 and also 1999 was primarily based on the popularity of Tommy Sheridan. The decline in the socialist vote these past ten years correlates well with Sheridan’s personal decline as a serious politician.

    In regards to independence, Shafi’s mistaken analysis based on Kerevan’s mistaken analysis posits that Scottish independence can only be won from the left; this is a theoretical simplification which ignores the fact that yes failed because middle class Small C conservative Scotland voted no.

    Scratch beneath the surface of the Rise hype and what you will find is a regrouping of the Socialist Workers Party (remember them?). Most left the SWP to join Rise but the SWP was always more of a mindset than it was an organisation and the best Rise can hope for in the current context is to occupy a position in Scottish politics similar to the old SWP a decade ago. Sites like this should seriously debate whether or not they want to promote a regrouping of a very old and bad set of ‘radical’ left wing ideas.

  11. Jim Monaghan says:

    It is really not true to say that labours base has a different view on the national question. All reserach into Labour voters and members suggest the opposite. Kerevan’s take on the election result is deeply flawed and deliberately ignores the fact that the left are stronger in England and virtually non-existent (electorally) in Scotland. His fake division means that Fergus Ewing is deemed a Green Socialist and Jeremy Corbyn is a Tory. If you start from this premise then you are doomed to get it wrong again.

    The only way for the left build any kind of movement is to build it on left polices and not narrow that down to only pro-indy left voices.

  12. Frank Wright says:

    I think the “vote splitting” tactic was poorly thought-out. Pro-Independence people, like myself, could see scenarios where, in SOME regions, it would give list seats to the unionist branches. The assumption, by some RISE people, that SNP were going to win *all* the constituency seats was a dangerous assumption (i.e. dangerous to the independence majority at Holyrood) and was found to be incorrect.

    HOWEVER, now that we have had the election, it is easy to see that voting SNP/RISE in Glasgow region would have worked well, as the SNP *did* win all seats. On the contrary, we can also see that voting SNP/SNP in South Scotland was the right thing to do in a region where the Tories won FOUR seats in the constituency ballot.

    Next time, I hope RISE focusses more on the voting strategy in EACH region. Perhaps focus on Glasgow and get one or two RISE MSPs elected. Once people see RISE in action at Holyrood, then perhaps more MSPs will be elected at the next election. After all, that’s how the Scottish Socialists got going in the first two parliaments. I am sure RISE can do the same.

  13. Doug Daniel says:

    “Thirdly, we believed that the election could be fought on the basis of ideas, when in fact it was always going to be a highly tactical election. In the early stages of RISE in late 2015 we seemed to be at the centre of a storm around tactical voting. There was a stream of derision focussed on RISE for ‘vote splitting’. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to move on to different footing after our policy conference in December, it stuck as a constant reference point.”

    I like the way Shafi talks about RISE being at the centre of a tactical voting storm as if it wasn’t their own fault. For this entire campaign, social media was characterised by RISE activists and supporters trying to convince SNP voters to give them a tactical vote. When there were eventually some policies to debate, a few RISE activists indeed made an effort at trying to discuss policies instead, but the vast bulk of comment from the far left was still about why an SNP list vote would be wasted because the SNP was absolutely, definitely, 100% going to win a majority on constituency seats alone.

    If you can’t even admit blame for this, it doesn’t bode particularly well for the future of RISE.

    The one question to which I would love to hear an answer from one of the main players in RISE is this: why didn’t you just join the SSP and concentrate on boosting a known entity, rather than setting up your own plaything, which was always going to result in poor name recognition with the public? It hardly screams “unity”.

  14. Joe Killman says:

    Help! I’ve received nothing from Bella since 13th May! Don’t know why! Any ideas? I haven’t changed anything that I know of.

    1. Do you want to re-subscribe and see if it kicks in again? Go to the bottom of the age for the link

      1. Joe Killman says:

        Hi Ed,
        Many thanks for rapid reply but I guess I’m a bit slow _ can’t find the link! (Most embarassing).
        Joe

Keep our Journalism Independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address to subscribe for free here and receive Bella direct to your inbox.

 
Bella Caledonia