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The Scottish Socialist Party suffered yet another set back as their National Secretary, Connor Beaton, sensationally quit the party on Saturday due to “serious political shortcomings” within the organisation, and accusations that the left wing party’s internal democracy is “fundamentally broken”.

Mr Beaton defended his record as National Secretary, since being elected 18 months ago in modernising the party’s internal communications and in building positive relationships with other organisations on the left, such as Radical Independence Campaign, Living Rent, Fans Against Criminalisation, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Catalan Defence Committee Scotland, Anti-Capitalist Queers, and the Student Solidarity Network. However he feels he has been undermined at every turn by members of the Executive Committee who opposed his initial candidacy for the position of National Secretary. 

Beaton claims a group on the SSP Executive Committee wish to exclude the wider membership from the decision making process and accused National Spokesperson Colin Fox of abusing his position by regularly phoning branch secretaries and instructing them as to how their members should vote in internal elections. He told Ungagged;

  “Political power in the SSP is held by a small handful of individuals who despite assertions to the contrary, function as the SSP’s de facto leadership and continue to try to centralise power even further.” 

It marks a new low point for the SSP who at its height in had six members elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2003 but failed to have any elected four years later after former leader Tommy Sheridan tore the party apart over a court action that ultimately lead to him being jailed for perjury.

  The SSP experienced a brief renaissance in 2014-2015 after their successful involvement in the Yes campaign but saw another exodus of members after their ill-fated decision to affiliate to “RISE – Scotland’s Left Alliance.


By David McClemont


You can read more views from the Ungagged collective here, or hear a range of left views on our podcast

Margaret Hodge and the bitterness of the Blairites

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It’s very difficult to know yourself and your hidden darkness and your shadow.


The historical experience of persecution and genocide feeds this darkness . You become so concerned with this historical experience that you make sure it will never happen again by persecuting and projecting this darkness on to others. You place them in camps and you take their homeland. Anybody who criticises you in your actions is equated and labelled as being the same as your historical persecutors.


I think of Margaret Hodge calling loudly and in the earshot of journalists  

This is the shadow of the Holocaust and it’s effects.


It’s fed as well, by the sheer disbelief that Labour stands at last as a real socialist party. It’s triggered by the fact that New Labour is near extinction. It’s fed by a Labour lead in the polls and that the Kinnock and Blair mutation of Labour will be snuffed out as real Labour Party democracy is established and the membership gain control of policy and selection of candidates.


The Blairites respond unconsciously as they strike out at this news that Labour leads in the polls.


The trio of Hoey, Mann and Field strike out by saving the Conservative government. They don’t see what they do or if they do they practice Freudian denial and projection. But like others they call for national unity and prefer a right wing victory to a Socialist one. Their hatred is poured into the mass membership and the Left. They do not see the old political and psychological chestnut of the drama triangle. The persecuted become persecutors and then claim victimhood. Yet it was the electorate who were and are their victims. In the Blairite creation they became the midwives of austerity and of the bluekippers. Blair begat Farage and laid the foundations for Brexit by creating a distant elite.

It was not Margaret Hodge who broke the BNP – it was the activists and trade unionists.


Corbyn has written a new rule book and made possible a mass party. And the Blairites consciously or unconsciously prefer the political right to real socialism.


When we are young we have reason not to know our shadows and our projections .


When we are old we have no excuse are in the Jungian Analyst Guggenbuhl-Craig’s words we become “bitter old fools.”


This lack of knowing is the ‘creative” drive of the bluekippers. The only mature veteran of the left at the Speakers Chair was Jeremy Corbyn … the other an old bitter Blairite fool unaware and ignorant of the darkness and bitterness within. It’s time for mandatory re-selection and it can’t come quick enough. It’s time for the old fools to be consigned to the dustbin of history. We must free ourselves from their toxic legacy and bitterness. There is a world to win and it’s getting late… and it’s not antisemitic to criticise the government of Israel – there are many there who are Israeli citizens who would do the same.


I am of Jewish origin myself and experienced the bigotry and racism of the English Prep school. I struggle to know my shadow and am more old fart rather than old fool.. what about you, Margaret Hodge, Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair?


by Martyn Shrewsbury

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