Sunday 31 August 2003

Do they really want this brand image?

One of the Scottish Socialist Party leaders is calling for an independence convention:
Alan McCombes, national policy co-ordinator of the SSP, has produced a 5000-word policy document - to be debated on Sunday at the SSP's national council - outlining the socialists' proposed strategy for hastening independence. Mr McCombes argues the most obvious vehicle is a convention based on the Scottish constitutional convention of the 1990s which heralded devolution.

It would be encouraged by the fact there are more MSPs in favour of it now than before the May 1 elections, despite the SNP's disappointing showing.

I am probably not the only one to be rather concerned about any cooperation between the SSP and SNP. The Herald conveniently summarises the difference between the two parties:

Nationalist first and (mostly) left-of-centre second.

Wants a referendum for independence within three years of a Holyrood majority.

Pro-EU and pro-single currency.

Favours a slimmed down monarchy although some members are republicans.


Socialist first and supports independence second.

Wants a referendum immediately, assuming the convention has already agreed a constitution for immediate implementation.

Anti-euro but would remain in an anti-big business and more democratic "people's Europe".

Avowedly republican.

So one of them is "Nationalist first" and the other "Socialist first". Oh dear. I seem to recall that putting nationalism and socialism together can lead to just a little bit of trouble.