News from Nowhere

The campaign blog for Socialists in Scotland campaigning in the Livingston by-election - uniting for world socialism.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What's in a name?

The Scottish Politics site at has reproduced our explanation as to why we have not supplied a photo of our candidate, but have recorded that he was also one of the names on our list when we contested Lothians in the 1999 elections to the Scottish Parliament, a useful reminder that we've been active in this area before. In fact, for some people it's their third or fourth chance to vote for socialism since we also stood in the Livingston constituency in the 1992 General Election and in the Lothians constituency in the 1994 Euroelections.
For a short while the Scottish Politics site substituted in lieu of a photo what they thought was our emblem. In fact it was that of the Trotskyist Militant Tendency. An understable mistake (which they quickly corrected, for which we are grateful) in that, since 1992, the Militant Tendency has been trying to usurp the name "Socialist Party" which we have been using, including at elections, alongside our other names of "Socialist Party of Great Britain" and "SPGB", for over a hundred years now. Militant's full false name is "Socialist Party of England and Wales", or, rather expressively some might think, SPEW for short.
Militant also gave rise to the so-called "Scottish Socialist Party", which claims to stand for "socialism" (in one province). In fact, what both Militant and the SSP stand for is a system under which all industry would be nationalised and the government controlled by a single vanguard party, as taught by Lenin and Trotsky. They also follow Lenin in thinking that workers are too thick to understand socialism, but must be led there by a vanguard party offering attractive reforms of capitalism (look at the SSP programme).
Nationalisation and rule by a vanguard party is not of course socialism, but something more appropriately called "state capitalism". It's a travesty of the word socialism which in reality means a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, with goods and services produced simply to satisfy people's needs and distribution on the basis of "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs". Socialism is a simple idea, which anybody can understand; which is what we are standing for in this election and nothing else (we make no promises).
If you want state capitalism, vote for the SSP. But if you want real socialism, you can show this by putting an X by the name of our faceless candidate. And then get in touch with us to do something about it (our election manifesto giving details of how to contact us should be distributed this week to every household in the Livingston constituency) .


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