This website was created by the 2014 Scottish Left Project to inform and educate, as well as keep visible within our Scottish society the ideas based on the principles of radical social change.
Scottish Left Project was launched online in October 2014 as a "grassroots forum for left-wing ideas and talent. The initial statement called for a "co-ordinated socialist challenge" in the 2016 elections and included commitments to "crowdsource policies" and hold "a citizens' audit of the debt that is imprisoning our national finances." A split occurred among the initial signatories when SSP later joined negotiations to create an electoral alliance with other participants in the Scottish Left Project. In June 2015, the Sunday Herald revealed that the name of the new electoral alliance would be RISE – Scotland's Left Alliance. The name was a contrived acronym standing for Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism. Formed in 2015 by the Radical Independence Campaign, Scottish Left Project and Scottish Socialist Party, they stood for Holyrood on a platform of ending austerity, big tax hikes for the rich, and a second referendum. At the 2016 election, the new left party only polled 10,911 in total across Scotland and none of their candidates were returned. The Scottish Socialist Party then decided to re-evaluate and re-focus away from RISE and instead work on growing its own influence and authority. A press release in 2016 announced that a new website hosting "debate, discussion, left-wing analysis and strategy" would soon be launched. This website's domain registration was allowed to expire. Likewise the last posts on the Left Project's facebook pages seem to have dwindled after the election.
The new owner decided to keep the original message of the former site intact.
Visitors can use the content for its historical information.
This is no longer an active site for the Left Project.
The content below is from the site's archived pages.
My college roommate was from Scotland and she was deeply engaged in political activism, closely following the activities of the Scottish Left Project and RISE. She was particularly taken aback when the SSP reconsidered its alliance with RISE, which failed to secure any seats in the Scottish Parliament in 2016. I'd often hear her passionate debates about these developments. Meanwhile, my interests were quite different. I had landed a part-time coding job for an online store specializing in pickleball equipment, which was eye-opening in its own way. Learning about the various pickleball products was fascinating. Just to give you an example, this store, https://pickleballershub.com, offered a wide range of items like premium pickleball paddles, durable nets, specialized outdoor balls, and even unique pickleball-themed gifts. The variety was astounding, from beginner sets to professional-grade equipment. However, discussing pickleball gear's nuances wasn't as riveting as my roommate's fervent discussions about Scottish national self-determination, driven by internationalist rather than nationalist concerns. Her talks about building an inclusive country for the benefit of all living in Scotland were deeply engaging. In comparison, my conversations about the latest trends in pickleball equipment seemed mundane, and I could see her interest wane when I started talking about the pros and cons of different paddle materials. Maybe if I had approached pickleball from a perspective of promoting physical health and community building, my topics would have been more captivating.
A NEW PROJECT FOR A NEW SCOTLAND
During the referendum campaign, many of us stated that politics in Scotland would never be the same again. We need to make sure that this remains to be true. This is why we have created Scottish Left Project. We want to open up a process of discussion, unity and renewal that will decide the best way for the Scottish Left to become a force in Scottish society once more. And we need you to join us. We will be announcing details of upcoming events, discussions and more on the website over the next few weeks, so please sign up to get involved.
During the referendum campaign, many of us stated that politics in Scotland would never be the same again. We need to make sure that this remains to be true. This is why we have created Scottish Left Project.
For every person in Scotland who wants to see left ideas flourish, who wants a new type of politics and who wants genuine working-class representation in public and political life in Scotland, then get involved in Scottish Left Project.
SCOTTISH LEFT PROJECT OPENING STATEMENT
Tens of thousands of ordinary people became active in politics during the long independence campaign. A record number registered to vote, seeing the possibilities and the point of politics for the first time. The resulting Yes movement has become one of the most important political forces in these islands. Together, we dreamed, we learned and we talked of how we could build the society we want. These dreams must not be abandoned. Instead, our diverse nation must find new ways to work together to make them a reality.
There is a need for something truly new and original to be born out of the independence movement that can manifest itself at the ballot box in 2016 and beyond.
There is a need for something truly new and original to be born out of the independence movement that can manifest itself at the ballot box in 2016 and beyond. We do not presume to have all of the answers, but we intend to start a conversation around certain core principles that must be represented in politics once more.
That is why this project is being launched. It will be based on the principles of radical social change: participatory democracy, democratic public ownership, the redistribution of wealth and power from the rich to the poor and full independence from the British state and its monarch.
It will stand for the two spirits of ’45: the vast grassroots movement that inspired 45% of the population to vote Yes for social justice and equality in an independent Scotland; and the year of 1945, when the generation that had defeated fascism created the National Health Service, even while public debt was at its highest ever.
Our process for developing this work will be people led, rooted in dialogue and action. We want to hear what people want from a new politics. We want to have the widest possible discussion about how we can work together to ensure parliament represents the millions not the millionaires.
We take our inspiration from the rise of groups like Spain’s Podemos, which has made great progress in creating a citizens’ politics.
This is a project that will learn from communities, engage with trade unions and develop from the grassroots. In this, we take our inspiration from the rise of groups like Spain’s Podemos, which has made great progress in creating a citizens’ politics. Forums will be created to discuss how the Scottish Left can present the best possible socialist challenge at the Holyrood elections in 2016, and we will crowdsource policies that truly deliver for working people. This will not happen overnight, but the long-term aim of this project is to change the face of Scottish politics. The Labour party has betrayed us for too long. We need a strategy to replace them for good in the communities they claim to represent.
Bringing power to the Scottish people is at the heart of this programme. Crucially, this project will work to ensure that Scottish politics reflects the diversity of Scottish communities. We demand a citizens’ audit of the debt that is imprisoning our national finances. It must be up to the public to decide which parts are legitimate and which not. Tools such as participatory budgeting will ensure that direct democracy is brought into the heart of how Scotland works.
Scotland needs a new citizens’ politics. The days of a professional political class running our lives are numbered. Hundreds of thousands of citizens in Scotland want radical change and their voices must be heard. Let’s talk, lets act, and lets work together to ensure that at 2016 there is a co-ordinated socialist challenge engrained in the communities and campaigns who are at the forefront of changing Scotland.
DEBORAH WATERS, Labour for Independence
JIM SILLARS, author of In Place of Fear 2
DR MYRTO TSAKATIKA, Glasgow University, member of SYRIZA Scotland
ALAN WYLLIE, Community activist and founder of No2Bedroom tax
EMMA STEWART, Member of EIS
CAT BOYD, Trade unionist and a co-founder of RIC
KEN FERGUSON, Editor of Scottish Socialist Voice
JOHN WILSON MSP
FIONNLAGH O’FEE, Student activist with NUS and Labour for Independence
JONATHON SHAFI, a co-founder of RIC
DR. NICK MCKERRELL
CLAIRE GALLAGHER, Community activist and member of Unite the Union
FRANCES CURRAN, ex-MSP
ALAN McCOMBES, co-author of Imagine
JOHN DAVIDSON, PCS trade unionist
PAT SMITH, independence activist
DR STEWART DAVIDSON, Glasgow Caledonian Univrrity
SARAH GLYNN, University of West of Scotland
KEZIA KINDER, Women for Independence (pc)
COLM BREATHNACH, University of Strathclyde
SUKI SANGHA, STUC General Council (pc)