Predictions of the demise of the SSP have once again been proven to be the wishful thinking of those who would like to see the end of Scotland's biggest and best socialist party.
As well as standing on the regional list, the SSP is standing candidates in 31 of the 32 council seats across the Lothians (17 in Edinburgh, 6 in Midlothian and 8 of 9 in West Lothian).
In West Lothian we've decided to stand aside in the Broxburn, Uphall & Winchburgh ward in favour of, former nurse, Ellen Glass of the "stop the downgrade of St John's campaign".
I've also pasted below an article I wrote for the South Edinburgh Echo.
Local Council Elections –SSP [100 words]
The Scottish Socialist Party will be standing candidates in every Council seat in Edinburgh. Our candidates are all local activists.
In Liberton / Gilmerton our candidate will be none other than our sitting MSP and party national convenor Colin Fox. Colin lives in the Inch and has two children at the local primary school. His partner Zillah is a midwife at the new Royal Infirmary. His candidacy shows our commitment to South Edinburgh one area which Colin has served these past four years at Holyrood.
The SSP candidate in Southside /Newington is Scott Simpson who works as a community worker in Craigmillar.
And in Meadows /Morningside we present Helga Janzen a payroll manager from Marchmont involved in a variety of local issues including campaigns for better public transport and protecting local shops.
Scottish Parliament Elections
Colin Fox MSP will once again head the Scottish Socialist Party challenge in the Lothians.
Colin is seeking re-election to Holyrood and is proud to put his record in fighting for the interests of working families this past four years in front of the electorate.
He will be joined by a list of candidates, men and women from across the Lothians bringing a wide variety of skills and experiences together.
The most important issues for the SSP are
;the abolition of the hated Council tax – to be replaced by a local tax based on income/ability to pay
;building 20,000 new council houses across the Lothians to address the appalling difficulties people now have in getting a decent home to live in
;the introduction of free school meals for all pupils to help address the scandalous child poverty which continues to shame Scotland
;free public transport for everyone which we believe is the most innovative and radical measure thus far presented to tackle the issue of climate change,pollution and congestion- offer people a better alternative to the car and they will take it
;and of course our defining policy is our support for an independent socialist Scotland.
The Scottish Socialist Party rewrote the history books when they got 6 MSP’s elected in 2003. We believe we can again do so again.
Over the past 4 years no one has worked harder for working people and the things they value the most than the SSP. We have opposed the hideoauys and barbarous war in Iraq, we have argued for public ownership and public services against the incessant drive towards privatization of this executive.
We have opposed the package of cuts in services at Scottish Parliament and Council level. Colin was for example at the forefront of the successful campaign to keep local schools in Edinburgh open and to keep a full array of health service in palce across the region.
The SSP MSP’s have been the socialist conscience of the Parliament. In championing the rights of the most vulnerable and needy in our society Colin was elected as ‘a workers representative living on a workers wage’. He donates half his £55,000 salary to campaigns committed to improving the lives of ordinary people. He follows the wise advice of those founders of the socialist movement who advised those seeking to represent working people - ‘rise with your class not out of it’.
The Scottish Socialist party list for Holyrood includes people from all over the region each with a wealth of experience and commitment to making the region much more equal and just and fair for ordinary people. Edinburgh is a very rich city and we want to see much more of the great wealth accumulated here going to those who need it the most; to children living below the poverty line, to pensioners struggling to get by on a daily basis on a meager pension, to the needy in a rich city. Yes we want to redistribute the wealth of the city from the rich to the poor.