The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) have said that they offer an alternative to the “doom and gloom of mainstream parties”, after launching their manifesto for the UK general election.
The SSP, which is contesting ten seats in the election, has offered voters a “five-point plan” aimed at cleaning up politics after the expenses scandal and safeguarding the Scottish economy from cuts imposed from London. The party suggested that such cuts would threaten 100,000 jobs in Scotland.
In addition to opposing the cuts, the SSP want action to guarantee jobs for young people and the immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
The other two points in the party's plan are a referendum on Scottish independence and a “clean-up” after the expenses scandal, which would include putting all MPs on a “worker's wage”.
The party's eventual aim is for Scotland to become a Green Socialist Republic.
“After 13 years of New Labour, the thought of a Tory government still sends a shiver up the spine,” said the SSP leader Colin Fox, a former MSP.
But he insisted on being “clear from the outset” that “if the Tories do return to power at Westminster, the blame for that lies with New Labour and the failure of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown these last 13 years, who have quite frankly exploited working people, with the poorest and most vulnerable being hit hardest”.
The SSP have experienced extreme fluctuations in their fortunes since the party was launched in the 1990s. In 2003, they surprised commentators with their success, winning six seats in the Scottish Parliament. But they lost them in 2007, and have yet to gain their first seat at Westminster.
With regards to the results of this election, Fox suggested that “it's clear to anyone who's watching this election that politics in Scotland is about to be turned upside down”.