link / contact details for potential supporters
Regional Organiser: Steve Arnott
what do you think is the most important issue in this election?
For me the issue of poverty is always at the top of the political
agenda. The rich poor divide in this country continues to grow and
all the other parties accept the obscene wealth owned by a few at
the top, whilst 1 in 3 or our pensioners and 1 in 4 of our children
live in poverty.
why did you make the decision to stand in this constituency and for
this party (as an independent)?
I am a founder member of the Scottish Socialist Party in the
Highlands & Islands. We have grown from two members in 1999 to
having 14 branches spread from Oban to Sheltand, Elgin to the
Western Isles. Socialism is as relevant in rural areas as it is in
the cities. I am very proud to have been selected as the candidate
for this constituency, an area I have known and loved since my
childhood and I welcome the opportunity to spread the message of
what kind of vote are you expecting on May 5th?
The Westminster election is a difficult election for us given the
lack of publicity, the unfair voting system and
the tactical voting that seems to be being adopted to keep certain
candidates out. To be quite honest I really don't know what vote we
will receive and the end vote it not the reason that I am standing
as a candidate.
aside from the vote what are you hoping to get out of this campaign?
The reason we are standing in the Westminster election is to take
the opportunity to spread our vision of an Independent Socialist
Republic of Scotland. We are a campaigning party who are active in
the streets and in our communities all the time. We use elections
to get our message across and to recruit new members. If we recruit
new members out of this campaign and open people's eyes to the
possibility of a different society then it will of been worth
in your view what is the greatest threat to our civil liberties at
A New Labour Government.
Blair has taken us to war three times since coming to power (not
including the occasional ad hoc bombing raid) in the Balkans,
Afghanistan and Iraq. Can war ever be justified?
I am not a pacifist and believe that history shows that war is
sometimes necessary, as when fighting the fascists during the
Spanish Civil War.
Imperialist war, however, is never justified. The warmonger
Blair's reasons for taking us to war have always been about oil,
power and money. There was no justification for the war in
Afghanistan or the war in Iraq. I am a founder member of the
Coalition for Justice Not War in the Highlands and will continue to
campaign for the immediate withdrawal of our troops.
There is very little left to privatise in this country, if you had
your way what would be brought into public hands?
Firstly I would take all the public utilities sold off by Thatcher,
gas, water, electricity, communications, transport etc back into
public control. I would then eliminate all aspects of creeping
privitisation in the health service, post office, education system
etc. I believe that our oil industry, our banks and financial
institutions should be democratically owned for the benefit of all
in our society.
Some environmental campaigners have started talking about nuclear
power as a way to bring down CO2 emissions - what do you think of
I remain totally opposed to the building of an more nuclear power
stations and the legacy of contamination that nuclear waste leaves
for future generations. There needs to be a massive injection of
public money into researching renewable forms of energy. We in the
SSP are campaigning for the establishment of a publicly owned
national energy company. Renewable's are the only way forward not
Asylum and immigration will be central issues in this election. What
action on this issue would you like to see the next government push
I believe that people seeking asylum should be welcomed to our
country with open arms. I would like to see the next government
immediately close Dungavel detention center and allow people seeking
asylum to work.
What question do you wish was on this list but doesn't appear?
In Scotland the left have united to form the SSP. How do you think
socialist groups throughout the United Kingdom could learn to work
together to fight for a socialist world?