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Before we set off on a journey it is always helpful to know where we have been and how we arrived at where we are now. Radical Scottish republicanism began with massive sympathy for the American Declaration of Independence, due to mass emigration and antipathy towards the Hanoverian Crown and many, particularly the Scotch-Irish, whom Washington claimed fought the British hardest. Half his Cabinet came from that stock. Leaving aside the colonial nature of the US, founded on mass theft, murder and slavery many thought they were imbibing in the spirit of Tom Paine and the French philosophers. This was more than matched with support for the French Revolution, although that Republic also turned out to be as disappointing as the nature of other Republics throughout the globe, whether it be the US, South African, USSR, or even the ancient slave based Republics of Greece and Rome. The radical Scottish Republican Rising of 1797 aimed for higher ideals, as did the Republican Rising of 1820, which was probably the first general strike in industrial history.


The mass rallies of the Scottish Republican Chartists also carried on the tradition, as did the two successive Highland Land Leagues, which became a consistent part of the original Scottish Labour Party along with the Scottish Home Rule Association, SCWS and STUC. The SLP was soon taken over by the GBLP and many Republicans left, as did the founding Chair and Secretary, R B Cunningham Graham and Dr Clarke, who founded the National Party of Scotland in 1928. John MacLean’s Scottish Workers Republican party of 1923 survived him till the late 30’s.The first Scottish Socialist Party was formed in 1932, by (Sir) Patrick Dolan as an alternative to the ILP, of whom may were republicans, including Ramsay MacDonald. The SSP merged with the Labour Party on 1940. John MacLean said correctly that, "he would be Sir Patrick before he would be Saint Patrick


Oliver Brown was a leading member of the second, more Republican, “Scottish Socialist Party “of the forties and fifties. He stood In a By election in Greenock and Port Glasgow. After coming bottom, at the count, he said that he had appealed to the intelligent electorate of the constituency and was glad to see that they turned out to vote for him. The third SSP was formed, 1988 - 1990 and Bill Kidd stood in the Glasgow Central by election of 1989, losing to Labour’s curtain raiser, Lord Watson of Invergowrie. The SSP, like Sillars’ “Scottish Labour Party” was heavily infiltrated by British entrists, leading to its demise: a lesson here? The fourth SSP was formed in 1999 from the Scottish Socialist Alliance conference, 1998, and other groupings, all supporting an Independent Socialist Scotland. The Scottish Republican Socialist Clubs were formed in 1973 from the existing John MacLean Society, with Nan MacLean Milton and Hugh MacDiarmid as Honorary Presidents. It was felt that the wide mix in the Society was against MacLean’s Republican principles and hence the need for Socialist Republican Clubs.


There was the usual split in 1979, with the formation of the Scottish Republican Socialist League on a tighter basis than the cross party SRSC. After the League’s demise there was a coming together to form the Scottish Republican Socialist Party and eventually the SRSP disbanded, with many forming the current cross party Scottish Republican Socialist Movement. This was after the decision to join the SSP as a platform in the belief that it would be wrong to have a Party within a Party. The Scottish Trade Unions were taken from us in the late 60’s followed by the Scottish Cooperative Wholesale Society in the early 70’s. What next, the SSP to be taken over? The question now remains, where now for the Scottish Socialist Party? Is it going to remain true to its founding principles for an Independent Socialist Scotland? Is it going to become a political force making history in Scotland? Or, is it going to shrink itself to yet another British left rump, Heinz number 58?


                                                   Join the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement


                           Wholly and unambiguously committed to a Scottish Socialist Republic.







Why the Crinan Knot and Red Duster?

We decided on the Crinan Knot for our logo at our inaugural meeting, May 1973. It is an ancient symbol found on an old stone in Crinan, Argyll. The everlasting Celtic Knot represents Earth, Fire and Water, the elements of life. The Celts believed that life continued after death in a continuum. The Christians later absorbed it, as they did with many Pagan customs, to mean the Holy Trinity. We do not hold to any mystic meaning, just a nice logo, which we use to denote the past, present and the future in continuum. Scottish Republicanism has a past, a present and future, as has the Scottish nation.

We adopted this onto a red field flag representing socialism, or the blood of the workers. At first we had the Scottish Saltire quartered in the top left corner, as in the old Scottish Naval flag, which we called the ‘Red Duster’. After a year or two we placed the Saltire on its side, taking a third of the field. This was in custom with old clan banners, which has a Saltire on its side with the chief’s, or clan’s, crest in the other centre field.

We are aware there are those who say the Saltire belongs to a pre "medieval" Saint and has no place today. We say an Independent Scotland will decide that and we will use as it the recognised political symbol of Scottish Nationhood until such times as the people decide otherwise. The Saltire is possibly the oldest continuing flag in Europe, maybe the world, dating back to the battle of Athelstaneford, 783 AD, in the Lothians under King Fergus MacErc.The Scots and Picts believed they saw the white Saltire on a blue sky, before expelling the Angles completely from Scotland.






Reasons for Supporting the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement


(Maitiu Aodh Liongard)


The SRSM is an organisation of revolutionary class struggle that will result in an Independent Socialist Republic of Scotland. We aim for the abolition of the United Kingdom, all hierarchy, and work for the creation of a world-wide classless society. Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class. But inequality and exploitation are also expressed in terms of race, gender, religion, sexuality, health, ability and age, and in these ways one section of the working class oppresses another. This divides us which benefits the ruling class. We believe that fighting racism and sexism is as important as other aspects of the class struggle. A Republic of Scotland cannot be achieved while sexism and racism still exist. In order to be effective in their struggle against their oppression both within society and within the working class, women, capitalism and this cannot be done without the destruction of its founder, the United Kingdom.


As well as exploiting and oppressing the majority of people, Capitalism threatens the world through war and the destruction of the environment. It is not possible to abolish Capitalism without a revolution, which will arise out of class conflict. The ruling class must be completely overthrown to achieve true Scottish Independence and freedom. Because the ruling class will not relinquish power without their use of armed force, this revolution will be a time of violence as well as liberation. Unions by their very nature cannot become vehicles for the revolutionary transformation of society. They have to be accepted by capitalism in order to function and so cannot play a part in its overthrow. Trades unions divide the working class (between employed and unemployed, trade and craft, skilled and unskilled, etc). Even syndicalist unions are constrained by the fundamental nature of unionism. The unions have to be able to control its membership in order to make deals with management. Their aim, through negotiation, is to achieve a fairer form of exploitation of the workforce. The interests of leaders and representatives will always be different from ours. The boss class is our enemy, and while we must fight for better conditions from it, we have to realise that reforms we may achieve today may be taken away tomorrow. Our ultimate aim must be the complete abolition of wage slavery. Working within the unions can never achieve this.

Genuine liberation can only come about through the revolutionary self activity of the working class on a mass scale. A Socialist Scotland means not only co-operation between equals, but active involvement in the shaping and creating of that society during and after the revolution As Scottish Republicans we organise in all areas of life to try to advance the revolutionary process. We believe a strong organisation is necessary to help us to this end. Unlike other so-called socialists we do not want power or control for our organisation. We recognise that the revolution can only be carried out directly by the working class. However, the revolution must be preceded by organisations able to convince people of the Socialist Republican alternative and method. We participate in struggle as Scottish Republicans. We reject sectarianism and work for a united revolutionary Scottish Freedom movement.