Colin Fox at RISE: "The Working Class have been left behind" in devolution era Scotland

SSP leader said RISE to target SNP list votes at the launch of new left alliance.

SCOTTISH SOCIALIST PARTY LEADER Colin Fox told the launch of the new Rise electoral alliance at the Marriot Hotel in Glasgow that Scotland needs a left wing opposition, and that neither Labour nor the SNP have properly addressed the problems of inequality and poverty in Scotland.

"If either the Labour Party or the SNP were as left wing as they proclaim to be, then Rise [Respect, Independence, Socialism, Environmentalism] would not be necessary," he said.

He said that the "challenge for Rise" was to represent those marginalised and left behind in working class communities all over Scotland.

Fox concluded that Rise was the party for socialists in Scotland: "The SSP is central to Rise and we will do all we can to maximise its potential," he said "This is where we stand. This is where we will fight for an independent socialist Scotland," he added.

Speaking to CommonSpace after the speech, Fox said "The people who support the SNP are our target audience. They want independence, we want independence," he said.

"Rise is campaigning for a people's independence, not a corporate independence," he added.

He said that Scotland needed a radical left pro-independence opposition to replace Labour: "At the moment Labour are the opposition to the SNP. It's Labour we want to replace as that opposition," he said.

He urged people voting for the SNP not to "waste" their second votes on the SNP: "Giving your second vote to the SNP is not going to do any good. The way the electoral system works in Scotland Labour are most likely to be the beneficiaries from that."

Asked if Rise would be competing with the Greens in this strategy he said: "Yes. There's no way around that, when it comes to the pro- independence vote, you can vote for the Greens or for Rise."

Rise, which stands for Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism is a new electoral alliance that will stand candidates in the list seats for the 2016 Holyrood parliament.

Picture courtesy of alister