The more I think about SSP/Rise, the more I'm thinking the block to progress from the left comes from a bloc within the SSP EC, some members of Glasgow South branch, -those people who have bullied and tried to "control," as a matter of fact. Not actual "Risers." Rise is a group with a lot of good folk in it. So to attack Rise, is to attack comrades, just as to attack or dismiss the SSP is to attack and dismiss people the left need- ie people with massive experience of campaigns.
Rise is full of new activists (though "full" is subjective). Some have been very negative in their approach to people outside their circle and immediate politics- but not all.
I think when someone is caught up in servicing a "machine," the bigger picture can be lost (and I include myself in this).
Attacks from within the SSP (from, at the time, pro-SLP folk) on me and on other comrades during the lead up to what became Rise perhaps blinded me to what in fact was an attempt to move away from a "Executive Committee," controlled by people who only saw progress with their involvement. I have never saw progress as my personal advancement - my involvement is neither here nor there (I'm a foot soldier for a bigger cause! Rise with your class...).
Some central to the SSP etc have ran the SSP into the ground in the past few months. The SSP structures had broken down over the past few years - the EC was an isolated talking shop, badly attended until recently- and that allowed branches to develop and grow without the bovver boot of a controlling hierarchy. Branches made fantastic links in their communities due to being able to control their own activism. This has changed somewhat in the past year and a half. What was good about the SSP and helped it survive, a flexibility, is being stymied and stomped on and it is breaking what was once good. And I feel they won't let up.
Rise has no structure, and the attempt at creating something without a central committee, though flawed, has promise. I feel perhaps, within Rise, post May, are the seeds of real engagement (once folk come down from the election fever they are suffering). I don't think the SSP EC (or I should say, those controlling the narrative of the SSP EC), will allow real engagement and discussion within the the party- they will continue to produce and control that narrative. And I don't think they will lose position within what will be a much reduced SSP.
I do feel the party is going to be far from its roots-ie a non-sectarian, left grouping. I feel it will become a block to real progress in building something new.
Having said all that, Rise have a problem. How do they heal the wounds created by a badly managed beginnings? How do they distance themselves from the abuse suffered by some in the SSP at the hands of their supporters? I believe that is crucial to gaining support of local activists outside the Glasgow bubble in order to gain council seats next year.
Or am I just feeling a bit off kilter because it's SPRING BREAK..!