Left wing group stand in south

A new left-wing alliance has selected its candidates for the South of Scotland regional list for this year’s Scottish Parliament elections.

RISE, which stands for Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism, will be standing in all eight regional lists in Scotland.

The list in the South of Scotland is headed by Sarah Collins, who is a trade union activist from Ayrshire and co-founder of Better Than Zero, which campaigns to tackle insecure and low-paid work. The rest of the South of Scotland list is made up of Dan Foley, Laura Waters, John Dennis, Rosemary Dale and Stuart Cooper.

Commenting on being selected at top of the list, Sarah said: “RISE are fielding candidates who are not afraid to tackle the big issues in society through policy implementation and through direct action. In the South of Scotland, we face huge issues of poverty, land ownership, poor infrastructure, and a lack of well paid, sustainable jobs.

“Our candidates reflect the ‘new politics’ in Scotland, borne from the independence movement. This means that we don’t simply want you to vote for us.

“We want you to join us on the streets, in the workplaces, and in our communities to reclaim our land, our jobs, our transport, and our dignity from people like the Duke of Buccleuch, Donald Trump, Brian Souter, Mike Ashley and all other exploitative bosses and land owners in the area.”

Laura Waters is a mother of three from Ayr and said: “I am standing as Candidate for RISE in the Scottish Parliament Elections because I want to see a change. I want to hear the people of Scotland’s voices in Holyrood.

“We are anti-austerity, anti-racism, pro-independence and we will fight for gender equality. Our candidates and members are activists who will stand up against big business, rogue landlords and racists.”

RISE’s candidates are standing on what they call a ‘charter of political ethics’, which commits candidates to only taking the wage of an average skilled worker and to a maximum of two terms in parliament if elected.

Around 300 activists from around Scotland attended the RISE Democracy Conference on December 5th, where a range of policies were agreed, including building 100,000 green council houses, ensuring that all carers receive the ‘living wage’ and forcing landlords to sell land to communities who want to buy it.

Other candidates selected for RISE around Scotland include Highlands and Islands MSP Jean Urquhart, Scottish Socialist Party co-convenor Colin Fox and Radical Independence Campaign co-founder Cat Boyd.