New left wing alliance on the RISE

RISE main candidate Sarah Collins
RISE main candidate Sarah Collins

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

RISE (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, 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 after 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.

“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.”

Rosemary Dale, a retired teacher from Eyemouth, said: “I am incredibly honoured to be one of RISE’s candidates in the South of Scotland. There is an exciting campaign ahead of us as we bring our transformative policy ideas to the debate, particularly on fair pay for carers, bringing about gender equality and land reform. I look forward to sharing them over the coming weeks and months.”

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 5, 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.