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, trade union activist 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.
Rosemary Dale is a retired teacher from Eyemouth and 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.”
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, 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.”
Candidates stand on a ‘charter of political ethics’, which commits them to only taking the wage of an average skilled worker and a maximum of two terms in parliament. Around 300 Scottish activists attended the RISE Democracy Conference on December 5, where 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.