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Anne MacLeod, Ross, Skye and Lochaber, Scottish Socialist Party

link / contact details for potential supporters
Regional Organiser:  Steve Arnott                                    01463 221939
what do you think is the most important issue in this election?
 For me the issue of poverty is always at the top of the political agenda.  The rich poor divide in this country continues to grow and all the other parties accept the obscene wealth owned by a few at the top, whilst 1 in 3 or our pensioners and 1 in 4 of our children live in poverty.   
why did you make the decision to stand in this constituency and for this party (as an independent)?
I am a founder member of the Scottish Socialist Party in the Highlands & Islands.  We have grown from two members in 1999 to having 14 branches spread from Oban to Sheltand, Elgin to the Western Isles.  Socialism is as relevant in rural areas as it is in the cities.  I am very proud to have been selected as the candidate for this constituency, an area I have known and loved since my childhood and I welcome the opportunity to spread the message of socialism here. 
what kind of vote are you expecting on May 5th?
The Westminster election is a difficult election for us given the lack of publicity, the unfair voting system and  
the tactical voting that seems to be being adopted to keep certain candidates out.  To be quite honest I really don't know what vote we will receive and the end vote it not the reason that I am standing as a candidate.
aside from the vote what are you hoping to get out of this campaign?
The reason we are standing in the Westminster election is to take the opportunity to spread our vision of an Independent Socialist Republic of Scotland.  We are a campaigning party who are active in the streets and in our communities all the time.  We use elections to get our message across and to recruit new members.  If we recruit new members out of this campaign and open people's eyes to the possibility of a different society then it will of been worth while. 
in your view what is the greatest threat to our civil liberties at the moment?
A New Labour Government.
Blair has taken us to war three times since coming to power (not including the occasional ad hoc bombing raid) in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Can war ever be justified?
I am not a pacifist and believe that history shows that war is sometimes necessary, as when fighting the fascists during the Spanish Civil War. 
Imperialist war, however, is never justified.  The warmonger Blair's reasons for taking us to war have always been about oil, power and money.  There was no justification for the war in Afghanistan or the war in Iraq.   I am a founder member of the Coalition for Justice Not War in the Highlands and will continue to campaign for the immediate withdrawal of our troops.
There is very little left to privatise in this country, if you had your way what would be brought into public hands?
Firstly I would take all the public utilities sold off by Thatcher, gas, water, electricity, communications, transport etc back into public control.  I would then eliminate all aspects of creeping privitisation in the health service, post office, education system etc.  I believe  that our oil industry, our banks and financial institutions should be democratically owned for the benefit of all in our society. 
Some environmental campaigners have started talking about nuclear power as a way to bring down CO2 emissions - what do you think of this?
I remain totally opposed to the building of an more nuclear power stations and the legacy of contamination that nuclear waste leaves for future generations.  There needs to be a massive injection of public money into researching renewable forms of energy.  We in the SSP are campaigning for the establishment of a publicly owned national energy company.  Renewable's are the only way forward not nuclear power. 
Asylum and immigration will be central issues in this election. What action on this issue would you like to see the next government push through?
I believe that people seeking asylum should be welcomed to our country with open arms.  I would like to see the next government  immediately close Dungavel detention center and allow people seeking asylum to work.   
What question do you wish was on this list but doesn't appear?
In Scotland the left have united to form the SSP.  How do you think socialist groups throughout the United Kingdom could learn to work together to fight for a socialist world? 





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