Jack Ferguson, SSP candidate for North East Fife constituency.
What do you think is the most important issue of this election?
All the main parties, Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and Scottish National Party are
offering the same pro-capitalist visions, only with differences of nuance and
emphasis. They all support free trade, the continuation of the occupation of
Iraq (whether by the Coalition, or under an internationalised fig leaf) and the
big business agenda. Therefore I think the most important issue is whether we
really have a democracy, whether there is any alternative vision on offer. Do we
accept lesser evilism, or do we want an alternative voice that argues for the
redistribution of wealth and an end to war.
why did you make the decision to stand in this constituency and for this party
(as an independent)?
I have been a member of the Scottish Socialist Party since I was 16, I joined
because it was the only party that shared my vision of an independent Scotland
that sought to eradicate capitalism and build a fairer, more democratic
socialist society. I want to represent that vision as part of the election
campaign, and allow voters a vision of a radically different society to vote
for. I think I am probably the youngest candidate standing in Scotland, and for
me it is very important that young people are involved in politics so that our
voices are heard and we are not merely used as scapegoats and ignored.
what kind of vote are you expecting on May 5th?
I don't expect to come close to winning this seat under the corrupt first past
the post electoral system, but I would be delighted if we can increase our
excellent support of 4.9% that we gained locally at the last Scottish
aside from the vote what are you hoping to get out of this campaign?
I think the primary purpose of the campaign must be to spread the ideas of
socialism, and try and open voter's minds to the possibility of a different
society. The SSP is standing in this election to help build a movement for
socialism, and convince the people of Scotland that that is the way forward. If
we can inform people and persuade them to join us in this struggle, then I will
have achieved my aim.
in your view what is the greatest threat to our civil liberties at the moment?
The greatest threat to our civil liberties is the pervasive culture of fear
created by government and perpetuated by the media. A vast inflation of the
danger from terrorism has allowed the British (and others as well, notbly the
USA) governments an excuse to impose the most draconian restrictions of our
rights. The culture of fear creates dependency on the authorities, and allows
them to exploit the climate for their own ends.
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?
Although there are examples of justified wars from history, it is extremely rare
that it can be considered legitimate. The vast majority of the world's wars were
begun to promote the plunder of other countries, and bolster the domestic
position, both political and financial, of those in power. This applies to all
the unjust wars begun by Blair, which is why the SSP has consistently opposed
There is very little left to privatise in this country, if you had your way what
would be brought into public hands?
I think it is of urgent importance that the energy industry is returned to
public hands so that we can begin a coherent plan for how we can cope with the
severe decline of fossil fuels and the global catastrophe of climate change. I
would like to see a dramatic expansion of the public sector to allow key
services to be run democratically by the workers and users. Key among these has
to be the railways, which have become a dangerous joke as a result of
privatisation. The SSP and our affiliated trade union the RMT are fighting for
Some environmental campaigners have started talking about nuclear power as a way
to bring down CO2 emissions - what do you think of this?
Nuclear power can be no solution to our energy problems. It is a dangerous and
expensive way of producing energy, when the resources poured into it would be
better spent enforcing energy efficiency. We will have to urgently look at
energy alternatives, such as renewables and clean burn coal technology, but the
radioactive legacy that nuclear power leaves for millenia to come makes it a
wholly unacceptable solution.
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?
Obviously I want to see the government immediately end the inhumane incaceration
of asylum seekers in appaling conditions at detention centres such as Dungavel.
However, its necessary for us to recognise that Scotland has an aging and dying
population, and we desperately need immigration of young workers to help keep
the nation alive. Immigration helps our economy and enlivens our culture, so I
want to see SCotland become a welcoming home for all those fleeing poverty and
persecution from across the world.
What question do you wish was on this list but doesn't appear?
What action will you be taking to oppose the rich man's club of the G8 meeting
in Perthshire to carve up the world this summer?