Alan McCombes

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Alan William McCombes (born 1955) has been a leading member of the Scottish Socialist Party for several years, and was the editor of the Scottish Socialist Voice.


He first became involved in socialist politics in the 1970s, as a member of the Militant tendency. Together with Tommy Sheridan he played a leading role in the anti-poll tax movement. His 1988 pamphlet, How To Beat The Poll Tax, written a year before the tax was introduced, set out the strategy of a Scotland-wide united mass non-payment campaign.

In 1992 he was a leading figure in the persuading Militant in Scotland to break with Labour resulting in the creation of Scottish Militant Labour. Throughout the 1990s, Alan challenged the traditional ‘British Road to Socialism’, fighting for the left to champion the idea of an independent Scottish socialist republic. In 1995, Alan called for a Scottish Socialist Alliance to unite the left. The new organisation was launched six months later, laying the basis for the emergence of the SSP.

Role in the Scottish Socialist Party

McCombes is the policy co-ordinator for the SSP, a position that he has held for a number of years. In this role encouraged comrades to rethink the educational approach within the party and adopt more Marxist styles of engagement, influenced in particular by Paulo Freire. He has also argued that the party should embrace more diffuse structures than the traditional models of socialist parties - championing the introduction of issue...
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