Reports of RIC’s death are greatly exaggerated

Published in the Scotsman, in a slightly different form.

In the National on Tuesday, Cat Boyd stated that RISE “continues in the spirit” of the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC). She forgets to mention that RIC is still alive and well.

Lately, commentators seem to assume that RIC has somehow turned into the Scottish Left Project (SLP), or RISE.

Writing in the Scotsman on Monday, Lesley Riddoch claimed that the SLP was “a pact between the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and RIC.” Tommy Ball, in a blog piece critical of the SLP, claims that it “replaced” RIC.

It’s an easy mistake to make. Both organisations have the same co-founders, some of the same supporters, and broadly similar values.

However, RIC and RISE remain separate and distinct. RISE is an electoral alliance, starting from scratch and aiming for seats in Holyrood. RIC is focused on issues-based campaigning and non-hierarchical organising, with several years of experience. While an anonymous writer on the SLP website urges all left-leaning people to join RISE, we welcome activists from all parties and none.

When the next referendum comes – and come it will – it will be vitally important to have a radical, non-party-political campaign group, committed to a Yes vote and to transforming Scotland.

With all best wishes for RISE, it’s important to acknowledge they are not RIC.

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