Nor will it be for one of Britain's most dogmatic Trotskyist groups. The group known after its dull and dreary journal, Socialist Appeal, has distinguished itself during the last 23 years of its existence as one of the most undistinguished components of British Trotskyism. SA was born of a split in the old Militant Tendency after a factional struggle over the character of and orientation to the Labour Party. The majority's argument was that as radicalised workers and youth were to be found increasingly outside Labour's ranks, it made sense for Militant to abandon its orientation toward capturing constituency parties and other official bodies and intersect with this potential pool of new recruits. The minority, containing Militant founder and guru Ted Grant, opposed this perspective. Their view was that as the working class start moving, they mechanically work their way through the institutions the labour movement had built up - including Labour.
The disappearance of militant trade unionists and radicalised young people from Labour's ranks, and the political shift to the right was a consequence of the strategic defeats of the 1980s and the restructuring of British capital. These tended toward the disaggregation and individuation of class, making collective action harder to sustain and throwing back consciousness of its potential. Indeed, those same tendencies continue unabated, still. So both the majority and minority were wrong. There were no radical rich pickings to be had outside the Labour Party. Nor were the battalions of fresh, angry proletarians going to appear to fill out the party's ranks. And yet, both factions were right: neither orientation allowed for the building of a substantial revolutionary party organised along (self-defined) Leninist lines.
Yet, SA have now changed their minds. In an article that makes it sound as though Scotland is in a pre-revolutionary situation, they note that post-referendum, many radical embers remain aglow. Compared with plodding along among the "13,000, mostly inactive older people" of Scottish Labour, the leftwing of the Yes movement is pregnant with opportunities. Unfortunately, SA's attempt to intersect with the 45'ers is hindered in two significant respects.
1. The SSP has clearly regained some ground it lost in the late part of the last decade, showing there may well be life after being left for dead by "Scotland's most iconic post-war socialist". As such, they are the initial focus of the SA entry job. The potential difficulty is the Grantites haven't done their homework. Tommy was able to almost destroy the SSP because he was aided and abetted by the CWI and Socialist Worker platforms, both of whom owed their loyalties to leaderships outside the SSP. True, Appeal have - at best - a handful of members in Scotland, but there will be more than a few party activists knocking about less than keen to see another centralist Trot sect pony up asking for admittance. Especially when the article is explicit that it sees the SSP as a means to an end.
2. Socialist Appeal have a huge disadvantage. The SSP are a pro-independence organisation. The much-reduced SWP and Scottish CWI are likewise. Chris Bambery's International Socialist Group were/are a big player in the Radical Independence Campaign. The IMT is not. In fact, in an article published on referendum day, they argued "a separate Scotland would serve to divide Scottish workers from their brothers and sisters down south. An independent Scotland would put Scottish workers and those in the rest of Britain in direct competition." And "On a class basis, an independent Scotland would be a step backward for the historic unity of the working class in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK." Oh dear.
The prospects for the IMT's Scottish turn aren't looking good, and that's before you consider them alongside their much more dynamic, colourful competition and the dead end stupidity of building a (ostensibly) revolutionary organisation. And what does this mean for SA elsewhere? Their entry into the SSP jeopardises their relationship to the Labour Representation Committee. And if it doesn't, the LRC itself might encounter "difficulties" because its affiliate has buddied up with an electoral competitor.
Whatever happens, I confidently predict that the radicalised workers and youth of Scotland will somehow resist Socialist Appeal's beguiling charms and it will, deservedly, remain as irrelevant as it always has been.