Colin Fox (politician)
13 February 2005
|Member of the Scottish Parliament
1 May 2003 – 3 May 2007
17 June 1959 |
|Political party||Scottish Socialist Party|
Colin Fox (born 17 June 1959, Motherwell) is the national co-spokesperson of the Scottish Socialist Party, and a former member for Lothian in the Scottish Parliament. He lives in the Inch, Edinburgh, with his partner Zillah and their two children.
Fox studied mathematics at Strathclyde University for a year before switching to Bell's College, Hamilton, where he trained to be an accountant.
He joined the Labour Party Young Socialists as a teenager, and was a leading activist in the struggle against the poll tax in Edinburgh. He was a founding member of the Scottish Socialist Party, and became its Lothian regional organiser. He was selected as the party's no. 1 candidate in Lothian region for the Scottish Parliament election of 2003, and was elected. He then became the party's justice spokesperson.
On 28 November 2004, Fox put himself forward as a candidate in the party's leadership election. At the party's conference on 13 February 2005, he was elected with 252 votes against 154 for Alan McCombes. He was re-elected unopposed at the national conferences in February 2006, October 2006, and October 2007. In the March 2008 conference, his position of "convenor" was abolished and replaced by two national spokesperson positions, to be held by a man and a woman. After Frances Curran stood down at the April 2011 conference, Sandra Webster was elected as co-spokesperson, and both Fox and Webster were re-elected at the April 2013 conference in Edinburgh.
Fox was the SSP's no. 1 candidate at the European Parliament election, 2009, and against Alastair Darling in Edinburgh South West at the United Kingdom general election, 2010. He was selected as the no. 1 candidate for the SSP in the Lothian region in the Scottish Parliament election, 2007 and Scottish Parliament election, 2011, but failed to be elected.
Fox was invited to sit on the Yes Scotland Advisory Board as a representative of the SSP when the campaign was launched in 2012.
In June 2005 he took part in a peaceful protest, interrupting Question Time in the Scottish Parliament, along with three other SSP MSPs, to highlight their claim that parliament had failed to secure the right to demonstrate outside the Gleneagles Hotel where the G8 were meeting. As a consequence, he was suspended from the Scottish Parliament for the whole of September and the salaries of the four MSPs and their staff were stopped.
In 2007 he supported Greenpeace on board their ship Arctic Sunrise in their campaign against the replacement of the UK's nuclear weapons. He had previously visited a nuclear power station on the grounds that "I am a convinced opponent of nuclear power but an opponent who wants to conduct the debate about new nuclear capacity and our energy needs on the basis of facts. My visit to Torness is at my own request." In the same year he championed the cause of affordable access to housing with his support of Midlothian Council's investment in providing housing.
In 2008 he wrote to the First Minister Alex Salmond seeking an assurance that any future meetings with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly would raise the issue of attitudes towards Lesbian and Gay rights by its ministers. This after 'Ian Paisely Jnr, then the Minister for Equality, had said "lesbians and gay men harm society" and that he is "repulsed" by them.'
In response to proposed tuition fee increases, Fox commented that previous student politicians, such as Jack Straw and Charles Clarke, "were only able to be active in student politics because they didn't have £10,000 of debt hanging round their neck and they didn't have to rush off to work in McDonald's".
He co-organises the Edinburgh Mayday Festival and re-founded the Edinburgh People's Festival, which aims to "advance education in the arts in Edinburgh and the Lothians" in 2002. He is also on the editorial board of the Scottish Left Review.
In October 2008 Fox stood for Rector at the University of St Andrews. He came second, losing to Kevin Dunion. He was asked to run for the position by members of St Andrews-based student groups such as Stop The War, due to his previous experience with the pro-peace and social justice movements. After losing the rectorial election in 2008, he maintained his links with the University and visited a student sit-in protest in 2009. He stood again in the 2011 election, this time finishing third behind Lord Michael Forsyth and successful candidate Alistair Moffat.
His involvement in the St Andrews University Debating Society in 2005 was commented on in Holyrood. Named in the program as "the Rt Hon Sir Colin Fox MSP", it was remarked the event had impacted on his approach to his parliamentary work, attending in more formal attire. He is quoted as having said of the event "Once a lord, always a lord. But for me, once a knight is quite enough."
- Published on Mon 19 Jan 00:00:00 GMT 2004. "Socialist MSP talks his way into Oxford - Politics". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Colin (8 October 2011). "Colin Fox: Me and Tony Benn in Glasgow Again". Sspcolinfox.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Perspective: Independence and full employment offer route out of poverty". 23 October 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- "Profile: SSP leadership hopefuls". BBC News. 25 January 2005. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Colin Fox, SSP Candidates, Lothians Region 2003". Gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Fox in hunt for SSP convener job". 29 November 2004. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- "Fox elected as new leader of SSP". BBC News. 13 February 2005. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "MSPs support free prescriptions". BBC News. 11 January 2006. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "MSPs suspended after G8 protest". BBC News. 30 June 2005. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Colin (12 February 2007). "Colin Fox: Speaking from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise". Sspcolinfox.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Published on Sat 2 12 Dec:28:36 GMT 2006. "Socialist Fox on 'power to the people' trip - Around the Capital". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Colin Fox MSP (12 March 2007). "VOTE Scottish Socialist Party - Colin Fox: 1st Council house in quarter of a century". Colinfoxmsp.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "SSP - NI minister’s homophobic comments". Scottishsocialistparty.org. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Colin (11 March 2010). "Colin Fox: Campaigners step up opposition to community education cuts in Edinburgh". Sspcolinfox.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Edinburgh Students Lobby MPs and MSPs to stop Climate Chaos | People & Planet". Peopleandplanet.org. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Video: Scottish Socialist Party says Scotland needs equal marriage ‘to be a beacon to the world’". 18 July 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- Colin (6 December 2006). "Colin Fox: World AIDS Day". Sspcolinfox.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Socialist Appeal - Glasgow students discuss the Afghan war". Socialist.net. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Published on Sat 28 12 May:14:51 BST 2005. "Fox calls for ban on animal circus acts - Scotland". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Edinburgh Peoples Festival Home Page". Edinburghpeoplesfestival.org. 23 January 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Colin (6 July 2011). "Colin Fox: Edinburgh People's Festival Programme Unveiled". Sspcolinfox.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Published on Mon 2 Oct 00:13:06 BST 2006. "Battle looms on 'Sheridan confession'". Thescotsman.scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "2008 | University of St Andrews". St-andrews.ac.uk. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- "Blog Archive » Colin Fox second". Dundee SSP. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Published on Mon 10 Oct 01:53:35 BST 2005. "The link between Old Boney and Auld Reekie - News". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Colin (4 March 2009). "Colin Fox: Viva La Revolution St Andrews". Sspcolinfox.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Published on Thu 13 Oct 02:01:21 BST 2005. "Connery gets the nod from the Caledonian Club - News". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.