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About Us

There's more to politics than parties

Democratic Left Scotland is a non-party organisation that offers a space for people to come together to discuss ideas and policies that can help develop positive steps forward in politics and society. We promote collaboration and alliances around values and possibilities rather than ‘positions’ and ‘programmes’, and the organisation does not stand in elections.

Membership of DLS is open to both those who belong to political parties and those who do not. We have members and supporters that are in the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish National Party and the Labour Party. We work in trade unions, community groups and we are active in a range of campaigns.

DLS members are of the view that the left within progressive political parties, and outwith, need to be speaking to one another. We must engage in discussions and practical activities that help push forward a transformational politics that reflects the reality of people’s experience and the different kind of society we want and need. Get in touch if you want to find out more or to get involved. There is more to politics than parties …

Our Values



because we are concerned with the underlying, structural causes of problems such as poverty, inequality, violence and pollution and aspire towards an inclusive, more equal society in which everyone is supported and encouraged to play a full part, within a more just
and sustainable world.



because we seek to abolish the unequal division of wealth, work and power between men and women and to promote a better understanding of the connections between personal life and politics.



because we believe that our present system of economic organisation is socially and environmentally destructive, and that a more balanced relationship between human activity and nature will be better for us, for our descendants and for the other animal species with whom we share the planet.

Our History and international links

Democratic Left Scotland was formed as an autonomous organisation in May 1999, as the Scottish Parliament was being established.

This involved an agreed separation from the UK-wide Democratic Left, which subsequently merged into the London-based campaigning organisation Unlock Democracy. Democratic Left was the constitutional successor to the Communist Party of Great Britain (1920 – 1991), and so DLS is the successor organisation to the CPGB in Scotland. Over the last two decades, we have looked to contribute to radical thinking and progressive politics in Scotland and beyond.

Our outlook is not static: we are always open to new ideas. We draw freely on a range of values and perspectives developed by socialists and Marxists, feminists, greens, anti-racists and those progressing the politics of age, sexuality and disability.

We seek to promote discussion and activity which involves individuals, social movements, trade unions and political parties. We encourage our members to work for the continued renewal of democracy and the full development of the powers of Scotland’s Parliament. 


Internationally we are a partner organisation of the Party of the European Left, which links us to a range of left-wing, green and radical parties and organisations, large and small, across our continent.

We look forward to a society in which people are free from all forms of exploitation and oppression, and have the resources, capabilities, opportunities and desire to run their own lives, both as individuals and as members of society.

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