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Monday, 1 December 2014
If you want to know what inequality is like, live on benefits at Christmas.
The media on Friday and Saturday gleefully participated in the biggest poor baiting marketing ploy in this country for a while. Black Friday, the day that, supposedly, the country goes mad for bargains, was thrust upon us. Black Friday is an American invention in which large retailers select “target” stores, advertise huge price reductions on limited items, place them in their narrow doorways and open the doors when the cameras have been safely set up behind the pile of price slashed gift ideas.
The publicity generated not only helps remind ‘consumers’ to hurry up and come spend, but also helps advertise NEXT year’s PR drive to have shoppers spend their paltry food bank enhanced pay. The people of Dundee and Pollok, two far from affluent areas, were shown on our TV’s and in our newspapers, fighting and scrambling for TV’s, X-boxes, Tablets and the like. Fights broke out, while miserably paid (and perhaps Workfare enslaved) young workers got in the way of fists and angry words. I saw desperation in the faces of those videoed cynically for the good of the Tesco and Wal-Mart/ASDA Board of directors. Black Friday was a PR success, and next year’s event is guaranteed to be even bigger, more successful, violent and desperate for the poor trying to heat their homes, feed their families and give them a dignified, ‘happy,’ less indebted Christmas.
Have no doubt – those fights were started by the marketing departments of those retailers. The police called to ensure it didn’t get too out of hand were part of the publicity. Perhaps Police Scotland can investigate why people were herded, in view of the media, into bottlenecks with small stacks of radically price reduced gift ideas in their paths and why this didn’t seem to be the case in Bearsden or Morningside (both places I was on Friday)? Perhaps the Police can ensure that those who instigated the riot are pulled in and questioned and perhaps arrested? I seem to remember a huge operation that jailed people who, on Facebook, had “incited” the English riots” in 2011 from the comfort of their armchairs? Perhaps those who incited these riots from the comfort of their boardrooms should be arrested also?
Seventeen years ago, if a large, singing Barney electronic dinosaur had been reduced by 75%, which would have meant we didn’t have to do without heating for days on end, was placed in front of me, in front of cameras and surrounded by police and fearful low paid shop assistants, I too may have made a grab for it. I too may have been part of the poor-baiting media storm. I too may have fell victim to another poor father punching his way to a dignified, ‘happy,’ less indebted Christmas. I too would have been a victim of the Thatcherite, Tory/Libdem coalition profit grabbing, greedy, violent success of the vicious, nasty PR exercise that was Black Friday.
East Dunbartonshire Scottish Socialist Party Organiser.
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Strathkelvin Scottish Socialist Party organiser, Willie Telfer, lifelong anti-nuclear campaigner Ron MacKay and Local Green Party organiser Ross Greer, last night urged the people of East Dunbartonshire to head to Faslane for the Scrap Trident "Bairns not Bombs" demo on November 30th to add their voices to the calls for nuclear weapons to be removed from Scotland.
|L-R: Ross Greer, Ron Mackay, Willie Telfer. Photo: Neil Scott|
91 year old Ron Mackay, who was first arrested protesting the American nuclear weapons system Polaris in 1961 said, "I have been protesting these dreadful machines of death since news came to us of the execution of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Hiroshima an Nagasaki when I was posted out in India in 1945. To use these indiscriminate murderous weapons would be a war crime. Having them situated near Scotland's most densely populated area is madness. Only profit can be the motive for keeping them. I'll be outside Faslane's North Gate adding my voice to the Scottish public who in poll after poll say, 'no to nuclear weapons. Not in my name.'"
Ross Greer said, "The continued housing of these weapons on the Gareloch is not only lethally dangerous, but a total disgrace in the 21st century. The Green Party will proudly join our friends across the political spectrum in demanding Trident is scrapped."
For a place on the Bishopbriggs, Kirkintilloch, Milton of Campsie, Lennoxtown, Milngavie coach, please email email@example.com £6.50 per seat.
Sunday, 14 September 2014
Our branch has been extremely active over the past few weeks on the Yes campaign across East Dunbartonshire. We have had RIC stalls, leafleting, partying and direct action.
The photos show only some of our activities, some may not be admitted for a few months after the referendum!
The pics show one of our biggest stalls, organised by us, and joined by Yes Bearsden/Milngavie and RIC Kirkintilloch. We asked Citizen Smart and other musicians along last Friday as well as the awe-inspiring symbol of Independence, the Green goddess, Spirit of Independence, which is no longer green!
I'll add photos of Saturday's stalls, which were all over the constituency when I have them.
Thanks to David Thomas and Thomas Swann for these pics!
And of course, our first of a series of huge banners throughout the constituency and beyond - our banners will be seen soon on the Ochils and the Kirkpatrick Hills as well as again, on the Campsies. The Hills have Ayes - keep watching!
|Citizen smart and Gavin singing for Yes and RIC in Kirkintilloch|
|Yessing in Milngavie with Chris Law and Spirit of Independence!|
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
The norys are trying to make any real dialogue on the ground difficult in order to ensure the billionaire, London based press is the only outlet for "fair discussion." Demonising loud, enthusiastic voices is designed to demonise the very word, "Yes." A problem with this is, the press and other media outlets pretend to be neutral when they quite patently are not, so they gleefully print ugly words about our street and social media discourse. Those of us who, from the outset of this campaign have been assaulted, insulted and bullied on the streets by Labour hacks and right wing thugs, know the truth of who have tried to bring this campaign down to their sewer level. Project Fear, their name for their campaign, is also Project Intimidation, Threat and Violence.
Peaceful protest against the proto-fascist Farage and the Tory Leader Cameron is being made to look as if, 1, these people have something important to say to a country that has through democratic means rejected their politics of hate and division and 2, we are stifling debate.
Peaceful, and sometimes noisy, protest has been a feature of Scottish civil politics since Dundee Jute workers became the source of the term "to heckle," many, many years ago.
That said, we must ensure people hear our positive Yes message through the negative, nasty No camp noise. Yes gives a myriad of colourful, bright, healthy, wonderful, prosperous paths. No forces us on our knees, down the path towards the torture of continued and increasing austerity and poverty and robbery by the corporations and billionaires.
Any protest, if needed at all on the lead up to the historic day, against those who wish to impoverish our people with neo-liberal thievery and lies, must be turned into a joyous occasion with our alternatives to their austerity displayed imaginatively, positively, colourfully and in a way that ignores them, because they really have nothing to say to the majority of people in Scotland.
Let them lie to the media. Scottish people arny daft. Our truths should be displayed with pride.
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Alienation, depression and anxiety that comes from feeling like an outsider in society and feeling like more of a consumer and worker than human being can be overcome and we can move towards a society that is more humane in nature. My own feelings of hopelessness and frustration have dissolved as I spend time with people who care about others. If I were part of the ruling oligarchy that controls so much of the worlds resources, wealth and power, I would be making sure people keep buying the favourite line of the political right: that human nature is inherently selfish and we are all in it for our selves, and keeping people away from the little pockets of hope in the world where it is made clear through actions and not false prophecies that human beings can live in harmony as equals. Thanks to the people of Bakod village in Cambodia, most of whom are children, this dreamer has found enough hope to fuel his desire to see peace, justice and respect not only in Scotland but the world. Until that day comes I can only try to embody the spirit of Bakod village with my actions, beginning with a show of faith in my own community and voting Yes in September.
Friday, 18 July 2014
Last night, Yes activists, some from the SSP, some ex-Labour Party, some not from any political party at all, and some from other political parties, delivered 1000 Scottish Socialist Voices, specially produced for East Dunbartonshire. The local branch have had 6000 of this edition produced – to add to the 6000 previous issue already delivered and the 10,000 other leaflets already delivered advertising SSP Yes meetings and events. SSP members have helped distribute Yes produced materials in the area over the past two years – the SSP is an integral part of Yes Scotland.
|East Dunbartonshire YES Scottish Socialist Voice|
The SSP, or the Campsie branch of the SSP, is not funded by Euro-millions winners. All of those Voices, each giving positive reasons to vote Yes, like getting rid of murderous nuclear weapons, or getting rid of Governments we don't vote for and highlighting the Tories, Lib Dems and New Labour's complicity in the dreadful bedroom tax and throwing local families to the mercy of food parcels and food banks, were paid for by unemployed members, disabled members, retired members and mums, dads, grandads, students and low paid workers.
They don't ask for this money back- it was gladly given in order to spread the hope of Yes; to spread the hope of socialism.
But we do ask you to help us to print more leaflets; produce more pamphlets; hire more halls for people to go listen to Jim Sillars, Sandra Webster, Campbell Martin, Colin Fox, Katie Bonnar, Richie Venton and the other great speakers who have been touring Scotland spreading "The Socialist Case for Independence..."
The price of a bus ticket will help us leaflet 50 houses in our YesSSP campaign across Scotland. One small community could receive hope from your fiver and our shoe leather… please give what little you can. Every pound offers answers and hope to those suffering the yoke of Tory/ Libdem and New Labour economic oppression.
Please click HERE to donate