Monday, 31 May 2010
The Scottish Socialist Party stands shoulder to shoulder with the flotilla activists and the Palestinian people and we call on the UK and Scottish Governments to condemn the heinous crime of the Israeli Government immediately.
We call for a boycott of Israeli goods and international sanctions on the Israeli state. The UN must show leadership of the international community and initiate action rather than the stream of empty words it has issued over the years.
The UK Government also needs to initiate an enquiry at the BBC reaction to the flotilla and the attack. The BBC is reported to have refused to give coverage of the flotilla and on the morning of the attack was only reporting the words of Israeli spokespeople. This seeming BBC policy towards reporting on Gaza recalls a refusal to broadcast a charity appeal for aid to Gaza in January 2009.
The SSP calls for an immediate end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza and for justice for the Palestinian people.
Demonstrate today (Monday 31 May) 5pm George Square, Glasgow/ Edinburgh – foot of The Mound/ Dundee City Square/ Aberdeen St Nicolas Centre/ Inverness Town House/ Stirling Foot of King Street/ Banff Low St/ Moffat Holm St. Send details of other protests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos from rikki Reid, who attended demo in Glasgow:
Photos from SSP member Mike Dyer, who attended a demo in Manchester:
Sunday, 30 May 2010
Glasgow Public Meeting
Friday 4th June 7.30pm
Pollokshields Primary School, Glasgow
Hear Farooq Tariq, General Secretary of Labour Party Pakistan (LPP)
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Monday, 24 May 2010
On the day that the new Tory-LibDem coalition government announced its first £6billion tranche of public sector cuts, the Scottish Socialist Party Red Shirt protesters took to the streets of Glasgow in a public warning of the resistance Scotland will mount to these cuts.
Early Monday morning, as workers travelled to work, a team of SSY members mounted a giant banner on a city centre multi-storey car park, gaining supportive horn-blowing for the message “Scotland didn’t vote Tory – resist the cuts”.
At noon, the SSP Red Shirts marched into the offices of Glasgow LibDem MSP Robert Brown to conduct a polite, peaceful dialogue with him, putting him on the spot about the treacherous role of the LibDems in propping up the vicious Tory government.
He was feeble in his claims that it was better to go into government and restrain the Tories in their worst excesses. He visibly squirmed over the LibDem’s sell-out on Trident renewal.
We challenged him to justify why the LibDems claim to favour progressive taxation but are instrumental in a Coalition that plans to cut taxes on Corporations and the rich, whilst assaulting the incomes of the sick, elderly and those on benefits.
He tried to argue that the SSP’s policies to tackle the public sector deficit would force millionaires to leave the country!
We challenged him to either publicly endorse the decision of Clegg et al to be at best the mudguards of a dirty Tory government of cuts, or at worst the willing accomplices in their carnage – or to publicly criticise the impact this will have on the people of Glasgow who elected him.
We suggested honesty in politics is an all too rare commodity, so he should be honest, choose which option he agrees with, and go public on it – instead of the vote-seeking under false pretences conducted by the LibDems in the recent election.
The SSP Red Shirts were dignified but determined in exposing the LibDems’ part in plans to slaughter communities and workers, explaining to both Robert Brown and the media that this was just the opening shot in the resistance we will be a vital part of in the months and years to come.
As we put it in our Press Release announcing the Red Shirts protest:
“In faraway Thailand an unelected dictator, educated at Eton school for the very rich and privileged, is facing determined opposition from the urban and rural poor, organised as the Red Shirts movement.
Meanwhile, an Eton-educated Tory Prime Minister who was rejected by 85% of Scottish voters is out to rule and ruin Scotland without a mandate.
Cameron plans to commit carnage against public sector jobs, workers’ pay and pensions, and the vital local public services they provide.
He is only able to launch this Tory butchery because of LibDem treachery.
The LibDems posed as an anti-cuts party during the general election and conned a minority in Scotland into voting for them; now they have formed the Twin Tory government that will cut taxes on the rich and big Corporations, whilst slashing up to 100,000 Scottish jobs.
The Scottish Socialist Party is determined to unite workers and communities to resist, defy and defeat these cuts.
As an opening shot in our resistance, we will mount a demonstration of Red Shirts at a government building. Our message is clear – the Twin Tories have no right to rule and ruin Scotland – we will help to defeat their cuts plans – and we will redouble our campaign for an independent socialist Scotland.”
More HERE and HERE
Friday, 21 May 2010
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
“I recently heard David Miliband say that he, believes in a market economy, but does not want a market society. I do not think it is possible to separate them. As a citizen of this country I would like to set out to you, a person with more influence than me and potentially soon to have increased influence as leader of the Labour Party, my argument for why I think market economies are failing to achieve prosperity, equity and sustainability. I also believe that there is a sizeable and growing but unfortunately unheard proportion of both UK and global citizens who would equally now agree that markets do not work.
I fundamentally believe that the earth is not a commodity to be bought owned or sold but rather by birthright, a jointly shared resource. Market economies, which prioritise profit before life, cannot respect this belief.
There are three fundamental lies of capitalism. Firstly that continued growth in consumption is sustainable. Secondly that it enables a meritocracy and thirdly that the pursuit and generation of monetary wealth benefits all by trickling down.
For me it is clear that continued economic growth is not sustainable as it relies on continued consumption of finite resources, which are now running out.
It is also clear that capitalism can no longer be presented as the system which rewards hard work, in some respects this is the cruellest of all lies. Social mobility has decreased in this country as restraints on markets have loosened. I offer my own history as an example of how disadvantage accumulates over a life course and to show how difficult it is to escape poverty even with the luck of academic ability and hard work.
I come from a very poor family and grew up in an area of priority treatment on the west coast of Scotland during the time when Thatcher was in power and everyone I knew believed in the decency of the Labour Party. I was the first person in my large extended family to go to university in 1992. As a result of the low self-esteem that commonly accompanies poverty I became a single mother at the age of 22 although did manage to graduate. I trained in film editing following my degree. However it was clear to me that unless you had a family that could financially support you through the inevitable lean times of an early arts career it was very difficult to become established. I therefore decided to study medicine at the age of 27. Now aware of the statistics, I know it is remarkable that, as someone who grew up in a home without books and juggling being mum to a young child, I managed to graduate in the top 10% of my class. I have worked very hard but life is still difficult. Disadvantage is cumulative, poverty, low self-esteem, motherhood, student loans, no choice massive mortgage (42% of my income) mean that despite unceasing hard work I still struggle to make ends meet and I am relatively fortunate I know – how difficult it must be for others.
It is also equally clear that there has been no trickling down of wealth for the vast majority of people who continue to be denied their fair share of our joint resources and live in conditions of resource poverty. This can be seen on local, national and global scales where at each level capitalism has created islands of wealth surrounded by seas of poverty. In this country income inequality has continued to widen, under a market economy, and with that inequality in educational attainment, life expectancy and quality of life. On a global scale a tiny proportion of the people control the majority of the resources while the majority of people do not have basic human needs met or basic human rights respected. I think it is indisputably immoral that millions of children are starving and that millions of people die of preventable disease with our level of technological advance. To take the latter issue this is a direct result of pharmaceutical markets, which prioritise profit before human life.
In May 1997 I was 22 and wept with hope for a landside victory I had been scared to hope for. I thought things would be so different. I know that at times in the last 13 years the intentions were good but overall I feel very let down. I understand and sympathise with the work of Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Gordon Brown, compromising to achieve some good but the compromise has gone too far.
In a recent academic course a professor of public health stated that we are living through a “change of age” as has happened in the past due to necessity from hunter-gatherer to agrarian, from agrarian to industrial and from industrial to post-industrial. We now stand on the precipice of another monumental shift born of necessity once again. A necessity arising from population growth and ageing, peak oil and climate change. The Miliband brothers are right to say that the most important question now is what our values are because this will determine our response. I think there is much evidence that people are appalled by the injustice and inequity that market economies have wrought but also unfortunately easily manipulated by a right-wing media which sells the lie that increased consumption will give us the happiness which continues to elude us and persuades us there is an element of deserving in misfortune.
I am not interested in “next Labour” but rather ask of you the courage to accept markets have failed, vision in articulating prioritisation of people and our planet, beyond individual gain and profit and energy, resilience and determination in provoking an inclusive debate on alternative ways to share our resources and organise our global social system."
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Information on the 66% rule in Scotland:
- The 66% dissolution rule is standard across many parliaments. For many it is considered a high amount and is designed to provide stability. It is considered 'constitutionally safer' to have a two thirds requirement.
- The decision to create the two-thirds rule was taken at Westminster during the formation of the Scotland act, 1998. It was enacted by the then Labour Government and would not have been debated in the Scottish parliament as it was not yet reconvened.
Further information can be found in some of the debates during the passage of the Scotland Bill, in the House of Commons, but primarily, in a grouping of amendments on the issue of elections to the Scottish Parliament, in the House of Lords:
Commons Committee Stage 28 January 1998 Col 460 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmhansrd/vo980128/debtext/80128-25.htm
Lords Committee Stage 8 July 1998 Col 1342 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo980708/text/80708-03.htm#80708-03_head2
Lords Committee Stage 8 July 1998 Col 1351 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo980708/text/80708-12.htm#80708-12_head0
Lords Committee Stage 8 July 1998 Col 1354 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo980708/text/80708-27.htm, particularly the exchange between Lord Mackay of Drumadoon and Lord Steel of Aikwood
Lords Reporting Stage 22 October 1998 Col 1640 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo981022/text/81022-21.htm, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish on amendment 32
1997 White Paper that preceded the Scotland Bill: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/government/devolution/scpa-00.asp - although the only mention there is this: 9.4 The Scottish Parliament may be dissolved before the 4 years is up with the agreement of at least two thirds of MSPs, or if the Parliament fails to agree on the appointment of a First Minister.
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Sunday, 16 May 2010
SSP welcomes the New Prime Minister to the scottish Parliament - see HERE
Don't worry! This middle class Tory led Government gives us the freedom to choose!
We are all bourgeois now!
There's something wrong somewhere here
So through unclean streets
I made my way
With holes in my shoes
And my children asleep at my feet
I paid my way
In every town on the way
The people looked grey
The buildings looked healthy
But one day I met a man
With money to spare
He said he would tell me how it is
The state he began
Has been propping up people too long
For far too long
We all got lazy and couldn't be bothered
To make our way through the world
But we are all bourgeois now
Once there was class war
But not any longer
Because baby we are all bourgeois now
So go out and make your way in the world
We're free to choose
We're all free to choose
We're all free to choose
We're free to choose
In booming britain we all work together
To raise ourselves in the world
Each of us knows someone
Who has done well for themselves
So well for themselves
"thank you" I said as I left
I'll be on my way
I see how it is
We are all bourgeois now
And somehow I'll raise myself in the world
I'm free to choose
We're all free to choose
We're all free to choose
I'm free to choose
We're all bourgeois now
We're all bourgeois now
We're bourgeois now
Friday, 14 May 2010
The Scottish Situation
I am concerned that the Con/Dem coalition are using the Scottish experience - ie. the 66% requirement of members supporting dissolution - out of context.
One Tory commentator on BBC News 24 this morning has stated that this 66% was brought in by the "Labour Party" last year. This, first of all, does not ring true, as any documentation I have managed to find seems to go back at least until 2001 and if it was only introduced last year, it would have been the SNP Government who would have done so.
This use of the Scottish requirement for 66% seems to be the only defence the ConDem coalition are using that will ensure continuance of a Tory minority Government if the Liberals walk away from any agreement. I feel any misinformation should be countered - and I feel it is imperative that MSP's explain the thinking behind 66% in Scotland. (It has to be remembered the Scottish Government elections are STV and have a term of only four years - so the ground is quite different from the 5 year term first past the post system in Westminster).
This is at the very least, an attack on the integrity of our Devolved Parliament.
If the 66% was debated and discussed cross party - and it was cross party agreement that had it implimented, then it differs greatly from this proposal of 55% by the Tories and Lib Dems in Westminster.
In effect this 55% will mean that regardless of the coalition, and regardless of a plethora of no-confidence motions the Tories will remain in power for five years and ensure the Scottish budget is decided by a tiny minority only representative of 15 % of the Scottish voting public.
I have not yet been able to find the debates/discussions that led to this figure of 66%.
I will update as I find more information on the Scottish situation.
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Everyone seemed to agree – this was a wonderful thing for the country and we would all benefit from the steely hand of the Tories being stayed by the “lefty” liberals.
After the coalition was voted on by the Parliamentary Lib Dems in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Jo Swinson broke her tweeting silence and said -
• astonished that Tories agreed to fairer tax, extra early years funding for poorer children & political reform while Labour didn't … and looking forward to seeing so much of what @libdems campaigned for in this election implemented in govt
SSP Campsie (@sspcampsie) immediately tweeted to her - @joswinson astonished you lot let the tories in. Incredible. You've been had at our expense.
Her reply: 1. Lab bottled out of agreement 2. good LD policies on fairness included plus much more fairness agenda than minority Tory govt
Campsie SSP: we'll see. You've played your part, Jo,a patsy again.U got two terms.But that's it.Haven't met 1 happy Bearsden neighbour tonite
Her reply: we will see - do look at the coalition agreement when published tomorrow and compare to LD manifesto though
Campsie SSP have looked at this agreement, and all is not what it seems. This article is only SOME of the reservations we have about the agreement - there are many more, not least how our young people will be treated after they leave school, but we have to start somewhere -
Let’s start with the fairer tax, for example.
The original Lib Dem policy was for a “Tax Switch” – which meant this £10k allowance would be paid for by the ultra rich in a progressive policy which would have taken £17bn. The Lib Dems have dropped other progressive measures they had in their manifesto that would have paid for this gift to the middle class – like their mansion tax and the higher rate of pension relief – and instead this gift to the middle-high earners will be paid for through the cuts the cabinet now know of, but are not telling us about.
The claims – and unquestioning repetition by the BBC etc that this is tax relief for the poor is completely untrue. Three million poor households will not get an extra penny as they are too poor to pay income tax. That includes pensioners (the ConDem coalition are selling this as £100 to pensioners when it is £100 to the richest 40% of pensioners and nothing to the other 60%)
This £17 billion tax giveaway means that £1bn goes to the lower incomes that pay income tax- the majority – while £16bn goes to the higher income bracket. 70% of the benefit goes to the top earners in our society!
So the LibDem promises and nods to an equitable society are actually undermined by this Tory wet dream. Those near the top of the income spectrum would get on average four times as much as the poorest. (see http://short.to/2fr1j for more detailed breakdown of this regressive tax give-away, plus graph and links to stats etc).
Briefly – other measures that are ominous…
The agreement states;
“a significantly accelerated reduction in the structural deficit over the course of a Parliament, with the main burden of deficit reduction borne by reduced spending rather than increased taxes.”
This has terrible implications for Scotland. Scotland is a nation that was robbed of its manufacturing base during the Thatcher/Major years. It has not recovered that during the New Labour Parliaments – and is hugely dependent on the public sector for work. Already, Scotland is suffering more job losses than England because of this. This agreement will step up those job losses (which will have to be explained by the Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander – the Tories hadn’t the brass neck to take the post of explaining their Scottish economy wrecking policies – the patsies had to do that one).
Another interesting point about the proposed £6bn cuts this year – a sentence in the agreement says,
“Some proportion of these savings can be used to support jobs, for example through the cancelling of some backdated demands for business rates.”
What that means is that those companies who did not pay their business rates – some in the hope that there would be a Tory Government, will now no longer have to pay that. I bet a lot of those people who with-held their Poll-tax payment and who were pursued for the decades since, would love such a tax amnesty. This is barefaced tax avoidance – and it has been ok-ed by the ConDem government. A taste of tax avoidance measures for the rich to come?
It is also noteworthy that Vince Cable -a luke-warm supporter of the Tory-LibDem deal and tough on 'the City' - entered the Govt to find there had been a "misunderstanding" about his position in Cabinet. He had understood he was to be in charge of regulation of the banking and financial services sector but finds that George Gideon Osborne (who has a 2:1 Degree in history – has been able to hide what A levels/ other qualifications allow him to be in charge of our economy beyond the fact he is Son-in Law of Lord David Howell, Baron Howell of Guildford – and the fact he is heir to a billion pound fortune) will be doing all that stuff while Cable takes care of other "business."
Ominously, the Tories have been consolidating their power. They have castrated any kind of dissent in Government by roping the Liberal Democrats into an agreement that means they have to abstain rather than vote against any Tory madness. The incredible thing about this is that in the agreement, not only do they curtail dissent by ensuring the Libs don’t vote against them, but this sentence –
“legislation will be brought forward to make provision for fixed-term parliaments of five years. This legislation will also provide for dissolution if 55% or more of the House votes in favour.”
So what, you may ask? Well, at present, the Govt can be curtailed – recalled – brought down by a simple majority of 51%.
A breakdown of this has been done by http://northernheckler.wordpress.com
“That means that this parliament (not a future one – THIS one) will be able to be brought down by a vote of no confidence – but only if 55% of the MPs vote to do that. Note that this is not 55% of those who vote, but 55% of all MPs. And not just a simple majority of 51% – but 55% – OK not much difference I hear you say, and it introduces a little more stability by discouraging interminable series of confidence votes designed to sabotage the Government of the day.
But how much is 55% – Well it’s 357.5 seats – so as it needs to be more than 55% it would need to be 358 – no half seats. So that would need (typically) : All 258 Labour votes; all 57 Lib Dem Votes; & all 28 of the “other” votes – totalling 343 – so it would also need a further 15 Conservative votes. Actually not quite true – it would also need a further 5 votes – because Sinn Fein would be likely not to vote at all – not to mention anyone who was ill or otherwise engaged on the day of the vote.
So the Conservative Party, with help from the Liberal Democrat party are planning to enact binding legislation - enacted with a simple majority of those MP’s who turn up to vote – which would ensure that the Conservative Party remained in office for the next 5 years in all circumstances save that when at least 20 of their own number decided to vote against. So actually they could sell the Lib Dems down the river without a second thought – they wouldn’t be able to do a thing about it.
The Conservatives lets remember hold just 306 of the 650 seats – a mere 47% – which they gained with 36.1% of the popular vote, on a turn out of 65.1% – this represents just 23.5% of the total electorate.
This is the kind of immunity from accountability that is the hallmark of dictators and despots. It is a manoeuvre of which Adolf Hitler would have been proud – effectively preventing opposition to the ruling party.”
This is the reality of the New Politics and political reform. The much vaunted PR? It is kicked into the long grass. The system that the Tories are allowing a referendum on – AV – is not much better than we have – and not close to the STV system that has given Scotland stable and representative Government since the formation of the Scottish Parliament. Whether AV is accepted or not by the UK public, it means that any real electoral reform will not happen for at least a generation.
As I said, Jo, you, again, have been used as a patsy.
The word Germans have for the consolidation of the Nazi Party is gleichschaltung.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
So there you have it. We have a Government none of us voted for. Most of those who voted Lib Dem in Scotland did so to keep the Tories out. 85% of people in Scotland voted anti-Tory, - 68% UK wide. Two Eton boys then sat down and carved out a Government made up of old Etonians, bosses, Lords and Ladies. Not one person who negotiated this ‘coalition of thieves’ had a working class accent – nor did they stand a chance of being hit by the austerity measures the so called “left of labour” Lib Dems and the Tories are about to mete out on the working and middle classes.
All of the negotiators were white, well shaven men. No women, single mothers, Union representatives – no-one with a modicum of empathy for working class people and our struggles were there. The public sector is – East Dunbartonshire is - about to be hit with a barrage of cuts that will see working families and the poor bleed to feed the markets and to pay off the rich man’s debt.
This is not what we voted for in the UK, neither in Scotland nor in East Dunbartonshire. Jo Swinson was buoyed up by a tactical vote both from SNP and Conservative supporters who gave her a 4000 vote margin between her and Labours John Lyons in 2005. This time, the tactical vote, for the most part, was seen to be unnecessary. The SNP vote gained, as did Labours. Swinson halved her majority.
Sally Magnusson hit the nail on the head in her recent TV programme, "Why didn't the Scots vote Tory?" She concluded that the electorate here do not vote out of the self interest promoted by the Tories - we think of others. Self interest sums up this squalid deal. Swinson and the Lib Dems delivered Tory majority rule – and the swingeing cuts and misery the Tories and Liberal Tories will mete out on us.
Let her know your thoughts and ensure the non-alternative – the lie of a “left of Labour” Liberal Democrat party is put to rest. Do not vote Tory/ Lib Dem again – they are unnecessary in East Dunbartonshire. The Tories can only win in this constituency with a leg up and the “looking in both directions” of the Lib Dems. This has been proved both here and country wide.
This is a coalition of cuts.
It has been strapped together in order to allow the worst cuts meted out on the working and middle class in history. Brought together by the ruling class and their media. The markets are not happy, we are told, and this means you should lose your job or take pay cuts.
Let’s unite against the rubbish they spin – the racism and the financial fairy tales that are forced down our TV sets that set working class against working class. The true enemy is not the immigrant, the true friend is not the “markets” and marketeers who are making you pay for their gambling.
We need a coalition of the electorate. - We need a vote for real – Scottish Left– alternatives.
The Scottish Socialist Party believe the rich bankers and corporations who got us into this economic mess should pay – not the health workers and bin men , education workers, small businesses, posties, rail workers or street cleaners in East Dunbartonshire. Ordinary people and their jobs should be protected from this greed induced crisis, not made to suffer to allow the rich to keep their millions/billions.
Monday, 10 May 2010
Raphie de Santos (Left Banker)
The European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have put together a 750 Euro billion bail out package to try and avert what would be the second leg of the great financial crisis and a double dip recession which could lead to a depression world wide. The package was designed to stop a further meltdown in financial markets after a week of losses which have not been seen since the Lehman’s crash of September 2008.
At the root of the crisis are the mounting deficits being run up by the developed countries of the world while their economies remain weak. Particularly, affected are those economies which were most exposed to the property and financial bubble and have weak manufacturing bases. These economies hid their fundamental weakness by swelling public spending to create jobs based on borrowing money cheaply on the international bond markets by issuing government bonds. But as the credit crisis turned into a recession and government spent hundreds of million of dollars bailing out their financial system and trying to pull their economies out of recession by massive stimulus spending these deficits ballooned to unmanageable levels. These deficits continued to grow as the world entered its worst recession since the 1930s depression meaning that government revenues on collected taxes fell while spending on social benefits went up.
When countries within the European Currency union run into trouble either renewing these loans or asking for new loans to cover annual deficits they will be able to turn to this fund. But like Greece to gain access to this money they will have to agree to massive cuts in public spending, wage cuts and rises in taxes. These draconian measures will have to be imposed against the will of the majority of the population so the bailout will only work if people accept these austerity measures. This is the great unknown. Of course the money for this fund will have to come from somewhere and that is us. The major developed economies will have to borrow money itself to fund the bailout leading to ballooning deficits in Germany, France, the US and the UK. The UK will have to make a contribution through the European commission and the IMF, the US through the IMF while Germany and France will have to contribute through ECB EC and the IMF. We will have to foot the bill through interest repayments or further cuts in public spending and tax rises. All this will help keep the world economy stagnant for at least a decade. The table below shows the scope of these loans that are required over the next five years if the current levels of deficits are not reduced and why financial markets want the deficits reduced . You can see that the 750 billion would not guarantee the potential borrowing requirements of Spain, Portugal and Italy over the next five years.
Euro Billion Loans Required over Next 5 Years
Renew New % GDP
Spain 60 821.0 56.00%
Portugal 25 103.4 47.00%
Italy 110 556.0 26.50%
UK 90 880.0 55.00%
The UK will not be rescued by this package and they will have to turn to the IMF when they run into problems in renewing and creating new loans to fund their deficit and debt. That is why there is such pressure from the financial markets to create a “stable” UK government that will quickly implement the cuts and tax rises need to reduce the deficit. But the party numbers and political differences in the UK do not add up to being able to provide such a “stable” government for any significant length of time. That is why the UK’s own Greek crisis is months or a year away at most with a fresh election almost certain to have to take place to try and provide such a “stable” government.
Whether governments have to turn to such funds or not they will have to make massive attacks on peoples living standards across Europe. We have to turn the resistance to these attacks into demands for a sane economy under common control. We should demand:
A cancellation of all government loans;
That the banks be taken under common ownership and control;
A massive wealth redistribution from the rich and wealthy to the majority of the population; and
A huge spending programme to create jobs, services and products that meet the needs of society and not the needs of profit
Saturday, 8 May 2010
The main parties will be vying for places in the Parliament and in councils to defend the neo-liberal capitalist machine in their varying ways. Markets have failed - and it should be the job of socialists to help people understand this. The current economic situation is capitalisms "Berlin Wall" - this is really and truly the end of capitalism. And it is not just the left that are saying this - this is being realised by academics across the world in medicine/ health/education/economics/ecologists etc.
We can allow the existing parties to drag this end of market economies, painfully out, to the detriment of the working class - or we can show people that there are alternatives - viable ones. An economic system is supposed to ensure goods etc are divided out... not a method of squeezing the blood from the poor to support our rich "betters" and "wealth makers" etc. - stuff we know - and stuff we need to get across to people in the simplest, most dynamic, active, interactive, positive, relevant ways.
One thing I have learned from this General Election campaign/ the crisis etc is that people DO want change - they do want an alternative, and our dynamic working class are searching through those. Fascism seems to be being looked at and dropped after people realise exactly what it is. The alternative of the Lib Dems is being seen to be what it always was - no alternative at all... and people are sick of swinging back and forth from the Tories who will quickly shaft us, to Labour who do it a little more slowly...
It is our job to show people we are the alternative to the mainstream parties who have let Scotland and in fact the world, down.
If the Tories get in through whatever mechanisms they make up in the coming hours/days, then there is a real possibility there will be more battles of Orgreave in the coming years. People need alternatives to blind rage - they need solutions - political ones... and we have them!
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
YOUR SSP Candidate for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East - Willie O'Neil HERE
The election in East Dunbartonshire - HERE
Who is fooling us? The "independent" polsters maybe ain't so independent... HERE
Camerons Broken Britain - it was the tories wot dun it - HERE
SSP on Sunday Times Rich List (by Raphie de Santos) - HERE
Campsie/East Dunbartonshire area SSP Voice HERE
SSP broadcast, simply done, giving the alternative to cuts.
Articles and other information:
The Head Fixing industry have fooled us too long - Ron Mackay - HERE
It was the SON wot lost it? - article by Neil Scott HERE
Meet all 10 SSP Election Candidates HERE
Willie Telfer on defending our services, jobs and communities in the class war declared by the rich tax avoiders who caused the economic crisis. HERE
Help put socialist policies on the agenda... find out how HERE
Colin Fox on the Afghanistan lie HERE
Volcanic Capitalism, by Neil Scott HERE
Aberdeen candidates brilliant video HERE
SSP videos, including candidates HERE
Three parties responded. These responses are below.
One SSP Campsie member has written an article saying how he will vote. This can be found on his blog HERE.
2005 results HERE
Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are fighting for fairness. Wealth inequality has risen under Labour. Lib Dems would raise the income tax threshold to £10,000, helping those on low and ordinary incomes with £700 a year. This would be paid for by a mansion tax on properties above £2million, taxing capital gains in the same way as income, and clamping down on tax avoidance. We would invest an additional £2.5billion in early years education, targeted at the poorest children. We will clean up our rotten political system, and introduce fair votes. We will break up the banks to separate the high-risk casino banking from tightly-regulated high-street banking, with a cap on bankers’ bonuses of £2500. Locally, I have been an approachable and active MP. If you think I have done a good job, and you like the Lib Dems’ message of fairness, please vote for me on Thursday.
Mary Galbraith, Labour
Thanks for giving me the chance to respond in this way to your members, some of whom I met in Kirkintilloch on Saturday.
Your web-site highlights three aspects of your credo: “Socialism”, “Independence” and “Internationalism”, displayed prominently on the home page. I believe that the Labour party is more – much more – interested these issues than any of the other parties standing in East Dunbartonshire. Let me give you a couple of examples for each:
• We have an excellent record in taking families, particularly those with children, out of poverty.
• Our manifesto commitment is to protect assistance for families, such as Working Families Tax Credits, and help our elder citizens by re-establishing the link between earnings and pensions.
• Following the introduction of the mimimum wage some years ago - resisted by all the other parties standing in the seat - we seek to strenghten its operation, and increase its value.
• We plan to cut less, and tax more, than other parties.
• After many years and failed attempts to deliver devolution, the Labour Party put in place the Scottish Parliament.
• The next Labour Government would give the Scottish Parliament increased tax raising powers.
• The Labour Party has displayed leadership on the international stage in fighting climate change and world poverty
• We will spend 0.7% of national income on aid by 2014
I cannot speak for any of the other parties, but I do not think that any of them can come close to matching the Labour Party’s achievements and ambitions on your three priorities. I would therefore encourage members of the Scottish Socialist Party to vote for the Labour Party in this constituency, and in those other seats where the SSP does not have a candidate of its own.
Iain R White, SNP
The reasons why your members, and indeed anyone, should vote for the SNP, is that we are the only party to stand up for Scotland. If you read the literature of the other parties, none even mention Scotland as they are all written in London and the candidates name added locally.
The SNP (myself included) believe in supporting those less well off in society. We believe in supporting business, particularly small businesses, which generate the money to pay for these benefits. I believe that pensions are far too low and welcome the SNP commitment to indexing to earnings.
I will be happy to discuss any other issues in as much detail as you want (or I can manage), but hope that his will suffice for now.