Thursday, 30 May 2013

Fight the tories... this Saturday.

Yes to independence =no to Westminster's further impoverishment of the poor. Anti-bedroom tax rally in George Square this Saturday. Gather George Square at 11am.

Monday, 27 May 2013

A Mi Partido

by Pablo Neruda

You have given me brotherhood towards the man I do not know.
You have given me the added strength of all those living.
You have given my country back to me, as though new in birth.
You have given me the freedom that the lone man lacks.
You taught me to kindle kindness, like fire.
You gave me the straightness which a tree requires.
You taught me to see the unity and yet diversity of men.
You showed me how one person’s pain could die in the victory of all.You taught me to sleep in the hard bed of my brethren.
You made me build upon reality, as on a rock.
You made me an enemy to the evil-doer, a rampart for the frenzied.
You have made me see the world’s clarity and the possibility of joy.
You have made me indestructible, for I no longer end in myself.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Fight for a Better Left

Essential piece of reading for the left in Scotland -

"The SSP & The Fight for a Better Left in Scotland" by Colin Fox Here

talk to Colin on Twitter... @colinfoxssp

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Yes to Independence! Yes to a nuclear free Scotland!

Visit Faslane  Peace Camp

The Trident nuclear weapons system is based at Faslane on the Clyde.
This June sees the 31st anniversary of the Faslane Peace Camp.
The SSP locally are organising a solidarity trip to the Peace Camp on 28 June. Get in touch via our website or email address( if you would like to come along—all welcome!
Entertainment from Acting Strange Theatre company, Rosie Kane, Citizen Smart and others!
Marie Collins will play at the camp again this year - this was her performance last year...

Trident is the UK nuclear weapons system

There are 4 nuclear submarines
Each sub has 8 missiles
Each missile can have 5 nuclear warheads (bombs)
Each bomb is 8 times as destructive as the Hiroshima bomb
In 1945, at Hiroshima, more than 140,000 civilians were killed

Nuclear weapons are immoral

Over the next 30 years, the UK Government wants to spend around £100 billion on a new Trident system

An independent Scotland would be nuclear free!

The setting up of a Scottish Parliament was a small step forward. But the big decisions that affect Scotland are still taken elsewhere.

Our elected parliament is powerless to stop young Scottish soldiers dying in the killing fields of Afghanistan.
It cannot tackle pensioner poverty or increase the pitifully low minimum wage. It has no control over the monstrous nuclear weapons of mass destruction stationed on the Clyde.

Our aim is to transform Scotland into an outward-looking, 21st century socialist democracy that puts people before profit.

Scotland is a wealthy country with a skilled, educated workforce and natural resources in abundance. 
Yet we live in a country that is scarred by poverty, low pay, decaying public services, sub-standard housing, ill health, crime, alcohol and hard drug abuse.

That’s because we have no real control over our own resources. Our land is owned by aristocratic lairds and absentee landlords.

Our oil, gas, electricity and transport are owned by business tycoons. Our financial institutions are controlled by millionaire bankers.

The SSP wants to build a new, socialist Scotland - a Scotland based on the principles of equality, peace, freedom, direct democracy, diversity, social ownership and wealth redistribution.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

TV and Bulls...

by Kevin Hattie (@blaugranabhoy)
I recently watched a program on the National Geographic channel called; ‘The 80′s: The Decade That Made Us’.

I wasn’t born until the early 90′s and I missed out on the decade, so watching this program was basically a history lesson for me.
I learned of how the walkman became a craze sweeping America and how the game Tetris was an obsession much like the Fifa’s and Call of Duties of today. Despite all the technological advancements and trends sweeping the developed world, I couldn’t help but notice the political changes that occurred during the decade and how they allegedly came about.
I despite being a supporter of the left politcally have never been a fan of the Soviet Union or any of its leaders. I don’t have a huge knowledge of the era itself but I rarely hear positive things about it, however I struggled to really take in what the program percieved to be the driving force in making people desire a new way of life. American TV.
The program told of how people in Romania and Bulgaria would watch American TV shows and then question why they never had fast sports cars or other material goods shown on the TV. This would make them question there governments and look for a way out to live their own American dream.
I understand why people wanted out of the Soviet Union but they would be sadly dissapointed thinking America was going to give them what they seen on the TV. The ‘American Dream’ is probably one of the biggest lies ever told, it is utter nonsense and any one who believes it has fallen for the trap. America is one of the most unequal societies around, the wealth is very narrowly concentrated and the Rich are in control. Ronald Reagan who was the man the Nat Geo program heralded as a hero, was infact a mere puppet to the corporations and the banks. Reagan was a script man, something that came naturally to him as a former actor. During his time as President, Latin America suffered at the hands of brutal despots his government supported and armed. He backed the terror campaign against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and furthermore he played a huge role in criminalising the black community within the United States itself.
Ronald Reagan backed genocide in Guatemala among other places in the world and just recently, when General Rios Montt of the Guatemalan Army of the 80′s has been charged with crimes against humanity, Reagans comments stating that General Montt was a man of great integrity and a believer in social justice, come back to reveal what kind of people Reagan thought good.
Capitalism in the 80′s grew as did violence across Central America and poverty in the United States. People around the world were shown how Capitalism was great through the TV shows that portrayed America as a sunny all action society where beautiful women and fast cars made up the normal street scene. What the TV didn’t show them was the Ghetto’s and the drug problems. It failed to talk about the unemployment and the plight of the vulnerable section of society. Take the television cameras a few blocks away from Hollywood and you have a different image of Los Angeles, that would put one off ever visiting. High crime rates and a drug war that ravaged poor communities across the country. Prisons overflowing with people, mainly black, due to the so called ‘War on Drugs’.

Capitalisms strongest weapon was the television. Through the TV it could pull the wool over the eyes of the public and it covered up the cracks which appeared on its image from day one. Inequality and poverty had no place among the David Hasslehoffs and there was no such thing as greed. The US military had apparently lost the faith of the public in America so the answer to this problem was bring out a film in which Sylvester Stallone would bring down flying tanks with a bow and arrow and a personal vendetta. The sensationalism of such films got people believing again, USA, USA, USA!! chanted in the cinemas, the country was unstoppable.
With the Rambo films fuelling the bloodthirst America was ready for the war on terror, the war on drugs and the war on communism. One war which it has never been ready for funnily enough, despite having the weapons at its disposal, was the war on poverty.
Throughout Latin America, it could easily be argued that America was supporting governments which inflicted poverty more than trying to stop it. The Sandinista government for example made great strides to creating a more equal society, but the Reagan Administration would openly support the terrorist contra campaign to try and de-stabilise the Nicaraguan government. This was nothing new in the region, yet no mention of it in the 80′s program.
When the program finished without having mentioned any of the crimes which came from Capitalist governments, I felt like the propaganda of the 80′s was still present on todays television.
I am fortunate enough to have read about US involvement in Latin America, but had I not, I would have believed they were the hereos of the decade. I would have held the belief that the war criminal and terrorist Ronald Reagan was a political saint. So with the 80′s bringing us undoubted blessings in the form of new techonology etc, it seems it also brought with it a culture of lies. Capitalism was undoubtedly strengthened throughout the decade but that is no reason to celebrate. For me, a 90′s baby who watched a brief history of the decade on the TV, I have to say the 80′s was most certainly the decade that made us, but what it made us was not necessarily a good thing.

Monday, 13 May 2013

TUFI meeting tomorrow:

West of Scotland Trade Unionists for Independence

Tuesday 14th May 6pm:  In Auctioneers Bar, 6 North Court, Glasgow  (off St Vincent St/corner George Sq - 2minutes from Queen St station).

Now might be a good time to have the SSP around

An interesting exchange in the Scottish edition of The Metro over the past few days.  What do you think?

(Although we are not in the Parliament, we are fighting at council level and on the streets and in local and national campaigns like the bedroom tax, No to Nato, Scrap Trident, save our services and no to cuts!  We never went away!)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Politics of Envy...

The Etonian millionaires tell us when we talk about the gap between the rich and poor, that these are the politics of envy. Yet their press- the press they, the rich, own and control, every day talks about "scroungers" " skivers" etc living off the state.

They have used this manipulation of public opinion through their media outlets to lower compassion and in turn justify the stripping of meagre funds that people rely on to feed families through unemployment thrust upon them by the monetarist policies of Governments from Thatcher through to Cameron and Clegg's.

Tell a lie often enough and it becomes truth, the Nazi propagandists taught them.

These policies have ensured those who own medical "providers" profit hugely. Some of these companies were formed before the English NHS was tore apart by the Tories and LibDems but who waited patiently until the legislation was thrust into law and now who are buying up the profitable parts of the NHS and are profiting by charging the tax payer exhorbitant amounts of money. Some were American Companies that in anticipation, many of those who you vote for, bought stock in. Insider dealing?

Your politicians have nothing on the Nick Leeson's of this world.

This Government has pushed millions of children below the poverty line while giving tax breaks - and actual tax money to billionaires.

Their politics of envy have led to despair and desperation - suicides and stress related deaths through their ATOS and bedroom tax programmes.

Research has shown that even during the so called boom years of Blair and Thatcher, there have never been enough jobs for everyone. Yet Cameron and his ministers talk about people languishing on benefit as if it were the fault of the unskilled, poor worker.

As if it were the fault of the poor immigrant asking for asylum from Governments who want them dead.

Or the poor immigrant who comes here to find safe, unionised, reasonably paid work away from the Primark, Walmart etc sweatshops in which they could die, chained to their sewing machine making cheap clothes that gives us the impression we have wealth?

Slave workers who die to clothe our poor or "throw away fashionable?"

So- the politics of envy... by stealing money from the poor- chipping away at the small funds needed to keep people above the breadline; impoverishing people and making this narrative of skivers and scroungers and thieving immigrants a prerequisite of political discourse, could someone explain to me what envy is?

Is it political voices saying the gap between the rich and poor is immoral?

Is it the voices who say no child should live in poverty regardless of how difficult their mother or father are finding it to get work?

Or is it the political voices saying that poor people have it too good? 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

"We went to war in order to be heard..."

SSP Campsie's Kevin Hattie on the Zapatista Movement.

Latin America throughout history has been involved in a battle for its soul. The Spanish invaders were the first to try and claim the continent for its own gains but by no means the last. Today the enemy does not arrive over the horizon in a fleet of war ships, but it flows southwards in the air from Washington. 

Mexico is perhaps one of the best known and most visited countries in Latin America. It is famous for its culture, hats, alcoholic beverages and its incredibly hot food. Unfortunately these days the war on the drug cartels and the US’ fight against immigration tarnishes the image of a country that encapsulates the hospitable and easy going nature of many of Latin America’s people. Without doubt however, contrary to the news reports, the biggest problem in the region is not people heading North of the US/Mexico border, it is the Neo Liberal Capitalism that is heading South. 

An example of neo-liberal policy is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Apart from opening the Mexican market to cheap mass-produced US agricultural products, NAFTA spells an end to Mexican crop subsidies without a corresponding end to US ones, and drastically reduced the income and living standards of many southern Mexican farmers who cannot compete with the subsidized, artificially fertilized, mechanically harvested and genetically modified imports from the United States. The signing of NAFTA also resulted in the removal of Article 27 Section VII in the Mexican Constitution which previously had guaranteed land reparations to indigenous groups throughout Mexico. One group who are opposed to this ideology and openly stand against it are the Zapatista Army of National Liberation(EZLN). 

The Zapatista’s as they are commonly known have an aspiration to do politics in a new participatory way, from the bottom up instead of from the top down. They have been described as Libertarian Marxist and wish to see not only power but wealth spread more equally in their society. Mexico’s political system has been criticised as being flawed as it has a purely representative nature and is disconnected from the people and their needs. It is a country that is deeply divided through wealth and the gap is only getting bigger under the current regime. 

The EZLN have primarily used non violent action as a way of demonstrating their cause. Their social base is mostly rural indigenous people but they have some supporters in urban areas and internationally. Their main spokesperson is Subcomandante Marcos. Unlike other Zapatista spokespeople, Marcos is not an indigenous Maya. The group takes its name from Emiliano Zapata, the agrarian reformer and commander of the Liberation Army of the South during the Mexican Revolution. 

Along with many demonstrations in Mexico’s southern states ranging from farmers to teacher protests the EZLN came up with the ‘Zapatista Idea’. The Zapatista idea is the use of tactical media to draw public attention to a political cause. Used as a form of political activism, the Zapatista idea is the notion that “the important thing is the spectacle that you make out of an event in the media, as opposed to the event itself”. The concept derives from the Zapatistas’ ability through new media to communicate and generate universal solidarity in Mexico and worldwide. An example of the use of new media technology is through the Chiapas Media Project

The “communications revolution has generally shifted the ‘balance of power’ from the media to the audience”. This has allowed the Zapatista idea to flourish, opening up new channels and providing a powerful forum for political participation by citizens on a scale like never before. “Digital, networked media allow for faster, diverse, two-way communications between users who have both more control and more choice” as they become simultaneously users, producers and agents of social change.

The hope of many of Mexico’s poor and indeed normal working class people lies with the Zapatista movement. In a country where the poor have had no voice for so long, there is suddenly hope. A hope that they will be recognised as human beings along with the corporate elite in Mexico City. A hope that the rural and indigenous population will be given the opportunity to live in comfort and security. For all across the continent there has been a battle for the very soul of the people. A battle which will determine the future of great cultures like the Mayan one, a battle which will either bring justice to the impoverished or more misery for the forgotten people. It is fitting that Mexico, the country of the Zapatista movement, shares a border with America, because it very well could be the battlefront in a war of ideas. YA BASTA! (Enough is Enough)

We don’t want to impose our solutions by force, we want to create a democratic space. We don’t see armed struggle in the classic sense of previous guerrilla wars, that is as the only way and the only all-powerful truth around which everything is organized. In a war, the decisive thing is not the military confrontation but the politics at stake in the confrontation. We didn’t go to war to kill or be killed. We went to war in order to be heard.

- Sub Comandante Marcos

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


SSP Campsie blogger, Neil Scott "Labour Commentators Are Wrong to Pull Independence Debate Ultra-Right" HERE via @huffingtonpost

Sunday, 5 May 2013

A fair Scotland?

Cooperation, democracy, fairness, internationalism, choice. Scotland's future after the 2014 referendum HERE

Friday, 3 May 2013

Last weeks Yes Scotland stall

Members of the SSP Campsie branch joined with comrades from the SNP and Green party on the streets of Milngavie, Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and a number of the villages along the Campsies, to deliver a resounding YES WE CAN message to the public.

Neil Scott is pictured with a teeshirt that gives the message "Education, not Trident."  

A YES in 2014 will ensure the billions we pay in the upkeep of these war machines of mass destruction will instead pay for thousands of new teachers, nurses, doctors and in fact  - jobs we need.