Sunday, 23 December 2012

John Morrison

We are shocked to hear of the tragic death of John Morrison who led East Dunbartonshire Council from 2003 to 2007. He was a gentleman and a man of great humour.

Report here

Leveson - a very small step...

by Ron Mackay

The 30s was a time of depression,strikes hunger marches etc. Then came the Spanish civil war and Alex Donaldson went off to join the International Brigade. 

Then came WW2. 

I spent 4 yrs. In the Royal Navy. The returning servicemen, having witnessed the senseless slaughter of millions of human beings – Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden,Hamburg, London, Coventry, Clydebank etc. wanted a change. The Labour party responded to the mood and produced a program that seemed to promise a road to Socialism. The major industries were nationalised including transport and energy. The national health service was set up and the welfare state was established.

The Labour Party swept the polls. 

Willie Gallacher and Phil Piratin got into parliament as Communist MPs . In Clydebank 5 Communist councillors were elected. 

Prefabs were brought in to help with housing as left-wing councils set about rebuilding and restoring our damaged towns and cities. It seemed the advance to socialism had begun. 

 Alas one vital service was neglected – the media - was left in the hands of the Tories. The press barons, Lords Beverbrook, Kemsley, Rothermere and Astor controlled the media. The Labour Party, never a Socialist Party, made a mess of nationalisation. The old capitalist bosses were left to run the industries, ignoring the trade unions as usual and blaming every set back on nationalisation which the media exploited to the full and called for the restoration of private ownership. The role of the media played a very significant part in the return of the Tories. 

 As Goebbels said at the Nurenburg trials whoever controls the media controls the policies of countries whether democracy or dictatorship.

Leveson had nothing to say about the ownership and control of the media.

Friday, 21 December 2012

On Alasdair Gray...

email conversation about Alasdair Gray's recent controversial article (more background in the excellent BELLA CALEDONIA article)

Bill... What is your take on the attack on A Gray' in the Scotland on Sunday article? I think (as a recent immigrant) his words were welcoming, thoughtful and are being twisted by Better Together at the moment.


reply by Bill Newman

I have no concerns whatsoever about Alasdair Gray's comments which seem to me to be factual.  As a sassenach I (and you) have settled in Scotland  and, as Gray says. we are as much part of Scotland as any other immigrant and, of course, immigrants in the past have included Vikings, Irish, Normans and so on.  Colonialists are different and are those who spend time in the colonies of an imperial power, make their money and return home; again, surely a literal description of the English who come to Scotland, take a senior position, pocket the proceeds of his/her activities and goes back to the Imperial power - England.  I wonder if he had the unlamented director of Creative Scotland in mind?  Gray will not be upset by the criticisms - he never is - and he is not a man to change his considered views, nor the way he expresses them.
He is dreadfully underestimated as a writer and artist, probably because he doesn't fit into any ism.  I think that Lanark is the finest novel by far to have been written in Scotland in the 20th century and his visual work merits much higher praise than it receives.  Of his recent work, why isn't his magnificent ceiling and surrounds in the top hall of Oran Mor better known and why is his more recent mural in the booking hall of Hillhead Subway Station not acknowledged as the witty and humane masterpiece which it certainly is.  He is, of course  a socialist, but  of an individual and iconoclastic bent.   A great man!!

The Swinson List

Jo Swinson has sent out an email asking those on her email list if they will be avoiding shopping in companies who have been shown to actively tax avoid.  This is SSP Campsie Organiser, Neil Scott's brief reply.

"I will be avoiding Starbucks (which will be a huge chunk from their profits as I am a coffee fiend :P ).  I also avoid all Nestle products and have done for many years and choose not to shop - if I can -in ASDA because of Walmart's terrible employee relations and use of Workfare, and likewise I will be doing my best to avoid Tescos for their use of Workfare slavery.  Also, the charity, PDSA and as much as I can, those on this list  who have not pulled out of the scheme.  

I will also be avoiding Marks and Spencer and Waitrose because of their refusal to dis-invest from Israel.

 I will also be ensuring, along with my SSP comrades and those new socialist contacts in East Dunbartonshire who I have met in relation to the Radical Independence Conference, that your part in the destruction of the Education , and NH services in England and welfare across the UK and support for what are now being seen to be LETHAL cuts are well publicized.  It is disgraceful what you have actively VOTED FOR as an individual and as a member of the Liberal Democrats, these terrible cuts to have taken place in England - cuts that benefit the few investors, including politicians,  in Serco, ATOS and the companies in waiting who are ready to break up and profit from our services.  

The impoverishment of an increasing number of people, and the abhorrent reliance on foodbanks (something your coalition partners seem to welcome) shows how much the poor and rich really are NOT in this together.  

Our publicly owned services should be protected in Scotland, and I feel avoiding the Tory, Liberal Democrat and New Labour driven "Better together" campaign is the best thing Scots can do to ensure this happens.

Neil Scott

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Unionist "No" Campaign Hijacks Milngavie Lights switch on

Please Read the original Bearsden Milngavie Herald article HERE

Our reaction:

Shoppers and those in Milngavie to see the switching on of the Christmas lights were reminded last week by Jo Swinson why we are “Better Together.”  The Scottish Socialist Party don’t have any problem with Jo bringing the discussion to the streets of Milngavie.  In fact, Jo being the face of the Better Together campaign in the area goes someway to remind us what remaining in the political Union will bring us if we don’t achieve independence.
Jo is an enthusiastic member of the Tory/ Liberal Democrat coalition.  She voted for student fees in English Universities.  She voted for the privatisation of the English NHS.  Though, thank goodness, at the present time Swinson and her Westminster friends cannot give our health and education systems away to their friends.  But competition law may impose a dismantled NHS – one that most Doctors in England are convinced will lead to a system similar to that in the US, where regardless of pain or suffering, if you haven’t got the right insurance, you will have to suffer on.
The biggest reminder that Better Together enthusiast Jo brings to us of what a No vote in 2014 will bring for the people of Scotland is her and her party’s enthusiasm for austerity.  In fact, all of the parties involved in the Better Together campaign agree on this.  None of them are fighting the 25% slash in the Scottish budget this year – that means a 25% cut in the East Dunbartonshire education budget and a 25% cut in our NHS and a 25% in our social care budget. 
The three parties, Tory, Liberal Democrat and Scottish New Labour agree on introducing cuts that will throw those people in our society in the direst need into ever deepening poverty, the difference between the Better Together chums being the timescale.  Swinson’s coalition Government, under the financial guidance of the Scottish Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander and George Osborne have admitted last weekend that they ‘got their figures wrong’ and austerity will last even longer and be even deeper than first thought.  The more Swinson is on the streets of East Dunbartonshire reminding us what their campaign really means, the better.  The Sunday Herald last week highlighted the effects of her support for the misnamed “reform” of Social Welfare – the headline on the first page ran, “Sick and Disabled Forced to work Without Pay.”
On the other side of the discussion, the Yes Campaign is made up of parties and individuals with sometimes differing  visions of what an Independent Scotland can be, from Women for Independence, through the Radical Independence movement, Trade Unionists for Independence and groups across the political and cultural spectrum organising for a better Scotland.  But we are all agreed on fundamental things.  We agree that independence will see democracy coming closer to the people of Scotland.  We agree that the people of Scotland are blessed with talent, resources and creativity that will transform this Liberal Democrat/ Tory austerity blighted country into a country, not unlike her Nordic neighbours that are fairer, greener and more prosperous, and have done so with less spread of resources.  We are agreed that Scotland will speak her own voice and make her positive contribution to the world.  Jo and the Tory/Liberal Democrat/ New Labour coalition want us to continue with the union – a union that has created the fourth most unequal country in the developed world. A United Kingdom that has become two nations, one for the rich and one for the rest. The campaign against independence does not invite us into its Britain of wealth and privilege. It expects us to endure our Britain of austerity and exploitation.
Jo wants us to vote No to independence because they want us to vote Yes to inequality, Yes to poverty, Yes to corporate greed. They want us to know our place, not to get ideas above our station. They do not even offer to try to be better.
Next year, Jo’s vision of cuts, austerity and rumoured further bankers bailouts may mean that there will be no Christmas lights switch on for her to ‘hijack.’

Sunday, 2 December 2012

My reasons why Scotland should be independent

Mark Callaghan, Lennoxtown.

Due to the slavish following of neo-liberal economy policies over the last 30 years by governments of all shades, the British economy is now over-dependent on one very precarious and inefficient sector. The powers that be seem unwilling to prevent this.  By its very nature free-market capitalism is a reactive rather than pro-active system, short term with no contingency for long or even mid-term planning, so we are doomed to be adrift and to be engulfed by any tsunamis that come our way if we stay part of the union. We will get steadily worse and worse off - even those at the top of the tree due to this seeming blindness to the fact that the system that they espouse is based on a premise which is disastrous on any reckoning.

In an independent Scotland we will have the foresight to introduce some sort of planning into the economy, so as to help us diversify the economic base that we have to cope with the waves of terror-filled scenarios dreamed up by those who are opposed to this idea.
Secondly, our historic system of society were very different, i.e the feudal system was a very top-down one whereas the clan system was much more communal in basis.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Why I am voting Yes

Workers for independence 

By Richie Venton, shop stewards convenor & SSP national workplace organiser

Low paid workers often ask me 'would we be any better off under independence'? That's the kind of issue we need to convince people on if we are to win a Yes vote.

The 'Bitter' Together's poster boy, Alistair Darling, has issued dire warnings that those of us supporting independence threaten our children with a very uncertain future. 

The vast army of workers struggling to survive on or around the pathetic £6.19 minimum wage are guaranteed the certainty of more of the same exploitation and in-work poverty under Westminster's dictatorship of the rich...which guarantees children a very certain future of cruel, crushing poverty.

And that's the case regardless of whether it's Tory, LibDem or Labour in charge.
Low pay is the single biggest cause of poverty. The SSP's fight for a national minimum wage calculated as two-thirds average male earnings - over £9 an hour in current figures - for all over 16, with equal pay for women, requires the powers that go with independence. 

Likewise if workers are to escape the most repressive workplace laws in western Europe - ushered in by Thatcher's Tories, retained by New Labour, made even worse by Cameron and Clegg's millionaire regime, and left unchallenged by Miliband's Labour - we need the independent powers to scrap them and set an international example of decent rights at work.

Tackling poverty pay, fuel poverty, job insecurity, public service cuts and the brutal assault on benefits all require powers for change that only independence offers - such as the powers to tax the rich and big business; take banks, big enterprises, energy and transport into democratic public ownership, and radically redistribute wealth. 

But merely swapping flags and emblems; switching from rule by the Bank of England to rule by the Bank of Scotland (or both!); swapping being exploited by tax-dodging, profiteering British bosses for their tartan-clad and multinational capitalist counterparts inspires nobody. 

That's why socialism and independence are inseparable. The goal of an independent socialist Scotland which the SSP has fought for since our formation 14years ago will attract workers to voting Yes - where the SNP leadership's "nothing will really change" message is a downright put-off. 

And a Yes vote will greatly speed up the prospects of socialism in Scotland. Workers need independence and socialism.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Why I support an independent Scotland

by 89 year old retired teacher, Ron Mackay

When asked why I wish for an independent Scotland I find it difficult to give a short answer – there are so many reasons. 

There's been a long tradition, going back beyond Burns favouring Scottish independence while maintaining an international outlook. 

“Man to man the world o'er should brothers be for aw' that.” 

Defending welfare programs and promoting genuine socialist policies would be much more possible for an independent Scottish Parliament. 

Some of the policies of the SNP I object to but the opposition to weapons of mass destruction and the call for full independence have my full support . I oppose war – all wars and see a nation free of all nuclear weapons as a progressive step in the struggle for peace in the world. 

The big powers all have major economic problems. We've had two world wars where the big powers sought to solve economic problems by resort to war. 

For the sake of the whole of humanity this situation must not be allowed to develop again. Scotland, a small nation dedicated to peace, could play it's part.

Watch:  A time lapse map of every nuclear blast since 1945.  A compelling yet horrific video... 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

My View on Scottish independence:

How to Confuse an Electorate
Bill Newman, retired Banker

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the Bitter Together campaign, far from engaging in an honest debate, is deliberately raising a multitude of specious questions to throw confusion in the minds of the electorate.  By posing an endless series of questions, to many of which they know there are no definitive answers, they hope to sow confusion and doubts on matters where no real issues arise,or, at least,where no decisions are needed prior to independence. 
The question of EU membership is a typical case.  There are many interpretations,legal and otherwise, as to whether Scotland (and, incidentally,the rest of the UK - RUK) would automatically become a member of the EU on independence.  There are no definitive answers to this question.  Nor does it matter whether automatic membership would apply or not.  If not, then does anyone seriously think that neither Scotland nor the RUK would be granted accession on application?  This, of course, begs the question whether membership would be desirable; Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man seem to get on perfectly well without membership, not counting our northern neighbours, Norway.
To cite just one of many other red herrings.  The position of an independent Scotland's currency need not depend on negotiations to become a subservient client of the Bank of England and English interest rate policy.  Indeed, Alec Salmond has been most unwise to imply that Scotland should continue the current ties.  Scotland could very ably establish its own monetary authority, and its own currency (the old Scottish Merk?) could shadow sterling, at least on a temporary basis, without being beholden to Westminster and the Bank of England.
There are many other examples of Bitter Together's attempts to muddy the water (Trident comes to mind), and the Yes campaign must not be drawn into pointless debates which present a defensive posture.  Let's get back to the core reason why independence is necessary.  We do not wish to continue at the beck and call of a Government antipathetic to our needs and desires.  We are distinctive and we need to be in charge of our destiny.
Bill Newman

Monday, 6 August 2012

Hiroshima Day 2

Photos of today's events at the Clyde

SSP Campsie members took part, as did members from across the party and indeed across the political spectrum...

SSP Spokesperson, Sandra Webster launched some of the lanterns...

SSP Member Pauline Bradley 

SSP members Sonya Scott and Michael Scott (and a blurry Cody the dog!)

SSP member, Michael Scott.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Hiroshima Day

Monday 6th August UPDATE -

The Council and Police are being really awkward on this international day of action across the world. Their small mindedness has forced us to move to St Enoch's Square Glasgow - we are there now - so come along and make your lantern and show solidarity with people across the world who want rid of weapons that could spell the extinction of all living things.

Join the Facebook Event for updates and reminders! - HERE

Acting Strange...

Follow Acting Strange Theatre company (Scotland) on Twitter @actingstrange and via their blog -

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Singer Songwriters at Faslane Peace Camp...

It wasn't all drama at the Peace Camp... singer songwriters, Marie Collins and Richard Holmes performed for the activists on June 28th...

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

SSP Campsie at Faslane

On June 29th, SSP Campsie, alongside Acting Strange Theatre Company (Scotland), organised a day of solidarity with the Peace Camp at Faslane which is celebrating it's 30th anniversary. Below are some of articles from recent Voice's about the run up and execution of the action. More video footage of the day of action will be posted in the coming days.

A report which features our visit, from The Real News Network...
More at The Real News

Balanced - a sketch written by SSP Campsie member and Acting Strange Theatre Company (Scotland) co-founder, Neil Scott.

 Locked in - a sketch written by SSP Joint spokes-person and Acting Strange Theatre Company (Scotland) co-founder, Sandra Webster

Acting Strange Theatre Company, who helped organise the action, were raided by the police during a rehearsal.  Details in Scottish Socialist Voice number 398
Faslane Camper, Leonna O'Neill on the 30th anniversary of the Peace Camp in Scottish Socialist voice number 398
Report on the day of solidarity by Voice reporter, and Acting Strange Theatre Company member, Carolina Perez from Scottish Socialist Voice number 399

The message we delivered:

Socialists for Peace
Scottish Socialist Party, Campsie Branch,

Message to everyone working at Faslane Naval Base
Thursday, 28 June 2012

We believe that everyone should have a right to live in peace and dignity. We understand that, for most people, work has a vital role to play in earning a living and also has a social function in helping to provide goods and services that people need and want.
We also agree with the simple and truthful slogan being adopted currently at Faslane Peace Camp - “There will be no jobs if the bomb goes off”.
Nuclear weapons are illegal and immoral. If they were ever to be used, innocent men, women and children would suffer for generations to come. Nuclear weapons should have no place in any civilised society.
We believe that billions of pounds are simply being wasted on nuclear weapons. Also, the skills and talents of the workforce at Faslane Naval Base should instead be used for socially useful ends.
We will, therefore, continue to campaign, alongside those at Faslane Peace Camp, for a better, more peaceful future for everyone.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Greece: Trying to understand SYRIZA

Interesting article by BBC reporter Paul Mason on the far left coalition about to take power in Greece...

Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
This is less of a blog more of a series of notes to try and enhance understanding of who SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras actually are, and how they might behave if, as polls suggest, they become the winning party in a second Greek general election. I’ve been troubled by the lack of historical depth in most of the profiles published in newspapers; and of course my own knowledge is limited to English sources. I’ve checked this with two authoritative Greek sources. It should go up on my BBC blog soon. Get ready to hear about parties and political currents that most commentators believed were insignificant just a few years ago:
SYRIZA is an acronym signifying “Coalition of the Radical Left”. It’s key component is a party called Synaspismos, itself an umbrella group of the far left in Greece.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Coalition in crisis: kick them out!

By Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser

photo:  John Lanigan

As the council election caravan moves on, working class people continue to face appalling cuts to their living standards; they are left with no option but to 'struggle or starve'.

The chief architects of the cuts to pensions, wages, benefits and community facilities were hammered in the council elections. The Tories lost over 400 councillors, in a tidal wave of revulsion at their cuts and their sleaze.
Their junior partners in crime fared even worse at the hands of a furious population, many of whom feel cheated and betrayed by the LibDems. The carnage included the loss of 80 out of 151 LibDem councillors in Scotland.

Despite the SSP vote suffering from the crushing squeeze between the two tribes of Labour and SNP going to war, enhanced by the brutal, self-fulfilling media lie that this was a two-horse race, we beat the LibDem party of government in many of the seats we contested! Mind you, so did an Edinburgh 'penguin'!

No mandate to rule and ruin
The millionaires' Coalition has even less of a mandate for their eye-watering butchery to jobs, services and incomes than they had before May 3rd. That applies with special force in Scotland, where they have plummeted to the status of fringe parties, mostly isolated to a few rural pockets in the Borders and South Ayrshire in the case of the Tories. 

The Westminster butchers are in deep disarray, drowning in a sea of sleaze around the Murdoch scandal and the descent of the economy into a 'double-dip' recession for the first time since 1975 - and the longest economic depression in decades.

With that background, Cameron, Clegg & Co are all the more ruthless in their desire to make working class people pay for the crisis, whilst those who perpetrated some of the worst cuts are wallowing in wealth. 
But they are weak, vulnerable and divided, with right-wing Tories decrying the presence of the LibDems, and even a Tory MP publicly sneering at Cameron and Clegg as "two posh boys who don't know the price of milk" - an assessment that finds massive resonance amongst those at the receiving end of their upper-class callousness.

Slasher Hutton on £100,000 a day!
Millions of public sector workers have had their first taste of increased chunks of their wages being deducted as pension contributions last month - with a lot worse to come next year and the year after unless the government is defeated by united action.

Meantime, Labour Lord John Hutton - 'Slasher' Hutton to those suffering the assault on six million public sector workers' pensions that he was chief author of under the previous Labour government - has landed a £100,000 a day job as chair of the part-privatised civil service outfit, MyCSP.

68 is too late!
Opinion polls confirm massive opposition to the later retirement age being pushed through, which means every female worker under 36 faces an extra 8 years in work before she can get a state pension, and every male worker in that age-group an extra 3 years. 

Whilst over one third (36 per cent) of families currently rely on grandparents for child-minding, and councils jack up the cost of council nursery places as part of the cuts agenda, the government wants to force millions to work longer, denying them a healthy retirement and robbing them of time with their grandchildren. 

A child born today will have to work well into their late 70s if Coalition plans are not derailed by strikes, protests and civil disobedience.

Even Tory voters are rebelling against this abomination of a plan! A recent YouGov poll found 53 per cent of Tory voters against raising the retirement age, with 35 per cent of them criticising the fact it will lead to even fewer job opportunities for young people. 

Across the board, 62 per cent of people oppose making workers work longer for less on retirement - despite an incredible 38 per cent of those polled not even being aware of the planned delay in retirement!

This country is poised to have the latest state retirement age in Europe, as well as some of the lowest wages, longest working week and poorest holiday entitlements.

The moneyed class and their governments try to drag us out of recession by preaching the gospel "shop 'til you drop" - whilst slashing workers' spending power! 

Now they want us to literally "work 'til you drop" - to ensure the CEOs of big private businesses can continue to wallow in their current average pensions of £175,000 a year.

M10 strike rekindles the fires of resistance
The strike of up to half a million public sector workers on 10 May - including PCS, UNITE, UCU and RMT members in the civil service, health, MoD and education - should be the flame to re-ignite the fires of resistance that too many trade union leaders have tried to dampen since the magnificent strike of two million on 30 November. 

These unions plan further coordinated action in late June. PCS is also taking industrial action in specific departments and sectors, alongside a generalised overtime ban from now until late June. And they have raised the call for a united demo against the cuts this side of the summer.

Demand an immediate mass demo
One of the trade union 'leaders' who did most to stall the momentum after N30 is UNISON's Dave Prentis. Now, in an attempt to save face amongst members increasingly angry at being 'sold a pup' by Prentis, he has called for a mass trade union-led demo in the autumn. 

Why wait that long? Active members of every union should argue for a huge Saturday demo over the next couple of months, demanding that either the STUC call it in Scotland or a 'coalition of the willing trade unions' do so. 

Not instead of a broader, bigger strike in June, but in addition to it, as a means of reaching out to workers in local government, education and the private sector who are not part of the M10 strike. Not just on pensions, but on other cuts and attacks on rights, jobs and benefits.

Coalition can be beaten
The recent council elections saw hundreds of thousands voting either SNP or Labour as a means of punishing the Westminster cuts Coalition. They won votes primarily because they are not the Coalition! 

The electoral decimation of the chief architects of cuts should be the green light for the trade unions to unite with community groups and socialists in decisive, early action to drive the crisis-ridden Coalition back further. They can be beaten. They can be driven out of office.

The response on the streets to the SSP's central message 'no cuts, tax the rich' was infinitely larger than the votes cast for our uncompromising socialist case, partly because people were browbeaten with the media message of a 'two-horse race', partly because Labour and the SNP lied through their teeth with talk of creating jobs, and people often gave one of the 'big two' their first two votes, giving the SSP third or fourth preference. 

Pound new councils with demands to reverse the cuts
In several councils, the biggest party has changed from one to the other, so the trade union movement and community organisations should join with socialists in pounding these councillors with demands to reverse the cuts of their predecessors - or stand exposed as fakers gaining votes under false pretences, engaged in a cynical exercise of shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic. Now is the time to besiege them with such demands, fresh on the heels of them taking office.

Capitalism doesn't work
The battle against cuts, both at local council level and nationally on the pensions issue, is critical in the broader resistance to the systematic dismantling of workers' rights, benefits and frontline services gained by past generations through struggle. 

Plans to usher in regional pay; slash the right to challenge unfair dismissal from work; curtail the right to have functioning union shop stewards to stand up for members; and the core aim of rampant privatisation of what remains of public property - all these and more are the inevitable product of a capitalist system that is based on exploitation for profit, that simply doesn't work, that condemns a whole generation to permanent mass unemployment, and that seeks to slaughter working class conditions in defence of profit margins and privileges for the obscenely rich minority.

Capitalism means cuts, mass unemployment and mounting poverty from the cradle to the grave. 
Socialism - based on taxation of the rich, wealth redistribution and democratic public ownership - is the only means of escaping 'eternal austerity'. 

Those who strike back in May have an important part to play in building a future worthy of the name - a socialist future based on people, not profit.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

It were tough in my day...

Huffington Post blog by SSP Campsie member, Neil Scott

When I was young, we didn't have double glazing; our house didn't have insulation; we played on dangerous building sites; I dressed in hand-me-downs from my cousin (this was most problematic around the time flared trousers disappeared over night); free roaming dogs were part of our gang; Vesta dried food was seen as a nutritious evening meal; people were thrown out of their houses on to the street if they couldn't pay their rent or mortgage; public swimming pools were popping up everywhere; Libraries were expanding; income distribution was at its most equal in history; working class holiday makers were tentatively dipping their toes into the Mediterranean; council estates were well maintained and housed the unemployed as well as Doctors, teachers and skilled trades-people; rents were low; electricity, gas, telecoms and water were all publically owned and prices were stable and affordable; school friends were separated from friends at eleven years old - some told they were the crème de la crème, while others told they were "intermediate," "secondary," or "B" stream. Lots of good and lots of things our politicians needed to fix.

Read on HERE

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Let Child X go to school...

SSP Campsie member, Neil Scott has been in a play by SSP co-spokesperson, Sandra Webster.  Her Five Minute Theatre for the National Theatre of Scotland was also televised by STV.  The play is about the real life plight of a young man, Adam Bojelian, who is being denied a place in school because of "money."  Adam is an award winning poet and all round clever guy!  Read his super blog HERE.

This is why the SSP put people first.  No-one should be denied a place in school, regardless of the physical barriers.  Physical barriers are societal, not the fault of the person involved.  People are disabled by society, and our Cameron/Clegg society is disabling many, many people though throwing up barriers to education, jobs, medical needs and welfare.  

Click HERE to see the Five minute video on the STV website, and scroll down for Sandra's blogpiece.

Five Minute Theatre. It was very alright on the night!

by Sandra Webster

Yesterday was the end of a very long week for me which was full of peaks and troughs. Sometime I think my life is like a tsunami wave. I just have to go with the flow. This doesn’t come easy to me as despite being a hopeless navigator, I like to know the general direction of where I am going.One of the highlights of my week was being able to participate again in the National Theatre Of Scotland’s Five minute theatre’s project. Nts’s hashtag is “Theatre Without Walls”. A statement which is more than just lip service to them but an opportunity to involve more of Scotland.

Read on HERE

Thursday, 3 May 2012

DVLA under attack...

Local man, Willie Telfer, defends the threatened DVLA jobs at the Parliamentary Petitions Committee, on Parliamentary TV.

Watch HERE

From Coalition of Resistance:

Vote tomorrow
Reject coalition austerity policies (for East Dunbartonshire Socialist Candidates, see post below)

Bullingdon Boys: They are all in it together 

People will go to the polls across Britain today. It is vital that these elections show the strongest possible rejection of the coalition government's brutal and unfair austerity policies.

The savage cuts that are being inflicted on us are neither necessary nor effective to meet the economic crisis facing Britain, Europe and much of the world.

They are cuts inflicted in the interests of the ruling class - the tiny minority whose interests are represented by the government. Their policies mean the rich get richer and the rest of us get poorer: jobs are lost, people lose their homes and livelihoods.

Use your vote today to show your rejection of these criminal policies - and the racist and far-right attitudes that they breed - whether in local or mayoral elections. Let's have the biggest swing possible against candidates representing government policies.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Elect a socialist in East Dunbartonshire...

place a number 1 beside the socialist candidate!

(click on leaflet for larger version)

Kirkintilloch East and Twechar  Willie Telfer:

The “mainstream” political parties are draining Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland and the UK in general of taxes that should be going towards helping people.  In England, the Tories and Liberal Democrats have overseen the selloff of the NHS to the likes of SERCO, a company who are involved in military and nuclear weapons contracts, detention centres and prisons. This hardly fits with the Doctor mantra, "Do no harm..."  Our local council – ran by an unholy alliance of Tories and New Labour, (and still suffering from the neglect of the previous Liberal Democrat led administration) have overseen the paying off of vital council staff from classroom assistants through to librarians, yet pour millions of our Council Tax into paying interest to corporations who are profiteering from schools and hospital builds.  The council is the first line of defence from the profiteers who are trying to turn our services into “for profit organisations,” rather than “care, education and fairness.”  An SSP councillor will fight to ensure your taxes are spent on vital services rather than servicing profits.
Scottish Socialist Party councillors will always put first the interests of local people and; communities; Scottish Socialist Party councillors will demand and will present balanced ‘No Cuts’ budgets and unlike other parties, SSP councillors are prepared to do whatever it takes to deliver a better deal for local people through protected and enhanced services and public sector jobs.

Bishopbriggs South   Mark Callaghan:

I am 46, involved in both the Healthy Living Program and my local Town Hall

As a socialist, I believe in a system that help people not one that is about a minority of people making extortionate profits by keeping people poor.  If elected, I will always put first the interests of local people and communities and will present a balanced ‘No Cuts’ budget – budgets for the people, not the bankers.

Unlike other parties, all SSP councillors are prepared to campaign to deliver a better deal for local people through protected and enhanced services and public sector jobs.

SSP Councillors will stand beside communities being attacked and will defend them in a practical way both inside the council Chamber and outside.

Neil Scott, Bearsden North.

A local teacher, Neil Scott, is standing in the May elections against what he sees as the mismanagement of Council money and unnecessary cuts.  He said in a statement, “East Dunbartonshire has, in recent years, had the misfortune of having had a Liberal Democrat Council followed by a coalition of Labour and Tories.  The mishandling of the council by these three versions of the same thing has seen an attempt to close schools in the past two years; terrible deals with corporations that have meant millions of pounds of our Council Tax money being given over to massive PPP/PFI “Guaranteed returns on investment” for minimum outlay; a decimation of our local services from Libraries through to schools, and more.  If any of these parties gain the council in May, there will be more of the same, and in fact the deferred closure of East Dunbartonshire Schools will go ahead.

As a father and a teacher I have a different vision for East Dunbartonshire services.  Our area is a well off council area, one in which money could be invested in our services rather than further job-losses and cuts.  I see a clear need to renegotiate PPP/PFI deals.  Some of these venture capitalists are making millions of pounds of our tax money with investments of a few hundred pounds.  I see East Dunbartonshire being a place of opportunity for all; a place where our money is invested in real jobs and services which will help stimulate the Scottish economy.  The real drivers of any economy are people.  The profits creamed off by corporations from our Council tax should be reclaimed and invested in real jobs and in our people.”