RECOLLECTIONS OF GLACIER METAL FACTORY SIT-IN VICTORY

On Hogmanay 1996, the Glasgow Glacier Metal engineering workers were ringing the bells in elation at their victory, whilst Glacier bosses were wringing their hands in despair. The ‘Polmadie 103’ had scored a landmark victory for class struggle trade unionism, defeating the factory’s multinational owners, Turner & Newall, after a seven week factory sit-in. It was the first workplace occupation in ten years, and was provoked by dictatorial bosses trying to impose a 15-point change of contract, which aimed to double company profits, cut wages by £123 a week and slash sick pay, the canteen subsidy and other benefits won over …

Will China pull down the world?

The world’s stock markets are spiralling down.  The US equity market has fallen 10% in the last month, a figure that is called a ‘correction’ in investor terminology.  That’s not yet a crash or ‘bear market’, usually measured as a 20% fall.  But it’s going that way. Stock markets are diving because it seems that the big investors, banks and financial institutions globally, are worried that China is imploding and planning to devalue its currency hugely, thus driving down the rest of emerging economies, many of which are already in recession (Brazil, Russia, South Africa etc) and so will pull …

Predictions for 2016

As I write, global stock markets kicked off 2016 by plunging, so much so in the case of China that stock market exchange was closed to stop selling.  The fall was prompted by all-round disappointing surveys of business activity in China, India, the US and parts of Europe. Indeed, by the end of 2015, most stock markets had their worst yearly results since the Great Recession in 2009  Clearly, rich investors and financial institutions are getting worried that the global economy, far from picking up pace, is slowing even further. It has now been eight years of what I have …

Voluntary redundancies mark capitulation to austerity, not resistance

Dundee SSP co-chair Allan Grogan writes on Dundee City Council’s announcement of voluntary redundancies. Dundee City Council has sent letters to more than 6,000 of its non-teaching staff, asking them to consider voluntary redundancy in a bid to achieve £23 million of “savings” this year. The SNP’s local finance spokesperson Willie Sawyer has admitted that public services will be cut, due in part to the 3.5 per cent cut in local authority funding (LAF) which the Scottish Government announced late last year. This comes on top of the austerity measures put into place in recent years by a Conservative Government intent on squeezing the life out …

Kuznets, Piketty, Marx and human development | Michael Roberts Blog

Kuznets, Piketty, Marx and human development A new index of human development (HDI) has been created.  The origins of the HDI are found in the annual Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These were devised and launched by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq in 1990 and had the explicit purpose “to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people-centered policies”. Human well-being is widely viewed as a multidimensional phenomenon of which income is only one facet.  Human development defined as “a process of enlarging people’s choices” (UNDP 1990, p. 10), namely, enjoying a healthy life, acquiring knowledge and achieving …

ANOTHER ‘NOTHING TO SEE HERE’ SPENDING REVIEW’

SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney today unveiled the Scottish Governments spending plans for the coming year. It was a budget statement Scottish Socialist Party national co-spokesperson Colin Fox described as “more insipid managerialism, lacking ambition and any serious intention of addressing Scotland’s systemic inequalities, chronic affordable housing shortage and lack of decent jobs”. The former Lothian MSP added: “Whilst it goes without saying the powers available to Holyrood are insufficient to fully address the needs of working people the fact remains John Swinney has again shown he has no intention of using even the existing powers to these ends’. “The …

SSP WELCOMES COMMISSION CONCLUSION THAT COUNCIL TAX IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE – Scottish Socialist Party

THE Scottish Socialist Party today welcomed the conclusion reached by the Commission on Local Tax Reform that the council tax is unfair and ‘’must end”. The Commission report, to which the SSP contributed, outlined three alternatives, one based on income, the others on land and property. The cross-party body believed any new system should continue to be one of “general tax” rather than a “system of charges for specific services”. The Scottish Socialist Party has advocated an income based alternative for nearly 20 years now and favours a graduated income tax which rises as a person’s income rises. Colin Fox, …

Colin Fox: closing speech to the RISE Conference

Comrades, RISE is the most important left unity project Scotland has seen in a generation. Last weekend we reached another milestone in RISE’s development when we conducted simultaneous interventions into the Climate Change march in Edinburgh & the STUC Anti-Racism celebrations in Glasgow. Whilst the weather was foul the fact RISE was actively involved in both mass movements augurs well for the future and will not have been lost on our ‘dreich’ political opponents. This is the shape of things to come for Scotland’s Left Alliance. The progress we have made should be a source of encouragement to us all. The …

RADICAL HISTORY, CENSORSHIP AND HOW THE TORIES STOLE OUR LANGUAGE

Pauline Bradley (RCN and RISE) outlines the emergence of the notion of Social Justice during the Liverpool Dockers campaign and how the Tories have attempted to hijack the term. Social Justice is a concept which has been stolen from the left and distorted beyond belief. Iain Duncan Smith’s Social Justice strategy has devised many “new” schemes to attack the poor such as universal credit which abolished income support and other benefits. Cuts, bedroom tax, benefit sanctions, food banks, increased poverty, misery and despair under the guise of Social Justice have become the norm to poor, working class people. The kind of …