British Labour, Marxist McDonnell and deficit-denying

September 30, 2015 The election of a new leader of the UK’s opposition Labour party has provoked a flurry of interest in the international media and among economists.  That’s because the new leader, Jeremy Corbyn and his newly appointed finance spokesman, John McDonnell, have been considered as ‘avowed Marxists’. That is certainly the case for McDonnell.  He is an ‘avowed Marxist’ because he says he is.  On the day of his big keynote economics speech at Labour’s annual conference this week, he said that “If you look at our capitalist system, one of the definitive analysts of how it works …

SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP: PITFALLS AND TRAPS FOR WORKERS

As the Tories take a claw hammer to workers’ rights, and swing their wrecking ball at jobs, wages, tax credits and public services, it’s no wonder workers search for a political alternative. The cream of the Scottish working class has joined the SSP, the socialist contingent of the 630,000-strong trade union movement. They are rightly attracted by the SSP’s track record of solidarity with workers in struggle; unflinching fight for an immediate £10 minimum wage for all at 16; our advocacy of democratic public ownership, and our tireless campaigning for a charter of workers’ rights, as a core human right. …

Walking the black dog and avoiding spanking the procrastination monkey

Note 1: Health warning: here be swearing. If you’ve never been out of your leafy grove then maybe this one isn’t for you. Note 2: I started writing this back in April when I really wasn’t feeling well, there is bugger all up with me now, so it’s safe to read and dismiss with an incredulous chortle. Note 3: Note 2 was written the first time I published this in June 2015. It’s nearly October now and I am still as mad and bad as I’ve ever been, I think. I’m republishing this because it seems to be still how I …

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT & COUNCILS: DEFEND UNIONS – DEFY CUTS

Thursday, 17 September 2015   Fury at the implications of the Tory Trade Union Bill is already erupting, and pushing politicians in Scotland into very welcome promises not to comply with some of the measures it contains. Three of the numerous assaults on workers’ civil and trade union rights are: removal of the 42-year-old ban on using agency staff to replace strikers; and dictatorial powers for Westminster to over-rule agreements between recognized unions and Scottish public authorities – the Scottish government, councils, NHS Boards, etc – to deduct union fees at source (the ‘check off’ system), and grant facility time …

SHOCK! HORROR! BOSSES TOLD BY EU COURT TO PAY WORKERS!

Saturday, 12 September 2015 SHOCK! HORROR! BOSSES TOLD BY EU COURT TO PAY WORKERS! Hundreds of thousands of workers with no fixed workplace stand to gain from a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice – provided unions organise and resist cost-cutting counter-strokes by the employers involved.The highest court in Europe ruled that for workers “who do not have a fixed or habitual place of work”, the time it takes them to travel from their home to their first appointment, and back home after the last appointment each day, should count towards paid hours worked. Instead of being classed …

Richie Venton: A WARNING NOTE TOTHE TORIES

Thursday, 10 September 2015 A WARNING NOTE TO THE TORIES SUBMISSION ON 2015 TRADE UNION BILL & ASSOCIATED CONSULTATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE SCOTTISH SOCIALIST PARTY by Richie Venton, SSP national trade union organiser We submit these comments on the Trade Union Bill and associated ‘consultations’ in the full knowledge that the Tory regime has little or no intention of heeding the submissions of the trade union movement and its political allies, in their pursuit of crushing the power and influence of working people. These pretend-consultations are an exercise in deceit; camouflage for a government with no popular majority mandate to …