I don’t want Independence, I want a Better Scotland

I cried tears of joy when Tony Blair entered Downing Street and a new dawn was both real and politically imagined. 18 years of Thatcherism were gone as the sun rose, the crowds cheered and the emotions ran sky-high. Many of us had hopes that things would be better, and then there was the reality of Blair and his “ism”. A million and more dead in Iraq, a banking crisis to top the Wall Street crash and the whole of the middle east in deliberate flames. These days I weep tears of anger and frustration at much of what became …

Richie Venton: POVERTY KILLS – £10Now! a matter of life and death!

POVERTY KILLS – £10Now! a matter of life and death! That’s the clear conclusion to be drawn from yet another damning report on health inequalities in this rich nation. And since the prime roots of poverty and inequality are rampant low pay and cruel cuts to already miserly welfare benefits, this makes the struggle for a national minimum wage of £10 Now! – and an end to benefit cuts – matters of life and death. The authoritative Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) has issued a report proving that life expectancy is a lottery, dependent on what district and income …

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 …

The Great Greek Bank Robbery – Yanis Varoufakis

ATHENS – Since 2008, bank bailouts have entailed a significant transfer of private losses to taxpayers in Europe and the United States. The latest Greek bank bailout constitutes a cautionary tale about how politics – in this case, Europe’s – is geared toward maximizing public losses for questionable private benefits. In 2012, the insolvent Greek state borrowed €41 billion ($45 billion, or 22% of Greece’s shrinking national income) from European taxpayers to recapitalize the country’s insolvent commercial banks. For an economy in the clutches of unsustainable debt, and the associated debt-deflation spiral, the new loan and the stringent austerity on …

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 …

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 …

Why you should come to the RISE conference | Dundee SSP

OPINION Why you should come to the RISE conference The RISE Democracy Conference takes place on Saturday 5 December in the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow. Connor Beaton explains why socialists and SSP members should go. On Saturday 5 December, members of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) will join fellow trade unionists and community campaigners at the first democratic conference of RISE — Scotland’s Left Alliance. RISE is a new electoral alliance for the 2016 Holyrood elections which pulls together Scotland’s socialist party, with its 17-year track record of fighting for an independent socialist Scotland, and some of the most prominent left-wing figures from …

Business as usual for Gideon and chums

Posted on November 25, 2015by sandrassp I have to give Gideon Osbourne credit where it is due. He is a master of the alchemy of economics. We expected today that more austerity would be piled on top of us, instead out of the cauldron he announced that the tax credit cuts were cancelled. Good news, but the reality is it is just business as usual. The tax credits cuts may be cancelled but that was going to happen anyway as the behemoth of Universal Credit rolls in by 2020. Gideon says there will still be cuts of 12 billion in …

Marxians and Marxists on economics

I continue my campaign, along with a small band of like minds, arguing that the ups and downs of real economic growth are driven by changes in business investment.  And, in a capitalist economy, that investment is driven by the level and movement in the profitability of capital and in the mass of profits generated by the workforce and appropriated by the owners of that capital.  To me, this seems a simple and realistic analysis: profit rules.  But this thesis is dismissed, ignored and rejected by mainstream, post-Keynesian and other ‘Marxian’ economists, Mainstream economists reckon economic growth comes from a growing …

Allan Grogan: All Just A Little Case of History Repeating

Sunday, 22 November 2015 Since I switched on the news last Friday night and saw the tragic events unfold in Paris, I have been trying to find a way to articulate my thoughts on the horror that made the extremism of ISIS all to real for us in the West, and the subsequent reactions all too worrisome for those who still remember the road to Baghdad. It is important before anything else is said, to reassert that the terror attacks which took place in Paris are abhorrent and beyond the rational thinking of any decent person who has any regard …