NEITHER COUNCIL CUTS NOR TAX HIKES – build mass defiance

As the butchery of jobs, services, community facilities, and workers‘ conditions looms large and ugly in the setting of Scotland‘s 32 council budgets, Labour and SNP politicians are knocking verbal lumps out of each other. Listening to their excuses for implementing savage cuts, and the feeble ‘alternatives’ they offer, we could be forgiven for quoting the lines from Macbeth’s famous speech: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The noisy clash between the SNP government and the non-SNP controlled councils signifies nothing but cynical party political manoeuvres for the May elections, rather than …

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 …

Scottish Socialists Stand in Blantyre – SAVE OUR SERVICES

Sean Baillie is to stand as the Scottish Socialist Party’s candidate for the Blantyre council by-election on 10th December, the party has announced. Sean is an electrician who was born and brought up in the old mining town where rich working class pride still thrives to this day. On current politics and his reasons for standing, Sean said: “We are in the middle of an all-out assault on the working class driven by the Tories. Public services are being slaughtered and workers rights hammered while unemployed and low paid workers are being squeezed further. People on social security, migrant workers …

Portugal’s left makes major gains in national elections – Scottish Socialist Party

PORTUGAL’S LEFT MAKES MAJOR GAINS IN NATIONAL ELECTIONS by Bill Bonnar It might have slipped under the radar but last month saw the left in Portugal make astonishing gains in the general election. The Left Bloc emerged as the third largest party in the country with more than 10 per cent of the vote while the Democratic Unity Coalition; an alliance of the Communist Party and the Green Party came 4th with almost 9 per cent. In total the left polled around 1 million votes; the most successful electoral result in a generation. This breakthrough will not surprise too many …

Novara

By blogger and activist Lisa Muggeridge, Five years ago, when I realised the extent of what was about to happen, I was invited to speak at Oxford University. It was the night of the CCHQ protests when I arrived, and I was impressed by the commitment of the students I met. James Butler, Adam Ramsay, Laurie Penny, all in the same cohort as Owen Jones at Oxford, and their peers from many London Universities. These people were ‘the left’. A class who have emerged as a direct result of our democracy being absorbed by media. The left wing media class …

Varoufakis

Austerity is being used as a cover-story for class war against the poor

Austerity and deficit reduction are being used as a cover-story for conducting class war against the poor, an economics professor who served as Greece’s finance minister has said. Yanis Varoufakis noted simultaneous reductions in taxes on the wealthy and cuts to spending on social security amounted to a redistribution of wealth away from the poor to the rich. “The problem is that austerity is being used as a narrative to conduct class war” Mr Varoufakis told the BBC’s Question Time programme. “To be talking about reducing the state further when effectively what you are doing is reducing taxes like inheritance …