Media Release: Leading Irish Housing Campaigner to speak at Socialist Voice Housing Forum

Housing activists attending the Scottish Socialist Voice housing forum later this month will here of Irish experience on the issue from leading Dublin activist Aisling Hedderman.

Aisling has been in the thick of the militant fight to address Ireland’s housing crisis, a campaign that has seen community activism,occupations and mass street demonstrations.

Much of the activity has been led by the National Homeless Housing Coalition (NHHC) which brings together political parties, Trade unions, NGOs, non profit organisations and grassroots community groups.

Aisling explain: “We have held demonstrations in order to highlight the issue and recently pushed a bill to be passed by the Dáil as NHHC worked in collaboration with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions under the banner of the Raise the Roof campaign in which saw over 10,000 people on the streets for a lunch time rally in October 2018.“

“To date this has been one of the biggest mobilisations for housing .We look forward to building our momentum and growing our links with others who are fighting the same fight.“

“I am excited that I have been asked to speak and hope to share my experience of the housing crisis at grassroots level and how Ireland are trying to organise around our fundamental right to housing.”

The Scottish Socialist Voice Forum will also hear from trade union,

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Executive Committee Press Release: Venezuela

The Scottish Socialist Party condemns the attempts by the British, American and other western governments to intervene in the current political crisis in Venezuela.This is part of a wider conspiracy to overthrow the democratically elected Socialist Government and replace it with a dependent pro-western government.

That Venezuela is experiencing a profound economic and political crisis is beyond doubt. However, the Scottish Socialist Party condemns the role of, in particular, the United States in fuelling this crisis. They have subjected the country to a damaging economic embargo, have encouraged opposition forces in a campaign of economic sabotage and actively promoted social destabilisation. This has included organised acts of violence by opposition forces. Britain and the United States claim that they are promoting democracy but given their track record as regards Venezuela this is the height of hypocrisy.

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Hammond’s pre-Brexit Budget Fails 8.5 million Workers

SSP is proud to announce its new websiteCommenting on Philip Hammond’s budget SSP spokesman Colin Fox said;

“This is a pre-Brexit giveaway budget designed to put pressure on dissident MP’s Remainers and Brexiteers alike on the spot ahead of a likely Westminster vote in December.”

“Chancellor Philip Hammond promises to find £20bn more for the NHS over the next 5 years, £2bn more for mental health services, £420m for potholes and tax cuts for millions but only if Parliament votes for Theresa May’s Brexit deal negotiated with the EU next month. Otherwise all bets are off.

His increase in the minimum wage from £7.83 to £8.21/hour still leaves 8.5 million people on poverty pay. The Government has already conceded that workers need to earn £10 an hour to pay their own rent,

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SSP backs Unions Demand for Publicly Owned ScotRail

SSP National spokesperson Colin Fox today backed criticism of Scottish Transport Minister Michael Matheson for remarks in which he said a publicly owned ScotRail cannot happen until 2025 – at least. Mr Matheson’s predecessor – Humza Yousaf – stated that Scottish Ministers have already set up a company to step in and take over the ScotRail contract if so needed.

Fox said:

“I travelled on Scotrail’s ‘flagship’ service yesterday the expensive Glasgow-Edinburgh line. Not only did the 40 year old train not have Wi-Fi, or a socket for my laptop, or catering it didn’t even have a working toilet! The service offered by Abellio-Scotrail is no better than the many other failing operators down South.

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Voice Forum Calls For Indy Left Alternative to Growth Commission

Andrew Wilson’s Growth Commission must be urgently replaced with a progressive alternative if a majority Yes vote is to be won in a second independence referendum.

That was the view of a packed Scottish Socialist Voice Forum in Edinburgh on Saturday. It roundly condemned the neoliberal Growth Commission and called for an alternative capable of winning Scotland’s working class majority.

The platform included former MP George Kerevan, Green Councillor Susan Rae, RMT Union executive Paul Shaw, economist Margaret Cuthbert and SSP spokesman Colin Fox.

At the heart of all the contributions was the urgent need to recognise that a Yes victory lay in the hands of working class voters. Not the bankers who the Growth Commission aim to soothe.

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Fox: Brown Deputy Win a Further Blow to SNP Left Wing Stance

Commenting on Keith Brown’s election as SNP deputy leader, SSP national spokesman Colin Fox said:

“The election of right wing candidate and former Royal Marine Keith Brown as SNP deputy is a further sign that the party is rapidly deserting any pretence to be a left wing champion.”

“Keith Brown is the most right wing candidate in this race and his victory clearly points the direction – already trailed by the Growth Commission report – that the party is now taking.”

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Open Letter to the Yes Movement

The Scottish Socialist Party is a significant part of the Yes movement and has been for twenty years now.

That is because we advocate an independent socialist Scotland, a modern democratic republic, and we campaign for that prospect in those constituencies others cannot reach.

We worked as hard as anyone to win a Yes majority in 2014 and continue to do so.

To win that elusive majority however it is vital Scotland’s voters are shown the benefits independence represents rather than offered another version of the UK state governed from Edinburgh.

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What Challenges and Opportunities Should the City of Edinburgh Council be Aware of?

The Lothians Branch of the Scottish Socialist Party is submitting to the consultation because we believe that the economic strategy of the City of Edinburgh Council is resulting in a deterioration of the conditions of working people in our capital. The current and previous Labour/SNP/Lib Dem administrations have implemented ruthless and widespread cuts that leave our public services in crisis and a chronic shortage of affordable housing. Instead of perpetuating the low wage, high bills attacks on working people, the council should consider the changes we propose to raise funds and better the conditions of workers in Edinburgh.

Replacing the Council Tax

We call for the immediate replacement of the Council Tax with a means based alternative,

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