SSP backs a socialist Europe, and a Remain vote in the EU referendum

At the February National Council, SSP members backed a Remain vote in the upcoming referendum on the United Kingdom membership of the European Union.

Two motions were considered in the European question debate, with supporting evidence from Hugh Cullen of Stirling branch (backing a Remain vote), and Gerry McCartney of Renfrewshire branch (backing a Leave vote).

There were also successful motions on improving the party’s communications ways and means, genital mutilation and co-ordinated campaign support for municipal anti-cuts struggles.

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Solidarity with those on strike defending public services!

The Scottish Socialist Party and RISE: Scotland’s Left Alliance sends its best wishes to junior Doctors in England and teachers in West Dunbartonshire on strike today in opposition to cuts and a reduction in the vital services they deliver to the public.

We realise they would prefer to be at their work delivering the quality care and professional support they usually do at this time but have been pushed into strike action as a last resort.

Some 37,000 junior doctors, members of the British Medical Association, have stopped work for 24 hours in protest at Tory Government plans to impose punitive new working conditions upon them which leave them feeling overworked and undervalued.

We wish them every success in their dispute.

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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”.

colin_foxThe 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’.

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SSP WELCOMES COMMISSION CONCLUSION THAT COUNCIL TAX IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE

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.

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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 programme we have agreed today represents the biggest challenge there is to neo-liberalism, warmongers, climate change deniers and unscrupulous employers everywhere.

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LABOUR REBELS HAND TORY WARMONGERS GREEN LIGHT FOR AIR STRIKES IN SYRIA

Last night’s vote at Westminster, where 67 Labour MPs defied their leader and backed David Cameron’s case for air strikes in Syria, occurred without the support of virtually all Scottish MPs.

The result however will not make Britain a safer place nor will it help bring the barbaric Syrian Civil war to an end. Scottish Socialist Party national spokesman Colin Fox watched much of the Parliamentary debate on TV:

Co-spokesperson Colin Fox speaking at an anti-racism rally

“David Cameron may have persuaded a majority of MPs to vote in favour of bombing Daesh in Syria but he did not persuade Scotland. His case was a poor one. He essentially argued that Britain needed to act now because the French Government had asked us to and because the Russians are helping Assad to triumph in what’s left of the Syrian civil war.

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CAMERON’S CASE FOR AIR STRIKES NO BETTER THAN TWO YEARS AGO

Scottish Socialist Party national spokesperson Colin Fox today rejected David Cameron’s plan to bomb ISIS in Syria describing the Prime Minister’s proposals as no better than the case comprehensively rejected two years ago.

colin_foxColin Fox said: “Two years ago David Cameron made a similar ill-thought out and dangerous case for launching air strikes on Syria. That time it was to help the self-styled ‘Free Syrian Army’ oust Bashir al-Assad. Today he argues for bombing Assad’s jihadist enemies the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIS]”

“The current bombing campaign which Cameron is desperate to join, Operation Inherent Resolve, has launched 8,289 air strikes so far and flown some 57,301 sorties. Yet none of this ordinance has halted the atrocities in the region or in the streets of Paris and beaches of Tunisia.

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FOX WARNS CAMERON AND STURGEON AGAINST SLIDING INTO WAR IN SYRIA

The Scottish Socialist Party today warned of the dangers of Britain “sliding into war in Syria” following reports Prime Minister David Cameron’s is preparing another case for airstrikes and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is preparing an SNP U-turn on military action in the region.

colin_foxSSP National spokesman Colin Fox said:

“While condemning the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people in Paris last weekend, the SSP does not see the indiscriminate slaughter of Syrian civilians as the appropriate response. It is not what the people of France or anywhere else are after. But that is what the urban airstrikes in Syria are principally achieving.

The knee-jerk conclusion that ‘something must be done’ is dangerous and foolish.

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