International Working Women’s Day: Struggle goes on

by Christine McVicar

During the First World War over 100 years ago, the landlords and profiteers who owned many of the tenement housing of working class families in Glasgow attempted to raise the rents and further exploit the working class tenants of Glasgow. The majority of these households were predominately women as like many working class communities the men of the family were away fighting in the killing fields of Europe in the first world war, leaving the women to run, organise and bring up the children in poor housing and living conditions in World War One Glasgow.

The women of Glasgow rose in revolt at the rent increases and a self organised rent strike broke out in the city where the women rent strikers defeated the unscrupulous profiteering landlords which was a major and historical victory for working class women,

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Why have Scotland’s politicians failed to solve our chronic housing crisis?

by Róisín McLaren – SSP national co-spokesperson

Few would deny Scotland faces a housing crisis which inflicts real hardship on hundreds of thousands of families every day. With 200,000 people on the housing waiting list, it will take them 20 years, at the current rate, to secure decent accommodation – since fewer than 1,000 new homes were built for rent in the public sector last year.

With the average price of a house now £200,000, it is well out of reach of most people – at eight times the average wage.

Meanwhile, the average rent in the private sector is £650/month – and that gets you little more than a small flat.

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Colin Fox: Brexit, Independence & the case for Socialism

It’s been said that ‘Brexit’ is the biggest crisis the British ruling class has faced since Suez. Ironically, that was also about the diminishing of Britain’s power in the world. Britain, the former colonial superpower in the Middle East – which had liberated North Africa from the Nazis in 1956 – was ignominiously outmanoeuvred by Colonel Nasser’s Arab Nationalists and the political actions of French, UN and US forces. The crisis led to resignation of Prime Minister Anthony Eden.

The Brexit crisis today involves similar themes. The British ruling class faces a powerful European Union (EU) they are increasingly peripheral to. They are split over how to relate to it between ‘Little Englanders’ who hark back to the days of Empire,

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Reject American imperialism – Support Venezuela!

by Bill Bonnar

The new Venezuelan ‘president elect’ Juan Guaida is an American puppet. Just 35 years old and from a wealthy middle class background he first came to prominence in anti-socialist student protests before moving to the United States to complete his education. His decision to proclaim himself president was a decision taken in Washington who have co-ordinated every aspect of this political stunt.

It is all part of a growing American attack on the Venezuelan Revolution and on Venezuela itself. This attack has already taken the form of economic blockade, massive financing of the opposition forces and the de-stabilisation of the the Venezuelan economy and political system. They have encouraged opposition violence and are considering the option of direct military intervention.

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Historic Victory for Equal Pay Strikes

by Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser

Equal pay strikers have won a massive breakthrough in their long, hard battle for equal pay justice in Glasgow City Council.

No exact calculations and individual payouts to the thousands of (overwhelmingly) women who have suffered years of daylight robbery of their wages will occur until at least the summer. But the city council leader has at last accepted the principles and methods of calculating compensation for this historic injustice, and publicly stated so, after the unions and claimants’ lawyers had earlier this week presented the council negotiators with a revised ‘take it or leave it’ proposal to settle the painfully long battle.

Although the formal decision on the calculations and payment plan will have to be ratified at a Council meeting later this month,

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Tories Admit Guilt – But Continue Insecure Work Crimes

by Richie Venton

When is a radical new package of workers’ rights nothing of the kind? When it’s announced by a besieged Tory government, increasingly bombarded by public anger at the horrendous insecurity of jobs and workplace rights in Britain.

Theresa May is today trumpeting a package of measures that her spin doctors describe as “the most radical upgrade of rights at work in a generation”. Let’s look behind the manufactured headlines.

They plan legislation that insists employers issue a “statement of rights” from the first day of a worker’s employment – including what paid leave they are entitled to for illness, maternity and paternity.

Anything that improves transparency in worker’s rights is welcome.

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Brexit, independence and workers rights

SSP is proud to announce its new websiteby Colin Fox

I spoke on behalf of the Scottish Socialist Party at a public meeting hosted by the Communication Workers Union in Inverness last week. The St Andrews Day event on ‘Brexit, Independence and Workers Rights’ heard me remind people November 30th is also the anniversary of John Maclean’s birth.

I pointed out that the SSP stood in the same shoes as the famous Red Clydesider as international socialists who campaigned for Independence because it would be both a defeat for British capitalism and an advance for democracy.

‘British democracy’ faces its most important vote in 50 years next week when Theresa May’s ‘Brexit’ deal comes in front of the Westminster Parliament.

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Resist “pariah state” Israel – Full Scottish Solidarity

On Tuesday 20th November, Scotland will play Israel at Hampden.

Ahead of the game, Scottish Socialist Party international secretary Bill Bonnar said: “Outside the stadium, demonstrators will gather to brand Israel a pariah state. The SSP stands with them.”

“Israel is a pariah state oppressing the Palestinian people at home while waging aggression against its neighbours. It does this with the open support of the British Government. We must show that the people of Scotland do not share this view and are in solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

Earlier in the week, demonstrators stood against the encroachment of unopposed Israeli propagandising at Stirling University. The Politics Society invited an Israeli diplomat to speak at their meeting.

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