People first – not profit

richie96by Richie Venton

Every passing day adds its own story of ruthless exploitation and suffering for the profit of the few; its own reason why we need to muster a mass STUC demonstration in Glasgow on 1st October, to bolster the resistance to cuts from all quarters.

The STUC itself has unveiled research showing nearly half a million Scots – 17.5 per cent of people of working age – are either unemployed, under-employed or cast aside like garbage under the government title ‘economically inactive’.

That’s a waste of 500,000 lives; a dead end for young people starting out on life’s journey; and a colossal loss of potential production of socially useful goods and services.

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The economic challenges facing the SNP

by Raphie De Santos

The SNP was elected as a majority government in the recent Holyrood elections partly because they were seen as the best option to protect Scotland against the worst of the Coalition’s £111 billion austerity programme of cuts and tax rises. In order to do this, they face enormous challenges within the framework of this austerity programme dictated from Westminster and the new Scotland Bill which is working its way through the Westminster parliamentary system. In order to mitigate against some of the likely financial impacts of both these measures, the SNP has argued for some changes to the latter.

Their first solution the SNP put forward in their election pledge was extending their five-year council tax freeze which has already cost the public sector about £240 million in cuts while dropped their alternative to it a progressive local income tax.

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Scotland: Why the left should back independence

by Alan McCombes

More than 150 years ago, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels called on the working class of all countries to unite and fight for a socialist world.

At a time when there were no telephones, no cars, no aeroplanes, no TV and no radio, their internationalist vision represented an extraordinary feat of historical imagination.

In today’s world of the internet, satellite TV, high-speed air travel, global capitalism and the World Social Forum, the philosophy of socialist internationalism no longer looks like a utopian flight of fantasy.

But what does socialist internationalism mean in practice?

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SSP announces top of Regional lists for 2011 Scottish Parliament election

by Kevin McVey

The Scottish Socialist Party has unveiled it’s lead candidates for the 2011 Scottish Parliament regional lists for the election to be held next May.
The list includes two former MSPs, Colin Fox and Frances Curran, SSP councillor on West Dunbartonshire council, Jim Bollan, along with leading SSP activists.

The SSP’s decision to contest all Scottish Regional lists will mean that every voter in Scotland will have the opportunity to vote for Scotland’s socialist party, founded in 1999.

The Scottish Socialist Party will campaign for the rejection of public spending cuts, for an alternative policy putting people before profit and for the core policy of the party, an independent socialist Scotland.

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2010 Mini-manifesto – For An Independent Socialist Scotland

On May 6th voters will be offered a dismal choice of cuts, sackings and wars by politicians tainted by corruption, duck houses and other expenses fiddling.

All three Westminster parties are in a race to see who can make the deepest cuts while the SNP wring their hands and blame London.

They all recommend cuts to vital public services which will hit the most vulnerable hardest and directly threaten the jobs of 100,000 Scottish workers.

In contrast the unequivocal message from the Scottish Socialist Party is that there is an alternative which avoids cuts and insists instead that the greedy pay for the disaster they created, that also ends our involvement in the Afghan war and offers jobs and justice not misery and war.

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SSP’s 10 seat election challenge puts Labour and SNP front benchers in its sights

The 2010 General Election will see the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) contest the seats of Chancellor Alistair Darling in Edinburgh South West, Overseas Development Secretary Douglas Alexander in Paisley and Renfrewshire South, one SNP front bencher, Stewart Hosie, in Dundee East alongside the Livingston seat previously held by suspended Labour MP Jim Devine, in a campaign covering 10 constituencies across Scotland.

In contrast to the discredited expenses system which has so revolted the public all our SSP candidates will be standing on a platform of only accepting a skilled worker’s wage not the lottery winners lifestyle of current MPs.

These contests mean that the SSP will challenge two key figures involved in Labour’s cuts and war policies–Chancellor Darling in Edinburgh and Overseas Development Secretary Douglas Alexander in Paisley.

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Tartan profiteers caught red-handed!

richie96by Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser

The SNP government has been caught with their hands in the taxpayers’ till, dipping into public funds to bail out a multi-millioned strike-breaking company that wants to endanger the safety of its workers and the public!

During the current strikes by First Scotrail guards/conductors, against the imposition of Driver Only trains, the RMT union met with SNP Transport Secretary Stewart Stevenson. He assured the union their case was well-founded, that the £300,000 cost of putting guards on the new Airdrie/Bathgate line is negligible within the overall £30m budget.

But now it has been proven the SNP government agreed to Driver Only trains a full year ago.

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Striking for safety on the railways

richie96by Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser

The first 24-hour strike by Rail Maritime and Transport union members who work as guards/conductors on Scotrail was a resounding success. These guards/conductors are standing up for public safety – as well as jobs and the threatened erosion of the ‘rate for the job’ – against First Scotrail’s attempts to introduce Driver Only trains on the new Edinburgh-Glasgow via Bathgate/Airdrie line.

As we have described in detail previously, this is safety-wrecking by penny-pinching profiteers, who could afford to hand out £18million in dividends to their shareholders last year, but refuse to spend £300,000 to hire 32 guards to make these trains safe and secure for the travelling public.

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