Suspended for speaking out for workers

by Jim Bollan

Free speech on West Dunbartonshire Council is a thing of the past if you try to protect Council worker’s pay and conditions.

As a Scottish Socialist Party Councillor I instinctively worked with the Trades Unions against the SNP Council’s imposition of cuts in workers wages and conditions.

To be suspended for 9 months from all Council meetings for trying to defend free speech and the rights of workers is outrageous.

The “Independent” Provost who is joined at the hip with the SNP administration to safeguard the gold chain round his neck, denied any opposition Councillors the right to speak up against savage cuts, imposed, by the SNP on low paid workers.

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The Heroes Within

by Dusty Miller

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. – Omar Khayyam

I fear we are about to be inundated by a plethora of post-mortems, a promiscuity of platitudes, and a payola of punditry; none of which will be written or presented by those who took part.

The least biased will present us as the Spartans of the working class marching blindly to our Thermopylae, kinder souls as some hubris-driven Greek hero, charging with a brazen roar to his inevitable doom.

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Glasgow SOS – St Valentine’s Day Unity March

by Richie Venton

They poured into George Square from the four corners of Glasgow, a human tide of anger, noise and colour.

You could hear them long before they marched into the Square to assemble for the Glasgow Save Our Schools Unity March. The full-throated voices of young children mingled with the chants and singing of parents, grandparents and people who simply care about their communities. “Save Our Schools” and “We shall not be moved” were the most common songs and chants.

Over 200 marched from St Gilbert’s and Barmulloch to the assembly point. Other feeder marches thronged into the city centre from each of Victoria in Govanhill, Ruchill and Wyndford.

In total well over 1,000 gave voice to pure rage at the Labour council’s plans to butcher 25 primaries and nurseries.

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6 Days in Cornton Vale

by Rosie Kane

It was only six days. Less than a week of my life. But every one of the 144 hours I spent behind bars opened my eyes just a little bit wider.

By the time I emerged on Thursday, my peepers must have looked like dinner plates.

I knew that I would not be in Cornton Vale women’s prison for long. I knew I had family and friends on the outside and I knew I would leave to a warm home and fulfilling job.

I had more to hold on to than practically every other prisoner in there – but it was still the one of the saddest experiences of my life.

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Social Forum on Climate Change and Peak Oil

by Johanna Dind

The Social Forum on Climate Change and Peak Oil which took place in Edinburgh over the weekend 18th / 19th October 2008 was a success on all counts.

150-200 of people came from all over the country to discuss and exchange ideas on three particular questions;what are the causes of climate change? How can we reduce carbon emissions? And how far can we take the issues under a Red/Green partnership?
The forums and workshops were lively but always respectful, diverse but focused on the target issue, and political but with different emphasis.

The Forum began as an initiative at the end of last year when Justin Kenrick from the Portobello Transition Town contacted SSP members with the idea of forming an alliance for next years European Elections.

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All Out On 20th August

richie96by Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser

A bit of working class history is being made in Scotland on Wednesday 20th August. For the first time ever, all three trade unions in all 32 Scottish local authorities are taking united strike action. The cause is a derisory pay offer from COSLA, the coalition of Labour, SNP and Lib Dem councils; an offer that falls far short of inflation and that would imprison up to 200,000 workers in pay cuts for the next three years.

This one-day strike is a magnificent display of workers’ unity in action. As well as every council office, council depot and council service being shut down for the day,

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The party that dared to tell the truth

day11The Scottish Socialist Party has faced the biggest possible test of any political party in Scottish history; what do you do when the most charismatic individual leader of the left in generations demands that the party lies and covers up in order to protect his squalid secret life.

For people who believe in truth and honesty there was only one answer and that was to refuse to be a part of the lies and cover up that Tommy Sheridan demanded of them.

Here we document the crisis that the SSP faced with articles and relevant material. No Secrets – No Lies.

Alan McCombes: The Fight For The Truth

Alan McCombes was sent to jail for defending the right of the SSP to confidentiality

smlalanjail“Tommy believed he could turn his libel action into a pale imitation of the Moscow Trials,

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No secrets – no lies: The truth behind two turbulent years in the SSP

2004

Sun 30 Oct: The News of the World (NotW) runs a front page account, by Anvar Khan, of a visit to a sex club with an unnamed, married MSP.
Two members of the SSP Executive Committee (EC), aware that the article refers to Tommy Sheridan, ask him to apologise and resign as convenor as soon as he is named as the MSP involved. He refuses.
A further attempt is made to deal with the situation privately, with Tommy invited to attend an informal meeting on Sat 6 Nov. He refuses and an emergency EC meeting is called.

Tues 9 Nov: Tommy admits to the emergency EC meeting that he is the unnamed MSP, saying he attended the club twice,

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