SSP Welcomes Football Act Repeal

The Scottish Socialist Party both welcomes and commends todays vote in Parliament to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football & Threatening Communications Act (2012). Commenting, party executive committee member and long standing Fans Against Criminalisation supporter Liam McLaughlan said:

“Today was the culmination of a 7-year, working class fan led movement which showed us all the power of sustained and committed community organising in affecting statute change.

“In the face of outright hostility in parts and ridicule in others, campaigners have continued to shine a light on this unworkable, illiberal legislation too the point where not even the SNP could muster an attempt to defend its effectiveness or use. Perhaps now we can have the sensible and reasoned debate on how to tackle the root causes of sectarianism and anti-Irish racism that still sadly scars Scotland,

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The Battle Hardens as UCU Members throw out latest ‘Deal’

by Richie Venton, SSP national trade union organiser

Main photo: Max McKay – Richie Venton, USDAW NEC member addresses 200-strong trade union solidarity rally at Strathclyde University.

“No capitulation!” “Reject the deal and sustain the strike!”
That was the angry message from the ranks of striking university staff to their own UCU union leadership after a “deal” was declared in the first real day of talks with university bosses, sponsored by ACAS, on the night of Monday 12th.

Strikers – comprising lecturers, research staff, librarians, IT and other student support staff – were a mixture of flabbergasted, bitterly disappointed and absolutely furious on hearing (on Monday night) that the UCU negotiators wished to accept an offer that still meant savage cuts to pensions,

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Profiteering pilfers paltry Minimum Wage

A Government report has exposed poor wage rates and employment practices at Wagamama, TGI Friday’s, Marriott Hotels, Birmingham City Football Club, Stoke City and St Helens Rugby club. In total 179 employers were fined £1.3m by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for ripping off their workers.

In Scotland, over 200 staff were underpaid by 15 firms, ripped off over £75,000 in wages.

SSP Spokesman Colin Fox said: “Spare a thought for the staff who serve you this weekend when you are out to dinner with your mates or attending the football match for some of the biggest names in the hospitality sector were found guilty this week of not paying their staff even the National Minimum Wage.”

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Free school meals: penny keeps dropping after 17 years

Roz Patersonby Roz Paterson

Seventy-five years ago, Finland decided to start feeding its children, irrespective of background, family situation or socio-economic status.

In other words, this beleaguered nation, at the time being hammered by Stalin, chose to invest in its upcoming generation, through providing free, nutritious meals for all, to support their learning, well-being and development.

Nothing fancy, you understand. Porridge, bread, milk. But every day, to everyone.

Here in Scotland, the penny has nearly dropped. North Lanarkshire Council, surveying the ruins of a failing neoliberal economy and its austere flip-side, has come to the conclusion that leaving children to go hungry for days on end, to the detriment of their health and education,

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Richie Venton: Resounding Victory in USDAW National Executive Contest

By Ken Ferguson

Union activist, shop steward and workplace convenor Richie Venton has won a resounding victory in a hard fought contest for two Scottish seats on the UK executive of the retail and distribution union USDAW.

Richie fought the contest on a platform of progressive left demands including an immediate wage of £10 an hour and guarantees of 16 hours work to replace zero hours contracts and greater autonomy on Scottish affairs.

His second place with 17.2% in an eight way contest for two places clearly indicates the growing support for change.

Commenting on the result Richie, who is also the SSP’s workplace organiser, said:

“I argued for hard hitting socialist measures to radically redistribute wealth away from the multinationals and multimillionaires to the working class millions who produce society’s wealth.”

“The foundation of my positive result is many years of organising and representing grass roots members at work which has taken the union’s membership in my workplace from 15 to 70% alongside growing support for a fighting stance on issues such as jobs and pay.”

“USDAW is the fourth biggest union in the UK and the retail and distribution sector organised by it includes shops,

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Fox calls for the Immediate Scrapping of all PFI contracts

Speaking in Edinburgh today former SSP MSP and party national spokesman Colin Fox said:

“Professor Allyson Pollock put it best ‘PFI means paying for three hospitals but getting only one.’ And she might have added even then you do not actually own the hospital, school or prison you have paid way over the odds for.

The liquidation of Carillion has again put into sharp relief the billions of pound of public money wasted in these discredited Private Finance Initiatives. PFIs or Public Private Partnerships were designed by the Tories to privatise our public utilities.

Labour took up the schemes with gusto and committed tens of billions of pounds of public money to them.

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‘This will not be forgotten’: The struggle to save Ward 15

by Sandra Webster

These are my thoughts and opinions on the history of the campaign to save Ward 15 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. History belongs to the victory, as we are reminded. But, there are no victors in this, just families in Renfrewshire and beyond let down by cuts and centralisation again, and a cut to a much-needed essential service.

So, travel back in time to eight years ago. A meeting was called for families who use Ward 15. Some of the children there and those in most of the stories were children with chronic conditions, some very complex. We were told then that the ward would close by Christmas. I met another parent there and we organised a picture shoot.

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The Lessons Rosa Taught Me

by Sandra Webster

When you look back on old pictures – even family ones – you catch a glimpse of the past. It is how we live on – an instant of time and the circumstances captured briefly. A perception of the observer of who we are. I feel this about Rosa Luxemburg. Her piercing intelligence and lack of compromise which marked her political activity shine out brightly. Today, we remember her murder by members of the Freikorp, but her legacy lives on.

I was a young lefty Dundonian when I first learned about Rosa, a friend took me to see the movie about her life. I was fascinated a young talented woman with a disability.

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