SSP Podcast: Apocryphal Tales – 2

In today’s Socialist Voices, we have SSP co-spokespeople, Sandra Webster and Colin Fox, Sandra on Paisley’s Sma Shot and Colin on the SNP’s strange relationship with the monarchy. We have Don Mackeen on racism in the USA, the Confederate flag and of course the awful terrorist events in Charleston last week.  We have Dr Bruce Scott speaking about Mental distress from a socialist perspective; We have blogger and trans woman, Amber Daniels on her experiences, Matthew Geraghty on our democratic deficit, Australian Socialist Alliance member Dave Riley on “the Lucky Country,” SNP activist, Debra Torrance with a very emotional plea about the terrible events in the Mediterranean, Calum Martin on the SSP alternative to the Council Tax – the much fairer Scottish Service Tax and Aiden O’Rourke with a suggestion for the SSP…

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Ebook: For A Modern Democratic Republic

SSP PDF download

The Scottish Socialist Party is pleased to bring you our pamphlet “For A Modern Democratic Republic” as a free download.

We welcome all to download, share and discuss the arguments against continuing rule by an unelected monarch, and for establishing our own modern democratic republic.

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Energy companies tax the poor

sandra_850x450by Sandra Webster, SSP national co-spokesperson

A new government, and will anything change? Politicians may eloquently preach about life with fuel poverty meanwhile it was announced that under the coalition 30,000 prepayment meters had been fitted without the consent of the individual.

There are very few people who can gain access to your house without permission. These include police with a warrant and workmen from energy companies who can gain access to one’s home and fit a prepayment meter. The Labour Party’s record is not much better. In 1999 it was reported that again 30,000 people had been forced into a prepayment meter, with 24,000 of these authorised by court action. This is fuel possession.

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The Scottish Socialist Party is today disappointed and dismayed by the Scottish Government’s commitment to retaining the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.

In the University of Stirling report and statistics into the effect of the Act, it showed that conviction rates since introduction in 2012 are as low as 22% with only 143 convictions from 664 charges in relation to section 1 of the Act.

In addition, only 16 of those resulted in a football banning order, highlighting the highly disproportionate response from Police Scotland in the implementation of this Act to what are often petty and low-grade offences, if an offence has occurred at all.  The threating communications part of the Act has also only seen 36 people charged,

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What Are Zero Hours Contracts?

by Stephanie Pride

CARE WORKERS, junior academics, mystery shoppers and agency staff… One thing they have in common is that many, if not most, are on zero hours contracts.

Far from being a new phenomenon, zero hours contracts have been around a long time but are only now receiving the scrutiny they deserve for shackling workers to insecure and low-paid employment with fewer rights than those defined as employees.

It is notoriously difficult to estimate the true number of people on such contracts – the STUC puts it at nearly 120,000 across Scotland, although this is based on an outdated figure from the Office for National Statistics, which now puts the number at 1.4 million across the UK.

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A proud signatory to One in Five

The SSP’s Executive Committee have agreed working to implement the One in Five Charter, becoming the third party in Scotland to do so. We are proud to show our continuing commitment to making politics accessible for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

Sandra Webster, SSP co-national spokesperson and candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire South in the 2015 General Election said:

“The last 12 months has transformed our politics with hundreds of thousands of ordinary people participating in our democracy. To continue with this level of participatory politics we have to ensure that politics is accessible for all.

“The SSP are delighted to unanimously support the One in Five campaign.

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MPs and Workers: a tale of two classes

richieby Richie Venton

A tale of two classes; or two planets, more like! All that is rotten and unequal about the capitalist economic system is reflected in the accompanying political system and the capitalist politicians, regardless of whether Tory or Labour.

Tory MP Malcolm Rifkind shamelessly asserted “it’s quite unrealistic to believe MPs will go through their parliamentary career being able to simply accept a salary of £60,000 a year”, as he told us mere mortals that he is “entitled” to earn “far, far more than that”.

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Billionaires – and Buttons For Wages

richieby Richie Venton

The crime of poverty pay is becoming even more criminal.

In a cheap stunt to absorb some of the growing fury of working class people at appalling hourly wage rates, even the Tory government has been obliged to ‘name and shame’ some of the companies not even paying the legally required national minimum wage, the pathetically low £6.50 for workers aged over 21.

The biggest company named, with the biggest number of workers denied even this pitiful hourly rate, is Swedish-owned clothes chain H&M.

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