Thursday, 18 December 2014

Scottish socialists continue to stand behind the Cuban Revolution

THE decision by the United States government to renew diplomatic relations with Cuba and to ease its illegal blockade represents a triumph for the Cuban people and the Cuban Revolution.

The blockade was designed to isolate Cuba  and strangle the economy bringing an end to the revolution. The volte face by Washington is evidence of the complete failure of this policy.

Today Cuba is less isolated than ever particularly in Latin America and although the blockade has inflicted great damage on the Cuban economy; the revolution stands strong. Despite this welcome step; much more needs to be done.

This includes:

  • The complete lifting of the illegal blockade and discussions around reparations for the damage caused. 
  • The full release of all Cuban political prisoners in US jails. 
  • The ending of US political and economic interference in Cuba’s internal affairs. 
  • The ending of the illegal military occupation of Guantanamo Bay. 
  • The curbing of Cuban terrorist organisations based in Florida. 
  • The tide of history is with the Cuban Revolution as evidenced by the growing number of left wing governments in Latin America which have established close relations with Havana. 

In fact, its stance on Cuba has left the American Government more isolated than ever in the Americas no doubt prompting the American decision. The Scottish Socialist Party stands full square behind the Cuban Revolution and will continue to campaign until all the above demands are met.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Murphy election endorses Labour's failed agenda says Fox

THE election of Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour leader is “an endorsement of Labour’s failed right wing policy agenda of austerity, cuts, sacking and nuclear weapons”said SSP national spokesman Colin Fox.

Colin said : “By electing Jim Murphy, an arch disciple of the discredited Tony Blair and policies such as Trident renewal and tuition fees, Labour members have underlined just how out of touch they and their party is with Scottish public opinion.

“Jim Murphy is a supporter of Labour’s austerity policies which will see billions of cuts in public services, job losses and and the squandering of billions on nuclear weapons on the Clyde.

“Despite its dire public standing Labour has simply confirmed what everybody knows that they have lost all contact with the concerns and priorities of working people and opted for more sound bites and spin rather than tackle those concern.

“Labour no longer has any intention of implementing socialist solution such as taxing the rich, implementing--as called for by the TUC--a £10 an hour minimum wade and bringing key industries such as energy and railways back into public ownership.

“Scottish politics is a politics of the left and Labour will find that there po big business , austerity policies will fall on stony ground with Scottish voters.

“For those Labour members genuinely seeking socialist change Murphy’s election surely confirms that today’s Labour party will not deliver that change and the way to win socialist change is by joining Scotland’s socialist party the Scottish Socialist Party.”




Scottish socialists to stand General Election candidates in May

Meeting in Glasgow at the weekend the executive committee of the Scottish Socialist Party unanimously agreed to commence the process  of selecting candidates for next May’s general election.

SSP National spokesperson Colin Fox said: “The preference of the SSP was to field candidates under a ‘Yes alliance’ banner drawn from the three pro independence parties us, the SNP and the Greens which we felt was the best way of harnessing the energy of the broad Yes campaign in a united effort to defeat the unionist parties.

“However since both the Greens and SNP have rejected that approach in favour of standing candidates under their own party colours. The SSP has no alternative but to do likewise.

“In the absence of a united Yes alliance the SSP will therefore field candidates across urban Scotland in May. 

"Our candidates will back independence and also put our own distinctive anti austerity, socialist policies before voters. 

"The centrepiece of our campaign will be a £10/hour living wage and to end zero hour contracts."

Contact Ken Ferguson o7925 613145


SSP calls on trade unionists to break from Jim Murphy's Labour

THE Scottish Socialist Party is stepping up its appeal to trade unions and their members to break from the increasingly discredited and anti-working class Labour party.

Instead we ask trade union members to help the SSP build a mass working class socialist party, in the wake of Jim Murphy's election as Scottish Labour leader.

SSP national workplace and trade union organiser, Richie Venton, today said: "The election of the boastfully Blairite Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour leader is the latest in a series of landmarks in the degeneration of the party - that was founded by trade unionists 120 years ago - into another pro-capitalist, anti-working class party.

"The fact that not only most Labour MPs and MSPs voted for Murphy, but that about 70% of individual party members also did, marks the death of illusions in reclaiming Labour for the trade union movement or socialism.

"Murphy openly supported Tony Blair's retention of Thatcher's package of vicious anti-trade union laws, and of dragging working class kids off to the killing fields of Iraq and Afghanistan in pursuit of oil and empire.

"He didn't even bother to turn up to vote for abolition of the Bedroom Tax, but made sure he voted for welfare caps on the poorest of the poor.

"He openly and gleefully campaigned against Scottish self-government alongside Tories, and subsequently had Tories helping him campaign to win the Labour leadership contest.

"Those who clung on to the hope of changing Labour from within, including trade union leaders, need to heed this rude awakening: the left candidates that most Scottish trade unions backed were made most unwelcome by the vast majority of Labour members in the leadership vote.

"Labour has long since ceased to be a home for socialists, but a haven for careerists who put the profiteering of big business before people.

"I have always fought for the release of political prisoners - which is what workers and socialists in the modern Labour party have become!

"They should break from a party that has hammered the trade unions and working class people during 13 years of recent Labour governments, and come home to the one party in Scotland that has consistently built solidarity with workers in struggle; fights for repeal of all anti-union laws; is campaigning for a £10 minimum wage for all at 16; and upholds the genuine socialist principles of pioneers like Keir Hardie, John Maclean and the Red Clydesiders - the SSP. That's what growing numbers of trade unionists have done in recent months."

For more info or comment contact:
Richie Venton, SSP national workplace and trade union organiser


Monday, 1 December 2014

SSP steps up the demand for the powers to introduce a £10 Scottish minimum wage

THE Scottish Socialist Party is escalating its campaign for the Scottish parliament to have the power to introduce a legally enforced Scottish minimum wage of £10 an hour for all over 16, accompanied by the power to ban zero hours contracts.

SSP national trade union and workplace organiser Richie Venton said: "During the Referendum campaign the SSP held street campaigns calling on people to 'vote Yes for a decent living wage'. 

"Within 36 hours of the No vote we called for the Smith Commission to grant Holyrood the powers to introduce a legally enforceable Scottish minimum wage of £10 an hour for all over 16, with abolition of the lower youth rates. 

"In the weeks since, several Reports have confirmed the crying need for this measure, with scandalous statistics showing the absolute majority of Scots officially classified as poor are working to stay poor! Over one in five Scottish workers are below the so-called Living Wage of £7.85, and that rockets to 43% of part-time workers and 72% of 18-21-year-olds in jobs.

"So long as the minimum wage remains in the grip of Westminster's dictatorship of and for the obscenely rich, it's guaranteed to be a source of poverty pay, not a means of escape from it.

"So the SSP is mounting a sustained campaign on the streets and in the trade unions for Scotland to be granted powers over the minimum wage - and the linked power to outlaw the slave labour system of Zero Hours Contracts. 

"But the SSP is not demanding this power so a Scottish minimum wage stays at its present appalling level of £6.50, nor fail to even match inflation with Labour's 'vow' to raise it to £8 in 6 years' time.

"Nor are we satisfied with the pathetic pittance of a rise promised by the SNP, when they ask for the power to raise the £6.50 by inflation - probably 13 pence at best.

"We want to seriously confront in-work poverty with a Scottish minimum wage of £10 an hour. That is not only the level of wage required to end poverty pay, but is also a very modest demand: it is two-thirds the male median wage in Scotland, as well as being the figure agreed unanimously at the recent British Trade Union Congress. 

"The SSP is unashamedly on the side of working people against the profiteers, who rely on low pay to ratchet up the profits, dividends and bonuses of billionaires, bosses and big shareholders."

For more comment contact:
Richie Venton, SSP national trade union and workplace organiser

Scottish socialists to mount Westminster election challenge

THE Scottish Socialist Party executive has agreed to continue to make the case for Yes alliance candidates in next year’s Westminster election whilst starting the process of mounting an SSP challenge showcasing their distinctive policies against poverty pay, austerity and Trident.

Party spokesman Colin Fox said: “The SSP has played a key role in the Yes campaign with its distinctive policies on workers’ rights, equality peace and anti austerity and we are now starting the process of selection, planning and fund raising to put these ideas to voters next May.

“Building on these gains we have proposed a strategy of standing Yes alliance candidates in May and remain open to discussions on how that can be achieved. The SNP’s decisions to move in that direction is very welcome and needs serious consideration.

“The key issue in May will be to build on the Yes vote in Labour’s heartlands last September and expose the sham idea that voting Labour is a vote for change when in reality it is a vote for more cuts, austerity and weapons of mass destruction.

“The SSP has a clear set of proposals such as a £10 per hour minimum wage and replacing the council tax with an income based Scottish Service Tax to protect jobs and services which we will put to voters.

“The SSP has emerged from the referendum campaign with a bigger membership and a revitalised party with new branches and renewed confidence in our ideas which we look forward to putting to Scotland’s voters.”


Media Release
Contact: Ken Ferguson 07925613145

Smith Commission fails to give powers to tackle low pay or fuel poverty

SSP national spokesperson Colin Fox said  that the Smith proposals were “underwhelming” and did nothing to tackle key problems facing working people.

He repeated his view that excluding the SSP from the commission was and is undemocratic and left a significant strand of Scottish opinion unrepresented.

Colin said : “As tax raising powers are devolved the block grant to Holyrood will fall leaving power still very much in London’s hands.

“On key problems facing thousands of Scots it has no real answer. No new power to tackle fuel poverty, introduce a desperately needed wage of £10 an hour or tackle the scandal of zero hours contracts.

“What the commission shows is the stark reality between its tinkering and spin and the failure to address the crying needs for jobs, fair pay and real change.

“It will not settle the increasing demand for independence reflected in public opinion since September 18th and underlines the SSP’s view that independence has not been defeated but deferred.”


SSP Media Release
Contact Ken Ferguson: 07925 613145