Welcome to Scottish Communists
From Scottish EC 4 March agreed by Scottish Committee
The Scottish Committee of the CPB defends the right of nations to self-determination and condemns the Coalition government for its threats of non-cooperation. If a majority of the Scottish people vote for independence in the 2014 referendum, then their decision should be respected.
Our commitment to the right to self-determination is one of principle. At the same time, the Communist Party maintains its other principle of judging the exercise of that right in terms of the class interests of the Scottish people and of those of working people in Britain and internationally.
On this basis Communists do not believe independence on the terms proposed is in the interests of working people today any more than it was in the 1970s. At that time Communists and the Left in the trade union led the way in the fight for a Scottish parliament with powers to intervene in the economy, to develop public ownership and increase labour’s power over capital – powers that would in turn strengthen the bargaining power of working people across Britain.
It is our conviction that independence as proposed in the White Paper would weaken such
bargaining power and strengthen that of big business and of its state machine at both British and Scottish level. Membership of the sterling area would subordinate Scotland to current neo-liberal policies without any power to change them – as the same time as seriously eroding the opportunity for united working class action across the nations of Britain to do so. Worse still, membership of the EU would oblige Scotland to incorporate in any written constitution the terms of the 2012 Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance. This Treaty requires even tougher controls on government spending than the Stability and Growth Pact – with the same objective: using unemployment as the market regulator to curb the trade union movement.
While it is conceivable that some of the most reactionary aspects of the White Paper, such as NATO membership and reducing Corporation Tax, might be reversed as a result of subsequent political mobilisation by the Left, we judge it to be extremely unlikely that there would be a reversal of positions on Sterling and EU membership. The transition to independence will take place at a time of diminishing oil revenues and unfavourable economic circumstances - allowing any Scottish government, and the big business controlled media, to call for fiscal ‘stability’ in face of adverse market reactions. Left-wing supporters of independence need to think through the consequences. The socialist Left does not possess anything like mass support in Scotland today. Election results show this. The inevitably rancorous negotiations over the division of resources will harden nationalist attitudes. Yet these years, 2015-2017, will be precisely when the terms of the new written Scottish Constitution will be determined and the SNP’s White Paper demonstrates a clear intent to do so on the terms set by big business and Scotland’s own finance capital sector.
This is why Communists oppose this White Paper on Independence. Instead we continue to call for radical federalism as the best way of developing class cohesion across the nations of Britain: national parliaments with powers of economic intervention, ownership and control and a federal parliament with overall powers over economic policy and a constitutional obligation to redistribute in terms of social need.
We believe that this provides the best framework for uniting working people on class terms against the state power of big business. Currently that power is concentrated at British level and represents above all the interests of the City of London. Under a ‘White Paper’ Scottish Constitution big business will continue to exercise this power through its disproportionate ownership of the Scottish economy and the binding requirements of its instruments, the Bank of England and the EU Treaties.
A No vote in the referendum has to be made the springboard for remobilising the working class movement at British level to demand real constitutional change. The fight for radical federalism, as outlined in Red Paper, must begin now. At the same time the fight for the objectives of the People’s Charter and the People’s Assembly, backed by the united trade union movement in England, Scotland and Wales, must be stepped up. Radical Federalism will only be won on the basis of class mobilisation across the nations of Britain.
Thursday 20th March 7pm Clydebank Town Hall
Trade unionists and the Left have always seen the key test for any extension of democracy as how far it enhances the ability of working people to exercise control over economic power.
This conference will debate how far independence on the terms set out in the White Paper can secure this or how far some form of radical federalism is required to make inroads into the concentrated power of big business and finance and its interlock with the British state.
Key issues to be discussed will include:
- How to overcome the barriers to public ownership both as a result of EU competition and state aid legislation and more general restrictions on borrowing (obstacles that will exist whether Scotland votes Yes or No)
- How federal structures might be created that redistribute wealth and control over resources in ways that enhance labour’s power
- How best to develop commitment to international solidarity and opposition to alliances aimed at external economic control
Click on the image below to watch the full video of a full and worthy debate on the constituational question. http://morningstarscotland.org/2014-spring-conference-scotland-way-economic-self-determination/
Young Communist League (YCL) shows The Case for Communism.
Don't listen to the Capitalist lies and distortions you were taught in school or what the capitalist media say - learn what Communists have to say and why we believe and campaign for a better world where the majority working class rule for good!
Recorded in Paisley near Glasgow, Scotland.
If you are between 12 and 28 years old, apply to join the YCL here http://yclbritain.wordpress.com/join-us/
Professor John Foster (Communist Party International Secretary) and Marc Livingstone (Communist Party Scottish Chairperson) give a detailed examination of whether Scotland can actually be "independent" in the big business European Union. A fascinating discussion followed on, which brought out many more themes on this much neglected issue for the pro-independence Left.
People's Assembly Scotland Launch: Phil McGarry RMT Union
People's Assembly Scotland Launch: Andrew Murray UNITE the Union
People's Assembly Scotland Launch: Grahame Smith General Secretary STUC
People's Assembly Scotland Launch: Ricky Tomlinson Shewsbury 24
People's Assembly Scotland Launch: Kevin McHugh PCS Union
People's Assembly Scotland Launch: John Stevenson UNISON Union
People's Assembly Scotland Launch: Contributions from the Floor
Communist Party Scottish Committee Member and leading Dundee communist Raymond Mennie appeared on Question Time Dundee yesterday. He utilised the chance to the attack the panel consisting of the rare Scots Tory, the duplicitous and pro business SNP & a New Labourite.
Comrade Mennie smashed the myths surrounding the so-called ‘benefit culture’ or as Scottish Labourites, namely Joanne Lamont termed it the ‘something for nothing culture’. He pointed out that most benefits are given to people already in work and that £7bn worth is disgracefully handed to poverty pay employers.
Further he attacked the fact that £23bn is poured straight into the pockets of private landlords taking advantage of the chronic housing shortage. A result of Thatcher’s right-to-buy and a lack of investment in council housing.
Turning the myth on its head he said that the real issue in this country is the massive and aggressive tax avoidance and evasion of private individuals and massive corporations. Demonstrating that the it is big business that is really guilty of lavish handouts from and dependency upon the state.
Well done Comrade Mennie. Hopefully we will see more communists on Question time in future . . . or perhaps they will reconsider their audience vetting process!
Taken from YCL Scotland http://youngcommunistleaguescotland.wordpress.com/
Not being content to launch a new British Young Communist League website www.ycl.org.uk , young communist activists in Scotland have launched a new YCL website for Scotland http://youngcommunistleaguescotland.wordpress.com/ !
Be sure to favorite/ bookmark both these for the latest news, activity and analysis in Britain's revolutionary Young Communist movement.
If you are on Facebook then "like" the Young Communist League Scotland page https://www.facebook.com/scotland.ycl
If you use Twitter then follow @YCLScotland https://twitter.com/YCLScotland
If you are aged between 12 and 28 years old, Left-wing and want a Marxist Leninist education like non other with like-minded young activist Communists, then apply to join the YCL here http://yclbritain.wordpress.com/join-us/
After a sucessful year of campaigning in 2013, the YCL are stepping up to new challenges in putting out a clear Communist message in Scotland in this important year 2014. Here's a sample of some of the political material they were putting out in their street campaigning this week!
Here is the New Year message from General Secretary Zoe Hennessy.....
Comrades and friends,
I would first like to thank the many of you who donated so generously to the YCL as part of our festive appeal.
2013 was a period of change for the YCL. Mick Carty stepped down as general secretary due to his age earlier this year, and I was elected in his place. On behalf of the YCL membership I would like to extend my gratitude to him for all he has done for the YCL during his time as general secretary, and the support and political insight he provided to YCLers. The party fielded Ryan Boyle, a YCL candidate, in a council election in Govan in October, beating the fascist candidate, as well as polling above another left candidate. We have held two successful day schools in Glasgow and in Birmingham over 2013.
2014 will be a busy year for the YCL we have a lot of work to do, both in the class struggle against this vicious ConDem government, and in strengthening and building our organisation. The year begins with the official relaunch of the North West YCL at the party’s North West district congress in Manchester in February, due to a recent flurry of new applications. This will then be followed by an International Brigade Memorial to commemorate the socialists and anti-fascists who fought Franco, many of whom were in the YCL.
We also plan to hold a number of day schools throughout the year in various districts and nations. Currently we’re looking to have a national camp in the summer. We are also due to hold our congress later this year in London. Our aim for this year is to grow the YCL into a more politically educated, more unified and disciplined youth organisation.
“Only by radically remoulding the teaching, organisation and training of the youth shall we be able to ensure that the efforts of the younger generation will result in the creation of a society that will be unlike the old society, i.e., in the creation of a communist society” V.I. Lenin
Onwards to victory!
YCL General Secretary
“…The True Revolutionary Is Guided By Great Feelings Of Love” - read on for tribute of the South African communists:
Last night the millions of the people of South Africa, majority of whom the working class and poor, and the billions of the rest of the people the world over, lost a true revolutionary, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) joins the people of South Africa and the world in expressing its most sincere condolences to Ms Graca Machel and the entire Mandela family on the loss of what President Zuma correctly described as South Africa's greatest son, Comrade Mandela. We also wish to use this opportunity to express our solidarity with the African National Congress, an organisation that produced him and that he also served with distinction, as well as all his colleagues and comrades in our broader liberation movement. As Tata Madiba said: “It is not the kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people, the workers, the peasants…”
The passing away of Cde Mandela marks an end to the life of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century, who fought for freedom and against all forms of oppression in both their countries and globally. As part of the masses that make history, Cde Mandela’s contribution in the struggle for freedom was located and steeled in the collective membership and leadership of our revolutionary national liberation movement as led by the ANC – for he was not an island. In Cde Mandela we had a brave and courageous soldier, patriot and internationalist who, to borrow from Che Guevara, was a true revolutionary guided by great feelings of love for his people, an outstanding feature of all genuine people’s revolutionaries.
At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our Party’s Central Committee. To us as South African communists, Cde Mandela shall forever symbolise the monumental contribution of the SACP in our liberation struggle. The contribution of communists in the struggle to achieve the South African freedom has very few parallels in the history of our country. After his release from prison in 1990, Cde Madiba became a great and close friend of the communists till his last days.
The one major lesson we need to learn from Mandela and his generation of leaders was their commitment to principled unity within each of our Alliance formations as well as the unity of our Alliance as a whole and that of the entire mass democratic movement. Their generation struggled to build and cement the unity of our Alliance, and we therefore owe it to the memory of Cde Madiba to preserve the unity of our Alliance. Let those who do not understand the extent to which blood was spilt in pursuance of Alliance unity be reminded not to throw mud at the legacy and memory of the likes of Madiba by being reckless and gambling with the unity of our Alliance.
The SACP supported Madiba's championing of national reconciliation. But national reconciliation for him never meant avoiding tackling the class and other social inequalities in our society, as some would like to make us believe today. For Madiba, national reconciliation was a platform to pursue the objective of building a more egalitarian South African society free of the scourge of racism, patriarchy and gross inequalities. And true national reconciliation shall never be achieved in a society still characterized by the yawning gap of inequalities and capitalist exploitation.
In honour of this gallant fighter the SACP will intensify the struggle against all forms of inequality, including intensifying the struggle for socialism, as the only political and economic solution to the problems facing humanity.
For the SACP the passing away of Madiba must give all those South Africans who had not fully embraced a democratic South Africa, and who still in one way or the other hanker to the era of white domination, a second chance to come to terms with a democratic South Africa founded on the principle of majority rule.
We call upon all South Africans to emulate his example of selflessness, sacrifice, commitment and service to his people.
The SACP says Hamba kahle Mkhonto!
Scotland mourns the death of Nelson Rolihlala Mandela and sends condolences to his wife, the Mandela family, the South African Government, the African National Congress and the South African people.
Nelson Mandela made a huge impact, worldwide not just in South Africa, through his beliefs, wisdom, leadership, integrity, and sacrifice. He will remain a beacon against racism and a model for all those seeking a more just and better world.
After his release from prison Nelson Mandela visited Glasgow in October 1993 to receive the Freedoms of 9 UK cities.
“Twelve years ago, in 1981, you bestowed upon me the Freedom of your great City of Glasgow. It was a tremendous honour for me personally.
It was also of great symbolic significance. For you were granting to me the freedom of your city when the apartheid regime was imprisoning us and indeed all our people in the land of our birth.
But above all, it was an act of commitment. You, the people of Glasgow, pledged that you would not relax until I was free to receive this honour in person. I am deeply grateful to you and the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Scotland for all your efforts to this end.”
There is something missing in the campaign for an independent Scotland which gives it a hollow centre and that is a groundswell of support from Scottish people. There are, of course, those who are passionately in favour of an independent Scotland, there are also those who have come to that position more recently and now see it as the most important stage in our history, but for many people it is a marginal decision which could go either way .... Read more
CP General Secretary Robert Griffths set the record straight on so called 'Communist' Slave scandal on Channel 4 News
Tuesday 19th November 7pm
Text below from Communist Manifesto, also have a look at BRS and CP handbook.
In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?
They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.
The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.
The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.
The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement.
Held at Unity Office, 72 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2. Beside the Admiral Bar, 2 mins walk from Central Station.
The meeting is entitled "Scotland Needs Socialism" and will focus on the need for a revolutionary transformation of society in the context of the world today and Scotland in particular. The speaker is Chair of the CP Scotland District and Communist Candidate in the 2011 general elections in the Glasgow North-West seat, Marc Livingstone.
The Communist Party held a speaking tour of Britain on the theme "Britain needs Socialism" in 2011. (You can watch video of the 2013 speaking tour "Capitalist Crisis - Socialist Solution here http://www.scottishcommunists.org.uk/communist-videos/video-capitalist-crisis-socialist-solution ). The videos below are from the Glasgow leg of that tour. These videos were only recently uploaded as of November 2013.
Stephen Low, Labour Party Member, UNISON Member (speaking in a personal capacity)
Rob Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party
Scottish Communist Congress Press Release
Scottish Communists held their congress in Glasgow over the weekend expressing solidarity with Stevie Deans the Unite convener and the workers at the Ineos plant at Grangemouth. They were outraged that one billionaire could hold his workers and the country to ransom and were disgusted at the attacks on Unite made by the capitalist media. Politicians were congratulating themselves that "sense had prevailed". In reality they had allowed a totally unscrupulous private company to consolidate its grip on the lifeline of the Scottish economy. Congress reaffirmed the party's call for public utilities to be publicly owned and for key productive assets, such as those of the privatised BP, to be taken into the ownership of the Scottish people.
The party's main strategies priorities over the next period would be to demand powers that would enable the Scottish Parliament to exercise democratic control over the economy and support the call of the Red Paper Collective that the referendum campaign go beyond neo-liberal nationalism and neo-liberal unionism and posed socialist objectives that met the needs of working people. A key part of this campaign would be an united fight-back by the organised labour movement against the Westminster government and its plans to secure an irreversible destruction of the welfare state and trade union rights. In this the formation of a Scottish People's Assembly was seen as a key step in bringing together the trade union movement and communities in struggle and uniting with People's Assemblies across Britain. Congress also noted the importance of winning a recognition in the Labour movement of the role of the EU as an instrument of our ruling class, along with those of Germany and France, to thwart any advance in economic democracy.
The Congress welcomed the steady growth in the party's cadre base and the increasing flow of young recruits. It pledged to adopt a systematic approach to address building the circulation of the Morning Star in Scotland.
Tuesday 22nd October 7pm
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Held at Unity Office, 72 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2. Beside the Admiral Bar, 2 mins walk from Central Station.
Zoe Hennesy - General Secretary of the Young Communist League
The Conservative Party Conference passed in typical right-wing fashion with talk of tougher welfare cuts and privatisation, and tax cuts for big business. However, one particularly nasty proposition made by David Cameron in his closing speech has caught the attention of many. This is the pledge that if the Conservatives are elected to government in the next general election they will seek to pass legislation meaning that those under 25 would lose their right to access Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit if they are not in work, education or training (NEETs). The Tories are dressing this up as a workable solution for the high level of youth unemployment, arguing that they want an end to a generation of young people who apparently claim dole as a lifestyle choice. The patronising phrase Cameron used was “nagging” the long term unemployed back to work, telling us that that young people need to “earn or learn”.