Scottish Communists - website of the Communist Party
Tuesday 5th July 7pm
Free public talk organised by the Morning Star newspaper, featuring Councillor Gordon Munro and chaired by Pauline Macfarlane.
Venue: Augustine Church Centre, 41 George IV Bridge
Wednesday 6th July 7pm
A public meeting being held in Glasgow City Centre to discuss & examine advancing Socialism after the EU Referendum.
Tam Kirby from the Communist Party and Vince Mills from the Labour Party Campaign for Socialism.
Venue: Unity Office - 72 Waterloo Street, Floor 2 (lift available), Glasgow, G2 7DA. Beside the Admiral Bar, 4 minutes walk from Central Station.
Topics covered will include:
What is Imperialism?,
The basics of Marxism,
the Irish question
and many more...
The school is open to all. There will comfort breaks between classes. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us at www.ycl.org.uk
Unity Office, 72 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 7DA (beside Admiral Bar, 4min from Central Station)
Willie Gallacher was Communist MP for West Fife for many years. Our speaker Jim Whyte was Scottish Secretary of the Young Communist League and helped in Gallacher's political campaigning. Jim is in a unique position to speak from his first hand knowledge of a great leader of Red Clydeside who had it out with Lenin in Russia, but who eventually came round to Lenin's way of thinking!
Willie Gallacher was a founding member of the British Communist Party (following Lenin's advice), and grew politically and in the admiration of those around him to become the Member of Parliament for the constituency of West Fife.
This meeting was held on the 80th anniversary of Gallacher becoming a Communist MP. Jim talks us though the titanic developments in Scottish and British leftwing politics from the early 1900's up to the Cold War.
Wednesday 13th July at 7pm, STUC, Glasgow
Scottish Cuba Solidarity are delighted to announce that they will be hosting Gerardo Hernández and René González.
Eventbrite page is here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/miami-five-freedom-tour-scotland-tickets-26335701793
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary
Denise Christie, FBU Scotloand Chair
Sam McCartney, Unison Scotland, International Committee Chair
Neil Findlay MSP, Cross Party Group on Cuba
Chair, Vicky Grandon, Scottish Cuba Solidarity.
Raymond Mennie, Communist Party Scottish Committee
Recorded in Dundee 2016
The organised labour & trade union movement has a strong history in Scotland. Class politics was what gave the movement that strength, and class politics remains the key to rebuilding an effective fightback against Austerity, whether is comes from the government in Westminster, Holyrood or the powerful pro-business EU.
In 2016, Raymond Mennie from the Scottish CP leadership committee, stood in the elections as a Communist candidate. This is a talk which he delivered in Dundee, which exposes the extent to which neoliberal austerity politics has become the mantra for almost every Party in power.
Neo-liberal policies: done "at a Price to us, and a Profit to them"
Raymond gives a clear analysis of where the real power lies in Scotland and Britain, and where ordinary people are in this economically & politically. He then addresses what needs to be done by our movement to combat those who seek to retain the power of Capital in the hands of the few, who do so at the expense of the many. Raymond gives a blistering critique of the lack of talk in Westminster or Holyrood of "public ownership" or "wealth redistribution" - both fundamental tenets of socialism. He also shows how the European Union political project is a club for big business, and fundamentally against the interests of working people at it's core.
There is a left-wing, progressive case for leaving the EU.
The choice is not between two wings of the Tory party.
For workers’ rights
Across Europe the EU is dismantling trade union collective bargaining, often as a condition of bailouts, as in Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
Our national minimum wage was won by our own labour movement.
Our equal pay legislation came from the struggle of the Ford Dagenham
women in 1968. We don’t owe our rights to the EU.
The EU’s European Court of Justice has outlawed trade union and government action for equal pay and equal rights for imported (‘posted’) workers, like those working for £2.50 an hour on the ferries.
Filmed on Glasgow May Day 2016
This year was the centenary of the Easter Rising in Ireland, so the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) agreed to co-host a Centenary Celebration with the Communist Party in Scotland (CPB) at our Glasgow offices. It was followed by a great annual Red Bloc May Day Social, where much political discussion followed!
Joe Law from the CPI spoke of some of the recent history in Ireland, and what forces have shaped Ireland to the present day. He also shared his own experiences growing up in Ireland, and what it means to be an effective trade unionist and a Communist working in communities divided by many factors such as religious background & national identity. Communists like himself and James Connolly knew that it was in the interests of the ruling class to play worker off against worker on the basis of these factors, whereas the way to win was and still is uniting around class politics as fellow workers.
Keith Stoddart from the Communist Party (CPB) gives an introduction showing how a Marxist from Edinburgh - James Connolly - played a huge role not just in Scotland, but in the States & is especially remembered for his part in the Irish Easter Rising.
In the run-up to the British EU Referendum in 2016, the media reports almost exclusively on virulently rightwing voices & their "trigger issues" that they seek to bring up on the EU debate. The Communist Party believes that we must clearly make Left arguments against the European Union and for leaving the EU. We believe that it is at it's very core an unreformable anti-working class & anti-socialist club for big business & the control of workers by Capital. Of course, the EU is a political body that is not to be confused in any way with the "continent of Europe" - as it is racism, anti-immigration, petty nationalism & xenophobia that fuel much of the rightwing rhetoric and outlook, and these have no place whatsoever in a socialist analysis!
Prof John Foster here takes on some common myths about the EU:
1. Leaving the EU means the end to human rights & European Court of Human Rights
2. The EU has kept Peace in Europe
3. We'll loose 3 million jobs if we leave the EU
4. We need the EU to protect us from TTIP
5. Austerity only comes from Tories or Westminster?
Then the the Broad bigger picture is looked at: "What actually IS the EU, what is it's core nature"?
From the Scottish Venezuela Solidarity Campaign http://scottishvenezuelasolidarity.org.uk/
We are forwarding here a statement from the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign with the request that you support it and circulate it further. After that we give you links to three articles which give up-to-date insights into the situation in Venezuela
Tony Burke, Unite the Union,
Dr. Francisco Dominguez, Venezuela Solidarity Campaig
Colin Burgon, Labour Friends of Venezuela
We, the undersigned, note the growing concern across progressive movements and governments across Latin America that elements of the Right Wing within Venezuela have called again for the 'ousting' of the elected President Nicolas Maduro before the constitutional end of his term.
The success of such a campaign would mean the implementation of a hardline neo-liberal programme in Venezuela, which could only further exacerbate the country's economic problems and overturn the advances in social programmes and labour rights of recent years.
Announcements from the right-wing this week follow the decision of the US to renew sanctions against Venezuela, which have been condemned by the Union of South American nations.Agreeing with the Latin American community of nations, we call for respect for Venezuela's national sovereignty and ongoing solidarity with the social achievements Venezuela has made in recent years.
THREE RECENT ARTICLES FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST
1. Venezuela’s Right Wing Confesses to 17 years of Political Delinquency: The Amnesty Bill - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-francisco-dominguez/venezuelas-right-wing-con_b_9401644.html?utm_hp_ref=venezuela
2. Right Wing Majority in Venezuela’s National Assembly: The Constitutional and Political Stakes - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-francisco-dominguez/right-wing-majority-in-ve_b_9069350.html?utm_hp_ref=venezuela
3. Fixing the Venezuelan Economy - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-weisbrot/fixing-the-venezuelan-eco_b_9318760.html?utm_hp_ref=venezuela
Prof John Foster, Communist Party International Secretary, explains what is going on in the Ukraine. Ukraine is a country divided by a civil war that has already killed thousands. The country is also in economic chaos. Inflation is running at over 40 per cent. Average wages for those lucky enough to be employed are around £25 a week. Over half the population is living below the UN-determined poverty level.
Recorded September 2015, this event was originally to have had Eddie Dempsy give a report on the International solidarity visit to the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine. Although Eddie couldn't make it, Prof Foster stood in and gave tremendously useful insights into this potentially complex subject.
Prof Foster & others Left authors continue to give this sharp analysis in the Morning Star daily Leftwing newspaper - like this article:
Communism Ban signals Reign of Terror in Ukraine from Tuesday 19th January 2016.
Only the Morning Star in Britain really carries the news and analysis on Ukraine and many other subjects & issues which Western media can often obscure.
Carolyn Jones, Director of the Institute of Employment Rights
Taken from Morning Star Scotland website: http://morningstarscotland.org/video/111-video-challenges-to-politics-of-working-class
Part of the "Redeveloping Class Politics" Autumn 2015 Conference held in Glasgow's STUC organised by the Morning Star.
Carolyn Jones, Director of the Institute of Employment Rights, opened this successful Conference with her insights & analysis of the "Challenges to Politics of Working Class", and what we can do to further the cause of ordinary people in the face of a mass Tory & Ruling class onslaught.
IER: A think tank for the labour movement http://www.ier.org.uk/
Also includeds a short tribute to the late Dr Alan MacKinnon, former Chair of CND and Morning Star supporter and columnist.
ROBERT GRIFFITHS asks who should govern Britain? Monopoly corporations through the EU, the Bank of England, Nato and the Pentagon — or the people, through their mass movements and elected representatives?
Poor Oliver Letwin. Like Jim Carrey in the US comedy film Liar, Liar, he can’t help blurting out inconvenient and embarrassing truths.
In the case of Carrey’s screen character, his son had cast a spell on him to halt the torrent of lies.
In Letwin’s case, his wealthy Eton and Oxbridge background have given him such a colossal sense of superiority and entitlement that he imagines himself to be bullet-proof.
His views of black people and the “lower classes” from above provide further insights into the mind of a ruling-class politician who is currently a senior policy adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron.
This, after all, is the Tory MP who was seen dumping piles of constituents’ correspondence into five different bins in a public park near Downing Street, so little did their problems concern him.
In the past, Letwin has voiced his willingness to beg rather than allow his offspring to attend a state school like 93 per cent of other children.
He once admitted that the NHS would not survive five years of Conservative government cuts, reorganisation and privatisation — a prediction now on course to be realised.
Soon after Chancellor George Osborne made the first of many doomed announcements that austerity policies would ensure a rosy future for the British economy, Letwin declared that it faced an “immediate national crisis.”
That certainly turned out to be the case in 2012, when VAT increases and deeper public spending cuts choked off the economic recovery begun under the outgoing Labour government.
Since then, the Tories have dumped their little Lib Dem helpers to step up the ruling class offensive against public services and the welfare state, against the poor and disabled including children, and against trade union and democratic rights.
Only fresh increases in property values and household borrowing have so far maintained economic demand, although recent growth figures have been revised downwards towards near-zero.
Even after the cuts in social and welfare spending, tax relief for the rich and big business would be driving Britain’s public finances into the ditch were it not for record fire-sales of public-sector assets.
In 2015, Osborne collected £20bn from flogging off cut-price bank, building society and Royal Mail shares to his party’s paymasters in the City. He’s counting on another £41bn between now and 2020.
He and Cameron must be praying that Letwin doesn’t blurt out the truth about their “long-term economic plan” and “northern powerhouse” — that they don’t really exist.
These are fictions to fool the people with the aid of the right-wing media.
What is real, however, is a ruling class strategy to boost the corporate profit base through tax reductions, international tax dodging and extensive privatisation of the health, education and criminal justice systems. Organised labour is to be weakened by new laws in a deregulated market.
Big business will want to keep Britain in the pro-austerity, anti-democratic European Union, while seeking to escape even the mildest regulation of the financial sector.
British imperialism will continue to regard EU and Nato membership as vital to serving its economic and financial interests around the world, not least in the important greater Middle East region.
As British capital continues to draw vast profit from its global operations, foreign states and private monopolies will be bribed to invest in Britain’s backward energy and transport infrastructure.
The price will be paid, literally, by workers and consumers here for generations to come.
This is the scenario facing the peoples of Britain and our labour and progressive movements today.
We cannot allow this Tory government to wage class war on every front without responding with equal and greater force.
Every socialist and communist should play whatever part they can in their local trade union, student, tenant, People’s Assembly, CND or Stop the War organisation and its activities.
We must march, demonstrate, lobby and strike against Tory government policies on an even bigger scale than before. But we also need to do so around a popular left-wing alternative programme. This should include:
- New powers to enforce equal pay and the national minimum wage.
- An end to statutory pay discrimination against young workers.
- A wealth tax on the super-rich and higher taxes on big business profits.
- A “Robin Hood” tax on financial speculation.
- An end to all PFI and privatisation schemes.
- Public ownership of gas, electricity, water, mail and the railways.
- Massive public sector low-interest investment in energy and transport.
- A huge council house building programme.
- Reversal of all benefit cuts and the reintroduction of student maintenance grants.
- Devolution of substantial economic and financial powers to local government.
- Powerful Scottish and Welsh parliaments and elected English regional assemblies in a federal Britain.
- No more nuclear weapons.
In Jeremy Corbyn, we now have a Labour Party leader who is closer to these kinds of policies than anyone since Keir Hardie.
But the left still has to win the battle of ideas inside the labour movement, especially in the Labour Party. This is particularly so in four areas.
First, the case must be clearly made for democratic, British public ownership of our electricity, gas, water, nuclear and railway industries in place of French, German, Dutch, Belgian and Chinese public ownership.
This would also end the grim farce of feeble regulators conducting frequent inquiries into rip-off practices.
Second, the only consistently democratic alternative to reactionary nationalism and the Tory devolution “tax trap” is a fully federal Britain.
Scottish separation under current conditions would weaken the labour movement and strengthen the forces of reaction on both sides of the border.
Labour should come out clearly for Scottish and Welsh parliaments with wide-ranging economic, financial and legislative powers; for English regional assemblies where popular support exists; for replacing the House of Lords with an English or federal chamber; and for equal status between the nations of Britain.
This should be accompanied if not preceded by a radical process of wealth redistribution across Britain from the City and the south-east to workers and families in every region and nation.
As new figures show the wealth gap getting bigger again, a modest 2 per cent assets tax on the richest one-tenth of the population would wipe out Britain’s annual public spending deficit at a stroke.
Third, with Trident renewal set to cost at least £167bn over 40 years, the labour movement must wholeheartedly embrace the campaign to scrap Britain’s weapons of mass murder.
The money saved could redeploy all armaments workers in socially useful research, development and production in such varied spheres as marine technology, civil defence and Third World development.
Finally, the labour movement needs to end its infatuation with the European Union.
It is absurd to imagine that as the world’s fifth biggest economy, Britain could not trade with the rest of Europe and the world to mutual advantage, while also safeguarding jobs by having the freedom to protect vital industries and enterprises.
As workers and their organisations are coming to understand across Europe, the basic treaties and organisations of the EU have been designed in favour of big business and are intentionally unreformable.
It will be hard enough winning a Labour government that will challenge monopoly and state power in Britain.
Why wear additional shackles that bind us to the EU Commission, the European Central Bank, monetarism, a super-exploited labour market and pro-big business trade deals such as TTIP?
Already, EU laws and treaties ban large-scale borrowing for public-sector investment — as the SNP government has discovered — and make it unlawful for states to legislate for equal treatment for guest workers (hence the Luxembourg ruling at the European Court of Justice). They effectively outlaw the non-commercial use of public ownership for social or environmental purposes.
Who should govern Britain?
Monopoly corporations through the EU, the Bank of England, Nato and the Pentagon — or the people, through their mass movements and elected representatives?
Robert Griffiths is general secretary of the Communist Party.