Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
However, once more we find Galloway's flowery rhetoric is somewhat at odds with the known and available facts. The website Full Fact Org explains:-
Direct comparisons of life expectancy that tell a story of lives in some UK communities being shorter than those in war torn and poverty stricken areas of the world clearly have the power to shock. But attempts to make such comparisons have also seen the media and politicians misrepresent statistics in search of the hard hitting headline. So are the comparisons between Scotland's largest city and the Afghan capital valid? The claim seems to be based on the alarmingly low life expectancy in the Calton area of Glasgow. Taking the Calton figure of 54.9 years for men from the 1998 to 2002 figures and comparing these to the most recent Afghanistan figure of between 44 and 45 shows that a difference of 10 years in favour of the Glasgow man from Calton.
But Socialist Courier doubts very much if Galloway will ever permit facts to get in the way of a good soundbite.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Their Scotland or Our World?
That's the issue in this election, says THE SOCIALIST PARTY
On 5 May, you will have your occasional ration of democracy with the opportunity to vote for the glorified regional council known as the Scottish Parliament.
It's all very well having a vote—but are you normally given any real choice? Let's face it, if it wasn't for the politician's head on the front of the election leaflet, could you tell which party was which?
It's tempting—in the absence of any real alternative—to get drawn into the phoney war that is political debate today. Whether Labour or SNP, Lib Dem, Tory, SSP,
,Respect, they all spout the same promises. And it all amounts to the same thing—they offer no alternative to the present way of running society.
Do you really think who wins an election makes any difference to how you live? And do politicians (whether leftwing, nationalist or rightwing) actually have much real power anyway? OK, they get to open supermarkets and factories, but it's capitalism and the market system which closes them down.
Do any of the political parties address any of the real issues:
+ Why is there world hunger in a world of food surpluses?
+ Why are there unemployed nurses, alongside closed-down hospitals and waiting lists?
+ Why are there homeless people in the streets and empty houses with "for sale" signs?
+ Why do some people get stressed working long hours while others get stressed from the boredom of unemployment?
So what's the alternative?
We in THE SOCIALIST PARTY are not standing at this election ourselves but we still are putting forward an alternative to capitalism and the madness of the market—a society of common ownership and democratic control. We call it socialism.
But real socialism. Not the elite-run dictatorships that collapsed a few years ago in Russia and East Europe. And not the various schemes for state control put forward by the old Labour Party. For us socialism means something better than that. We're talking about:
+ A world community without any frontiers.
+ Wealth being produced to meet people's needs and not for sale on a market or for profit
+ Everyone having access to what they require to satisfy their needs, without the rationing system that is money.
+ A society where people freely contribute their skills and experience to produce what is needed, without the compulsion of a wage or salary.
If you don't like present-day society ... if you are fed up with the way you are forced to live ... if you think the root cause of most social problems is the market system, then your ideas echo closely with ours.
We are not promising to deliver socialism to you. We are not putting ourselves forward as leaders. This new society can only be achieved if you join together to strive for it. If you want it, then it is something you have to bring about yourselves.
If you agree with this, you’ll obviously not want to vote for any of the candidates on offer. But you can show you want real socialism by writing WORLD SOCIALISM across your ballot paper.
And if you want to know more about us and our aims in this election, phone Edinburgh (0131 440 0995) or Glasgow (0141 579 4109) Branch of the Socialist Party. Or come to one of our regular meetings at The Quaker Hall, Victoria Terrace (above Victoria Street), Edinburgh.) 1st Thursday of each month . 7-9 pm. All welcome.
Glasgow Branch of the Socialist Party 3rd Wednesday of each month at 8 pm in Community Central Halls, 304 Maryhill Road, Glasgow.
Or send off this reply coupon for further information and for a free 3-month subscription to our journal the Socialist Standard. Website: www.worldsocialism.org/spgb
To: THE SOCIALIST PARTY, FREEPOST,
LONDON SW4 7BR (no stamp required)
or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Printed and published by the Socialist Party of Great Britain, 52 Clapham High St, SW4 7U
Friday, April 22, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Russia is going to deploy a special motorized infantry brigade in its Arctic sector in 2011, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The brigade will be deployed in the Kola Peninsula in the western part of Arctic but would be responsible for operations in the whole Arctic region. The new Arctic brigade will be created on the grounds of an existing motorized infantry brigade and will be based in the town of Pechenga near Russia-Norway border.
Earlier, Russia's Security Council approved the fundamental principles of the national Arctic policy until 2020. This document envisioned deployment of the armed forces in the region, capable to maintain security in various military-political conditions.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
“A population of nine billion can be supported and fed on the Earth,” he said. “They can’t all live like modern-day Americans, but they can be supported. By applying the best techniques, better transport and refrigeration, it shouldn’t be too difficult to feed nine billion. So one shouldn’t be too alarmist. If there are problems, it will be about mismanagement. Like poverty, it’s more about lack of will than ability to sort it out.”
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland found just one in 10 nurses feel they have good staffing levels where they work. 96% of nurses reported working in excess of their contracted hours, with a quarter saying they did so every shift. One in six said they rarely or never took the breaks to which they were entitled. 29% said they missed their meal time at work at least three times a week. One in five nurses said that in the last six months they had spent a week or more at work despite feeling too ill to be there. Another 29% said they provided last-minute cover for absentee staff at least on a fortnightly basis.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland said there were "serious concerns" for patient care in the NHS
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Friday, April 08, 2011
The leaders we are asked to support, and sometimes choose between, are a myth, created and maintained by--leaders. They are poor examples of honesty, integrity, even of humanity. They are not interested in truth, justice, or any of the grand notions they spout about. They exist, have always existed, will always exist, for one purpose only: to line their own pockets and empty yours. They are parasites on the social body, unwanted, unnecessary and destructive. To follow leaders is to hand over your heart on a platter, with knife and fork attached.
The Socialist Party has no leaders. Socialism wouldn't operate that way and neither do we. All decisions are made by common vote, all administration is above-board and open to inspection, and all work is voluntary. None of us is perfect, and that's why democracy works better than leadership. Mistakes by one person are not disasters for the many. Private interests don't count. Power doesn't exist. Socialists are their own leaders, and they follow nobody but themselves. Socialism could not work with people unwilling or unable to think for themselves, to take responsibility, or to co-operate, but fortunately it doesn't have to. Human beings are better than that. We can think, and we can co-operate, and we don't need rescuing by some "heroic" and entirely untrustworthy leader of the Left. Galloway is a living confirmation of the Socialist Party’s case of avoiding leadership and leaders in our movement.
To Galloway we say the Socialist Party are unable to support your list of demands. None of them addresses the essential problem of our society - the ownership of the means of production by a tiny number of capitalists and the enforced exploitation of the working class through the wages system. Lacking an honest revolutionary stance for a new society, the reformism of Galloway becomes caught in a pointless and frustrating circular battle with an economic system that is based on exploitation. As long as the accumulation of capital takes precedence, either in the hands of the individual capitalist or state institutions, the primary concern of exploitation of labour and making profit will take precedence over the concerns of human need. So long as the essential resources for living are controlled by their owners - whether as western style private capitalists or monopolist state bureaucrats, like that of the Soviet State-Gangster Capitalism you so venerated - the strife and anguish of the class struggle will remain.
The effect of your election campaign will be to help continue this mystification and confusion of the workers as to their own interests, as well the sullying of the name of socialism. The job of socialists is to bring the class struggle to an end, not to try and accommodate themselves with this system. Once we understand our real interest and begin to consciously organise to get it no leader or deceiver is going to be able to deflect us from our course, and the days of the likes of George Galloway will be numbered.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Monday, April 04, 2011
In the Obscene and Heard category as Yemen struggles to get rid of its President/dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was about to hand absolute power to his son, as a king would, The Toronto Star reported (26/March/2011) his speech, " We in leadership, we don't want power, but we need to hand it over to trustful hands, not to sick, hateful, corrupt collaborator hands." Astounding nerve, even for his clique of rogues, thieves, and murderers.
In the UK, angry demonstrators occupied dozens of bank branches in protest of government cuts to people services such as cuts to laundry service for the elderly, to daycares, to libraries, while banks, as in Canada, make incredible profits and pay miniscule taxes. For example, Barclays paid $177CA million against an astonishing year's profit of $18.2 billion. Unfortunately, the group says it is not against taxes, they just want the banks to pay their fair share. They will have to come up with a much better alternative to that solution, say the end of money and finance and the establishment of common ownership!
In contrast to the wealth of the banks, The Toronto Star, in an article on The privatization of Britain's housing, revealed that, in England, 4.5 million people are waiting for public housing, and 100 000 households are officially 'homeless'.
The Harper government appointed Christiane Ouimet as Integrity Commissioner in 2007 to look into reprisals against whistleblowers. Of 228 cases brought before her, only seven were investigated, and no wrongdoing was found in any of them. She was accused of bullying her staff but apparently, no one blew the whistle. She recently resigned two days before an audit was due to begin. Despite the lack of action in four years, she received a separation allowance of $354 000, $53 100 in lieu of forgone benefits, and twenty-eight weeks' severance pay of $137 000. Most workers are lucky to get twenty-eight weeks' unemployment benefits when capital no longer needs them.
Here comes 1984. Miami-Dade (Florida) police department is set to use drone cameras like those used in Afghanistan against the Taliban, for surveillance purposes.
For socialism, John Ayers
Sunday, April 03, 2011
In Canada, three million live in poverty and the latest blueprint to reduce the problem produced by the House of Commons, was dismissed outright by Tory minister of Human Resources, Diane Finlay, as the party's strategy of growing the economy will take care of it. A rising tide lifts all boats, trickle down effect etc. etc. etc. and on forever.
In China, that land of endless booming economy, have the boats been lifted? The Toronto Star reported (6/March/2011) that seventy Chinese congressional deputies (out of 2 990) have a combined fortune of $75 billion. Five hundred million Chinese live on less than $2 a day. They must be in a sinking boat!
Meanwhile, Canada's top banks reported first quarter earnings of Toronto-Dominion Bank, $154 billion (taxes $343 million) Royal Bank of Canada, $1.84 billion (taxes $612 million)
CIBC, $799 million (Taxes $268 million) National Bank, $465 million (Taxes $129 million).
That's for a quarter year! They were expecting, and got, big tax concessions in the recent budget. Unfortunately for them, it was defeated and the government fell. Steadily falling corporate tax rates and the used of tax havens (how patriotic these banks are!) has saved billions in unpaid taxes. "That's a lot of schools, a lot of hospitals." Said Toby Sanger, economist for The Canadian Union of Public Employees. Time to wake up! John Ayers