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Showing posts from September, 2018

A Still Birth Reform

Ontario's new P.C. government lost no time in proverbially saying ''Screw You'' to the working class, as if they're not already screwed enough. 

Fury was unleashed in the debate about the cancellation of the Liberals proposed basic income plan, which was launched in April 2017 and offered low-income residents in three communities $14,000 a year to individuals, or $24,000 to couples, and an extra $6,000 for the disabled.

 Doug Ford had said he would allow this proposed reform to proceed if elected Premier, but Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod axed it on July 31. Nor can the aggrieved turn to the Federal government for help. 

The Social Development Minister in Ottawa, Jean-Yves Duclos, said such programs are up to the provincial governments. Though Ottawa runs income programs for seniors and children it doesn't for low-income adults. 

We've all seen reforms abolished and watered-down by new governments, but here was one gotten rid of before it had a chan…

Educate, Educate, and Educate

The Socialist Party seldom instructs our fellow-workers and rarely tells them what to believe, preferring instead to indicate why it might be wise to distrust what those in control tell us we should believe. Without the vision of how a socialist society will rejuvenate all our lives, how do we expect to win the support of the working class? Education and understanding is the key. Education, no matter how hard or impossible it may seem has a positive effect. Understanding the practicalities of an alternative society is vital. Vital that we not only realise what is wrong with capitalist society but how it really operates and manipulates our everyday lives.  Anger and passion are admirable and it is exactly what we need. What disappoints is seeing people missing the importance of a basic understanding of the essential elements of a socialist society. It can only be established by a majority of socialists throughout the world. It will be a society based on production for use and not produ…

Solidarity 2

On Sunday the 30th of September a collective of Glasgow tenants is holding a demonstration against the eviction of a reclaimed slum tenement block by Police Scotland in alliance with notorious slumlord Harpal "Harry" Singh. Here is the text from their demo callout. We, a collective of Glasgow tenants, call for change from below to redress the power imbalance between landlords and renters. For this reason we peacefully entered and reclaimed Harry Singh’s property at 4 Queens Crescent, on the back of repeated injustices and crimes committed against his tenants. Our objective was to make 4 Queens Crescent a community space for local residents and organisations to work in for free, host workshops exploring housing alternatives and work towards serving Glasgow’s growing homeless population. Our eviction yesterday showed that landlords such as Singh are supported by the Police and outdated trespassing legislation, propping up a housing system that values profit over people. After deca…


On the 23rd of September, a collective of Glasgow tenants took back a block of tenements from notorious slumlord Harpal Singh. This is their statement on the events that followed. On the 23rd September we, a collective of Glasgow tenants entered the empty property at 4 Queens Crescent. We are not affiliated with any one political organisation or ideology; instead, we are united in our common struggle in support of housing as a fundamental human right. We did not break in - the external and internal doors were already open after the landlord Harry Singh illegally removed the locks to intimidate and evict his tenants. The collective secured the property and held it for six days to highlight Singh’s unacceptable treatment of his tenants and to protest the wider corrupt and unequal housing system. Two tenants died in 1999 in a house fire at a property owned by Singh as the property was not equipped with working fire alarms. Mr Singh lied to court at the resultant inquiry, was charged with p…

Industrial Autocracy (Part 2)

At the first sign of “hard times” when the capitalist finds he cannot sell the commodities produced by the workers in his plant, at what he considers a sufficient profit, he immediately closes the doors of his factory and proceeds to enjoy himself at some pleasant resort, living, on previous profits accumulated by him until “trade pick up” again.
Not so with the workers who are reduced to actual deprivation and desperation if they are unable to find a new job, which may be at a wage still further reduced. During “hard times” the worker who cannot find work must starve, or beg, or steal, or revolt. 
If you imagine for a moment that any of our great Captains of Industry are in business for the purpose of satisfying ever-present human needs, you have only to look about you to be swiftly undeceived. Under the present economic system, it is absolutely essential that people have to work in order to live. Everybody grants that productive workers are useful and valuable members of society and y…

Glasgow’s carers, cleaners and caterers have voted for strike action over a £1bn pay claim.

Blink and you might have missed it, but last week in Glasgow women made history. Bringing to a head a decade-long dispute between thousands of low-paid carers, cleaners and caterers with Glasgow city council, Unison and GMB members voted in landslide numbers to strike over historic equal pay claims estimated to be worth up to £1bn. If no other arrangement is reached, working-class women will soon bring Scotland’s biggest city grinding to a halt as they withdraw the labour that is so often invisible and yet vital to the functioning of any society.

In the age of #MeToo and an unprecedented public interest in the gender pay gap and equal pay at organisations such as the BBC, these women should now be taking their rightful place on the fronts of newspapers and at the tops of bulletins, with feminists and socialists everywhere lining up behind them in solidarity. Instead their activism has largely gone under the radar, framed as a local or party political issue, or not really acknowledged …

Industrial Autocracy (Part 1)

The capitalists and their paid lackeys of the media insist that commodities are the joint product of capital and labour. They say that the capitalist owns the factory; that he has invested his money in these institutions and that without the use of the factory and its machinery labour would be unable to produce anything. But we have seen that labour produced the factory even the money possessed by the capitalist class. To us, it seems a very simple matter to discover who make the things human beings need and use every day. We see the farmers growing cereals and vegetables, raising cattle and pigs. And we see these foods being transported to the food processing plants by railway workers, in trucks made by vehicle-builders. We wear clothing, all produced and cleaned and spun and woven into cloth and made up into garments by men and women. We live in houses, or flats, or tenements built by labour, from the materials produced by workers. Every shop, mill, factory, warehouse, every road, r…

The Burning Question

Last year was the worst ever year for wildlife fires ever recorded in British Columbia, according to the B.C.Wildlife Service. 

65,000 people were forced to evacuate and fire suppression itself cost $568,000 million. Fire weather is typically hot, dry and windy and there was plenty of it in B.C. in 2017, just as there has been in Ontario this year; already by early August there have been 64. According to wildfire expert Mike Flannigan,'' 

The average area burned in Canada each year has almost doubled since the 70's and human climate change is a major factor''

There is only one major change worth making and that is the abolition of the cause of climate change.
For socialism, 
Steve, Mehmet, John &all contributing members of the SPC.

Hungry Scotland

One in 10 single adults feared running out of food in the last year due to lack of cash.

The figure for the 16-44 age group includes single parents while one in 10 households with at least two adults was in the same position.

And one in 10 of those in the poorest communities has gone hungry after their wallets ran empty.

 15% of adults in the worst-off communities had “eaten less than they should” because of a lack of money. This compares to 3% in the richest areas.

Mary Anne MacLeod of A Menu for Change – a project by Oxfam Scotland, the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, Nourish Scotland and the Poverty Alliance – said: “These statistics paint a grim picture of hunger across the country. Given Scotland isn’t facing a food shortage, this is clearly a problem of widespread poverty.” She added: “The figures show 16 to 44-year-olds are most likely to be going hungry. We know low wages, zero-hour contracts, frozen benefit levels and the introduction of Universal Credit are pushing more …

Lest we forget

Obituary: Bob Norrie (1977) Obituary from the November 1977 issue of the Socialist Standard
Glasgow members were stunned by the news of the sudden death of Bob Norrie. He was 72 years old.
Bob joined the party in 1940 and acquired an excellent knowledge of the Marxist case economically, politically and philosophically. His spare time was devoted mainly to the propagation of the SPGB case for Socialism and he did the job effectively and efficiently. Over the years he was a consistent attendee of Branch and propaganda meetings and to the end, he could often be found discussing with members of the audience long after the outdoor meetings had finished and everyone else gone. This activity increases the severity of his loss. He will be missed both as a man and as a socialist. Our sympathy is extended to his widow and family.

Understanding capitalism

The Socialist Party say that before production can be carried out in ecologically-acceptable ways capitalism must go. Production for profit and the uncontrollable drive to accumulate more and more capital mean that capitalism is constitutionally incapable of taking ecological considerations properly into account—and that it is futile to try to make it do so.
If we are going to organise production in an ecologically sound way then we must first be in a position to control production, but we can’t control production unless we own and control the means of production. So, a socialist society of common ownership and democratic control is the only framework within which the aims of environmentalists can be realised. So, environmental activists should be socialist. Yet too often they are advocates of  the idea of an idyllic market economy in which people exchange goods for use—what Marx called “petty commodity production"—but, as Marx demonstrated in Capital, petty commodity production l…

Black Flag Exhibition in Dundee

“I regard anarchism as a political and behavioural philosophy with which I identify fully. However, anarchism is, above all, morality and implies a way of life without concessions. In this sense, I would not be so much because my life is far from that of any anarchist militant.”  says Santiago Sierra.

‘I travel a lot,” explains Santiago Sierra. “But entering a country is like going to jail. Borders disgust me – as an idea and as a personal experience. This work denies all of that.” Sierra is talking about his latest installation, which has just opened at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Called Black Flag, it documents his attempts to have the symbol of anarchism planted at the north and south poles. What was the reason for the project? “To occupy the world, I suppose." 

Sierra’s attempt at world occupation started three years ago when he sent an expedition to the remoteNorwegian island of Svalbard. From there, he travelled to the Russian base of Barneo which, because it sits on a drifting…

Dying younger in Scotland

Life expectancy is an estimate of the average number of years a new born baby would live based on that area's age-specific mortality rates. How long men and women in Scotland can expect to live has fallen for the first time in 35 years. National Records of Scotland (NRS) figures show life expectancy fell by about 0.1 years for males and females.  Scotland still has the lowest life expectancy of all UK countries. Life expectancy in the UK as a whole remains lower than in many other comparable countries internationally.