Showing posts with label Scottish Socialist Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scottish Socialist Party. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ruling by Fooling

 The Socialist Party constantly hammers home that the SNP are nothing but another party of the ruling class. The Scottish Saltire is a commercial asset. A brand label. It represents the economic and political interests of the capitalist classes. Many on the Left believe that Scottish nationalism is a progressive force, and can therefore be used. They either do not understand, or opportunistically refuse to accept the fundamental role of nationalism. Deceived by this, sincere people work in the nationalist movement only to discover that they have been misled and have been wasting their time. You can't be a good internationalist and a nationalist at the same time, just as you cannot be a good monarchist and at the same time a good republican. Workers have to make the choice.

Socialists are not working to divide the working class. We are working to get the whole movement on to the lines of class conscious revolutionary activity to achieve the social revolution. To socialists neither race nor creed should separate the workers of the world. We believe that the co-operative commonwealth cannot be reached till capitalism is overthrown by the workers. Socialists re-affirm "It is better to be a traitor to your country than a traitor to your class!"

It is not possible to achieve a socialist society in Scotland. This is because, if such a society were realised, it would be easily crushed by the capitalist states that surround it. A socialist Scotland is sustainable only if socialism has been realised world-wide. At the present time most that socialists in Scotland can do is create an organisation to spread socialist ideas.

It is too easy to simply place the blame for the failures of capitalism upon the shoulders of the banks and financial speculators. Such criticisms are a form of simple minded nationalism. The acute economic and financial problems currently besetting Scotland are a product of world capitalism.

Parties like the Scottish Socialist Party clamour for a state-capitalist solution to Scotland's problems but there is essentially no difference between their position and the position being held by the SNP. Both want a capitalist solution within a national framework. Their differences are rooted in mere modifications as to how wealth is to be distributed. Modifications in wealth distribution fails to change class relations. Neither want a real revolution in the character of the production process -- a socialist solution. There cannot be a "socialist" solution except within an international framework. In short the Scottish working class need the revolutionary awakening  mobilisation of the Europen, North American and Asian working class. Other than that a capitalist solution is the only solution possible.

The SSP call for more and more state spending as the means towards the solution of the problems of the working class. In other words it calls for the growing expansion of the capitalist state as the solution to social problems. In other words they want a stronger more all-embracing capitalist state. They are forever offering solutions that endeavour to make capitalist society more efficient. They want to save capitalism not overturn it. The SSP mislead the voters when they claim to have a "socialist" alternative to the policies of the SNP and the Labour Party. Nor are the nationalist policies of the SSP actually sustainable.

 Consequently the SSP are incapable of implementing nationalist policies nor social revolution. No-where in the world has capitalism been reformed out of existence. Nor can it be. The politics of the SSP are inherently opportunist. They fail to make clear that it is the character of capitalism that is the fundamental problem -- not incompetent governments. Socialists support the socialisation of the forces of production on a world basis. Consequently we don't support nationalist solutions to what are global problems

However, we should emphasise that the Socialist Party does not envisage a socialist world from which all the existing variations between different communities and cultures have been stamped out. That is total uniformity – with all people speaking the same language, reading the same books, watching the same television programmes. On the contrary, we assume that different communities each with their own history, literature and language may well desire to preserve their different cultural, environmental and artistic characteristics.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Scot Trots

 When someone first encounters the Socialist Party of Great Britain, a common reaction is to consider us as just another left-wing organisation. But probe deeper and you will find that our political position is very different from that of the Scottish Socialist Party or Sheridan's Solidarity.We are not a part of this "Left".  The first difference is the kind of society we wish to see established. Our aim is quite clear and uncompromising - a society without wages, money, countries or governments.We are opposed to measures which tinker with and attempt to reform capitalism with palliatives. Because of this the Socialist Party is accused of "splitting the Left". It is a "Leftist" tactic to hypocritically ask workers to vote for a "workers'" party to get reforms which they know they cannot obtain, on the parliamentary road which they dont support, to aspire to a "socialism", which is not socialism. The Socialist Party is opposed to such trickery of workers and this cynical political opportunism. Simply, the "Left" are not socialists. Far from splitting the "Left", we oppose the "Left" for its political cowardice, (being unable or unwilling to describe socialism to workers and nail their true colours to the socialist mast), of opportunism, (interference in workers struggles and grass-roots movements to recruit and subvert them to their cause), and for its pretensions, (of assuming to know what socialism is, and presenting itself as a leadership towards it).

The Scottish "Socialist" Party despite its name, does not stand for socialism but is a left-wing nationalist - a Tartan Trotskyist - party. The SSP is lucky that there isn’t a political equivalent of the Trades Description Act or they could be prosecuted for fraudulently describing what they are trying to sell as “socialism”.

Friday, May 18, 2012

All an act

If you can pretend and play one part, why not others?

Ex-Scottish Socialist Party, now Solidarity [with] Tommy Sheridan was jailed for making up stories in court and Rab C Nesbitt creator Ian Pattison chose to write a play about the life of  Sheridan with Des McLean in the lead role. Previously in 2007, not one for modesty, Sheridan appeared on the Edinburgh Fringe, hosting a chat-show.

But now not to be out-shone, his ex-SSP comrade, Rosie Kane, who gave evidence against her one-time party leader at his perjury trial, will be taking to the stage in a show about her life.

Asked about the show, Ms Kane said:"I'm enjoying the opportunity because I'm not shy. If you stand up at parliament and you stand up at protests, then this is just another one of those things."




Both are stand-up comedians! Both led the workers a right song and dance.

And again it, fooling the public once more with fanciful made-up tales. It is what Trotskyists do. But now it is political theatre, instead of electioneering deceit.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/former-msp-rosie-swaps-holyrood-for-the-theatre.17622402
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-17297993

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The failure is capitalism

Alex Salmond says that as devolution had failed to solve the problems facing people in Scotland and he expects people would be more prepared to listen to the SNP's view that an independent Scotland is the only framework within which these problems can be solved.

Of course, devolution has failed. But that's because people's problems in Scotland were never caused by a lack of devolution in the first place. They were, and still are, caused by capitalism as the system of class ownership and production for profit. This is why independence is no solution either. As capitalism would continue in an independent Scotland, so would the problems. These problems are not caused by the form of government, and any government of an independent Scotland would still be compelled by the economic laws of capitalism to put profits before people, just as UK governments have been.

The SSP and the assorted Tartan Trotoids will no doubt say "independence has failed because capitalism has been kept" and that what is needed an "independent socialist Scotland" and that then the problems will be solved. But they won't be, firstly, because socialism cannot be established in one country (we are living in an inter-dependent world and capitalism is a world system) and, secondly, because what the SSP mean by "socialism" isn't real socialism but only a national state-capitalism.

The only framework within which these problems can be solved -- which don't just exist in Scotland but are basically the same in all the countries of the world -- is a world community without frontiers based on natural and industrial resources of the world being the common heritage of all humanity so allowing production directly for use instead of for profit. In other words, world socialism not narrow nationalism. That will be the issue we will be  raising in the referendum when it eventually comes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Same ol' story

First we had the Scottish Socialist Party , then there was Sheridan's Solidarity , and now we have the Socialist Party Scotland. The SPS are part of the Committee for a Workers International - the Socialist Party of England and Wales.

As Trotskyists its not surprising that they have a hotspotch of reforms that they demand:-
Minimum wage to £8 an hour as an immediate step towards £10 an hour.
35-hour week without loss of pay.
An immediate 50% increase in the state retirement pension.
Tax the super rich.
Re-nationalise all privatised utilities and services.
Nationalise the top 150 companies and banks and run them under workers control.

etc etc etc...ad nauseum

Sounds all so very familiar , doesn't it?

We in the Socialist Party - the original and genuine one - oppose organisations like Socialist Party Scotland that promise to deliver a platform of reforms on behalf of the working class, simply in order to gain a position of power. Such groups on the Left have aims quite different to the reform programme they peddle. Socialist Party Scotland put before the working class simplistic demands of what they think will be understood by the workers and then , of course , they are going to try to acquire the leadership of the struggles for the reforms so to achieve political advantage for their party. These Leftist parties also try to muscle in on any struggle by workers started off by themselves. And it is all very cynical because they know that reformism ultimately leads no-where (as they readily admit in their rarely read theoretical journals but never explain in their populist, propaganda papers). Members of the SPGB occasionally come across individual Trotskyists who hold the belief that the reforms they advocate can indeed be successfully achieved under capitalism (as a few actually can be without tumbling down the whole edifice of capitalism.) Thus, many members of political groups such as Socialist Party Scotland are often the victims of their own tactics.

A list of reform demands is the bait for a Trotskyist party to get workers to struggle to try and get them, on the theory that the workers would learn in the course of the struggle that these demands cannot be achieved within capitalism and they would then start to struggle (under the leadership and guidance of the vanguard party, naturally)to abolish capitalism. The purpose in telling workers to demand reforms is is to teach them a lesson the hard way. The expectation is that when, these struggles for reforms fail, the workers will then turn against capitalism.

It is the stale old argument, advanced by Trotsky, that socialist consciousness will develop out of the struggle for reforms within capitalism, when workers realise that they can’t get the reforms they have been campaigning for they will turn to the "cadres" of the Fourth International for leadership. In fact, it never happens so all that's achieved is to encourage reformist illusions amongst workers and disillusionment with the possibility of real radical change.

It can be summed up in the following:
1 ) The working class has a reformist consciousness.
2 ) It is the duty of the Revolutionary Party to be where the masses are.
3 ) Therefore, to be with the mass of the working class, we must advocate reforms.
Further:
4 ) The working class is only reformist minded.
5 ) Winning reformist battles will give the working class confidence.
6 ) So that, therefore, they will go on to have a socialist revolution.
Thus:
7 ) The working class will learn from its struggles, and will eventually come to realise that assuming power is the only way to meet its ends.
8 ) That the working class will realise, through the failure of reforms to meet its needs, the futility of reformism and capitalism, and will overthrow it.
9 ) That the working class will come to trust the Party that leads them to victory, and come a social crisis they will follow it to revolution.

It all relies upon a notion of the inherently revolutionary nature of the working class and that through the class struggle this inherently revolutionary character will show itself - Although, it hasn't.
Its also flawed because it shows no reason why, due to the failure of reform, the workers should turn to socialism. Why, since it was people calling themselves socialists who advocated the reforms, should they too become socialists and not turn against the idea, instead ? Under the model of revolution presented by the Trotskyists the only way the working class could come to socialist consciousness is through a revolution if made by the minority with themselves as its leaders.This, then, explains their dubious point about needing to "be" where the mass of the working class is. It is the reason put forwrd why a supposedly revolutionary party should be with the masses, rather than trying to get the masses to change their minds and be with it. They do not want workers to change their minds, merely to become followers. Their efforts are not geared towards changing minds, or raising revolutionary class consciousness.The fact remains, though, that the “revolutionaries” of the Socialist Party Scotland are incapable of taking these reform campaigns or the trade unions further than the bulk of the membership are willing to tolerate .

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Nats Whae Hae?

Nationalism is anathema to socialists. Wage and salary workers have no country. We have more in common with people like ourselves in other countries than with the privileged owning class of the country where we happen to live and work. The world-wide working class has a common interest, to end its exploitation and solve its problems, to join together to establish a world without frontiers in which the resources of the planet will have become the heritage of all, so that there can be production to meet needs and not for profit. One world, one people,where cultural differences will still be celebrated, but where we'll all be citizens of the world.

It is clear, then, why socialists don't take sides in the debate, aired in this month's elections to the Scottish Parliament, about whether it is better for workers there to be ruled from Edinburgh (as the SNP says) or from London with a little help from Edinburgh (as say the British Nationalists of the Labour, Liberal and Tory parties).

The SNP argues that the problems facing workers in Scotland are due to "Westminster rule". If only there was an independent Scotland, they say, separate from the rest of Britain, then there would be full employment, higher wages, job security, better state benefits, a healthy health service and all the other things politicians promise at election times. This view is echoed by the so-called Scottish"Socialist" Party and Tommy Sheridan's Solidarity (-with -Sheridan) party. But it is patently absurd.

This would be a purely political, not to say mere constitutional, change which would leave the basic economic structure of society unchanged. There would still be a privileged class owning and controlling the means of production with the rest having to work for them for a living. Just as now.

Maybe the pillar boxes would be painted tartan but that would be about all.

An independent Scottish government would still have to operate within the constraints of the world capitalist system. It would still have to ensure that goods produced in Scotland were competitive on world markets and that capitalists investing in Scotland were allowed to make the same level of profits as they could in other countries.

In other words, it would still be subject to the same economic pressures as the existing London-based government to promote profits and restrict wages and benefits. And as the government of Ireland,which broke away from the United Kingdom in 1922 and where things have never been any different. Not even the national state-capitalism proposed by the SSP and Sheridan would make any difference. As in Cuba, exports would still have to be competitive and popular consumption restricted to achieve this.

Since it is this class-divided, profit-motivated society that is thecause of the problems workers face in Scotland, as in England and in the rest of the world, so these problems will continue, regardless of whether Scotland separates from or remains part of the United Kingdom.

The SNP is promising a referendum in 2010. What an irrelevant waste of time and energy that would be, but it's their alibi. If they get to form the regional government of Scotland their excuse for not delivering (as capitalism won't let them) will be that their hands were tied and that their promises will only be able to be honoured after separation. Some of their naïve, lower-level members may believe thus, but we don't think too many other workers will be fooled. They will have switched their votes to them, not because they want a breakaway Scotland but as a protest against the Labour Party.

So, the SNP leaders will be the prisoner of their non-separatist voters and will have to settle down to life as regional politicians. Not that that will necessarily displease them if they get to be regional ministers. Which, as professional politicians, is probably their realistic aim anyway.

Our opposition to the SNP should not be interpreted as support for the Union or the Labour, Liberal or Tory parties that support it. We are just as opposed to them.

A plague on both their houses is what we say.

To adapt a slogan ,

Neither London nor Edinburgh, but World Socialism.

From May Socialist Standard

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