Scottish Communists - website of the Communist Party
GLASGOW Friday 27th May 7pm
Venue: STUC Building (above Stand Comedy Club)
333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6NG
Notices of the 2016 AGM resolutions etc can be found here:
The Morning Star is proud to be the only daily newspaper owned by its readers via a people's shareholding democracy called the People's Press Printing Society. Each Spring, the PPPS holds its Annual General Meeting in several different venues around the country to encourage the maximum possible number of shareholders to attend. Shareholders may attend one meeting only.
The AGM will discuss the critical issues of the day, receive the minutes of the previous AGM, receive a report from the Management Committee, approve the audited accounts and, vote to reappoint the auditors, consider resolutions and amendments, and elect one third of the directly-elected seats on the Management Committee.
It doesn't matter whether you have just a single share or a thousand, all shareholders have equal rights and get one vote each.
The Morning Star is the only socialist daily newspaper published in Britain. It has a long and proud history.
Originally called The Daily Worker, the Morning Star was founded by the Communist Party and first published on 1 January 1930. The aim was, in Lenin’s words, to provide “an economic and political tool of the masses in their struggle”. Since 1945 the paper has been owned by a broad-based readers’ co-operative, the People's Press Printing Society (PPPS). The paper’s editorial line remains anchored in the political programme of the Communist Party but it offers a broad left perspective on political, industrial and international issues. The Daily Worker was renamed the Morning Star in 1966. The Daily Worker/Morning Star has experienced many challenges since its foundation, experiencing a wholesaler boycott within weeks of its establishment; ongoing police surveillance and harassment; prosecution and imprisonment of its journalists; an outright ban during part of World War Two; an ongoing boycott by commercial advertisers; and a constant battle to cover production, distribution and staff costs. But through all this it has continued to chronicle the struggles of the British working class and champion progressive movements around the world. At its peak, during WW2, had a weekend circulation of over 100,000. Management of the paper rests with the shareholders via their Annual General Meeting (which is held at different locations around Britain to ensure maximum participation) and election of the PPPS Management Committee. The Management Committee appoints the Editor and Company Secretary. Shares in the PPPS cost £1. No dividend is paid and no person or organisation profits from the Morning Star. It is the only national daily wholly owned by its readers rather than a tax exile millionaire. Nine national trade unions and one trade union region have seats on the Management Committee: Community, CWU, FBU, GMB, NUM, NUM North-East, POA, RMT, UCATT and Unite. This means that more than half of Britain’s trade union members are now represented on the Management Committee. The other, individual members of the Committee are elected by the shareholders and are subject to regular re-election. The Morning Star is the only paper that actively campaigns for working-class politics. The only paper that supports the People’s Assembly and reports authoritatively on what is happening in Cuba, Palestine, Ukraine and elsewhere. It offers a unique, non-sectarian perspective on national and international news not offered by the mainstream media. No other daily newspaper carries such a range of voices from the left — trade union leaders and activists, left Labour MPs and the Communist Party, the Stop the War Coalition, the anti-fascist campaigns Hope Not Hate and Unite Against Fascism, the Green Party and more. We also feature distinctive arts and sports coverage unavailable elsewhere.
(taken from http://civicrm.morningstarserver.co.uk/)
Saturday 4th June, 12.30 – 1.30pm
Pearce Institute, Govan, Glasgow.
Morning Star Glasgow South West Readers and Supporters Group Govan: Saturday 4th June, 12.30 – 1.30 Pearce Institute, Govan, Glasgow.
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"?
Vote Raymond Mennie, Vote Communist for Scotland North East
Download the Commuist 2016 Scottish Manifesto
A formatted version of the 2016 Communist Party Scottish Manifesto is available here:
A plain text version of the manifesto is available here:
COMMUNIST PARTY OF BRITAIN
RAYMOND MENNIE NORTH EAST SCOTLAND LIST (2nd VOTE)
Raymond Mennie is 66 years old, retired, and was both an engineering lecturer and maths teacher. A former Timex shop steward and AUEW District Committee delegate he has been an active trade unionist, socialist and communist for more than 4 decades and has extensive experience of community campaigning and representation.
He is currently active in Unite the Union, the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, the Dundee Pensioner’s Forum and the Communist Party of Britain.
Scotland faces an onslaught on jobs and public services.
13,000 college places destroyed Trains, buses and ferries privatised
50,000 jobs lost in public services 20,000 to go in next 2 years
60,000 jobs gone in oil and gas 30,000 under threat this year
Scottish steel sold off, key exports whisky and fish threatened by global slow-down.
Communists say that without public sector intervention, restoring public ownership and direct investment in productive industry, education and basic services, Scotland’s future is under threat.
Communists call for a Scottish Parliament with powers to intervene in the economy on terms set by working people and not big business and is why they support leaving the EU with its bans on public ownership and its mandatory austerity cuts.
Communists have always campaigned for progressive federalism – national parliaments within a federal republic in which the united power of the trade union and labour movement can match and beat back the unelected power of big business and the very rich.
RESISTING THE CUTS
Cuts to public services which will cost the Scottish economy £4.5 billion by 2018, have been forced on us by all levels of government - European Union, Westminster, Holyrood and local Councils.
Communists are active in the People’s Assembly movement, uniting trade unions and communities, resisting these cuts wherever they occur and nailing the lie that budget deficits demand the savaging of our benefits and social wage while tax concessions are offered up to the rich.
Communists demand the reversal of all cuts to benefits and services
Determined efforts to eradicate tax evasion and avoidance and reversal of tax breaks for the wealthy will balance the books.
Higher Income Tax rate of 60p, Financial Transaction Tax of 0.5%,
Wealth Tax of 2% Corporation Tax at 40% Bank Levy of 5%
Capital Gains Tax at 30%, Windfall Profits Tax of 10%,
VAT reduced to 15% Land Value Tax of 3% to replace Council Tax.
Scotland is crying out for investment in infrastructure, paid for by borrowing when interest rates are low, to re-boot the Scottish economy but this will set us against the EU which stymied the SNP’s Scottish Futures Trust which they kept very quiet about.
Since 1979 there has been an unprecedented shift in wealth from the poor to the rich with wages as a %age of GDP falling from 65% to 51% - at today’s prices an average weekly loss of £160 for every worker, £40 a week since the great recession.
In today’s Scotland -
430 individuals own half her land 100 richest Scots are worth £25 bn
4 richest families control the same wealth, £6 billion, as bottom 20%
100,000 on zero hours contracts 400,000 paid below the living wage of £8.25 per hour 500,000 people including 100,000 children are living in poverty.
Before Thatcher’s “right to buy” madness, 67% of Scottish households lived in council houses with secure tenancies and controlled rents. Today that has dropped to 30% with an explosion in the private rented sector with short term tenancies and uncontrolled rents which now account for 40% of income.
Half of Scotland’s housing stock is sub-standard and at current rates will take another 20 years to repair, 150,000 households stagnate on Council waiting lists with little or no chance of being adequately housed and the construction of 60,000 homes each year are required to satisfy demand.
Communists are campaigning for:
Re-introducing rent controls in the private sector
Banning landlord demands for fees and money up front
Stronger council powers for the enforcement of housing repairs and renewals.
Borrowing permits for the construction of at least 60,000 new Council houses providing decent living conditions, badly needed construction jobs and training opportunities for our young people.
IF EVER A COUNTRY NEEDED SOCIALISM – SCOTLAND NEEDS IT NOW
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.
Bliadhna Math Ur bho'n Phàrtaidh Chomannach ann an Alba!
This coming year will one of enormous challenges and opportunities for the Communist Party, its members and supporters.
We face a ruling class offensive – spearheaded by a very right-wing Tory government – which aims to privatise health and education, dismantle the Welfare State, incapacitate the trade unions, restrict our rights to protest, keep Britain shackled to the EU and acquire a new generation of weapons of mass destruction.
This places a duty on every Communist Party member and organisation to do their utmost in the trade union movement, the People’s Assembly, the National Assembly of Women, CND, Stop the War and campaigning bodies to ensure that 2016 is a year of heightened mass and class struggle.
All CP branches must draw up their plans for the coming twelve months if they have not already done so. These should include not only key campaigning activities, but also initiatives on the Morning Star and political education fronts.
A new pack of materials to launch and enhance study of our programme, Britain’s Road to Socialism, has been prepared and will be issued before the end of January.
We need a significant increase in the number of Communist Party candidates and campaigns in the May 2016 Scottish, Welsh and English local elections.
We need good Labour votes where we are not standing ourselves, in order to strengthen the position of Jeremy Corbyn and the left inside the Labour Party.
We need a big turnout at the Ukrainian embassy in London on Tuesday, January 19 (at 12.30 for 1 pm) to protest against the banning of that country’s Communist Party.
We need a huge mobilisation for the anti-fascist, anti-racist march and rally in east London on Sunday, October 9, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street. Our party will be playing a leading role in this event.
We need a successful Red Star Festival on July 23 and a vibrant 54th party congress on November 19-20.
But more than anything else, the working class and oppressed peoples around the world need a stronger, more influential Communist Party and international communist movement.
Build the Communist Party in 2016!
Throw back the ruling class offensive!
Strengthen working class and left unity!
General Secretary, Communist Party of Britain
"FOR CLASS POLITICS AND A FEDERAL REPUBLIC" - Political Statement of the Scottish Communist Party Congress 2015
Capitalism is a system of exploitation that generates crisis, inequality, corruption, environmental degradation and war; and is innately incapable of solving most fundamental problems of humanity. "The capitalist monopoly corporations and the state apparatus which serves their interests are the main obstacles to progress on every front: economic, social, cultural and political.
This is the opening of the Political Statement "FOR CLASS POLITICS AND A FEDERAL REPUBLIC" produced by the Communist Party's biennial Scottish Congress, held recently in December 2015. Read the complete Political Statement for yourself by clicking here:
Democratically arrived at & agreed upon by delegates from across Scotland, this Political Statement is a lively & incisive analysis of the political situation facing our class in Scotland - that for redevelopment of Class politics & for a Federal Republic, and the role of the Communist Party in working to bring this about with the whole labour and progressive movement. As such we hope this can be shared and read widely:
the Scottish Committee of the Communist Party commends the Party's Scottish Congress Discussion Statement for consideration by the whole labour and progressive movement. In addition, we invite all comrades, in and outside our Party, to study our programme for socialist revolution, 'Britain's Road to Socialism'.
The outline of the Political Statement of the Scottish Communist Party Congress 2015 is as follows:
- THE PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY
- TRADE UNION WORK
- MARXIST EDUCATION
- Youth and Students
- PEACE, INTERNATIONALISM, SOLIDARITY
- LITERATURE AND PROPAGANDA
- MORNING STAR
- INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
- UNITY BOOKS
- PENSIONS, SENIOR CITIZENS & INTER-GENERATIONAL SOLIDARITY
Download a PDF of the Political Statement by clicking here: http://www.scottishcommunists.org.uk/attachments/article/501/2015%20Communist%20Party%20Scottish%20Congress%20Political%20Statement.pdf
For decades, bazaars have been one of the main fundraising activities for the Daily Worker and now the Morning Star. Each city would have neighbourhood events throughout the year. The highlight though would be a grand city centre Christmas bazaar.
In Glasgow, we’re revived the tradition in a way which combines both the earlier formats. For the last 15 years, Morning Star supporters have been holding Christmas bazaars in a many of the city’s neighbourhoods. This year’s was held in Partick on 12 December and netted £1,100 for the people’s paper. As well as fundraising the event was an opportunity to promote the paper widely through door to door leafleting, posters and street sales.
JEREMY CORBYN remembers his friend and fellow peace activist Alan Mackinnon
(from the Morning Star daily newspaper of the Left)
LABOUR Party conference opens tomorrow in Brighton. The issue of Trident and nuclear weapons is one of intense discussion, both on the conference floor and around the conference hall.
Last week all of us heard the tragic news of the death of Alan Mackinnon who had been a friend to many of us.
I don’t recall our first meeting but I was always impressed by his presence, knowledge, politeness and contribution to CND meetings in London and at our annual conferences and in Scotland.
Alan combined an enormous knowledge of peace and disarmament issues with his work as a doctor, and was committed to good-quality healthcare free for all as a human right.
I last met Alan in Glasgow when we held the last of our Scottish rallies as part of my election campaign.
It was a huge affair with over 200 people present and concluded with the singing of Bandiera Rossa.
I was proud to start my speech by recognising Alan and his wife Karin’s presence on the front row.
I was able to thank him and Karin for all the work they’d done for the peace movement over many years. Alan seemed embarrassed by this attention. That was exactly my intention.
After the rally I took the opportunity of going to a bar with our supporters and later went to Alan’s house in order to have some supper with him and talk about issues facing the peace movement.
It was clear he was very ill but was coping well after the amputation of his left leg. The following morning he drove me to the station, wished us well on the journey and assured me that we were going to win the election because of the support of so many young people and so many coming back to Labour politics after having been driven away by New Labour and the war in Iraq.
He assured me that he would give me any help I needed and I took up this offer with alacrity.
A couple of days later I phoned him and asked if he would be good enough to draft me an outline for the establishment of a defence diversification agency to cope with the job security problems of those who work on the Trident nuclear missile system and the submarines designed to carry them.
His document was timely, excellent and very valuable and in all the work I am putting forward for this agency I will always think of Alan’s crucial contribution.
His life was one of principle, decency and success because he inspired many more to think differently about the way we look at the world, to think of the human consequences of war, and the inequality of disease and healthcare around the world.
Apart from working in Glasgow as an iconic GP, he also volunteered to work in west Africa to help with the training of doctors and medical staff.
Cancer took Alan far too soon and far too young but we are all the richer for having known him and many thanks to him.
The world is the better for having had him in it. Deepest sympathies to Karin, Maeve and Ian and all his wider family and friends.
Jeremy Corbyn is Labour MP for Islington North and leader of the Labour Party.
From the Morning Star http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-c390-A-life-of-principle-and-decency