Scottish Communists - website of the Communist Party
William Gallacher honoured in his home town
Monday 10 October 2016
Today, Councillor Mike Holmes unveiled a memorial to the Communist MP Willie Gallacher in Paisley’s High Street. Mr Holmes said “I’m pleased on behalf of Renfrewshire Council to unveil this memorial cairn. Willie Gallacher was a proud son of Paisley and a true internationalist. I’m delighted also that our library has today launched a new permanent exhibition on Gallacher’s commitment to the labour movement and his lifelong association with our town”.
Councillor Holmes was joined by representatives of the Communist Party, the Scottish Labour History Society and the William Gallacher Memorial Library.
Sunday 16 October 11am - 3pm
The EU referendum divided the trade union movement and the Left. Now unity is essential if we are to defend our democracy and reshape our economy on progressive terms in the new circumstances outside the EU.
Over the coming months the Conservatives will make every effort to develop a new international framework that will continue to enforce existing neo-liberal policies and the dominance of big business.
The Morning Star’s Autumn Conference is about how to stop this. It will debate the options and alliances that potentially exist, inside and outside the EU, for progressive policies - for public ownership, reversing privatisation, investing in the productive economy and restoring collective bargaining.
The conference will examine how to build the alliances needed to secure such policies – policies that can give hope to working people and by doing so halt the rise of right-wing populism. At the same time the conference will consider the special situation in Scotland and discuss how to push forward a progressive agenda at both British and Scottish levels.
Conference Programme PDF here: http://morningstarscotland.org/attachments/article/134/2016_Star_Autumn_conf.pdf
A loyal trade unionist, JOE LAW campaigned for peace, freedom and socialism all his life, writes Brian Campfield
IRELAND, and the north of Ireland in particular, has lost one of its stalwart communists and trade unionists with the sudden and untimely death of Joe Law on September 28, one month before his 70th birthday.
Joe came from Belfast’s radical Protestant tradition and fought against the sectarian state for workers’ unity and for socialism.
In this he was from the same mould as Henry Joy McCracken and the other northern United Irishmen of the 18th century.
An industrial worker who was active as a shop steward in the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union (ATGWU) Joe was an executive committee member of the Belfast Trades Council in which he was active for 30 years.
He worked in a number of heavy engineering companies, including Mackie’s Foundry, Shorts and Rolls Royce.
But it was his initial experience as a young seaman in the 1960s which opened his eyes to the injustices of the world.
His experiences of apartheid when his ship docked in South Africa set him on a journey which led to his active trade unionism and membership of the Communist Party of Ireland.
Following redundancy as a riveter with Shorts Aircraft factory in Belfast, Joe made a major contribution to confronting sectarianism as a tutor and educator with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ (ICTU) anti-sectarian unit, Counteract.
He then became a founding member of Trademark, an organisation which later became recognised by ICTU as its official partner in confronting sectarianism.
Through engaging with trade unionists and managements in a wide range of employing bodies, Joe, in his unique and direct way, successfully challenged long established practices and encouraged people to confront their own prejudices.
Trademark also developed a political economy education programme which is highly regarded by trade unionists north and south of the border.
Unlike many, Joe also understood imperialism and this understanding was at the centre of all his work.
Joe also co-operated with his comrades in the Hope Not Hate Glasgow campaign and contributed immensely to strengthening relations between comrades in Scotland and the north of Ireland.
A Junior Orange Lodge member in Belfast in his early youth, Joe Law travelled a monumental distance and was proud of the contribution of the Irish members of the International Brigades who valiantly fought the fascists in Spain.
He was active in anti-apartheid solidarity work, confronted sectarianism on hostile shop floors in difficult and dangerous times and held the banner high for peace, independence and socialism.
He has left us much too soon. Our sincere sympathy to his wife, partner and soulmate, Brenda.
Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann (There will never be the likes of him again).
Brian Campfield is president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions
Film Season: "THE BRITISH CLASS STRUGGLE"
All films start Saturdays at 4:45pm. Everyone is welcome and admission is FREE.
Glasgow City Centre Venue: Unity Office, 72 Waterloo Street, 2nd floor (lift available), G2 7DA
Video of a very successful public meeting 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 were our speakers, chaired by Sandra Trotter of the Communist Party Fife Branch & UNISON trade union activist.
Recorded on Wednesday, 6 July 2016 in Glasgow.
Find out more: great pamphlets on EU & Labour Movement
The EU deconstructed
With an introduction by John Foster five critical voices from within the EU, from Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, Cyprus and Germany describe the austerity effect of membership of the European Union. Readers are encouraged to circulate this to friends and family
ISBN 978-1-907464-17-1 32pp £2 printed
Download free or go to https://issuu.com/manifestopress/docs/the_eu_deconstructed_e
Britain and the EU
This pamphlet ends with a warning. The EU’s imposition of neo-liberal policies on all governments, including those led by the traditional parties of the Left, has resulted in the collapse of support for social democracy. In the coming referendum voters will be asked to support an even more neo-liberal and probusiness EU. Politically, such an outcome would pose an additional danger that Cameron would use it to argue that the electorate has voted in support of the EU’s so-called free market policies and therefore against Labour’s programme for public ownership and enhanced public spending.
The battle for the Labour Movement
1 2015: a year of struggle January 2
2 Despite its flaws Labour remains the best choice for the working class March 11
3 Socialism is the only antidote to exploitation May 1
4 After the election, what priorities for the left? May 23 6 The Tories are fighting on a wide front – so must we June 20
8 Bail-out sell out July 14
10 The illusory recovery August 8
12 Big spending – the spark our economy needs August 10
14 Corbyn's victory stands to chart a new course for Britain September 14
16 An unabashed socialist is at the helm again October 3
18 Privatise the profits – the only game in Tory town November 27
20 2016: A year for decisive advance November 28
22 March, demonstrate, lobby & strike against Tory government policies January 2, 2016
19th & 20th November 2016
Please find attached the Executive Committee resolution for discussion at the Communist Party 54th Congress on November 19 & 20 at Ruskin House, Croydon.
The EC has decided that each Branch and District and Nation Committee may submit up to three amendments, which must reach Party Centre by September 12 (no longer September 5). These should respond directly to the contents of the resolution, or introduce important new matters that in your view should be included.
In order to maintain the overall balance of the EC resolution, please use the entitlement to two Branch, District or Nation resolutions of your own to deal with any single issue in detail or at length, or to raise internal Party matters.
Branch Secretaries are urged to ensure that every local member not on email receives a paper copy of the draft EC resolution as soon as possible.
BLOCK THE RULING CLASS OFFENSIVE AND WIN A LEFT-LED GOVERNMENT
- Capitalist crisis and imperialist aggression
- Peace still the priority
- The structural crisis of the British economy
- Challenging the ruling class offensive
- The left turn in the Labour Party
- Federalism and devolution
- Trade union rights for workers' advance
- Women to the fore
- A class agenda for equality
- Immigration – a working class response
- The next steps
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.
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.
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.