Scottish Communists - website of the Communist Party
Redeveloping working class organisation & politics
Communist Party Scottish Secretary Tam Morrison writes:
Alex Salmond’s recent call for a new referendum on Scottish independence as an ‘inevitable’ demand of the Scottish people underlines some of the problems facing the Left in Scotland. It also highlights the need to address the issue of populist nationalism.
To a large extent the Yes vote in 2014 was indeed motivated by anger at austerity - with Scotland’s poorest areas voting most heavily for independence. Today big sections of the population, desperate to escape from the politics of Cameron and Osborne, still see an “independent” Scotland as the only way forward.
But, as was pointed out in 2014, the independence put forward by the SNP would have delivered Scotland straight into the hands of the EU Troika. Scotland’s deficit, on the basis of oil at 2014 prices, would have been twice that permitted under the obligatory EU Fiscal Compact – and monetary policy would still have been controlled from London. Since then oil prices have collapsed and the size of the independence deficit doubled.
The SNP leadership has yet never squared up to these basic contradictions – of populist promises to end austerity combined with post-independence commitments that combine EU membership, sterling as a currency and economic growth still based on cutting taxes on business.
It is to be hoped that the broadening of the SNP’s membership base and the increased activity of the SNP’s Trade Union Group will bring forward such a debate.
Even on the Left of the SNP there is little recognition of the role of the EU as a major driver of privatisation. Progressives in the SNP have to address these contradictions in policy and develop a clear position against the EU, neo-liberal economics TTIP, and NATO.
Meantime, it has to be recognised that populist nationalism is having a deadening effect on class politics in Scotland – at a time when the Tory government’s double attack on the Welfare State and the organisation of the trade union movement makes the redevelopment of class politics urgent.
Anti-austerity demonstrations in Scotland have been smaller than elsewhere in Britain. Nationalist banners have been prominent combined with a significant amount of verbal attack directed at those who voted NO: ‘you voted for austerity, you are to blame.’
The Labour Party is presented as the big enemy – not the Tories, with the sarcastic taunt of “Red Tory” ever present.
The work of rebuilding class organisation on the ground, of linking unions and communities in resistance to the cuts, is always difficult and challenging .
But it is doubly challenging in face of the belief that all that is needed to end austerity is independence. Talk of a second referendum from Alex Salmond will stir even greater disunity in the trade union movement and working class communities - still to recover from the fall out of the last one.
In these circumstances the response of the Labour Party in Scotland will be crucial. It has to speak clearly against the cuts agenda and against neo-liberalism. Labour’s election manifesto was actually somewhat more anti-austerity than the SNP– yet this was not how it was projected. Labour’s election campaign failed to make a clear break with neo liberal politics and didn’t challenge the Tories on the deficit.
Jeremy Corbyn’s candidature has now shifted the whole Labour Party leadership debate to the left and shaken the Blairites to the core. For the first time in many years the debate in the mass media has revolved around class politics.
In Scotland this need to redevelop class politics is even more urgent if all those genuinely against austerity, Labour, SNP and neither, are to rebuild the class organisations needed if Corbyn was indeed to win.
Under his leadership the Labour Party would need a mass movement outside Parliament, on the streets, in the unions and in the communities, to counter the vicious right wing backlash that he will face. Hence the importance of building the People’s Assembly on the ground projecting class politics and building unity between the trade unions and working class communities. Communists will work hard to build this movement.
These are the politics that are needed to defeat the Tories. Calling for a Yes vote in another referendum simply take us down the road to classless politics. Drawing a line on a map will not defeat capitalist state power, based on finance capital and transnational corporations.
We do indeed need new constitutional arrangements that can strengthen the democratic rights now under such fierce attack. That is why Communists call for a federal republic based on national parliaments with powers to advance economic democracy and public ownership against the power of big business.
But only the redevelopment of working class politics led by an organised, combatant, militant, and political trade union movement will do that.
Paul Dobson, Communist Party member from Edinburgh, lives and writes in Venezuela
Paul recently visited Scotland and spoke on Western interference in Venezuela - video of that event can be found here.
The issue of human rights are frequently used in attempts to delegitimize the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela.This month, Caracas tackled the issue, speaking atthe UN and inviting the entire country to contribute ideas to strengthening ongoing efforts at protecting human rights.
Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz affirmed “in Venezuela the right to life is inviolable, it’s sacred”.
“There is very real freedom of expression, access to information, the right to peaceful protest, and the continual holding of elections”, she added.
Following last year’s violent uprising which looked to overthrow the democratically- elected government, Diaz explained that “it’s very serious that in the international arena people say that the 43 deaths from the violent deeds of 2014 were due to police actions. Only 6 of these 43 are due to this and there are 14 policemen behind bars for them”, she explained.
Diaz also explained that “the right to protest and meet is sacred in the judicial ordering of the country as long as it is pacific and unarmed… if these conditions are absent then, simply, it is no longer a right”. In relation to prisons, Diaz assured the UN Council that Venezuela has “eradicated torture” and has “special legislation which prohibits it”.
“If there were a policeman or military who incurred in this practice, we would process them immediately” she reassured. The state is also making advances in “attending to prisoners whilst guaranteeing their rights” such as recreation and education.
Finally, Diaz reiterated the political rights and freedom of expression in the country. “Since 1999, the people have participated in 19 electoral processes, demonstrating their democratic vocation and the reaffirmation of sovereignty and self-determination through secret, free, and universal voting”.
“This”, she explained, contrasts sharply with “our cruel past”, which the state is investigating “with the objective of sanctioning the human rights violations which happened between 1958 and 1998”. Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez summarized that Venezuela is “writing a new history in human rights. The Bolivarian Revolution gave a constitutional dimension to them, guaranteeing, promoting and protecting them”.
Venezuelan Executive Vice President, Jorge Arreaza, presented a National Plan for Human Rights 2015-2019 to the nation this month, inviting civil society and social movements to participate in a consultative process to enrich it.
The proposed plan addresses five areas: the construction of a liberating culture; institutional strengthening; the leading participation of the people; relationships with international human rights organisms; and human rights focus in legislation, politics, and state actions.
The proposals include a series of measures in the commune movement, including creating “areas which promote human rights to the rest of the community”, and in the international arena they look to “take steps forward in the understanding, respect, and guaranteeing of Venezuela’s human rights which are often misunderstood”.
Also, the proposal suggests “the promoting of a human rights system within the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)”
"The Greek crisis is a crisis of monopoly Capitalism"
Comrade Ioli Gkouma representing the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) addressed Scottish communists in a public meeting held in the Party offices in Glasgow, Monday, 4 May 2015.
In it she detailed the Greek situation under EU Capitalist austerity, the analysis of the KKE & why SYRIZA (the current governing Party) was offering false slogans & solutions.
Chaired by Prof John Foster, International Secretary of the British Communist Party.
Thursday 13 August 7pm
Ryan Boyle - Youth Representative STUC General Council, reports on current developments on the socialist island
Eventbrite listing - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/report-from-cuba-tickets-17860743966
7 p.m. in the Unity Offices,
72 Waterloo St Glasgow
(Next to Admiral Bar, 2 minutes from Central Station).
Thursday 6th August 7pm
AS you know Glasgow CND has for many years held annual commemorations of the dropping of the first atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This year is the 70th Anniversary of these tragic events. On this occasion we are holding a joint event with Glasgow City Council (a member of the Nuclear Free Local Authoritiy network). This will include a civic reception and a welcome from the Glasgow Provost Sadie Docherty. In addition we will have readings and music, a statement from a Japanese survivor, and two short sessions on the historical context in which these bombs were dropped and a reminder of the horrific medical effects of nuclear war. These latter two components are, we believe, necessary because of the many attempts to justify the use of nuclear weapons as necessary to shorten World War 2.
The event will take place at 7pm on Thursday 6th August at the City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow. I hope you can manage to attend this important event.
Thursday 3rd September 7pm
Eddie Dempsey - a member of the international solidarity delegation in Donbass in May, will report on the struggle against fascism and for federal autonomy in Eastern Ukraine
7 p.m. in the Unity Offices
72 Waterloo Street Glasgow
(Next to Admiral Bar, 2 minutes from Central Station).
To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the defeat of fascism, the Communist Party will be showing a season of anti-fascist films on our big screen at the party premises, Unity Office, 72 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 7AD.
Free entry & All Welcome
Dr Alan MacKinnon & Paul Dobson from Venezuela led a meeting on Imperialism in Ukraine and Venezuela, showing the far reach of those seeking control & influence in these and other regions.
Recorded April 2015 in Glasgow.
Speaker: Dr Alan MacKinnon
Filmed in March 2012 - at a time when Western NATO nations & media were focusing on challenging certain countries, whilst West hypocritically turned blind eyes to protect the region's most corrupt & dictatorial governments which were cracking down on Arab Spring local movements - simply because they were deemed to be pro-NATO already. Dr MacKinnon focuses his attention on Egypt - where many of his 2012 predictions have seemingly come to pass.
What are the forces at large in the region? What does this mean for the near future of people in the Middle east, and are we seeing an era of our Western nations engaging in yet more protracted war & bloodshed?
The Communist Party Manifesto for the General Election on May 7th 2015 in Scotland.
Download a PDF version here: http://www.scottishcommunists.org.uk/attachments/article/455/Communist_Party_Election_Manifesto_2015_Scotland.pdf
Zoe Hennessy is standing for the Communist Party in Glasgow North West constituency in the General Election on Thursday 7th May 2015.
I am proud to stand as a candidate for the Communist Party. Our party has a long tradition of fighting for working class power, organising in the trade unions and in Scottish communities in the battle for a better standard of life for working people.
Zoe Hennessy is leader of the Young Communist League, lives in Anniesland and has a degree from the University of Glasgow.
Active in her trade union she is 24 years old and works in a supermarket.
I am standing to challenge both the SNP and Labour on their commitment to stand up for working people and end austerity. After the referendum the working people of Scotland need to come together to fight against austerity cuts.
Follow Zoe's campaign on Facebook at
Zoe Hennessy - Communist Party Candidate Glasgow North West
You can download Zoe's Election Address here: http://www.scottishcommunists.org.uk/attachments/article/453/2015_GlasgowNW_address.pdf
THE Communist Party of Britain has unveiled its election strategy to challenge the country’s dire economic and political crisis.
Southern England district secretary Nick Wright told the executive committee at the weekend that the interests of the working-class majority were almost completely excluded from parliamentary and public life.
Recent public opinion polls (see today’s front page) confirmed that most people favour public ownership of services.
Opposition to privatisation of schools and the NHS is almost universal, Mr Wright said.
He outlined a “modest but vital” role for Britain’s communists in the unfolding election campaign.
The party’s candidates in Birmingham Hodge Hill, Croydon North, Devon North, Glasgow North West, Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, Newcastle East, Plymouth Sutton & Devonport, Sheffield Central and Torfaen will be presenting the “stark truth” that Britain’s economic and political crisis is inherently capitalist.
As head of the party’s publicity team, Mr Wright revealed that the Communist election campaign would include giant billboards in all contested constituencies, featuring Tax the Rich! as their main slogan.
The Communist Party leadership reiterated its call for the defeat and removal of the Tory-led coalition, which it argued would mean having to vote for Labour candidates in most seats — especially marginal ones.
REVOLUTIONARIES mustered by Karl Marx’s tomb in Highgate cemetery on Sunday to mark the 132nd anniversary of his death.
This year’s gathering takes place 70 years since victory over nazi Germany in World War II and leading Russian communist Yuri Emelianov recalled the heroism and sacrifice of those who gave their lives to defeat Hitler.
With ruling classes across Europe rewriting the history of the war to paint the Soviet Union out of the picture, Mr Emelianov highlighted the part played by communists in winning it.
The conflict was begun by fascist leaders who made no secret of their “virulent anti-Marxism,” he said.
And he noted that the fascist states that arose in the 1920s and ’30s defined themselves as “the anti-Comintern pact,” revealing the central position of anti-communism in nazi ideology.
“The second world war showed that the communists were also the staunchest fighters against these attempts to return mankind to barbarism and the mass extermination of human beings.”
The Red Army was responsible for 73 per cent of German combat casualties during the war, while the 27 million Soviet dead outnumbered those of any other country, Mr Emelianov recalled.
And in other countries from France to China communists led the resistance to fascism.
Britain’s Communist Party speaker Jean Turner warned that 70 years on “the same forces of racism and fascism are stalking Europe.”
Ms Turner pointed to the civil war in Ukraine, where Nato and the European Union are backing a regime whose Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk claims Russia invaded Germany in World War II and which openly deploys neonazi paramilitaries such as the Azov Battalion against its own people.
“We know that the Russian Communist Party is at the forefront of the fight against the neofascists. We salute you,” she told Mr Emelianov.
And the far-right threat was not confined to Europe, Venezuelan embassy first secretary Marcos Garcia warned — noting that the United States’ absurd claim to see Caracas as a “security threat” — could be a prelude to a violent bid to overthrow the Bolivarian revolution.