Dundee SSP

Scottish Socialist Party branches from Dundee

Archive for the 'Youth' Category

SSY on the army

Posted by alangdundee on 31st August 2009

Scottish Socialists Youths new blog for their magazine Leftfield contains an excellent recruiting poster for the army.

army recruitment parody

Posted in anti-war, Campaign, Youth | No Comments »

Legalise Cannabis Demo

Posted by alangdundee on 18th August 2009

The Scottish Socialist Youth invite you to march with them in support of their legalise cannabis campaign.

This Saturday, 22nd August, assemble 12 noon George Square, march to Kelvingrove Park.

Posted in Campaign, Demo, Glasgow, Scotland, Youth | No Comments »

You call this radical?

Posted by alangdundee on 26th May 2009

David Cameron has been all over the press today with his sweeping radical reforms as he likes to call them.

These include:

  • seriously consider[ing] the possibility of fixed-term parliaments
  • reducing the number of MPs by 10%
  • Text alerts on progression of Bills.
  • More publication of expenses
  • possible curbs on the whipping of votes
  • backbenchers would get powers to choose the chairmen and members of select committees

These, he claims, will transfer power from the state to the people. Sounds good, unless you realise this is a man who voted for people to be detained by the state without charge for 28 days.

So lets look at the list:

seriously consider[ing] the possibility of fixed-term parliaments.

Not only is it a pitiful reform but it is surrounded by two weasily non-commital caveats. Why not fixed numbers of terms for MPs if you want to fix terms? (The SSP voted for 2 terms at our conference a number of years back)

reducing the number of MPs by 10%

In a parliament which is a representative type this makes the body less accountable, not more.

Text alerts on progression of Bills.

Post a reply if you can name one Bill currently going through parliament.

Yep, thought not.

The bills are available here if you wish to see.

More publication of expenses

Long overdue, but whilst MPs make the rules they then defend themselves by not breaking it is toothless and purely populist.

possible curbs on the whipping of votes

How exactly would this be enforceable? Notice again the weasely caveat.

backbenchers would get powers to choose the chairmen and members of select committees

Well hold me back, that is exactly the demand being made by everyone on a daily basis, the problem with parliament being the backbenchers don’t get to choose chairmen of talking shops. Sounds more like throwing a bone to get the support from backbenchers though.

Reforms which were noticeable by their absence included

  • Reducing pay of MPs or linking to some measure of wages/income. Might we suggest a maximum of 5 times the state pension? Then there might be some action on pensioner poverty.
  • Abolition of the unelected and undemocratic House of Lords
  • Abolition of the unelected and undemocratic Privy Council
  • Recallability of MPs – by petition of a percentage of constituents or triggered by voting against election promises or by changing their political affiliation
  • Proportional Representation – deliberately excluded by Cameron
  • Extending the franchise
  • Overhauling voter registration to remove the current ease to commit fraud with postal vote registration.

None of these are revolutionary demands. They are basic reforms which are far more radical than anything Cameron has just dreamed up. Of course further reforms would be a real democracy, with the parliament chosen by lot, rather than the oligarchy we have now.

Posted in Accountability, Campaign, Civil Liberties, Election, Equality, Public Services, Scotland, Tories, Westminster, Youth | 1 Comment »

Happy Birthday to the Minimum Wage (or a decade of inequality?)

Posted by alangdundee on 31st March 2009

Despite marking its tenth anniversary tomorrow, the National Minimum Wage Act continues to discriminate against young workers.

While workers aged 22 or over can expect to receive a minimum of £5.73, those aged 18-21 are guaranteed just £4.77. Workers over compulsory school age but younger than 18 are entitled to a mere £3.53. Those under this age, such as school pupils who deliver papers, are not covered by the legislation at all. In reality this often encourages the practice of employers hiring younger staff at lower wage levels, then finding ways to dismiss them as they age and their wage increases.

Britain is not the only country to have different rates for different people however, of around fifty nations who currently enforce minimum wage levels, only four (Israel, Chile, Belgium and Luxembourg) explicitly discriminate due to age. Other nations categorise based on skill level (Pakistan); industry (Cuba); whether or not the position is in the public or private sector (Bahamas); geographical considerations (Mexico); or how long an employee has been in their role (Canada).

Regardless of whether or not you believe that the minimum wage should exist, the inbuilt age inequality is surely indefensible. Can anyone give a valid explanation as to why the government feel I’ll automatically be worth an extra 97p per hour by the middle of next month, after my 22nd birthday?

Many make the argument that a 22 year old will have more experience, and is less likely to live at home with their parents, so does not require as much money. This opinion is based purely on often wrong assumptions and would have little credibility in a pub debate, let alone as a central part of a so called ‘progressive’ policy.

While the wage paid varies depending on age, the cost of living does not. I’ve yet to walk into a shop and see products priced on a sliding scale according to the customer’s age! Similarly, the income tax levels paid by those either side of the divide are identical.

Although some unions have continued to call for improvements to the minimum wage, such as paying the adult rate at 18, it is clear that these demands are not enough. The Scottish Socialist Party continues to call for a single, £8 per hour guarantee, regardless of the workers age.

Posted in Angela Gorrie, Campaign, Economy, Equality, Youth | No Comments »

Scottish Socialist Youth blog

Posted by alangdundee on 11th January 2009

The Scottish Socialist Youth have created a new blog at ssyleftfield.blogspot.com/.

SSY fights alongside the SSP, Scotland’s Socialist Party to build a movement that will defend young people and create a future for them worth fighting for. If you agree with what we’ve said – or even just most of it! – then join SSY and help us fight against poverty and war, or leave the blog a few comments/give us love on bebo

Posted in Campaign, Equality, Scotland, SSP Bloggers, Youth | No Comments »

 

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