Posted by alangdundee on 8th May 2011
So the SNP have walked home in the Holyrood election with a majority. The whole election campaign Labour, Lib Dems and the Tories were talking about a vote for SNP being a vote for independence. The SNP barely mentioned it.
48 hours after the results are known the media has had saturation coverage of an independence referendum. This morning on the Sunday morning politics programmes Labour and Tory politicians were wheeled out and attacked the SNP because of all the talk of independence.
The tory went as far as to repeat the Wendy Alexander
Bring it on taunt to the SNP.
As daft as the phrase sounds, there is a minor point. In 2007 the SNP promised a referendum in 100days, er a year, er within the first term of office. The unionists allied in opposition enough to make the SNP bottle holding one. They are now hinting about one towards the end of the current term.
In addition the Tories supported holding the AV referendum even though advocated a No vote. If they see that the two positions are not contradictory then why do these parties not support having the referendum but then campaign against a Yes to independence result?
So on the one side you have the SNP trying to delay implementing the policy they exist for.
On the other you have the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour trying to block a referendum for a variety of public reasons (mainly cost) and private reasons (they don’t want it to pass). The arguments against didn’t stop Tories and Lib Dems supporting the recent AV referendum. Nor Labour the slightly less recent referendum on more powers for the Welsh Assembly.
As ever the goalposts have moved.
In the past few weeks Labour were saying
a vote for SNP is a vote for independence. Presumably now they would insist a referendum has to take place first?
Of course rags like the Daily Mail are a bit miffed. Apparently the rest of the UK needs to vote on Scotland being independent, it’s not just those in Scotland. To use the old argument, a husband and wife would both need to agree to a divorce or if only 1 wants it be forced to stay together?
Quite pathetic really.
Of course the logical end of this argument is ignored.
The first commenter on the article Muggins, Manchester
I want out of the Union as well; the European Union. What’s the betting we don’t get a referendum on that one!.
So does Muggins think that a UK referendum on leaving the EU would only be valid if the rest of the EU voted that the UK could leave?
Posted in Campaign, Holyrood, International, Media, Scotland, SNP | No Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 24th December 2010
The SSP has produced the following statement on the conviction of Tommy Sheridan for Perjury
Tommy Sheridan’s conviction today for perjury was inevitable.
Six years ago, as leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, he proposed to sue a tabloid newspaper over stories he knew to be true and demanded that our party went along with his lies. All his closest friends and political allies of 20 years urged him not to take such a reckless course of action.
He will now be dealt with by the judge. We have no desire for vengeance.
What is more important is that all those who have been falsely denounced by him and his allies as liars, plotters, perjurers and forgers have been cleared.
The idea that there was a conspiracy involving Rupert Murdoch, Lothian and Borders Police and the SSP is nonsense and yet this is the narrative that Tommy Sheridan’s supporters publicly promoted for the past 4 years.
By his actions over six years, Tommy Sheridan has disgraced himself and negated his political contribution to the socialist cause over 25 years. History will now record that he did more harm to the socialist cause in Scotland than any good he ever did it.
That astonishing conclusion would not have been thought possible at the height of the poll tax struggle he led so well, or during his early period in the Scottish Socialist Party and Scottish Parliament.
The SSP reaffirms that its aim is to defend the interests of working people, the millions against the millionaires and to fight for a socialist transformation of society in the interests of the majority.
We now draw a line under this sorry saga and move on. The Scottish Socialist Party has been tested to the limit over the past six years and has proven it is a party of principles and integrity.
In this time of savage attacks by the rich against the poor, Scotland more than ever needs a strong left wing socialist party that can be trusted.
Posted in Other Parties, Scotland | No Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 11th October 2010
The newspapers have a different Tory giving the same line every day – there has to be cuts, has to be done, no alternative, massive debt, unprecedented.
Except they don’t have to be made, it doesn’t have to take place, there is an alternative, the bulk of the debt is meant to be an
investment and the current debt levels are far from unprecedented.
Phil at A Very Public Sociologist has shared a link on an interesting blog post.
An economist has posted historical comparisons of the current levels of debt. He clearly shows that for example the period of about 1917 to 1970 there was a far higher level than at present. The Tory agenda of cuts cuts cuts is using the bank bailout as it’s cover.
If there had been no bank bailout the Tories would have enacted exactly the same policies today.
Posted in Economy, Lib Dem, Public Services, Tories | No Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 27th September 2010
No doubt readers of this blog have been amused by the kerfuffle over the leadership election. Which anointed one won effecting so much after all.
It’s been 2 days and already the spinning is on overdrive. According to the Daily Sexpress
With brother David, he was surrounded frequently by socialist theoreticians and Labour activists while growing up in Primrose Hill, north London.
Stirring stuff. Man the barricades.
The Daily Hate Mail probably has some rant about how Labour will now be chucking Lords out of manors to fill it with gypsies or something but whilst checking I became too amused by this subheading
Darling in swipe at Balls over Labour’s need for a ‘credible’ deficit plan to bother looking at their delusional rambling any further.
Iain Gray (that’s the Labour leader in Scotland by the way, you probably have as much chance of recognising him as Nick Clegg on May 1st.) has suddenly decided that the minimum wage should be raised. His colleagues probably forgot to bring it up during their 8 years in charge of Holyrood along with all the other reforms they will no doubt decide are really worthy now that they are out of power. He doesn’t really mention anything about the institutionalised age discrimination inbuilt into it by Labour though. That’s where your wage can jump up a pound overnight in your birthday for some yet to be explained or defended reason.
Jim McGovern meanwhile thinks that Ed will return Labour to
traditional Labour values and move to the left. Given Labours history over the last few decades further moves to the right would be pretty difficult. It really would take a real
lurch to the left to move them into the area of Social Democracy never mind anything further to the left.
Of course Jim McGovern will be aware of this given his voting record
- Voted very strongly against equal gay rights.
- Voted very strongly for Labour’s anti-terrorism laws.
- Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards.
- Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.
- Voted moderately against laws to stop climate change.
- Voted to reduce abortion term limits.
Which really stands on its own. Or maybe his form of left-wing politics will be £700 desks and £200 DVD players for all.
Posted in Holyrood, Labour, Media, Westminster | No Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 26th February 2010
The Guardian ran an amusing story through the week about the book which caused the bullying storm.
When Brown heard about a Blairite article which was pro-Tony Blair he is reported to have ranted
This is factionalism! This is Trotskyism! It’s fucking Trotskyism!
So there you have it lefty train-spotters, the definition of Trotskyism is writing an article in a popular newspaper praising the most right wing Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher.
Posted in Humour, Labour | No Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 2nd February 2010
If you have discussed politics in the last 12 years and you will have undoubtably heard a comparison to Labour and the Tories that resulted in someone saying they are just the same.
You may have even heard it go one step further and a description of Labour as
Blue Labour instead of New Labour.
Well the Lib Dems have went one further and re-branded themselves in blue.
If you’ve been saying for years that Labour, Tories and Lib Dems are all the same – it’s good to see one of those parties agree with you.
The SSP of course are a bit different. We don’t get donations from millionaire businessmen – so aren’t in their pocket. Our elected representatives take a reduced wage and as far as we know none ever had the public purse pay for building work on their castle.
In Dundee West we are of course aware of the cost of a DVD player and that computer desks shouldn’t cost you £800.
Posted in Humour, Labour, Lib Dem, Other Parties, Tories | No Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 28th May 2009
Joaquin, the NPA activist who spoke at the Dundee rally last night is interviewed on the SSP site.
For many socialists in Europe we have been inspired by those recent struggles in France – what is happening at the moment?
Sarkosy came to power partly because opposition to him was so poor. With all the parties pretty much offering the same policies Sarkosy may have appeared decisive and in control and someone who could sort problems out. Particularly with the economic crisis people now just see his government as arrogant and only interested in representing the rich. Worse than that this government is aggressive particularly against young people and is reacting to the increased conflict and tension brought about by increased class conflict by unleashing the police and stepping up surveillance, something I know is happening in Britain too.
From January to March this year there was massive protests across the country and a general strike was a possibility. Partly because of the role of trade union leaders this did not happen and this has meant that perhaps things are bit quieter just now. However I do not believe this will last and more struggle will take place only this time even stronger than before.
Posted in Election, European, France, International, Other Parties | No Comments »
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.
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 »
Posted by alangdundee on 16th May 2009
Scottish Socialist co-spokesperson Colin Fox has repeated the party’s policy that anybody elected under their banner would refuse the “lottery winners” lifestyle enjoyed by other politicians.
Instead he repeated the SSP policy that anybody elected for the party will live on a skilled worker’s wage.
Former MSP Fox is top of the SSP candidate’s list for the European elections on June 4th.
The Scottish Socialist Party is entitled to have voters reminded that each and every one of their candidates is pledged to refuse the highly inflated salary of an MP/MSP/MEP and live instead on the average wage of the people whose interests they seek to represent.
And since promises in politics today are seen to be usually worthless it is important to remind voters that the SSP MSPs honoured that promise for the entire time they were at Holyrood between 1999 and 2007.
Each one of us lived on the average wage in line with party policy.
In the forthcoming European elections in June we will once again pledge to live in a skilled worker’s wage and shun the millionaire lifestyle beloved of MPs which has rightly outraged the public.
The entire sleazy episode nullifies any credibility ‘career politicians’ have about their motives for going into politics. It’s a funny way to ’serve the public’ stealing from the public purse and the SSP will have none of it.
Posted in Accountability, Election, European, International, Media, Other Parties, Press Release, Scotland | 2 Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 12th May 2009
The media for a week has been full of stories of the outrageous
expenses claims by MPs.
From tampons (for a man) to moat cleaning there is seemingly no receipt these parasites will not claim for at taxpayers expense.
This is not democracy.
David Cameron: Quick, someone grab a receipt, the peasents can pay for this meal
Democracy is not just crossing a box once every four years, it is also about transparency and accountability.
If the police won't get involved we'll have to catch the leaker ourselves.
The Scottish Socialist Party has a policy we call the
Workers Wage. Our elected representatives take home no more than an amount linked to the average wage of working people. This helps keep your elected representatives linked to the life you lead – they know how much a council tax rise affects you because it affects them too.
There is no chance of any of our elected representatives having you pay for their chandeliers or moat cleaning and most don’t own their first home never mind second, third or gated estate.
Come June the 4th vote for a representative who will be representative of the lives of most people in Scotland – vote Scottish Socialist Party.
Posted in Accountability, Election, European, Labour, Media, Public Services, Tories | No Comments »