Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Lord Ashcrofts millions, how a capitalist hides their dealings

Michael Ashcroft, the billionaire peer who for years bankrolled
the Conservative Party, has been accused of hiding his business
involvement in a Caribbean state whose government was brought down
by corruption scandals.

BBC's Panorama programme alleged last night that Lord Ashcroft was secretly controlling the biggest construction company on the Turks and Caicos Islands, though he claims to have severed his link with the company in 1999.

The islands, a British overseas territory, have been under direct rule by the Foreign Office since August 2009, when the then Prime Minister, Michael Misick, became embroiled in corruption allegations. Panorama reported that one of the allegations being investigated by the police is how Mr Misick could afford a luxury home, valued at $16m, which was built in 2006 by Johnston International.

The programme stated that Lord Ashcroft announced on the London Stock Exchange in 1999 that he had sold Johnston International, and has repeatedly asserted that he has had "no interest whatsoever" in the company since that date. But Panorama showed fax messages which it said were exchanged between Lord Ashcroft and the chief executive of Johnston International, Allan Forrest.

The faxes suggest that Mr Forrest repeatedly sought and got Lord Ashcroft's instructions or advice, despite the peer's denials that he was running the company. One fax said: "Dear Michael, a short note to thank you for the salary increase. Much appreciated."

In another, written after Mr Forrest had visited Belize, where Lord Ashcroft originally made his £1.1bn fortune, refers to Johnston International's parent company, Oxford Ventures. Mr Forrest wrote: "The perception in Belize is that you are still in full control of Oxford's assets (which you are of course)."

Panorama interviewed former employees of Johnston International, who lost their jobs when the firm went bust. When it collapsed, Lord Ashcroft's bank, the British Caribbean Bank, as a secured creditor, took priority over others who were owed money.

Panorama also interviewed Chris Johnson, the liquidator appointed to wind up the affairs of Oxford Ventures, which also went bust. He complained that Lord Ashcroft's bank was refusing to release the information he needed to complete the job, though the bank has said that it cannot give information to an overseas-appointed liquidator until recognised by the TCI courts, which recognition is under challenge.

The programme-makers said that "there is no suggestion that Lord Ashcroft is corrupt", but suggested that the alleged secrecy in which he has wrapped his business affairs is "hardly in keeping with the Government's demand for greater corporate transparency."

Lord Ashcroft's spokesman said yesterday: "No statement is being made because the BBC has not had the decency to tell Lord Ashcroft what is in the programme. They have been at this for two-and-a-half years and have made so many false starts on the way, who knows what they are going to do?"

Michael Ashcroft was made a life peer in 2000 on the recommendation of William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, who was then leader of the Conservative Party. The peer is believed to be one of the biggest political donors in British history, having given around £10m to the Conservatives. During William Hague's leadership, after the 1997 election defeat, he was virtually the only major funder of the Tory party.

Lord Ashcroft is suing The Independent over articles published on 19 and 20 November 2009, about the affairs of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

This programme for me last night highlighted the corrupt nature of the capitalist system where a capitalist invests his or her money in a offshore bank account and starts investing abroad and makes millions. When it doesnt suit in true capitalist style when no more profit is to be made they pull the plug on the funding and workers jobs go down the drain as a result.

The programme to me confirmed much of what i already knew that the tories are a capitalist party acting in the interests of the city and big business. They claims for democracy and transparancy were truely shattered last night with one of their most influencial lords being accused of such high level wrong doing.

For socialists we would say this backs up our idea that a future socialist society needs to be international more than ever as offshore bank accounts are rife with the capitalists and controlling and closing these havans will prevent capital being bunged away offshore where it is no use to the public purse.
The lengths the capitalists will go to cover their tracks is amazing. But when they control the media and the laws it is no wonder they can get away with so much. Having parent companies of parent companies on different offshore islands is designed so no one can find out who really is in control. But as we know there are a minoroty of very rich people out there who control more and more of the worlds wealth.

Much of what Lord Ashcroft had invested for himself has been evaded tax that he gets away with due to offshore accounts and tax fiddling. No doubt if he paid his tax the need for alot of these public spending cuts would not be nessesary!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Workers today earning far less than 30 years ago

A recent findings by Union news Uk and the TUC. have shown some stark figures of how pay for workers is going backwards for many workers. While pay for the top 10% zooms ahead.
Workers today are taking home less than workers did 30 years ago, according to a new report published today by the TUC.

The finding is published in the latest TUC Touchstone Extra pamphlet All In this Together? which looks at how the recession and ongoing economic weakness has had an impact on different parts of the workforce.

All in this Together?, written by author and academic Stewart Lansley, documents the scale of the real terms pay cuts and downgraded terms and conditions that employees are facing, and warns that UK workers are at risk of a near-permanent lowering in the pattern and nature of their working conditions, with disastrous potential consequences for our future economic health.

The report shows that earnings took a sharp hit during the recession – dropping from an average increase of 4.2 per cent in 2007 to just 1.7 per cent in 2009 – and there has been no post-crash rebound. In September 2011, nearly two years on from the end of the recession, 99 per cent of pay deals were below RPI inflation – the measure most commonly used in setting pay.

At the same time the pay gap between executives and their staff has continued to widen, the report shows. While in 2000 the ratio of FTSE 100 top executive to typical employee pay stood at 47:1, by 2011 it had risen to 102:1.

But while poor earnings growth and increasing earnings inequality has been well-publicised in recent years, All in this Together? also shows that the UK’s total wage pool has been shrinking for more than three decades.

In 1978, the total UK wage bill represented 58 per cent of GDP. By 2011 this ‘wage-output’ ratio had dropped to 53.8 per cent. The 4.2 per cent fall in wages as a share of national output means that UK workers took home £60bn less in 2011 than if the wage-output ratio had stayed at 1978 levels. Cumulative wage losses over the last three decades are approximately £1.3 trillion.

The falling share of wages as a proportion of national output has contributed to the rising household debt, plastered over in good times by a housing boom and easy access to credit, that helped to cause the recent financial crash, says the TUC.

The falling wage share has been particularly acute for those on low and middle incomes. The wages of the poorest fifth of workers in 2011 are 43 per cent lower than they would have been if the wage share had not fallen since 1978 and the distribution of earnings had not been skewed towards higher earners. Workers on middle incomes have experienced a 36 per cent wage loss, while the richest fifth of earners have had a wage loss of just six per cent.

The only group of workers immune from the UK’s shrinking wage pool have been top execs who have weathered the recession and stock market falls to receive median pay increases of 10 per cent in 2010 and 17 per cent in 2011.

This has been something we marxists have known all along that despite teh so called boom years in the 2000's average wages for the lowest paid workers stayed the same and in some cases went backwards. The gap between rich and poor widened even in the boom times. So while many got on and improved their situation many didnt and this is down to the fact capitalism and its blind drive for profit crushed workers wages to increase their profits at the top. More millionaires than ever before as a result.

The gap between rich and poor is a social issue too the wider the gap the more social issues we face of deprevation, riots and crime all increases. They are not the only reasons but have a hell of a lot to do with it.

Workers wouldnt be so angry if they had had a bit more of the share of the wealth but the slogans of the 99% and the 1% could not be clearer today in showing the social and economic gap in wealth in society.

Capitalism exists on the basis of wage labour without wage labour it could not exist so could tackling the wage gap be a bridging demand to a more equal society ending the use of boss's in place of workers committees being paid no more than a average skilled worker. Being subject to immediate recall if a vote of no confidence is held up

It is shown a more equal society is one where the wage gap is smaller a society where there is no gap is what i'd want to see one day, fairness for all not just some.

The invisible hand of capitalism

As the pace of the intractable crisis of world capitalism speeds up and deepens, so the frantic rush to find solutions gathers pace. In place of the paeans of praise for globalised capitalism, the 'hidden hand of the market', free market 'superiority', etc, it can be predicted that an avalanche of books, rejecting these and the neo-liberal ideas that went with them, will now appear. Keynesian or neo-Keynesian ideas - state solutions to solve economic problems - are back on the agenda.
Paul Krugman is better placed than many to lead the way. He has systematically demolished the neo-liberal project of the 'Bushies' in the columns of the New York Times in order, as he sees it, to provide solutions which are 'liberal' and 'humane'. But he restricts himself to the limits of the capitalist system.
He rejects 'supply-side', monetarist economics - controlling the money supply or tax cuts for the rich, allegedly to boost investment in industry. He favours 'demand side', maintaining and boosting incomes in order to alleviate the looming crisis.
He is, in other words, from the Keynesian school of capitalist economists, broadly committed to 'priming the pump', boosting demand in straitened economic circumstances. He has been joined by a growing band of economists, clamouring for state intervention to bail out their system, at a considerable cost to the rest of us in tax increases.
Krugman draws heavily on the example of the 'New Deal' of the 1930s under US President Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR), which is pictured as laying the foundations for the mighty economic upswing in the US that developed at the end of the thirties right through until 1973-74. He prettifies what actually took place during this period and romanticises in particular the role of Roosevelt, a shrewd and, if necessary, brutal capitalist politician.
For Krugman, US history is compartmentalised into distinctive phases. There was the long 'gilded age' of the 1870s, similar to the present period, following the American Civil War, which lasted until the New Deal of the 1930s.
In 1900 there were 22 billionaires; by 1925, 32. Yet, allegedly because of Roosevelt's 'New Deal', in 1957 there were only 16 billionaires. There are 160 billionaires in the US today.
In the 'gilded age', capitalist parties exercised ruthless political control through measures which included the disenfranchisement of many American workers. Millions were unable to vote because they were 'non-naturalised immigrants'.
In the 'dollar democracy', expenditure of huge sums in elections and, of course, the use of the methods of divide and rule were deployed to keep different ethnic and religious groups at each others throats.

Even Roosevelt's National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), enacted in June 1933, in effect only sought to guarantee the status quo of worker and employer, "one in possession of little, the other in control of much", in order to restore industrial stability.
True, the labour movement correctly used this legislation to prosecute their own interests. The leader of the mineworkers' union, John Lewis, in 1933 sent an army of union organisers into the coalfields shouting: "The President wants you to join the union." Roosevelt himself was the last to subscribe to such sentiments!
It was the independent, magnificent movement, prompted by the beginnings of a boom in 1933-34, which swept almost four million new workers into the unions and created the colossal Congress of Industrial Organisations (CIO).
It was no conscious policy of Roosevelt, but the beginnings of natural revival after the worst slump in capitalist history, reinforced by increased arms production, both before and during the Second World War, that laid the basis for the post-1945 economic upswing, particularly in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s.

MANY OF the fundamental problems facing workers today, from the economic crisis to planet-threatening climate change, cannot be solved in one country alone.  
With capitalism being a global system it cannot be tackled in one country alone.
This economic persistence of the nation state is linked to its political role. As even capitalist governments don't control their economic destiny - when faced with the 'hidden hand' of the market making workers redundant, for example - they have to find other ways to maintain a social and political base within their respective nation states.

Free market capitalism is based on the idea that “the invisible hand” of the market will create the best possible outcome for the most people.
But , the man who came up with idea of the invisible hand did not believe in unrestrained free market capitalism:
Free market capitalists have traditionally believed that the “invisible hand of the market” means that capitalism will benefit us all without requiring any oversight. However, as the New York Times reminds us , the real Adam Smith did not believe in a magically benevolent market which operates for the benefit of all without any checks and balances:
Smith railed against monopolies and the political influence that accompanies economic power Smith worried about the encroachment of government on economic activity, but his concerns were directed at least as much toward parish councils, church wardens, big corporations, guilds and religious institutions as to the national government; these institutions were part and parcel of 18th-century government…
Smith was sometimes tolerant of government intervention, ”especially when the object is to reduce poverty.” Smith passionately argued, ”When the regulation, therefore, is in support of the workman, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.” He saw a tacit conspiracy on the part of employers ”always and everywhere” to keep wages as low as possible.

Karl Marx still to this day the only person to fully crack capitalism and explain it understood the drive for capitalists to reduce wages and keep wages low as they can be he theorized this in his works on the working day where a workman never receives his true value of his labour, He works half the time for himself and the other half for the capitalist that other half is known as surplus labour value which the capitalist uses to exploit him and gain extra profits out of.

So ultimately capitalism is controlled by the hidden hand of the market when even capitalists themselves do not understand their system they are effectively riding a tiger out of control not knowing where it’ll turn next. This frightens capitalists and they look to temper this where they can in forms of regulation but this does not even trim the finger nails of a global system based on exploitation. The invisible hand was a interesting theory and was right in many ways that each government doesn’t really have full control of their economy. As a video out the other month reported to be a hoax showed the real government is goldman sachs the market in other words. Governments are pawns in a global market system which is unstable at the best of times. It can go up aswell as down just as fast.

Capitalism cannot meet the needs of everyone as the capitalists only see profit as their driving factor.
It is said US business’s are sitting on 1.7 trillion of uninvested capital as they see no way of making a profit in this economic downturn they hoard it. This leads to a complete glut in the market of no investment and hardship for the rest of us.

It is time people understood capitalism for what it really is and expose its systemic risk and dangers.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Democratising the trade unions, a plan of action

As socialists we believe in the highest form of democracy and that can be no more needed in the trade unions the organisations set up to fight for workers rights, pay, conditions and jobs. So today when we have several unions acting in undemocratic ways of under hand tactics and with hunting their own members as they don’t agree with their stance it is time to over haul the unions and pump so much needed democracy into them

The socialist party stands for all elected officials with no officials senior or not being appointed from above therefore leading to a rankd-and-file being dictated too rather than being represented.

We campaign for all elected officials to only take the average wage of a skilled worker no more or less. Just enough to do their job not inflated salaries that unfortunately some union’s officials even some claiming to be of the left still do take. We are against that we don’t support Bob crow getting 100’s of thousands of pounds that is not what we stand for. As the socialist party we are only members of trade unions we have a number of elected officials on the NC of the likes of PCS, Nut, FBu and Unison but we are not in the position to demand the union officials not of our party to do such a thing. But we would expect those who are members of the socialist party to stand true to their principles and only take an average wage of a skilled worker. That has always been our stance and I hope in future if we get further comrades elected they take up this position.

As a part of re democratisation the trade unions naturally this will come into conflict with the bourgeois parties and their reluctance to repeal any anti trade union laws. We will relentlessly campaign for a repealing of these anti trade union laws for workers to organise without being criminalised for it. It is an outrage to call the UK a democratic nation when it is so strict on trade unions and them organising. Many ordinary people have no idea how tight and restrictive anti union laws are in this country. Some will say well they will find it harder to strike and fight for members but that miss’s the point collective bargaining and striking wins a lot of concessions for workers some of which are some of the lowest paid in the country.
We will always defend facility time for union officials to be able to carry out their union duties without fear of reprisal. The attacks from the Tories and labour on the trade unions are a fight we all need to take up and defend workers rights. As if the trade unions are cohersed for the agents of the ruling class we will have no vehicle to fight back. The trade unions are important models for fighting back and agitating among workers to discuss ideas of a better society and how things could be different.

All trade unions leaders should be accountable to their members many people do not know that when unions have been reported to have accepted a deal on say pensions much if not all the members have not had a say in this and probably oppose such a sell out yet the lack of democracy in such unions as Unison for example mean members are left with a rotten deal. Hopefully a ballot comes but this cannot be grunted.

Another way of democratising the unions will be to ensure all elections to positions are regular every 2 years at most and that they are carried out in a truly democratic fashion with all election material being freely available to all to see with plenty of time to campaign too.

A trade union are often described as the poor mans lawyers and there is some sense in that trade unions should always fight for the poorest in society and the most oppressed workers and having a democratic fighting labour movement is key to them being able to do that. A fighting left force in all unions is key to having this. The left unity conference I attended in January hosted by the PCS was great and a great start to winning our unions back to be in the hands of its members not the bureaucrats.

World unemployment soars , a reserve army of workers being faild by capitalism

All around the world there is millions of workers unemployed and wasting their
skills doing nothing with their lives. This is through no fault of their own, they are not lazy or work shy as this is the sole fault of a system based on greed and profit. When a business feels it cannot make any more profit its workers are quickly chucked out on the scrap heap.

Take spain for example
Spain's unemployment figure passed the five million mark in the last quarter of 2011, official figures show.
The National Statistics Institute said 5.3 million people were out of work at the end of December, up from 4.9 million in the third quarter.
The rate rose from 21.5% in the third quarter to 22.8% - the highest rate in nearly 17 years.
Spain already has the highest jobless rate in the 17-nation eurozone and is expected to slide back into recession.

The 22.8% rate is more than twice the average unemployment rate of the eurozone, which stood at 10.3% in November, according to data released earlier this month.
The Spanish figures show almost half of all 16-24 year-olds in the country are jobless - 48.6% compared with 45.8% before.
Spain's new ruling Popular Party conservative government has pledged labour reforms to try to improve the jobs market.

But it is clear none of the ruling class have any idea about a way how to get out of this crisis other than make workers pay for a crisis they did not creat.

Looking back nearer to home in Britain we currently have 2.67 million out of work that includes 1.12 millin young people. Aged between 18 and 24. To me this is not only deeply unfair on these peoples lives but a huge waste of the skills and techniques of these workers. The world is wasting its labour resources by keeping millions out of work long term until there is a profit to be made.

Virtually all of the world’s advanced economies have suffered some effects from the recession. Though unemployment is a problem all over the world, some countries have suffered a worse rate of unemployment than others. People who are under 16, are in the armed forces and people who are currently incarcerated are not considered unemployed because they are not considerate to be a part of the work force. In addition, people who don’t have jobs but who have not been looking for work within the last four weeks are not considered to be unemployed.
Canada and the United States have both experienced massive job losses during the recession. The United States now has an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent and Canada has an unemployment rate of 8.4 percent.
Europe has also been hard hit by the recession, with some countries faring better than others in terms of unemployment. In Austria, there is 4.5 percent unemployment. In Belgium, there is 7.4 percent unemployment. The unemployment rate of Cyprus is 3.8 percent. The Czech Republic has an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent. Denmark has a 2.9 percent unemployment rate. Finland has an 8.8 percent unemployment rate.
France has an 8.8 percent unemployment rate. Germany’s unemployment rate is 8.3 percent. Greece has a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Iceland also has a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Ireland has a high European employment rate with 11.8 percent. In Italy, the unemployment rate is 7.4 percent.
In Luxembourg, the unemployment rate is 6.1 percent. Unemployment in Malta is 6.4 percent. The Netherlands has a 4.4 unemployment rate. In Norway, the unemployment rate is 3.1 percent. Portugal’s unemployment rate is 8.9 percent. Unemployment in San Marino is 2.8 percent. Unemployment in Slovakia is 10.9 percent. In Slovenia, the unemployment rate is 8.8 percent. Spain has an extraordinarily high unemployment rate at 18.7 percent. Sweden has an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent. Switzerland maintains a low rate of unemployment at 3.5 percent. Israel has an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent.
Much of Asia has maintained a low unemployment rate despite the recession. Hong Kong’s rate of unemployment is 5.3 percent. In Japan, the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent. In Singapore, the unemployment rate is a low 3.2 percent. South Korea has an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. The unemployment rate in Taiwan is 5.7 percent. The Australian unemployment rate is 5.7 percent. New Zealand has an unemployment rate of 5 percent.
This is waht karl marx called the reserve army of workers, all wanting jobs to join the wage slave queue. These people could affect real change if they were organised.
All in all this creates a huge force of unemployed people if they were to get organised in a mass way and start to threaten the capitalists and their power. Joining up with workers in strikes and demonstrations. Joining with the working class to form new workers parties across the globe to popularise the ideas of a better way, a fairer way, a socialist way forward that puts people back to work not for the boss’s profits but for the betterment of society and for eachother.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

TUSC conference trade unionists and socialists organise the fightback

Today I attended with other comrades the TUSC – Trade union and Socialist Coalition conference in London at ULU.

A very well attended conference given what else was going on in London today various protests and march’s so to get 50 or 60 top trade unionists and socialists out in late January from all over the country was very positive.

The morning session was on the legal side of what can councillors do to fight the cuts. At present we do not have control of a council yet but this can change. Dave Nellist of the socialist party , Charlie Kimble of the SWP and Nick Wrack from TUSC helped answer some of the legal questions from the floor on needs budgets and what powers councillors still have today.

The question that there could never be another Liverpool struggle again in the country is a myth and the powers are still there today to create a mass campaign against the cuts demanding the money back off the government.

Local councils have millions in their reserves which none have even tried to look into using to plug a gap to protect vital essential services and jobs.

The morning session was full of excellent contributions and questions with us all feeling we can be quietly optimistic whilst remaining realistic of TUSC’s opportunities for the coming period.

Much of the meeting was taken up of comrades condemning Ed Balls and Ed milibands Labour party for the other week accepting all of the tories cuts now not just some as was the case before. They have said they agree with a public sector pay freeze and will not be reversing any of the tories cuts.

With the brilliant strike of 2 and a half million workers on November the 30th last year many will be asking who do we have to vote for us now and who will support our struggles
It is clear now labour do not and have openly attacked striking workers in Southampton and nationally on the day of N30.

Working people need a political voice I have argued continuasly for some time now and TUSC and its slate of left trade unionists in the GLA London elections can make crucial breakthroughs this year if a big campaign is fought.
The afternoon session was taken up with comrades discussing how to fight a election campaign discussing election strategy canvassing, leafleting and getting the TUSC name out there.

Some great suggestions and comments from all. It is clear our priorities will be to get Dave Nellist re elected in Coventry as he is a key player in the movement but we should be looking to be bold and go on the offensive if we can looking to get new councillors willing to vote against all the cuts and privatisation.

There is mutterings inside the labour party of splits and disillusionment in the party you may say this is nothing new but I think we are in different times. During the biggest attack on ordinary people since the 30’s and all 3 main parties agreeing pretty much who do people have to speak to them. TUSC can be that beacon it wouldn’t be a wasted vote as eventually we will gain enough credibility if we continue to stand against the cuts. We will not be going away anytime soon and we are serious about winning. Winning can also come in the form of getting our ideas over to a layer of workers out there looking for an alternative. There is clearly a layer of people who are against all the cuts, anti capitalist and actively looking for a change and an alternative to austerity.

TUSC can be that banner with a clear modest programme of no to all cuts, using any powers councillors have available to them to protect jobs and services, against raising council tax to bridge gap, set needs budgets and mount campaign delaying tactics to protect and sustain services and jobs.

Not a job or service needs to be cut. There is 120 billion + worth of tax that is evaded every year by the very rich if collected properly either through nationaisation of the banks or stricter tax laws of offshore bank accounts. With a rolling out of a mass affordable council house programme to meet the needs of people and an investment in public services this can lead to jobs and a way to a fairer future for all. This would not be it but would be a start to a transition to a socialist society where peoples needs are put before a minority of peoples profits.

TUSC has big potential we must be realistic about our chances but attempt to stand as broadly as possible in towns and cities. Its never too late to decide to stand and you may be surprised at how you do. Instead of waiting for a new workers party you can actively get involved today in helping the starts of such a project.

History doesn’t travel in a straight line if you have a correct programme which speaks to people you can grow very quickly indeed and this can be the case with TUSC.

I look forward to the next period I think we have everything to gain, It will not be easy don’t get me wrong but if we do not fight on all available plains open for us you can sure bet the far right will do and fill that gap.

So its time to get talking about alternative in our communities, schools, workplaces and pubs and popularise the idea of TUSC and being brave and standing ourselves. The future can be bright, we can win !

to read more about TUSC including our recent press release on the left slate we have for the GLA london elections check out

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Keep the market out of our childrens education , say no to academies

The con-dem governemnt are using the tactic to try and make out failing schools who are under performing need to change to improve and by change they suggest turning into a academy. They are using official bodies like OFSTED to convince schools to make the change to come out of local authority funding and go it alone in the tories idea of a better education for our children.

Already education secretary Michael 'Royal Yacht' Gove has had to back down: one of the schools, Downhills School, where results have improved recently, will undergo an Ofsted inspection before any decision about a change of status.

New Labour used bribery to turn schools into academies with up to £2 million promised from a business sponsor. The coalition government are now using compulsion.

The Con-Dems argue that academies are the only way to raise standards in under-performing schools. Yet recent research publicised by the Anti Academies Alliance shows that in London, on the measure of five GCSEs including English and maths, the best performing schools are NOT academies. Nationally, 20% of academies failed to improve on their GCSE results in 2010.

As socialists we stand for free comprehensive well funded education for all with no exlusion based on any background or creed. Bringing the market into our childrens education is a disaster waiting to happen. If a academy fails or runs out of money what happens to the childrens education then ?

Haringey parents are right to call academies 'privatisation'. Already bigger academy 'chains' run more schools than some local authorities.

Oasis Community Learning, for example, runs 12 high schools all over England. Nine teachers were sacked at its Media City Academy in Salford at Christmas.

And ultimately, academies can pay staff whatever they like.

Despite business involvement, eight academies recently had to be 'bailed out' by the government for nearly £11 million.

An academy at Backwell near Bristol recently failed to enter 100 pupils for GCSE science exams. A parent commented: "I feel badly let down... now the school is an academy, who is it accountable to?"

Academy plans can be defeated. At St Leonards RC School in Durham staff voted 105 to 15 against academy status and the plan was dropped. Protesting parents stopped an academy project at Varndean School in Brighton. Teachers from Lancashire to Gloucestershire, from Coventry to London, have taken strike action against academy proposals. If the NUT and NASUWT teaching unions mobilise promptly, they can kill the plans before they get underway.

For coordinated strike action across schools threatened with academy status, backed by strong community campaigns
No to academies and free schools. Bring all schools under local authority control
We need high quality local comprehensive schools, under democratic control including students, parents and education workers
Haringey Labour MP David Lammy is opposed to compulsory academies, but not to academies themselves. None of the main parties opposes Academies. Elect trade union and community candidates to the London assembly and in town halls to defend comprehensive education.

Demonstrate against academies!
Saturday 28 January, 12noon
Assemble at Keston Road N17
(Next to Downhills School)

March to Haringey Civic Centre



Anti-cuts campaign

Hard Times - but not for the 1

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

World capitalism teeters on the edge of disaster

More andm ore gloomy news meets us this week with the news that the world growth figures have been downscaled and world capitalsim edges ever slowly towards another global depression set to dwarf the great depression of the 30's. This is a real crisis now and one we are not getting out of anytime soon.

Only yesterday the worst-case expectation was that the UK’s Gross Domestic Product – the key measure of growth – fell by 0.1% between October and December. But today’s official figure from the Office for National Statistics reveals that the UK economy actually shrank by 0.2% in the last quarter of 2011, and is heading for recession.

Accumulated UK government debt broke through the £1 trillion mark as a dual consequence of falling tax revenues, continued support for the financial sector and higher welfare bills as a result of soaring unemployment.

Despite the ConDem’s stated intention to reduce the country’s dependence on debt, its combined corporate, public and household debt has increased to 507% of GDP and the country remains where it was in the league table of the richer nations when the crisis broke in 2007/8 – right at the top.

The world's economy is "deeply into the danger zone" because of risks from the eurozone, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

The IMF predicts the global economy will grow by 3.25% in 2012, down from an earlier forecast of 4%.

The growth forecast for the UK economy has been cut to 0.6% from 1.6%.

But the eurozone is set for a "mild recession" in 2012, with GDP expected to shrink by 0.5%, compared with a previous forecast of 1.1% growth.

Not one of the capitalist leaders of teh ruling class know how to solve this crisis and prescribe more austerity to deal with this sinking us further and further into misery . While the rich get richer the poor get poorer. The contradictions and failings of world capitalism are becoming increasingly clear for all to see now.

What we marxists argued at the time of the 2008 financial crash and after there is no way out of this crisis as there is little fat on the bone left to play with. With china's economy slowing and having a knock on affect in South America and Africa where it had been investing heavily wil be scaled back leading to recessions and even longer term depressions in other parts of the world. No where will escape this i feel and unless this rotten system of greed over peoples needs is brought to a end where the wealth of the working class is expropriated for the benifits of the 1%.

It is time society was re organised and the worlds resources planned for the needs of the planet and its people which can all be met if wealth was shared out equally. In a socialist planned society

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Fed up with the labour party selling you out, come to the TUSC conference this weekend

This weekend the 28th of january we will be making the short trip down to london to visit the conference for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition. With recent mfurther moves to the right by the labour party even more to the right than they already were accepting al the cuts and saying they cannot reverse any of the tories cuts which is absolute nonsense of course they can if they wanted to.
The poll tax was made law and was still defeated and later reversed by mass civil disobedience .
So if you are fed up with the labour party and on the look out for a alternative to this mad system of greed before need please join us this saturday
TUSC Election campaign Conference Saturday 28 January 2012,
11:00am – 4:00pm, University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
11-00am to 1-30pm: How can local councillors fight the cuts?
Cllr Dave Nellist , Michael Lavalette and Nick Wrack to speak for ten minutes each, followed by a ‘Question Time’ format discussion, to try and answer the many questions that are continually raised around this issue and introduce the draft local elections policy platform (appended below).

2-00pm to 4-00pm: Organising an election campaign
Maxine Bowler, Hannah Sell, and Pete McClaren to speak for ten minutes each, followed by a general discussion from the floor – but also giving people a chance to ask any direct ‘electoral law’ type questions that they may have.

Last week we got a phone call from a woman in east London…She had picked up one of the TUSC ‘where will your vote go?’ postcards from a street stall. She wanted more information about what we were and what we stood for. She was desperate that the Labour Party had ‘let her down so badly’. We sent her the TUSC leaflet setting out our policies and she sent a text the day she received it: ‘I have read the TUSC flyer and it lifted me. If only the policies could come to fruition.’ She hopes to come to the conference on 28 January and has asked us to send material to a friend who was also interested.

Which is excellent news. More and more will be looking for an alternative as events change peoples contiousness. A grand speech can win some over but you will never win over everyone but as events unfold in the coming period and capitalism fails to deal with its inner contradictions people will start to ask the question, is a different society possible ?

and we will say yes it is! a socialist planned economy based on peoples needs.

But firstly we need more than ever a new workers party. It is vital that TUSC starts offering that alternative right away even if very small initially it will provide that pole of attraction for workers desperate as the lady above clearly was.

I saw a statistic that the labour party has lost hundreds of members since Ed Miliband and Ed bals have squared their arguements and agreed fully with the tories. We would say they did anyway they only disagreed with the speed but a lot of people still felt labour was against the cuts to some degree. Now they are found wanting people will come out with anger, confusion, frustration and panic in some cases as people will feel no one is there to fight for them againt the brutal onslaught of the cuts.

We saw last night the labour party voting with the tories to support a cap to benifits and this is just the start of labours route to regaining so called credibility . If by credibility they mean attacking the poor, trade unions and working people well the trade unions and working people and any good socialist in labour would be better off out of that party.

Its time to pose the question what do we do now.

Saturday will hopefully see a good turnout and a few questions being answered by our comrades hopefully growing support for this years coming local and London GLA elections which we may see some interesting results.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The fantasy of a responsible capitalism

We have heard this term responsible capitalism a lot banded about recently like polititians know what they are talking about. I thought I’d look at if there is such a thing and could capitalism ever be made to be a fairer system for all ?

Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour Party is turning into an elaborate parody of the emptiness of reformism. With capitalism unable to afford any reforms, he is like the school pupil who works extremely hard to avoid working whilst giving the impression of being studious. He is trying very very hard, tossing and turning, to give the impression that reformism can work without any actual reforms. Unfortunately for Ed, in this case the illusion does not work.

He has recently announced that social democracy, or reformism, can (and will have to) provide the same quantity of ‘fairness’ and all-round " well-being" without actually spending any money, in fact whilst cutting enormously. Translated into English, this means that Miliband is offering no credible policies whatsoever to deal with the crisis and improve living standards. That is the only reason why Cameron outperforms him in polls and why, in some respects, the Tories, despite being so roundly hated, manage to be more trusted in economic matters. If people are only going to be offered cuts, it may as well be done by the guys who really know how to dig the knife in.

In the desperate search for a distinguishing policy Miliband has decided to cash in on the general hatred for bankers and the disgust at the gross inequality in British society. He is selling the idea that we can achieve the desired fairness and equality by reforming business practice, rather than through taxation and public spending or even (God forbid!) through nationalisation.

He says “Does anyone really believe that David Cameron came into politics to create a more responsible capitalism? The public are not going to buy it." The real question is, does anyone really think there can be such a thing as responsible capitalism? People do not take this seriously, and rightly so, for capitalism is inherently irresponsible and crisis ridden. To speak of conjuring up such a system whilst the world economy once again teeters on the brink of the abyss is utopian.

Accepting capitalism, as both reformism and Ed Miliband do, means adapting to its inner laws and implementing policies that are in the interests of capitalists and capitalism. Hence the fact that, in good New Labour tradition, Miliband is trying to sell this policy as not only fair and good for the poor, but also as in the interests of business, saying “There is nothing anti-business about cleansing cheats, asset-strippers and vultures from honest savings and good business enterprise.”

Unfortunately, there is something anti-business about that, since business, or capitalism, is the law of the jungle. Of necessity capitalism develops a culture of cheating and asset-stripping.

The concrete policies he has proposed are the following, “[We would] put an employee representative on every remuneration committee, make firms publish their pay ratios, empower pension companies and investors and have another year of the bank bonus tax to get some of our young people back to work.”

These policies are pretty thin for someone wanting to completely transform the way an entire economic system works and to restructure society. Investors are not interested in curbing executive pay, they are only interested in getting their dividends, and those who are charged with managing investment portfolios to achieve high returns are themselves extremely lavishly paid. Small shareholders are far too scattered and their assets too small to have a chance of dictating company policy, moreover they too are only concerned with getting their dividends in. The buying and selling of shares, and all other financial speculation, takes place internationally, in accordance with the laws of capitalism and determines the fate of the world economy. Empowering some of these investment companies engaged in this to become champions of fairness and equality is farcically ironic.

Putting employee representatives on company committee’s whilst, thanks to the global economic crisis, those companies will inevitably be making decisions to sack thousands of workers and attack terms and conditions, will either result in the buying off of the relevant worker, or in a breakdown of this class collaboration into open class struggle.

Indeed class struggle is on the order of the day for Britain and the world. 2011 showed that and 2012 will see even more. Capitalism inherently increases inequality and crisis ridden capitalism is the least able to overcome this tendency. If workers are to engage in holding their employers to account for obscene executive pay levels, it can only be through the workers having real, democratic control over those companies. But you cannot control what you do not own

So as Karl Marx described capitalism is a beast that cannot be tamed and will always come back for more if it gives you something with one hand it will take back with the other in another way without you knowing. The only way to make capitalism responsible and fairer is to make it responsible for the exploitation and destruction it has caused and end it for good. To be reaplaced with a socialist planned economy based on humans needs over a select group of very rich elites profits. FOr a fairer system which will meet everyones needs not just the 1% of society.

The dimise of the high street, time for retail sector unions to organise

As the current economic crisis deepens the high street retailers are starting to be hit one by one, in the last few weeks we have heard of several companies struggling financially after a poor Christmas with their sales.

This is no surprise with thousands of public sector workers not to mentin thousands more in the private sector being thrown out of work people have little spare money to spend on the high street any longer and this will have a knock on effect.

Administrators KPMG announced they were 'delighted' to have saved 1,000 jobs with La Senza in the UK on Monday.
They didn't mention the remaining 1,600 workers thrown on the dole with ten minutes' notice.
Stunned workers were given 30 minutes to collect their belongings and a standard form to claim redundancy money and unpaid wages from the Insolvency Service.
At a mass meeting in the warehouse on Monday night, a representative from KPMG unceremoniously informed 250 warehouse, mail order and office staff that despite the 'rescue' deal signed with Alshaya, our jobs, as well as those of the staff of 80 stores, were no longer required.
Alshaya is one of the largest retail companies in the Middle East and manages over 55 international brands.
In my workplace, this blow falls particularly heavily on young workers, most under the age of 30, and many with young families.
The sense of shock and betrayal in the air was palpable, as former La Senza employees queued to collect their forms.
Many workers have ten, 15 or 20 years service with the company, who are currently claiming that we are only entitled to statutory redundancy pay from the government, which could take over three months to be paid.
The disgust was particularly strong because of the lies and distortions fed to the workforce over the last few weeks.
Following the announcement that La Senza was in trouble just before Christmas, we were repeatedly told that we shouldn't worry, that a deal was being negotiated and we should carry on working as normal.
Mail order and warehouse staff were even made to do extra overtime (on top of what we normally do, meaning 12 hour shifts or more), in order to catch up with orders. We now have to claim these wages from the government as well.
La Senza, KPMG and the other retail giants and consortiums claim that restructuring and job losses are necessary due to the state of the economy, ie the collapse in consumer spending brought on by the credit crisis, and exacerbated by government attacks on public sector workers and wage freezes, cuts to hours and job losses in the private sector.
These factors undoubtedly exist. However, in the case of La Senza, it is not so much that the company is losing money, it is just not making enough money to satisfy the private equity parasites, Lion Capital, who withdrew their investment.
Alshaya have swooped in like vultures, to pick off the 60 best stores, and add them to their already massive high street portfolio.
La Senza workers in the UK are heartened by and 100% in support of the occupation of the Liffey Valley store in Dublin, demanding their overtime payments for December and unpaid wages.
The speech made by Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins in the Dáil supporting these workers, was particularly inspiring, and should stand as a lesson to politicians in the UK who claim to represent ordinary people. (You can watch the video here: http://www.joehiggins.ie/2012/01/video-joe-higgins-urges-minister-to-ensure-la-senza-workers-entitlements-are-met/ or see below for transcription)
2012 will see further downturns in the retail sector, with further mass redundancies likely. It is time for the general unions: Unite, GMB and Usdaw, to step up their recruitment campaigns in this sector massively.
It is also time for all workers and trade unionists to join the fight for new workers' party, that will stand up for the rights of ordinary workers, and fight back against the savage attacks by the bosses, big business and the Con-Dem government.

Joe Higgins' speech in the Dáil
I welcome the representatives of the La Senza workers to the Visitors' Gallery and I am in solidarity with the Vita Cortex workers suffering from similar high-handed disgusting treatment.
It is breathtaking in its arrogance and disrespect towards the up to 120 mainly female workers in the La Senza lingerie stores in Dublin and Cork that the company waited until the workers had left work on Monday evening to inform them by random phone calls - through the agency of KPMG doing the dirty work for the company - that they need not come in on Tuesday morning.
It is beneath contempt that ordinary workers were told the company did not have the phone numbers of their colleagues and were asked to phone and tell them, including a manageress who worked loyally for the company for eight or nine years. It is absolutely incredible.
The workers are victims of the private equity vulture company, Lion Capital, which in the most callous way planned to walk away from its workforce to maximise its profit, handing it over to another company which will be equally ruthless, and treating these workers in the most disgusting fashion. This is capitalism red in tooth and claw and must be challenged.
Fine Gael and Labour Party Deputies come here and champion workers. They are the people who make and stand over the laws.
For a change, let us have emergency laws to allow workers to receive their rights and to stop these gangsters behaving in this gangster-like fashion.
I call on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and its leaders to come out of hiding and meet fire with fire.
They should mobilise the power of working people in the country to stand together with the Vita Cortex and La Senza workers.
Workers standing together will show the power they have, forcing the Government to act and these companies to pay what they should.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Why the USSR was not state capitalist

One of the major disagreements between the socialist party CWI and the Socialist workers party the SWP still till this day is how they saw the USSR and what kind of state form this took

For the SWP it is very clear Russia was state capitalist and when the USSR fell it changed to a different type of state capitalism . We in the socialist party take a different approach.

The collapse of Stalinism has been a process which is not yet complete in all parts of the world. The Castro regime remains in power in Cuba. We characterise this as a deformed workers state. According to the SWP it is and always has been capitalist. Were the regime to fall and were the capitalist calls in waiting in Miami to return Cuba to its former status as an offshore haven for US capital, we should have very different attitudes.
Despite our criticisms of the Castro regime we would see this as a setback, a counter revolution in terms of property relations. But, if you were consistent and applied the same approach as you did to what happened in Russia and Eastern Europe, you would see this not as a reverse but as an “opportunity.” According to the SWP “We saw the collapse of these regimes not as a setback for socialists, but as an opportunity to begin the fight for real socialism in these countries.”

The difference is still a live issue even in relation to Russia and Eastern Europe where the restoration of capitalism hasbeen carried through. The CWI is carrying out work in a number of these countries. An essential theoretical foundation for this work is an understanding of what happened after 1989. We begin from the position that there was a change in property relations and capitalism was restored. If we held your view that this counter revolution was not a “defeat,” not a victory for world capitalism, but a sideways move from one form of capitalism to another, we would have no adequate explanation for the demoralising and disorienting effect on the working class, the throwback of consciousness with the re-emergence of reactionary ideas which had not had an organised expression since Tsarism, nor for the economic and social collapse which has followed.
Our analysis of the collapse of Stalinism is fundamental for our work within the former Stalinist states. It is also important in the rest of the world since an explanation of what went wrong in Russia is essential if we are to convince workers and youth that socialism can work. For these reasons our differences with the SWP over the class nature of these states remains a live issue.

Stalin came to power because the defeats of the revolutionary movement in Europe left the 1917 revolution isolated to Russia. Socialism could not and cannot be built in one country, least of all in an underdeveloped country as Russia was at that time. The isolation of the revolution and the exhaustion of the working class allowed space for a privileged layer to emerge. Stalin was the personification of the interests of this bureaucratic caste.
Trotsky in 1935 posed the questions “What does Stalin’s ‘personal regime’ mean and what is its origin?” He answered himself thus:
“In the last analysis it is the product of a sharp class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. With the help of the bureaucratic and police apparatuses the power of the ‘saviour’ of the people and the arbiter of the bureaucracy as the ruling caste rose above the Soviet democracy, reducing it to a shadow of itself.” (Again on the question of Bonapartism, Writings, 1934-35, p. 208).
Under Stalin political power was wrested from the working class and placed in the hands of a privileged bureaucratic caste. But not all the gains of the 1917 revolution were lost. The economy remained in state hands; there was planning, albeit carried out in a crude and bureaucratic manner; and the state held a monopoly over foreign trade. The economic foundations of a workers’ state remained in place.
The bureaucracy did not become a class. It did not own the industries which it managed. While the bureaucracy, by dint of privilege, was self-perpetuating it did not enjoy the right of inheritance. Its relationship to the economy was more akin to that of the heads of nationalised industries in the west to the industries they manage. These people are privileged, they are as removed from their workforces as the capitalists, but they are not capitalists.
The capitalist class is defined by what it owns, not by what it consumes. The Soviet bureaucracy consumed a large slice of the surplus wealth produced by the working class. But this is not unique. Every bureaucracy rewards itself for its commanding position by creaming off a larger share of wealth for itself. Unlike the capitalists, the Stalinist rulers did not have ownership of the surplus, and could not have unless they undid the other gains of 1917 and privatised the economy. Trotsky was absolutely clear and categorical on this: “Still the biggest apartments, the juiciest steaks and even Rolls-Royces are not enough to transform the bureaucracy into an independent ruling class.” (The class nature of the Soviet State, Writings, 1933-34, p. 113).

Under a state capitalist natured society thee would still be capitalist crisis this was not the case in russia under Stalinism they avoided the over production and crisis in capitalism that the western capitalist nations always endured due to their planned nature of their economy

We in the socialist party make it very clear we did and do not ever support the Stalinist regime but we do however recognise the benefits of a planned economy that was still practised in the USSR up until 1989.

This does not mean that there was no crisis or that there were no contradictions. But the contradictions of the Soviet economy, and the reasons for the economic impasse which eventually brought Stalinism to its knees, were different. The most fundamental contradiction was between the fact of a planned economy and the bureaucratic administration of the plan. Not for nothing did Trotsky argue that the planned economy needs democracy just as the human body needs oxygen. For a period the advantages of state ownership and a form of plan, however bureaucratically drawn up and autocratically implemented, did lead to significant economic improvement. The USSR went from being a backward country, an India, to the second world superpower, something which would not have been possible on the basis of capitalism.

Once the economy reached a certain degree of sophistication the disadvantages of bureaucratic methods, of the absence of democratic decision making, began to outweigh the advantages of public ownership and of planning. By the Brezhnev era, certainly by the end of this time, the economy had ground to a halt and the bureaucracy, by their crude methods, were incapable of taking it forward. Stalinism came up against its economic limitations, not the limitations or contradictions of capitalism, but the restraints imposed by the stifling fact of bureaucratic misrule. The choice, ultimately, was not of ongoing rule by the bureaucracy but either its removal and the establishment of workers’ democracy or else a return to capitalism.

The SWP disagree with the idea that these regimes were “transitional.” Trotsky, however, repeatedly refers to their “transitional” character. The triumph of Stalin was a step back from October 1917, but not a complete step away from the gains of that revolution. Trotsky’s view was that if the bureaucracy remained in control, at some point the pressures of world capitalism would tell. Counter-revolution, perhaps initially in the form of the invasion of cheaper goods from the more developed capitalist economies, would triumph. It would be the triumph of higher productivity, of “less labour,” in the advanced capitalist states, over the less productive, more labour intensive, industries in the isolated Russian economy. The bureaucracy, or a section of it, would seek to transform itself into a capitalist class. Only a movement of the working class to overthrow the bureaucracy could offer an alternative way out.
In the Transitional Programme he writes:
“The USSR embodies terrific contradictions. But it still remains a degenerated workers’ state. Such is the social character. The political prognosis has an alternative character: either thebureaucracy, becoming ever more the organ of the world bourgeoisie in the workers’ state, will overthrow the new forms of property and plunge the country back into capitalism; or the working class will crush the bureaucracy and open the way to socialism.”
Trotsky’s either/or prognosis, developed particularly in his classic book, The Revolution Betrayed, was correct, but it took a whole historic period to work itself out. What Trotsky could not have foreseen was that Stalinism would emerge from the Second World War enormously strengthened. The defeat of Germany and the exhaustion of the British and US troops, who were not prepared to follow those generals who wanted to continue the war against Russia, allowed the powerful Red Army to conquer Eastern Europe unopposed.
Having taken control of the state, the new rulers proceeded to take over the economy and set up regimes modelled on the Stalinist regimes in Russia. The peculiar circumstances allowed that capitalism was abolished, from above, with the support of a large section of the working class, but not as the conscious and independent action of that class. Again, it was the particular circumstances of the time which allowed the guerrilla armies which later seized power in China and Cuba to follow the Russian example and eradicate landlordism and capitalism.
These did not become socialist societies, but were precisely “transitional” regimes in which the choice was either political revolution to overthrow the bureaucracy or else ultimately counter-revolution and their reintegration into the capitalist world market.

Since they had not been at any point healthy workers’ states the term “degenerated workers’ states” used by Trotsky to describe Russia was not quite accurate. We used the term “deformed workers’ state” as a more precise definition.

The emergence of the USSR as a world superpower allowed the regime a relative stability for a period. Trotsky’s 1930 perspective was postponed. However, what happened in 1989 and after brilliantly bore out his analysis. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the eyes of East Germans to the goods and lifestyles which seemed to be available in the West ushered in the counter-revolution which ended with the restoration of capitalism. In Russia and Eastern Europe, most of the bureaucracy went along with the restoration – bearing out what Trotsky had also said – that faced with the choice of a workers’ movement for political freedom or the restoration of capitalism they would look to the latter as the only way to maintain their privileges.
Counter-revolution, as with revolution, means decisive change. It is clear that the events of 1989-91 marked such a change in Russia and Eastern Europe. The old Stalinist states collapsed, the state apparatus in part “moved over” and in part was replaced. The new states which emerged were intent on re-establishing capitalism. The overthrow of the old state apparatus ushered the beginning of a change in property relations. It was a repeat of 1917, only this time in reverse.
If the SWP believes that the USSR was capitalist you need to show at what point the counter-revolution in property relations was carried through. The victory of Stalin in the late twenties and the thirties, and the purges which followed, represented a political victory for this caste. The property relations – state ownership and the plan – which were established in the years after 1917 were maintained. If this was state capitalism then what was set up by the Bolsheviks was state capitalism also. Or else we would have to draw the entirely un-Marxist conclusion that a change in political rule is tantamount to a change in the social system. In other words, we would have to start out from what is in fact the underlying theoretical premise of reformism.

For Marx, the decisive question was which class owned industry, not whether that class exercised democratic control in management of that industry. There have been occasions when the capitalist class have lost direct control over the state, but so long as property relations remain unchanged, they remain the ruling class. The SWP have mixed up changes to the superstructure – the method of political rule – with the more fundamental question of the economic base. We determine the class nature of society by examining its economic foundations.
Must the working class have a direct hold on the levers of political power before we can use the term “workers state”? Let Trotsky answer us on this:
”The dictatorship of a class does not mean by a long shot that its entire mass always participates in the management of the state... The anatomy of society is determined by its economic relations. So long as the forms of property that have been created by the October revolution are not overthrown, the proletariat remains the ruling class.” (The class nature of the Soviet State, Writings, 1933-34, p. 104).
And again:
”But this usurpation (by the bureaucracy) was made possible and can maintain itself only because the social content of the dictatorship of the bureaucracy is determined by those productive relations that were created by the proletarian revolution. In this sense we say with complete justification that the dictatorship of the proletariat found its distorted but indubitable expression in the dictatorship of the bureaucracy.” (The Workers State Thermidor and Bonapartism, Writings, 1934-35, p. 173).
In basing their characterisation on the fact that the working class were deprived of democratic rights, were oppressed and in a sense “exploitedthe SWP, are in the camp of liberalism, not Marxism. I have already quoted Trotsky on his attitude to the “moralists” who looked at the horrors of Stalinist rule and indignantly professed that this could not be a “workers state.” From there the SWP’s argument gets worse. The regimes in Eastern Europe, they say, cannot be “workers states” because they were installed from above. Marx, you remind us, had argued that “the emancipation of the working class must be accomplished by the working class.”

This indeed is the standpoint of Marxism. But the same Marx who argued in a general historical sense that the bourgeois, or capitalist, revolutions which overthrew feudalism were the historic tasks of the rising capitalist class, also pointed out that in some cases the capitalists relied on other forces to carry this out.
Even the ‘classic’ bourgeois revolution – in France 1789-1815 – unfolded with a rich complexity which confounds the one dimensional historical view of the SWP. The backbone of the revolution at its high point in 1792-94 was the urban poor, the sans culottes, who acted in alliance with the Jacobin left wing of the bourgeoisie. But the power of the plebeian masses who overthrew absolutism began to encroach on the bourgeoisie. The period of Thermidor leading to the triumph of Bonaparte saw many of the gains of the revolution, such as the declaration of universal male suffrage, removed. Bonapartism meant rule by the sword. The state rose above society and, by military means and by decree, ‘arbitrated’ between the rival class interests. This was a step back in terms of political rights but the new capitalist class relations which were established by the overthrow of feudalism and absolutism remained fundamentally in place.
In 1815, Bonaparte was defeated by the forces of reaction in Europe. The Bourbons were restored. In appearance it was back to pre-1789. But the substance was different. Capitalist property relations remained in place. If the class nature of the state was just a matter of the political superstructure then France after 1815 would have been a feudal state. This was clearly not the case. The rising bourgeoisie had to surrender political power, but in the main the property rights created by the revolution stayed in place.
The revolutions of 1830 and 1848 did away with the Bourbons and with the dynasty of Louis Philippe of Orleans. The working class was by now more powerful than in 1789, but was not yet capable of taking power. The bourgeois, trembling in the face of the growing strength of the working class, were divided and unable to rule. As the struggle between these two modern classes could not be fought to a decisive conclusion, the state stepped into the equilibrium and once again assumed the role of arbiter. The Second Republic achieved mainly by the armed working class in 1848 became the Second Empire under the dictatorship of Napoleon’s nephew, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.
The state arbitrated but ultimately came down on one side, the side of the bourgeois. Even in the “classic” example of France the rule of the bourgeois was finally consolidated by a Bonapartist regime which took direct political power from the capitalists, and which creamed off a good proportion of the wealth for itself. Engels, in his introduction to Marx’s The Civil War in France, written just over a hundred years ago, uncovers these complex and seemingly contradictory processes in a living manner which contrasts sharply with the crude one-dimensional approach to history which the SWP applies to the less complex processes of revolution and counter-revolution in Russia.
“Louis Bonaparte took the political power from the capitalists under the pretext of protecting them, the bourgeois, from the workers, and on the other hand, the workers from them; but in return his rule encouraged speculation and industrial activity – in a word the dominance and enrichment of the whole bourgeoisie to an extent hitherto unknown. To an even greater extent it is true, corruption and mass thievery developed, clustering around the imperial court, and drawing their heavy percentages from this enrichment.” (The Civil War in France, Progress Publishers, 1968 edition, p 8)
In other cases the bourgeois played even less of a role in “their” revolution. In the case of Germany the unification of the country was carried through from above by the reactionary Prussian nobility through the “blood and iron” methods of their representative, Bismark. The German bourgeoisie were too cowed by the power of the working class which had been demonstrated in the revolutionary uprisings of 1848, to play any role. “Their” rule came into being under the militaristic banner of the reactionary rulers of the Prussian House of Hohenzollern.
Stalinism was a modern form of Bonapartism. The political gains of the revolution were wiped away. Tsarist autocracy was replaced by Stalinist autocracy. But as in France the social gains of the revolution were not abolished. Even though the working class did not have political power, Russia did not return to the orbit of capitalism. It was not in any sense a capitalist state.
This is not to say that there can be an exact parallel between the bourgeois revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries and the scientific revolutions. 1789 in France may have been carried through by the majority, the great mass of the oppressed in France, but it inevitably had to end as rule in the interests of a minority, the capitalists. In the words of Engels it may have proclaimed “the Kingdom of Reason,” but in reality it established “the Kingdom of the bourgeoisie.” The socialist revolution, on the other hand, is not carried out by the majority, it allows that majority, for the first time in a real sense, to rule. It is therefore correct to say that the socialist revolution cannot be completed by any class or section of society other than by the working class. But this is not to say that the course of the socialist revolution, like the bourgeois revolutions, cannot be tortuous, that it cannot move along dead ends, or that all sorts of transitional formations cannot be thrown up along the road to its completion.
Marx and Engels were absolutely right when they stated that the working class would be the “gravedigger” of capitalism and that no other class could play this role. But truth is always concrete. A general statement made by Marx over one hundred years earlier does not alter what actually happened in Eastern Europe, and under slightly different conditions in China, Cuba, Vietnam and a number of other countries. The inability of imperialism to hold back the colonial revolution and prevent the coming to power of guerrilla armies, or of other forces hostile to the West, combined with the “model” of the already existing Stalinist states, meant that in these cases one part of the task of the socialist revolution was carried through without the working class playing the leading role.

With extracts taken from the theory of state capitalism by the late Peter Haddon of the Irish socialist party

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Marxists attitudes towards parliament and elections

We are faced with the fact that Parliament exists and that the mass of the population, despite their criticisms, look to it for change. In 1940 Trotsky, while discussing the question of war, explained how Marxists must make use of bourgeois institutions like parliament. “The courts are bourgeois but we don’t boycott them as the anarchists. We try to use them and fight within them. Likewise with parliaments. We are enemies of the bourgeoisie and its institutions, but we utilise them.”

Trotsky carried the argument forward – to the question of war: “War is a bourgeois institution a thousand times more powerful than all the other bourgeois institutions. We accept it as a fact like the bourgeois schools and try to utilise it.” He continues:

“In the union I can say I am for the Fourth International. I am against war. But I am with you. I will not sabotage the war. I will be the best soldier just as I was the best and most skilled worker in the factory. At the same time I will try to convince you too that we should change society.” (Writings, 1939-40, p. 256).

So with parliament. There is no contradiction between understanding, from a revolutionary point of view, the true nature of a bourgeois parliament and at the same time fighting for every crumb, every concession we can gain from it. In the same sense as Trotsky in 1940 advocated that the members of the Fourth International, while opposing the war; in the case of that particular war should be the “best soldiers,” we must be the “best parliamentary representatives,” the most effective in squeezing every possible concession and, at the same time, the most resolute in revealing its limitations. If we are to expose the limits of change through parliament we have to struggle within it to reach those limits and thereby bring them into the view of the working class.

Instead of such sterile ultra-leftism we explain that we are fighting to become the majority in parliament and go on to spell out what we would do if we had that majority. We say we would pass legislation to take the wealth out of the hands of the ruling class. But, as the bitter experience of Chile showed, the ruling class will not peaceably surrender their wealth and power. They would use their control of the armed machinery of the state to resist. Under those circumstances we would mobilise the working class to confront them, just as the Bolsheviks did in August 1917. Part of this resistance would be the formation of workers’ councils, of committees in the army, in short of the emergence of an alternative state based on the independent power of the working class. In this way the real question of power would be posed.

The sociaist party and its sisters organisations in the CWI have had people elected to parliaments in the past and still do currenty have 2 TD's in Ireland and a MEP in the European parliament. We dont see this as a end goal but a way of fighting for concessions for the working class in the most critical way of the system possible.
The election of Joe Higgins is not the first occasion that we have participated in parliament. In Britain, Dave Nellist, Pat Wall and Terry Fields, all members of Militant, sat as Labour MPs and were able to use parliament as a tribune for socialist ideas. Terry Fields went to prison for refusing to pay his poll tax. None of these representatives succumbed to the parliamentary pressures. Sadly, Pat Wall died while an MP and the Labour leadership saw that he was replaced by a right-winger. Terry Fields and Dave Nellist were expelled from the Labour Party and eventually lost their seats because they refused to abandon their ideas and their principles.

Like Terry Fields, Pat Wall and Dave Nellist, Joe Higgins has not adopted the lifestyle or adapted to the customs and norms of bourgeois politics. He lives on a workers wage and provides the Dublin West electorate with an account of where the rest of his salary and all his allowances go. He has used the Dáil chamber to challenge the establishment. He has brought the scent of the class struggle into the otherwise rarefied atmosphere of the Dáil, as with his handcuffed gesture in solidarity with jailed building workers. He has used his position to promote working class struggle outside the Dáil, speaking at countless meetings, protests and pickets. He has intervened in debates on legislation, with opposition proposals and amendments. On top of this he has carried a huge constituency case load, trying to use his influence to help working class people in Dublin West with day-to-day problems.

The CWI has 20 sections and a number of other supporting groups. We work in a total of 35 countries and on every continent. Our World Congress brings together delegates from all sections and is the supreme decision making body of our International. Points of difference are debated in a democratic manner and decisions arrived at through debate.

A debate on any major issue is not the property of a small circle at the top of the organisation, but is something in which the membership needs to be involved. Whenever differences have arisen within our International, or when it has been necessary to adjust our position or to correct past mistakes, we have involved the full membership in the discussions. International Discussion Bulletins, containing all the material from all sides of a debate, have been produced and made available to every member. Only in this way can we educate and involve the membership and only then can the members, in turn, become fully informed, intervene and act as a check on all decisions made.
But when it comes to participating in such roles we will always keep a firm grip on democracy and keep it with us at all times.
In order to withstand the pressures of moods, temporary or longer lasting, which develop within the working class, it is essential that a revolutionary party maintains a democratic centralist structure. This means the fullest internal discussion on all issues including points of difference, but unity in action when it comes to putting agreed decisions into effect.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

My struggle how i came to the position i am in today

I thought i should do a more personal blog post for a change tonight. I've been blogging for a while now and have explained very little about myself.

I am fairly modest i think this is why i detail little about my own life and situation. But i thought i'd give a brief but more in depth outline here of how i came to hold the views i do and what life experiences have affected me.

Up to the age of 16 i was always a very quiet, reserved and shy type of young lad who ddint have a huge amount of friends and found it hard to trust people. At secondary school at a all boys school in our near by county town i find it hard to make friends at times. I found i would get close to one certain friend more than fit in with a group of friends. I'd often keep myself to myself and just get by. This didnt help me one bit as i was repeatably picked on for various things about the way i was back then. Quiet having the face of a monkey or just being a bit of a wuss when it came to playing rugby with the others. I was never one for the rough and tumble and military style boot camp that all boys school liked to drum in to its students. It was a old grammer school and i felt it still held alot of that hard line discipline that was a throw back to those days of segregation.

I wasnt a particularly intelligent student i always did my homework on time and got on well with my teachers but i struggled at things like maths and english for at ime. But eventually i did ok and got a respectable set of GCSE's.

Starting the 6th form i thought i'd got over the worst of school life having seen some of my more formidable bullies leave the school due to failing their exams i felt a lot more relaxed going into the 6th form. Getting on well with teh teachers i had been friendly wti h from before and finding a few others had grown up too i found things getting better for me at school anyway.

At home i'd always had a difficult relationship with my dad, i still do to a degree we rarely speak socially and he used to get very angry at me for the slightest things. I remember when asking for help with my maths homework one time him getting very angry and upset with me for doing something wrong. Likewise he liked to get my brother and i interested in the things he was interested in. he had this vision of us all playing golf together and growing up liking thet hings he did. This was a vision i didn ot share and although i didnt mind golf i was never mad about it like he was and he grew increasingly frustrated at this.

Before my GCSE's i had a lot of revision time off like you do and my dad was constantly on my c ase to revise revise revise and was very strict about it. reminding me i'll fail and end up stacking shelves if i dont revise properly. I did revise to the best i could but i hated exams and was rubbish at them really. But they turned out ok in the end but all that summer of 2004 in Portugal whilst on holiday my dad was on my case scaring me into what happens if i dont get the results i need to get into 6th form. This stressed me out no end.

A few months into life in the 6th form at school whilst playing basketball i was hit squarely on the head with the ball i did not see it coming. Otehr strange events kept happening like playing badminton at school i would go to hit the shuttle cock and completely miss it when in previous years i'd been very good at this and was always told i had a excellent eye for the ball etc. I did i had 20 20 vision with was considered the best level of vision possible. I was colour blind but many men are i am lead to believe . This did not affect me at all

But more and more in lessons i was squinting and having to sit nearer and nearer the front of class's to see the board. This was just getting silly i thought i asked my mum out of the blue if i could go to the optitians to see what if anything was up.

She and well we all thought at that time it was simply down to me playing computer games far too much as teenagers at that age generally do these days we thought nothing more of it.

But at the optitians i and the optitian seeing me was stunned to find i could not even read past the first letter on the board of letters designed to test your eyesight.

This for if anyone doesnt know is a set of letters with the top letter being a absolutely huge letter A. anything below this i could not see a thing.

THis concerned the optitians and refered me immediatly for a emergency appointment at our local hospital.

This was the real start of the period of me loosing my sight i'd say. Visiting hospitals all around Hertfordshire going up to London to see eye specialists and barely stopping to breath in between. Having test upon test to see what was causing this rapid loss of sight was a great puzzle to the experts. Having had blood test after blood test once having twice in one day as the assistant had lost one and had to do another i was kept in over night in early november. Having had a lumber puncher to test if there was any blood in my spinal fluid. This was their thinking taht i may have a brain tuma which was causing pressure on the back of my eyes. This turned out not to be the case thankfully but i imagine that was the reason for the great rush and all the tests as they feared the worst that i may have a brain tuma which would have been awful of course.

Luckily it wasnt it turned out and tests finally confirmed i had a rare case of something called lebers optical nearopathy disease the rarer form. You can read more about it at this site here


Eventually my sight would steadily decline over time and as the site link provided above says usually between 2 to 8 weeks is teh time it takes as the accute phase as they call it begins to slow and eventually stable out and tends to stay at that point at which it is. For me it has left me with no central vision and blurred peripheral vision which at times when i'm tried for example is not much use at all. When it is useful i can still see around the edges and make out outlines of frames, people and doorframes which can be very useful indeed i've found.

But i do use a long white cane now having taken mobility lessons at home and away at the Royal National College for the blind in Hereford. which is a residential college specialised in supporting and helping long term or recently blinded people to learn to live independently again in the outside world. I enjoyed my time at Hereford and look back upon my time there with fondness. Some of the people i met there changed my life i can say that now they inspired me and filled me with confidence to take on this world. meeting other people who were blind and had gone blind or had been blind from birth gave me the confidence to know there is still life out there and i can still do very many things indeed, given some adaptation and adjustment life isnt too bad for me really. I have previously blogged that i do claim DLA and this has helped me maintain my level of independence the best i can.

But all this adversity and having to learn to cope again with life taught me a hell of a lot. I have come out of my shell and have now found the confidence to talk to people and i'd never have thought to myself i'd have been on the national radio, spoken to a public crowd of over 100 for the Jarrow march meeting which came through our area last year, travelled across the country using the train network independently found myself a girlfriend well several actually some didnt all work out too well but that's by the by. and made some good solid freinds now who i see as friends for life now.

How i lost my sight or what brought it on is a mystery no scientific research can tell at the moment but i am fairly sure the levels of stress i put myself under and was under unessesarily from my dad and people at school did not help one bit i am sure. I dont hate my dad for what he did but certainly it has made things very difficult between us. Whether this will ever change i dont know but now i am living away from him with my mum as still cant find a affordable place to rent to live locally we at least have that distance now and i feel happier away from him i must say.

Politically i am now in the socialist party i've always thought of myself of the left and since loosing my sight i know now the struggles people go through the precious time we have on this planet to help and do all i can for others to make this world a farier more equal society is my aim now and i hope to carry taht on in to the future.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The dangers of the lack of a political alternative

During these tough economic times as we start to feel the bite of the cuts and our living standards slip backwards. The lack of a alternative or a party standing up for people is very evident.

It took the trade unions months to call the first demonstration national demo in London on March 26th last year. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do so. They only started organising mass co-ordinated strike action after hard work and lobbying and mass pressure from below by ordinary rank-and-file members.

With the 3 main political parties lib dem, labour and tories all agreeing the need for cuts to some degree people will be left feeling who do we trust now ?

very understandable with no one taking a lead and showing leadership as my post on political leadership last night was about can lead to all sorts of dangers. Not least the idea that we cant affect things and a sense of desperation sets in. Last summers riots were a sign of this. Many young people in poor areas with little opportunities feeling attacked and threatened from every angle felt they had nothing to loose.
As Martin Luther King once said rioting is the voice of the voiceless. Countless generations have been ignored and pushed about, stop and searched as seen as a constant threat but now have even less opportunities with the cutting of EMA and trebling of tuitian fees for university.

Life is a struggle for people from these backgrounds ordinary working class backgrounds who have little hope in finding a job in their area or getting out of the situation they find themselves in.

Youth fight for jobs last year did interveen in these areas to try and offer a constructive programme for youth to get involved in and channel their anger into something constructive and this is helping but still far more needs to be done.

The lack of an alternative for people will also have an affect on peoples political views to the likes of the right and far right for example may find easy picking in areas where there is no alternative to the 3 capitalist parties and play on peoples fears of imigration and heighten those tensions. This could be very dangerous and has already been seen with the senseless murdering of innocent students in Norway last year and the rise of the neo-nazi's in germany.

All this is very worrying and makes the need for a new workers party and a lead to be taken by the unions to offer an alternative right away. They should be acting as the pillars of the communities where political leadership is lacking.

Many confused things will be running through peoples minds at this time but the longer we go on without that clear alternative being made, as socialist alternative the more likely people are to turn to less savoury methods of change which is something as socialists we would not want to see.

Monday, 16 January 2012

The role agitation can play in the class struggle today

In the early days of forming a movement of which we can say we are in today the early signs of a fight back with the trade unions finally stepping on the scene some may say and i'd agree took them long enough. But in these early days it is important to raise ideas of a change in society with people.

Back when capitalism was going through its "boom stage" we found it hard to convince workers that this system cannot meet all of your wants and needs and ultimatly a crash will come which is enevitable under capitalist boom and bust.

But these days where a heightened increase of the class struggle and many commentators in the media making claims of a "class war" and other such like the ideas of revolutions in the arab world the idea of a change in soceity has become mainstream once again The idea that the occupy movement has coined slogans such as we are the 99% and capitalism is crisis are just two of what i have picked out of a change in contiousness out there among people.

You cannot tell me that these sorts of slogans and phrases would have been being talked about on radio phone in shows and television 3 or 4 years ago. Ever since the banking crash of 2008 the world has changed and we will never go back to that place.

For revolutionary socialists like myself who have drawn the conclusion that capitalism is a deeply unfair system and we need to change society todays plain is still a tough place to convince people of our ideas but at least we can highlight examples of exploitation and greed in society. The widening gap between rich and poor to a wide gulf is having a impact on people and their thinking. A certain layer of workers have arisen from a long long sleep if you like and are currently in a mass state of confusion. Many blame MP's, The labour party and now the tories others less informed like to play the race card and blame the lack of jobs to a imigration issue something of which i will blog more on tommorrow and the dangers that can entail.

But certainly as marxists with ideas of how the system of capitalism works and trying to further understand it ourselves through the ideas of Karl Marx relating those ideas to todays issues is becoming easier in one way but harder in another due to peoples confused state they are waking up from.

Many know something is wrong and something has to be done about it but few have drawn vague socialist ideas as yet many just simply feel the world is not fair and getting worse.

We agree, but we have a programme a alternative that can help move us on from the position we find ourselves. It is known as the transitional programme which we apply to every step of the class struggle.

Getting in and amongst workers and being involved in their daily struggles, making their fight our fight and our fight their fight is a key to keeping in touch with current contiousness and having a influence on such a contiousness,

Being able to explain our ideas in a comradely way a friendly and welcoming fashion will attract workers who are desperatly searching for a alternative to this mad rotten capitalist system.

On the question of political leadership

As Lenin wrote in his excellent thesis what is to be done,

Many comrades in the early days of the russian revolution and in Lenin's party and others never regarded themselves as leaders, and no one ever elected or appointed them as such, although in actuality, they were leaders, because, in the propaganda period, as well as in the period of the struggle against the government, they took the brunt of the work upon themselves, they went into the most dangerous places, and their activities were the most fruitful. They became leaders, not because they wished it, but because the comrades surrounding them had confidence in their wisdom, in their energy, in their loyalty.

Today we are badly lacking any political leaders, But the idea that they can just come about in a increased class contiousness is not always the case. As lenin rightly explained often political leaders do not wish to become one or have any desire to they almost fall into the position. Due to their role within the party and the movement and comrades confidence in their actions and decisions.

It is important to stress that in this day and age of a heightened suspicion of any leaders or any organisation at the present time many are not looking for your old style leader do as we say which i can understand fully and do not support. But revolutionary working class leaders with the ideas to inspire and shine a light in the direction we need to be heading is greatly lacking today.

The fact that a lot of the labour movement has more aor less moved to the right coupled with the move to the right of social democratic parties like the Labour party there is very little in the way of working class voices any longer for workers to look towards.

Even in the trade unions i can only think of a handful of real leadership material. But i think as contiousness shifts and events unfold there will be a new layer of workers drawn into the struggle who are drawn to marxist ideas and conclusions that leadership is needed more than ever now. To lead us out of this capitalist money driven mad house to a farier stable society based on peoples needs.

Labour reveal their real face of cuts and more cuts, time for a new workers party

This weekend just gone confirmed to me and to many that labour are no alternative and will not offer a way out of the current crisis we find ourselves in. Some would say this weekends move to accept spending cuts is a cupitulation but i'd disagree labour has been pro cuts all along it has just disagreed with the speed of them that is all. Not the fact that cuts are needed at all.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, says Labour faces "a big task" to regain economic credibility and win back public trust.

In a speech to the Fabian Society on Saturday, Balls said he accepted every spending cut being imposed by the coalition and endorsed George Osborne's public sector pay freeze, adding that it might need to continue beyond the end of the current parliament.

His announcement, first revealed in an interview with the Guardian, is an attempt to challenge accusations that Labour is not credible on the economy.

In his speech, Balls said Labour could not and would not make "any commitments" before the next election to reverse the coalition government's tax rises or spending cuts because "we don't know how bad things will be on jobs, growth and the deficit".

Balls said he would not have taken the same approach to tackling the deficit as the coalition, adding that the next Labour government would also have to "deliver social justice in tougher times".

"And as we make the argument that cutting spending and raising taxes too far and too fast risks making the economy and the deficit worse not better, it is right that we set out where we do support cuts and where we would be making the tough but necessary decisions," he told the Fabians.

The shadow chancellor said it was "inevitable" now that public sector pay restraint would have to "continue for longer in this parliament".

"Labour cannot duck that reality. And we won't. Jobs must be our priority before higher pay," he said.

Balls said Labour had to offer an economic alternative that would boost growth now and deliver "responsible capitalism" over the longer term.

But he added: "To make that alternative work and be credible, it must be underpinned by a clear commitment to balanced but tough spending and budget discipline now and into the medium term."

This to me comes as no surprise at all only that people are surprised by this and that the labour party are tory light hand have been for some time now.

The idea that capitalism can be responsible is ridiculous quite frankly what is responsible about making the poorest in society pay for the mistakes of the richest?

Labour who are a fully fledged capitalist party now offer no alternative and as such i'd urge anyone who still considers themselves a socialist in teh labour party to leave that rotten dead party and help us form a new workers party.

We in TUSC and the socialist party do not accept the need for any cuts at all. We feel there is the money in society and the county is not broke or hard up as the neo-liberals would have you believe . For god sake we are one of the richest nations in the world. Where is that money then you ask ?

Well at the top of society the evaded 120 billion in evaded tax by rich corporations for one. Scrapping trident and ending all wars and defence spending will free up huge amounts of money to be invested in public services and a huge affordable council housing building project providing much needed homes to 5 million people on the housing list and also much needed jobs too.

Labour is not the alternative as much as they like to tell you fluffy words like social justice labour values and nonsense like that. They dont mean a word of it when they agree with the tories on pretty much every point.

Its time to break with labour and take a brave step towards a new fairer future starting with a new workers party. Leading eventually to socialism