my recent twitter updates

There was an error in this gadget

Saturday, 31 March 2012

3 cheeks of the same buttock

This was the phrase used by George Galloway this week as he stormed to victory in Bradford west. He was referring to the fact that labour, Tories and lib dems are all very much the same these days, Serving capitalism and looking after the rich and big business rather than ordinary people.

You can understand Tories and lib dems doing this as they have never been in touch with ordinary workers but labour it is a disgrace that they sit their condemning strikes, supporting cuts and doing Tories dirty work for them. They claim as their left of their party claim that they have the union link. This union link is weaker than ever before and I’m sure if you ask many trade unionists they would not object to disaffiliating from the labour party and having their political fund put into proper causes and to supporting campaigns that support workers. The simple fact that all 3 main establishment parties today subscribe to capitalism being the only show in town gives us on the real left a huge opportunity to make in roads in this coming period.

Wit the need for a new workers party greater than ever I think TUSC can gain a big echo out there among people.

I mean why on earth you would vote for your job to be cut slowly by the labour party or quickly by the Tories. That is no alternative at all. People want an alternative they want a choice a vote they can feel proud of.

TUSC doesn’t command a big pool of support as yet and we’d be foolish to claim it does but for people to have that alternative on their ballot paper at least gives people the opportunity to express a desire to move away from the major political parties and get behind a credible alternative which I feel TUSC can develop into.

But George Galloway’s victory highlights something else. It wasn’t just a vote for him but a complete rejection of the major parties in an area that is largely working class. The argument that he only won due to the Asian vote is wrong he gained support from across the board and posed as an alternative to people. We don’t of course agree with all that George stands on but it shows the echo that can be had by posing as an alternative with a clear programme to defend people’s living standards and not to attack them like the main 3 parties look to at any chance they get.



You can fit a cigarette packet between the policies of Labour, lib dem and Tory these days there is very little difference they all look to try and manage capitalism better than the other. Te reality is capitalism looks after a minority and their wealth not the majority and their living standards. A transformation of society towards a socialist planned economy where people’s needs were put first every time would be the sort of society I strive for and look to convince others are entirely possible. Nothing stays the same forever, we haven’t always had capitalism. The seeds of a new better equal society are in the womb of the current society we live under it will take the working class and the mass’s to realise this to unlock the potential of the mass of people on this planet .

A big opportunity is opening up in front of us we must be bold and not be afraid to try and convince people of an alternative. People will be actively looking for it they may just not know it yet.

Friday, 30 March 2012

What George Galloway’s victory in Bradford west can tell us for the left

An astounding victory last night in Bradford west by election where George Galloway saw off a labour party struggling to make any impact with their some cuts are nessesary line. It was a huge rejection of them and the other establishment parties that George won so convincingly. With a majority of 10 thousand this cannot just be wrote off as an anomaly.

So what can this mean for us on the left who are trying to build a force to the left of labour and campaigning for a new workers party like we are in the socialist party?

Well firstly I think this shows a deep rooted anger and despair with ordinary people with the 3 main political parties that George Galloway who isn’t a socialist by any stretch of the imagination stood on left sounding policies against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and offering himself as an alternative clearly shows that labour can be beaten in their heartland and a force to the left of labour can win in these areas.

As TUSC we are not supporters of George Galloway and have reservations on his politics and cosying up to various dictators in the past but no doubt this is more than that this victory showed that people wont always put up with the main 3 capitalist parties forever and ever and if a alternative is posed they can get a echo.

I also think we shouldn’t over state this this is clearly a tremor of the political earthquake happening right now but with the may 3rd local elections and the London GLA elections where genuine trade unionists and socialists will be standing under the banner of TUSC I think we can do well. I wont put my neck out and say we’ll get victories like George did in Bradford but the tide is turning on these establishment parties and people are fed up with the same old language same old lies and tired excuses from washed up politicians who only call at their door every 5 years or so.

I’m optimistic for the coming period without wishing to over state it I think we do have a opportunity to make some big in roads into the political plain and take those first steps to becoming that credible alternative that I am convinced people are looking for out there. A real socialist alternative that can serve the 99% not the 1%.

This also has shown a deep lying feelin felt by many that the establishment parties have for years and years taken ordinary working class people and their votes for granted. Especailly labour in the north who still feel and will not learn the lessons I feel that you can put anyone up in a area that has a working class base and it’ll always get elected. Wrong this is changing and for the better labour cannot takeits voters for granted as they will resist in the end. People will not put up with a party tied to capitalism and the markets and the banks forever. Labour has lost its way and workers are turning their backs on it now and I’m only too pleased to see this. It bodes well for the future for the building of a new workers party which in my view is needed more than ever in this coming period to provide a pole of attraction.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Ireland : turn EU treaty into treat over austerity and vote no !

As the date for the EU referendum is set to be announced the people of Ireland are left with a big decision and the ULA and the socialist party our sister organization in Ireland is calling for a no vote to reject austerity and fight for an alternative to the crippiling cuts agenda the government is forcing on ordinary working families.

This Treaty is designed to ensure countries service their debt, including private bank debt that has been taken on as sovereign debt – irrespective of the social consequences. The financial crisis caused by bank speculation has led to a collapse in the real economy and a rise in debt relative to output. But the German and French governments, and the ECB, are demanding that the big banks of Europe be protected. They insist that social spending and state investment in the real economy be cut in order to guarantee that the banks get paid.
Paul Murphy MEP said:
The household tax is the first of a raft of taxes that this government will attempt to impose to meet its budget targets for the coming years: €7.2 billion cuts and taxes up to 2015 – followed by up to €5.7 billion if the rules of the Austerity Treaty were imposed in Ireland under current circumstances. We reject this austerity drive: cuts and taxes being imposed on our people in order to support the gambling debts of the banks – debts which are being taken on as sovereign debt. This is not our debt and we call for an end to the payment to all such bank-related debt.
Clare Daly said:
Contrary to the assertions of government ministers, this Treaty would lead to more economic instability. There has been a collapse of private investment in the Irish economy – €32 billion of profits were uninvested in 2010. In the face of this, the Treaty would force Irish governments into more cuts and tax increases, further reducing economic activity and reducing the capacity of the state to service debts. The choice being made is to support the banks, while continuing to drive down living standards and abandoning our people to unemployment, poverty, and declining services.
Joan Collins said:
The Treaty would turn elections into a total sham. It demands that austerity – deficit and debt reduction – be set into our legislative framework with ‘binding force’ and ‘permanent character’. It would be for the European Commission and the European Court of Justice to decide if a country was implementing the Treaty. So no matter what government was elected, or what mass protest movements demanded, budgetary policy would be in the hands of these unelected EU institutions. We reject this denial of democracy – in which a government would be forced to protect the interests of a tiny elite at the expense of the welfare of millions.
Seamus Healy said:
The scaremongering of the government and its supporters – that rejecting of the treaty will lead to us being kicked out of the EU or eurozone – is a lie. Ireland will remain part of the EU and eurozone, but will not support the austerity drive. Nor will Ireland be isolated. A “no’ vote would be a vote for an alternative to the EU policy of protection of the millionaires at the expense of the millions – a vote to link up with people all over Europe who want a decent future and sustainable development.
The ULA calls for a full public debate on the Austerity Treaty. We also hope that the trade union movement will facilitate a full debate amongst their members, who will be adversely effected by the continued austerity required under this Treaty. We will work to maximise a ‘no’ vote and to mobilise for a socially progressive, sustainable alternative to the politics of the Austerity Treaty.
Joe Higgins said:
The government’s only argument to support the Treaty is the Blackmail Clause. This says that Ireland won’t get money for a second ‘bailout’ from the ESM fund if we don’t approve the Austerity Treaty. Fine Gael and Labour agreed to put this Blackmail Clause into the ESM Treaty and the Austerity Treaty. But they also have the power to get it out, because Ireland has a veto over the amendment to the Lisbon Treaty required to bring the ESM into being. If they want a free and honest debate on the Austerity Treaty, they could veto the amendment to Lisbon required for the ESM until the Blackmail Clause is removed. At a minimum, we call for decisions on the ESM Treaty to be put back until after the referendum on the Austerity Treaty.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Some observations from a NHS health worker on the risk register

undearneath i publish a special guest post from a comrade who works in the NHS and holds the service close to her heart. her name is helen ridett a proud member of the socialist party like myself and i'm more than happy to share with you her thoughts on the NHS risk register she has kindly let me have to share with you all. Hope they make a echo and get shared far and wide to help people understand what is to happen to our NHS.

Some Observations on The NHS Risk Register…



The government is proceeding with this bill blindly not knowing the impact of recent amendments to the bill. They don’t really know how much these changes will cost or whether they can afford to implement the new ones, all during a period when the country is in masses of debt. The bill does not guarantee that the treasury will be able to get new savings i.e. efficiencies out of the NHS when the system is put into place



New NHS structures are being created and old ones dismantled and no one knows whether the old or the new teams will control the budget and when the Gps’ will be in a position to take over holding it. Also no one really knows who will be accountable if things go wrong as there are no clear lines of responsibility. This means that if things fall apart and the new NHS system doesn’t work everyone will point the finger at everyone else and there will be no one to take responsibility. If, for eg; a private company takes over a community health team and a patient suffers harm or neglect and that same company then goes bust what happens then? Where does the patient or their relative get redress during the transition to the new system?



The register highlights that GPs are not trained properly to either hold the budgets or to buy the care that you and I might need in future. When GP’s are spending their time training for this new job they will have less time to spend with patients. The GP’s haven’t even reached an agreement with the government regarding how they will operate within the new system



It is worth noting that if the new system falls apart or doesn’t work there are no plans in place to deal with emergencies that may arise off the back of this and there appears to be no fall back plans



Staff morale will be low because of the changes and with commissioning and senior management staff at risk of loosing their jobs but being expected to dig their own graves by setting up the new system. Frontline NHS Staff are already being shifted from post to pillar around the NHS and staff may be redeployed to sites miles away from training and occupational health facilities. This problem is likely to get far worse as the NHS gets more fragmented and bits of it get taken over by more and more private firms (any qualified provider). Industrial relations are getting increasingly strained and unions may have no choice but to ballot for industrial action if the pay and conditions of NHS staff are attacked even more. Unnecessary and awkward redeployment plans add complication to an already complex situation.



Healthcare records will also become an open book as the Health and Social Care bill is going to loosen the regulations and make sharing our personal information much easier to accommodate ‘any qualified provider’. In what appears to be a chaotic, less regulated and less accountable system change patient confidentiality will be an early casualty.



The risk register also seems to readily admit that patients are not being listened to during consultations and this problem is likely to accelerate thus giving the lie to the catchphrase ‘no care about me without me’.

Game to go into administration young people hit hardest once again

With the retailer Game UK to go into administration after a succession of poor profits according to them they look to be heading downwards. As a result many of their stores shut yesterday with administrators immediately coming in and telling the staff to go home with no compensation no nothing from what I understand.

Bearing in mind many of Game’s workers are young trainee’s who have found a job there to earn some money to get by. Possibly in between jobs as the job market has been poor for many years now let’s are honest.

But for young people this is a further attack on the youth of today. With over a million young people out of work and not in training of any sort this further addition of 2000 more to that pile of discarded workers is further evidence of a failing capitalist system. Where the profits are not there to be had so workers are the first to suffer being chucked on the scrap heap.

Youth fight for jobs marched from Jarrow to London last year a full 330 miles to demand a future for young people. They don’t want to be a lost generation and I don’t think we should let them be either. Let’s fight for jobs and education decent socially useful jobs, living wage for all trade union rates and pay and free education for young people.

These are some of youth fight for jobs’ basic demands and are entirely possible. Maybe not under this current rotten system of capitalism but with the view to transforming society to one based on people’s needs rather than profits for a select few.

It is news like this that angers me when young people are encouraged to find jobs and do in places like Game and then are told your no longer needed where are they to go ?

It is not like there are lots of jobs out there. Every 1 job has 6 people going for it there simply aren’t the jobs out there for people.

A mass creation of socially useful jobs for people and young people in particular would go some way to getting things moving again. Of course this would only be temporary as the underlying contradictions of capitalism will still exist. So the need to transform society needs to be taken up by a new workers party putting the interests of the 99% before anything else.

Monday, 26 March 2012

March 26th a year on, where is the anti cuts movement heading?

A year ago today we were heading to London from all over the country to descend on what we’d hoped to be one of the biggest predominantly working class demonstrations for many years. We were not disappointed an estimated 750,000 working class people and anti cut protesters out on the streets of London. Almost as many who are set to lose their jobs in the public sector due to the con-dem government cuts agenda.

A year on this feels a very long time ago this demonstration I thought I’d look at what has happened since then and the fight back that has or has not ensued.

To even get a national demonstration was incredibly hard work the good comrades at the NSSN were up in Manchester the September before demanding and lobbying the TUC to call a mass national demonstration. They were eventually dragged kicking and screaming to call one. It just goes to show what can be achieved when the TUC lift their little finger.

But the day itself was fantastic many great moments and speech’s and lots of calls to arms. One of the best and well received speech’s came from the PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka who proclaimed today we have marched together tomorrow we must strike together.

This was one of the main messages to come out of the day I felt where we go from here. The NSSN and the socialist party made a terrific intervention on that day giving out thousands of leaflets and selling almost as many papers. A special edition was printed for that day giving a very agitation message to workers picking up our paper for the first time that these cuts can be defeated if we take the right choices.

As we have seen over the last year possibly some of those choices haven’t been taken and a reluctance to fight on the behalf of some in our movement has held us back.

The socialist party has been impeccable in its stance against all cuts be them carried out by Tories, lib dems or labour councils. This has not been widely taken up with some on the left still till this day defending labour councils who pass on Tory cuts unfortunately.


One man who was on the march last year Ed Miliband has himself confirmed that any future labour government will not reverse any of the Tory cuts and instead add a further pay freeze to public sector pay as a bonus. Some anti cuts mood ay?

SO we cannot put our faith in the labour party they have shown themselves to be defenders of the capitalist system and a defender of cuts. This is not acceptable in the anti cuts movement and should not be in the labour movement either. The disgraceful selling out of trade union leaders over the pension dispute in the public sector is evidence of this treachery and a fear of upsetting a labour party who seem to want to curb the unions even further still by weakening their link even further.

March 26th 2011 will go down in history as one of the biggest working class demonstrations ever but unfortunately the response since then has been slow in coming and hard work. November the 30th last year was huge and very impressive but bigger and more concerted efforts by the trade unions is needed. I am not sure whether another national demonstration like March 26th would be beneficial. Certainly for the NHS it could be vital to raise people’s morale that the NHS can be saved. On the question of cuts I think workers are turning to other means including standing in local elections. TUSC again as I have blogged about on here countless times will be standing widely once again hoping to catch the mood of workers when they shift in consciousness.
There is an alternative out there and TUSC offers this in the London GLA elections and right across the country. If you don’t have a TUSC candidate standing in your area why not join in and stand yourself. If you are against all cuts and privatisation and agree with our basic programme you can stand for TUSC too in the coming may 3rd elections.

National demonstrations are good but not enough in their own we pointed this out at the time industrial action on a co-ordinated determined level is needed. We have started that and the working class has re emerged onto the battle scene but far more is needed and I am sure as this period develops we will see more strikes, occupations and demonstrations. Will it be enough to bring this government down.....? Only time will tell

The acceleration of capital the speeding up of society

I have started to read Karl Marx’s mammoth book of capital volume 2 after completing volume one not so long ago. It’s a text I will return to I am sure over time as holds so much unwrapped knowledge that can hold so much potential in the class struggle and understanding capitalism .

But volume two so far is a very different text. Focusing on a lot more theory behind the movement of capital and the process’s involved not much politics at all compared to volume one. This book is I have been told a boring book and is a hard read I may not complete it as many don’t but at first glance I can tell there is something going on with the movement of capital.

In today’s capitalist society of a financially focused economy certainly in the west excluding Germany dominates.

But throughout this century and the one before everything about capitalism has been focused round speeding the process of things up. Increasing turnover and production.
The idea is that the more and quicker you can produce commodities the quicker you can make a profit and gain an advantage over your competitors.

This has been the way of capitalist production for some time now if we look at food production for example and the example of meat Pigs now are breed now for giving birth to litters 3 times a year now instead of just the one that is normal for a pig.

Also if you read back to Charles Dickens days in his books the meat was mutton but now we all eat Lamb as it was found that you can breed more and eat them younger specifically breeding for consumption.

The whole idea of speeding up production to increase turnover of profit is something that has been as natural to capitalist production as day is to night. Ever since its inception capitalist production has always looked to find quicker and more efficient ways of producing products. Even though this is cancelled out by the huge waste in competition it creates.



The consumption of the working class doesn’t really play a big part in Marx’s first volume of capital but does play more of a part in volume 2. The consumption of the workers is key to capitalism whether workers can buy back the fruits of their labour is often a question posed. One of the contradictions that can play a part in the crisis’s of capitalism is the fact that production is speeded up so much that workers do not earn enough to buy back the fruits of their labour leading to a over production and a big gap between what the workers can afford with their wages compared to the surplus value that is created in their labour time. The accumulation of capital touched on towards the end of the first volume of capital by Marx is revisited in volume 2 the concentration of wealth by one part of society i.e. the rich and the bourgeoisie in other words means that at the other end of the scale there is a mass pool of poverty and deprivation. Of course the ideas of the increased reserve army of workers plays a bigger part and holds workers in work wages down to a minimum.
This accumulation of capital has several affects one it narrows competition in the market and can in a way almost bring the market to a halt at points. As barriers to continue production a mass of wealth in fewer and fewer hands as is the case with the development of capitalism does lead to deeper and deeper crisis’s which capitalism fails to deal with.

The unplanned nature of capitalism and the desperate drive for profit and more profit can lead to huge over production and under consumption by the masses of people but this is again more contradictions in the system and its inner workings.

I feel that the speeding up of capitalist production can lead to deeper and far quicker crisis’s and move the system on closer to the next meltdown. I will continue to read more on volume 2 and blog on any other new things I come across that can help me understand how Marx interpreted the capitalist system.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Big step forward as RMT officially backs TUSC

As we move slowly towards the coming local elections and elections in London a big step forward has recently occurred with the RMT union publically backing TUSC candidates and allowing its branch’s across the country to back TUSC candidates standing in elections. I am so pleased about this and hopefully will lead the way for more moves of trade unionists standing for TUSC and giving working people a voice.

The national executive of the RMT union has voted to back candidates of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the London elections on 3 May.
RMT general secretary, Bob Crow, announced the decision to applause at a rally to launch TUSC’s election campaign to win seats on the London Assembly.
The executive also voted to allow its union branches around the country to back other TUSC candidates in the local council elections which take place on the same day.
Prior to taking the decision, the RMT executive had written to every single branch in the Greater London area to ask if there were any objections to the proposal to back TUSC. There were none.
Bob Crow said:
“While Labour leader Ed Militant may get up and condemn the budget for the rich, what would they do under the same circumstances? Exactly the same, except over a longer period of time. A hundred and seven years ago this union moved a resolution to say we want a party of labour and to get rid of liberalism; now we have to say we need to get rid of Labour and we need a party of trade unionists and socialist.”
Speaking at the same meeting, Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack pointed out that the privatization of the London fire service had started under Labour.
“The FBU rejects the whole austerity agenda”, he said. “We may be small but we can grow. Our message can get an echo – the alternative is a dire future that offers nothing to millions.”
RMT President Alex Gordon, who is the leading candidate on the TUSC London list said:
“The RMT has a proud tradition of fighting politically. There is nothing to be ashamed about being a trade unionist and a socialist – millions of people out there are looking for an alternative. Labour is ashamed of its background. With TUSC, there will be no running away from supporting strikers – it’s on the tin. They’ve got the millionaires – we’ve got the millions who are deprived of a voice”
The backing given to TUSC candidates by the RMT national executive and its general secretary, the FBU London Region and its general secretary, represents a significant step in the building of a left-wing alternative to the Labour Party. This should now be publisised widely and to the wider labour movement that trade unionists do have a voice again and TUSC can be that vehicle for them. Everyone can get involved in TUSC whetheryour in work out of work a pensioner a socialist or a trade unionist this formation can be a stepping stone towards the eventual formation of a new mass workers party we feel.

It is crucial to get official union support on board as not only does this bring the name to a wider layer of workers but also gives us credibility as a force. Many still in the labour party who are disillusioned understandably tell me often well we would leave labour and vote for someone else if there is a credible alternative. Well TUSC hopes and is taking big bold new steps to being just that. With your support and the wider class support TUSC can turn from a minority party to a major force in this country in the coming period.

You can find out more about TUSC and our policies at
www.tusc.org.uk

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Ireland, Household charge can be defeated, tax the rich not the poor!

Today in Ireland took place a massive national demonstration in the national sporting arena with up to 3000 people cramming in to hear speech’s and bands all encouraging ordinary Irish folk to refuse to pay the household charge. What a reaction this got I have been following developments all day and speech’s from our own TD Joe Higgins in Ireland getting a fantastic reception too. This can be the spark that lights this campaign and allows it to really take off I feel.

What is the background to this then you may ask?
The Irish government, as part of its crippling deal with the troika will soon introduce a new “household charge”, another financial burden on working families after an onslaught of austerity attacks linked to the IMF/EU plan. The Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) pledges to organise a mass campaign of non-payment, along the lines of the mass movement which defeated water charges in the 1990s and the victorious poll tax struggle in Britain.
The government’s proposed Household Charge of €100 is the forerunner for water charges and a property tax on every home. A pensioner or low paid worker pays the same as a millionaire. How rotten! This new tax has absolutely nothing to do with improving council services – the proceeds go towards the bailout of wealthy gamblers and bankers, for which ordinary people are being bled dry.
Everyone knows the tax will start at €100 and rise relentlessly, if we let it. The Economic Social and Research Institute called for household taxes for years. Its leading economist, John Fitzgerald, has said this is only “the beginning” and that a home tax of €800 plus a water tax of €500 is needed.
Already, life is becoming intolerable with the Universal Social Charge, pay cuts, rising mortgage payments and even management fees on many home-owners.
In a remarkable U-turn on pre-election promises, Fine Gael and Labour are now fully committed to the EU/IMF/ECB package of bailing out bankers but austerity and cuts for us. By taking all of the money away from ordinary people, personal consumption has collapsed by €13 billion in 3 years, adding to unemployment. Austerity is what is causing the economic havoc throughout Europe. It will make the crisis much worse and guarantee bankruptcy.
This tax is not deducted at source and we can and must defeat it. This can only be done by building a grassroots campaign of non-payment in every area. The Socialist Party in Dublin West plan has been to work with the community to do just this. In the 1990s, the Socialist Party led the Anti Water Charges Federation which successfully defeated water charges then.
Protest in Northern Ireland
Building non-payment, challenging in the courts and political opposition forced the then FG/Labour government to abolish water charges. In particular, the by-election challenge of Joe Higgins in 1996 in Dublin West became a referendum on water tax and rocked the political establishment.
Minister Bruton has dismissed this charge as “only €100”. While this amount is of course a burden for many families, the figure will skyrocket beyond €1,000 quickly as the ‘troika’ has ordered other home taxes within two years. The government is testing the ground for heftier Property and Water Taxes. If they get this one bedded down, they will be more confident to proceed. If we build non-payment of the Household Charge from the start, it makes it very difficult to impose two new taxes.

The government will go all-out to try force people to pay. A monthly draconian fine and court has been threatened. Contrast this to the light-touch handling of the white-collar criminal millionaires who destroyed the economy! Not one banker or businessman has been brought to book. By building a powerful campaign of civil disobedience with roots in every area, solidarity can give confidence to householders to be united and maintain non-payment. Tens of thousands of people can’t be dragged through the courts.

Labour now stands with Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in supporting household and water charges – despite expensive media ads opposing them before the elections. Labour should be reminded of this cynical betrayal. Labour politicians who say they oppose the tax, but remain in a party pushing it through, can only be seen as opportunist. While Sinn Fein has said it opposes the household tax, it has unfortunately ruled out putting its resources behind supporting non-payment, which is the only way this rip-off can be defeated. This will no doubt disappoint many Sinn Fein voters.
The Socialist Party / United Left Alliance is the only party clearly putting forward a boycott and actively committed to building and being part of an independent, broad-based national campaign to defeat Household and Water Taxes. Our track record is second to none on this issue.

Despite the daily media propaganda, there is considerable untapped wealth in Ireland. The country is not broke. Ireland remains 6th out of 27 EU countries in financial wealth, but of course, this wealth is concentrated in a few hands. The Central Bank reported in May that there is €120 billion in Irish bank deposits – why could a wealth tax not be imposed on this rather than taking from households, from our education and health services? Massive natural gas and oil resources could also be explored for the benefit of Irish society, rather than for one or two multinationals.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Attitudes towards racism and why it shouldn’t be taken lightly

As socialists we fight against all injustices and discriminations on a clear class basis. This is no different when it comes to racism and racial divides in society.

We in the socialist party take accusations of racism and the whole idea of racism very seriously indeed.
We have been on countless anti EDL and anti nazi demonstrations over the years and have lead the way on many anti racial movements and been at the fore front on combating racism and attempts to divide people.

But at the same time we will not shy away from the subject if we can’t win over our own members with our ideas of how to combat racism how are we supposed to convince the wider class out there about its dangers of divide and rule.
We also unlike others on the left call for “open borders” on a capitalist basis this would be a big mistake and due to the way the capitalist system woks we could find some countries being flooded with people and other countries being emptied out. This is clearly what we would stand for under a socialist society a free and open society wheel national borders didn’t matter but under the present system it would be wrong of us to put that slogan forward we feel.

In recent times attitudes have turned to an anti eastern European feel with lots of Pollish and eastern European coming to the UK to find work. This has of course tailed off now due to the economic crisis where there is simply few if any jobs for anyone about any longer.
The right-wing press attempts to blame immigrants for falling wages and the fact that the welfare state is falling apart. It is claimed that immigrant workers have driven down wages in the construction industry by 50%. Since when did Polish workers set the wage levels in different sectors of the economy, legislate for the minimum wage, or administer company pay-rolls? The fact is that big business will pay as little as it can get away with in the pursuit of profit. Sir Digby Jones, former head of the Confederation of British Industry, admitted as much when commenting that "you cannot blame migrants if they are prepared to come here and work for wages which, though they may seem low to us, are a lot higher than in their own country". Indeed! This is a clear admission that the blame for low wages lies with big business.
Big businesses are in competition with one another for market share and profits. If a business can cut its costs by paying lower wages and giving itself a competitive edge, then it will do just that. This forces competing businesses to follow suit. The result is the driving down of wages for all workers, which is not the fault of immigrant workers but down to the imperatives of the capitalist system itself.
Similarly, the claim that immigration is the cause of the problems with the welfare state is a fallacy. Since Thatcher's Tory government, whichever party has been in power has sought to break up and privatise the welfare state to keep their big-business friends in profit. This has resulted in the privatisation of council housing, cuts in benefits and pensions, and job losses and closures in the NHS. Yet again, it is the wilful decision of neo-liberal governments, Tory and Labour, to cut state expenditure and replace it with private, profit-driven provision that has led to the decline of the welfare state.
Wages are too low and the funding of public services inadequate. Immigration is used by big business and its representatives in government to excuse underinvestment in vital services and try and place the blame on anyone but themselves and their system. Official statistics estimate that immigrant workers contribute £2.5 billion to the economy each year. Rather than being a strain on the welfare state, most immigrant workers are aged in their 20s and 30s, and work when they get here. Less than 10% arrive with dependant family members, making them net contributors through the work they do and the taxes they pay. (The Independent, 23 August)
The main factors driving migration are also a result of the capitalist system. The restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 has been an unmitigated disaster. Unemployment in Poland and Slovakia stands officially at over 15%, pushing people to migrate to find work. As if to hammer home the way the imperatives of the capitalist system force migration, The Financial Times (29 August) reported that, because of rising skills shortages in Poland due to migration, "many Polish employers are beginning to turn to Ukrainians to fill the jobs gap"!
Other than false economic arguments, the right-wing press pushes as far as it can a racist and xenophobic line to further divide working people. It is in the interests of capitalism to sow divisions among the working people of the world. With globalisation, ownership of supposedly 'British' companies becomes more and more diffuse. Similarly, the different workforces around the world are more and more composed of different nationalities. For example, the National Farmers Union says British agriculture relies on 70,000 immigrant workers to bring in the harvest, and immigration now makes up 10% of the workforce in the construction industry, which still suffers from a lack of labourers (The Independent, 23 August).

We are often told about this so called “British interest” on the world stage and how we must protect and defend the British interest.
There is no such thing as a 'British interest'. Society is divided into different classes whose interests are at odds to one another. Capitalism's profits come from exploiting the labour of working-class people. Nationality, immigrant or indigenous, is unimportant to big business - it will pay as little as it can get away with.
At other times, the 'liberal' press attains an astonishingly similar reflection of right-wing hysteria. Jasmine Alibhai Brown, a frequent contributor to The Independent, comments that "[British] people are either too lazy or expensive to compete. Tax-paying immigrants past and present keep indolent British scroungers on their couches drinking beer and watching TV. We [immigrants] are despised because we seize opportunities these slobs don't want". (23 August) Competing with the right-wing press as to who can portray one group of workers as more 'lazy' than the other, does nothing to break down racism and xenophobia! No mention is made, for example, of the excessive overtime that British workers perform.
The concern of working-class people in Britain over the state of welfare provision and wage levels is totally legitimate. However, to place the blame on 'immigrants' does not address the causes of these problems or advance anything to improve the situation. The problem is the capitalist system itself

The path to beginning to solve the problem of low wages, under-funded public services and racism is workers' unity across ethnic, religious and national lines. This can only be built through the day-to-day experiences of working people. It is vital that the trade union movement makes the recruitment of migrant labour a top priority. Joint action of British-born and immigrant workers, organised in unions and based on a unity of interests, is how to stop big business using immigration as an excuse to cut wages and dismantle the welfare state.
But working people also need to be organised politically to fight for their interests in all areas of society. The need for a new mass workers' party has never been clearer. Unfortunately, many of the major unions continue to affiliate to New Labour - the principal executors of big-business, neo-liberal interests that provide such fertile ground for division and racism. Philip Stevens, commenting in The Financial Times (29 August), points out that "the erosion of old political boundaries is evident in the debate about the influx of workers from Eastern Europe... Labour MPs these days are almost as likely as their Tory counterparts to call for tougher restrictions on foreigners". In other words, Labour and the Tories try and out-compete each other in scapegoating immigrants to divert attention from the fact that both parties' policies caused these problems and will exacerbate them in the future.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The difficulties facing PCS and the strategy moving forward

Last night the PCS NEC decided to call off strike action planned for the 28th of March this in my view was the right decision to take given the circumstances. Given the fact that the NUT had only decided to go for a one day strike in the London area and the UCU undecided at best what it was doing and lots of noises it wouldn’t come out on this day it left the PCS in a difficult position a position none of us had wanted at the start.

We all expected the unison bureaucracy to sell out at some point but no one thought it would be that quick.
Lots of credit has to go to the PCS and left unity in particular for organising their conference a fighting organising conference on the 7th of Jan this year to rally all those on the left willing to still fight.
With the lobbies of the TUC before Christmas and the left unity conference we would probably not even be at this point.

As it is PCS advocates more united co-ordinated action with other unions. This is still very possible given the NUT meets for its conference in Easter and it could call further united days of action which PCS will of course be involved with.
Anyone criticising PCS on this decision saying why they don’t take a lead is wishing to lead the union down the path to ruin. The government is looking for the PCS to go it alone and to isolate them and to go for them if they can. Remaining united if it means holding back until united action can be formed I believe personally is the correct decision at this time.
Of course PCS is a fighting left union with a excellent track record and those who wish to blindly jump into a national strike on their own ought to recognise the difficulties and limitations of that in forcing concessions and a win ultimately. Strategy has to be key here in winning this pension dispute a long well thought out campaign is needed and believe me PCS are not shying away from the fight they are bedding in for the long haul.

Here is the NEC press release in full if anyone has not read it I think it puts the case very clearly and does not sound like a sell out or an undemocratic decision over the top of members. PCS is not pulling out and will continue the fight but I agree on its own it probably can’t win alone it needs to link with other unions to force concessions and ultimately win. I am sure the comrades in PCS are not just interested in a grandstand of bring members out on strike for the sake of it. They correctly realise going out on strike is a serious decision for members and isn’t to be taken lightly.

Here is the NEC statement in full:
The national executive met today to consider the excellent consultative ballot result and the next steps in our pension’s campaign, including working towards a co-ordinate national strike in April.
PCS members voted by 90.5% to reject the government's 'final offer' on pensions and by 72.1% to support a programmed of further action with other unions - the highest vote for action we have ever had.
This excellent result represents an overwhelming rejection of the government's plans to force civil and public servants to pay more and work longer for less pension, and a clear mandate for action.
We obtained the result in the face of continuing attacks from the government, and during the pay freeze when many people are suffering personal financial hardship.
It is a testament to our reps who have worked so hard to build our union, and to members' resolve in the face of ongoing attacks from their employer.
We will be formally writing to the government to reject the pensions offer and seek urgent talks on a negotiated settlement.
On the question of industrial action, our general secretary reported that the National Union of Teachers had decided not to take national strike action on 28 March, as previously discussed by a group of unions. Other teachers' unions had also decided not to take action on that date.
Under these circumstances, the NEC agreed that PCS will work with other unions to build for co-ordinate national industrial action to take place at the earliest opportunity and before the end of April if possible. The NUT's annual conference runs from 6 to 10 April at which decisions are expected on further action.
Members of the NUT and the University and College Union in London will be taking action on 28 March and the NEC agreed to offer all practical support and solidarity.
To build support for national strike action at the end of April, including public support for the campaign, the NEC agreed to organize mass constituency lobbying of MPs during the Easter parliamentary recess, including targeted protests at cabinet ministers' constituencies in conjunction with other unions.
PCS branches and regions are also being urged to support and organize other local protests and campaign events against government attacks on jobs, pay and public services.
The NEC's decisions have been based on two key considerations. First, since the government's policy has been applied across the whole public sector, national coordinated action by as many unions as possible has been necessary to win concessions.
Secondly a strategy to win a fair settlement to the dispute must involve a programmed of action involving joint national strike action with other unions; joint national, regional and local protests; lobbying of ministers, MPs and other politicians; and co-ordinate targeted industrial action in some sectors.
In the absence of any positive engagement by the employer in genuine negotiations we want to proceed to national joint action as soon as possible.
However, action on 28 March in conjunction with NUT members in London and UCU in colleges and universities would not constitute the national co-ordinate strike action across pension schemes which we have agreed is necessary and which members have voted for.
The NEC agreed to work tirelessly to build for a national co-ordinate strike later in April.
The NEC thanks members and reps for their support for the campaign so far. We now need to work with other unions to build the action that will be necessary to win a fair settlement on pensions and to face the challenges of pay and job cuts that this brutal government is inflicting on the public sector.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Why a new workers party is not just needed in Britain, it’s needed internationally

We are often accused of just wanting a new workers party to fulfil our own ambitions and interests not true as Marxists we don’t hold personal ambitions or targets in that sense. We in the socialist party CWI call for new mass workers parties all over the globe. There are countries where this call can gain more of an echo than others. In Britain we still feel a long way away from such a reality but during this new period of revolution and counter revolution and heightened class struggle a pole of attraction can quickly can gain a traction in the workers movement if armed with the correct slogans and programme for winning over the best layers of workers.

In Ireland our comrades are part of the ULA United Left Alliance with other forces on the left whilst not a new mass workers party it is an electoral focus in Ireland and provides workers with an alternative to vote for. But with the taking off of the household tax in Ireland and our comrades out in Ireland leading a mass movement despite their small numbers could if taken forward onto the political plain could lead to the formations of a new workers party if the correct conclusions are drawn.

One of the mistakes of the poll tax campaign many in the socialist party feel we made was to not stand candidates off the back of that victory. The landscape in Britain certainly would look a lot different today with us having MP3’s and councillors possibly even in majority in some councils as our stock was high at that point after leading a successful struggle against Margaret Thatcher and her vicious poll tax.

We see across the planet a huge vacuum of workers leadership from America wheel the two party capitalist systems still prevails and other nations where there’re small forces but not mass workers party anywhere to be found.
Only the circus’s of old social democratic parties who have moved fully to the right and have openly embraced capitalism much like the labour party today in Britain and the Socialist party in France.

Of course in other nations such as Germany there are left formations with workers support such as Die Linked which is translated as the left party which may play some part in the coming months if Germany begins to faulter but at present it hasn’t really made its mark on the political plain thus far.

As Marxists we take a flexible approach to working inside mass organisations much like our work in the labour party up to the late 80’s we drew the correct conclusions that work inside the labour party as a entrist organisation was not producing much success and our roads to winning over workers lay outside the labour party and have done till this day.
Other parties who stuck inside the labour party and took the dogmatic approach of labour or nothing have been left behind and are now no bigger than some of the sects on the outside. Left in a past era still fighting the same battles and tired arguments.

The socialist party CWI I believe doesn’t just react to situations it looks to see where we have come from and the perspectives for the coming period.
Clearly our work in the trade unions will always be key but our work among youth and young workers can really bear out some big gains I feel during this time.
Across the world we must look towards young workers and the youth to lead the way in opening up new areas of work for us.

Where a mass battle breaks out we can’t be shouting from the side lines we must be in among the workers and I feel confident we are so. Right across the world nation to nation, continent to continent the same problem exists take Greece for example 15 general strikes in the last year alone. The working class could have taken power several times over if there was a mass workers party with a revolutionary element based on the principles of Marxism explaining to workers and more militant sections of the class the tasks that face us and the strategy we must take. In Greece the need for a new party of the working class is more urgent than ever to give the class hope and belief that there is a way out of the hell they re living through under this rotten capitalist system.

All of our sections across the world in the CWI point out that there is no solution to the financial crisis on a capitalist basis and only a democratic working class lead socialist transformation of society can show the light out of this period.

So as the CWI we are part of an international group of workers, revolutionary looking outside the boundaries of bourgeois society and beyond to a new society and world that will benefit the many not just the few. We don’t see it just as a question of creating a new left force in Britain we don’t see it ending there. As Trotsky argued in his excellent contribution to Marxism the permanent revolution the mass working class parties must form an international and revolution must sweep across each continent and eventually the world. As socialism cannot be a single nation system that would not work and would quickly come undone unless spread to other nations. Although big gains can be made from having a socialist government only real lasting gains will start to be found once the revolution really takes off worldwide.

Of course we look at each nation and each section of our international on an individual basis and the struggles affecting them at the time but always look to link up the struggles and point towards the transformation of society on a mass global scale not just in one nation as explained above.

Change will not come from above it can only come from below by being part of one of the strongest workers based internationals the CWI is perfectly placed to lead struggles across the world leading to the eventual overthrow of global capitalism.

Drive Biffa out of Ware, for safe, green non profit waste management

Last Monday myself and another comrade decided to get up off our armchairs and go and check out the local ware town council public meeting held to discuss the latest Hertfordshire waste management plans.

We turned up not thinking many would turn up on a chilly Monday evening to a usually dull council meeting. How wrong was I? There was possibly 200 to 300 there with more queuing out of the door. If people think people don’t care about what happens anymore they are so wrong.


Biffa the company who plans to build an incinerator just outside of our town faces strong opposition. After attending the meetings and protests over the planned incinerator in Hatfield last year this one in Ware not so far away seems equally as angry.
The meeting started with one of the councillors Tory dominated by the way with a report back from Hertfordshire county council on their latest updates. As it stands Biffa has planning permission till 2017 but at present haven’t submitted plans to start building anything.

This did not stop the local residents voicing their frustration and anger at said councillors. There were lots of good points. One was from a local teacher at a school not far from where the incinerator is planned for telling the councillors that this plan will damage the area and harm our children and their health. It is not right for Ware and it’s not right for anywhere.

Lots of people got up to raise similar points in opposition to the plans with many of the comments being targeted at the councillors at the front who seemed keen to not stay for longer than they had to.

My comrade then got up to speak and made the excellent points referring back to the earlier comments on the increase of rodent activity in the area if this goes through saying that the biggest rodent that needs to be driven out of this town is Biffa. Going on to say that Biffa are only interested in making a profit from this, not waste management or the environment they only have one thing in mind and that is increasing their profits.

My comrade at the meeting also raised the excellent point that waste management used to be controlled and run all in house by the councils in the local area. This is no longer the case and is out sourced to a private firm not interested in the town or the people living there only getting the cheapest deal for the plot of land and the maximum amount of profit for dealing with the waste.

It is true we have a waste problem in Hertfordshire and across the country but burning it into the already polluted atmosphere for profit is not the answer. Greater emphasis on recycling and greener ideas is what needed not is purely going for the cheapest and most polluting option to get the matter done and off their hands.

My comrade also did a bit of ad hock democracy by asking all in the room to put up their hands if they are against Biffa and the incinerator the whole rooms hands went up all apart from the councillors at the front who felt a bit taken a back and were not prepared to have the meeting show such opposition like that. At that point they felt they were loosing control of the meeting so quickly hurried on to ask if there were any further serious points which angered people even more.

Many people in the meeting felt like the local councillors do not represent our views and have failed to stand up for us. Many hostile comments were thrown at them including how much are you getting in expenses for being here tonight.

One councillor I believe to be a Lib Dem found this too much to take and shouted back NOT A SINGLE PENNY! Clearly we’d touched a nerve.

But the failure of the councillors to firmly oppose this plan by Biffa claiming their hands are tied and its county who decide anyway is a big cop out in my eyes and shows a lack of fight and determination to represent the people who elected them.

I suggested as we were walking out that if a candidate proposing to oppose the whole thing in Ware and elsewhere saying no to all incinerators and burning of waste following that meeting they’d gain a big echo I reckon. Standing against these Tories who cant stand up for those who elected them would really put it up them I think.

Personally waste is a big issue but making money out of it and also with it possibly leading to environmental issues and health issues is not something I’d support and will be continuing to monitor this project and be opposing it all the way not just in Ware but anywhere as it is wrong full stop.

The NHS is not lost, we can still win!

With so many feeling the NHS is seemingly lost if it goes through the houses of parliament and many feeling dejected we must remind ourselves that the poll tax was made law before it was defeated along with Margaret Thatcher and her Tory government .
It is nonsense to tell people we only have so many days to save the NHS or if the lords don’t save us no one will. Some have even started calling for us to lobby the queen to save the NHS, yes you heard that right the sodding queen!!

Unbelievable you may think but sadly true and the desperate state of people is clear their petitions and emails to their MP’s have not worked as we pointed out unsurprisingly we need more militant action now moving on to the industrial plain.

But to start with a mass national demonstration to bring all the forces together on a similar scale to march 26th last year and then use the threat of strike action as a tool to force the government back on this.
I don’t for one moment have any illusions that the labour party or unison are interested in a real battle after all it was much of the same labour party policies that got the NHS to where it is today so they cannot be trusted. We must do it alone with trade unions willing to fight a proper battle and community activists and NHS users to all come together to fight to the very end on this. More of the same wont work we need to escalate the action and put a shot across the government’s bow that we mean business and not letting our NHS go lightly.

It is key now that we start thinking of standing nurses, doctors and medical workers in elections not under labour but as TUSC or independents to gain a political voice. I have already read some are thinking of doing this as an act of revenge on the government. The vehicle already exists for this to happen with TUSC workers can move on to the political plain and mould TUSC into a fighting campaigning electoral force that can raise the banner of the NHS.


The NHS can still be saved we must not get demoralised or dejected but keep on fighting and step up the campaign in every town and city across the country. Leading to mass national industrial action if need be.

Let’s make the NHS Cameron’s poll tax and have the Tories out as soon as we can!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Say no to public sector regional pay agreement, fight for fair rate for the job

This coming week in the budget the chancellor is expected to scrap the national pay rate agreement for public sector pay allowing certain parts of the country to start paying less or more depending on their area.

Chancellor George Osborne is expected to say civil servants, such as Jobcentre and DVLA staff, should have pay brought into line with private sector salaries in their regions.
The Public and Commercial Services union says it would cut regional wages.
The Treasury says public sector pay in some parts of England and Wales is up to 18% higher than the private sector.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union - which represents civil servants - told the BBC the plans would be "cruel, economically incompetent and counterproductive" at a time when public sector salaries and pensions were being cut.

The chancellor wants to rebalance the economy and that means getting private sector companies growing. Scrapping national pay deals for public sector workers might level the playing field... or so the theory goes.
In places where public sector workers are paid more than those in the private sector, Treasury sources say private firms are "crowded out" because they cannot compete with the wage levels.
But that would mean setting pay levels locally which the trades unions warn would lead to huge disparities across the country and could drive down pay in the regions.
The move would mean local factors, such as the cost of living and private sector pay rates, would now be taken into account for public sector workers.
Treasury research suggests the pay gap ranges from 18% in Wales to 0.5% in the south-east of England.
The plans would initially affect 160,000 civil servants working in Jobcentres, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and border guards at ports and airports.
But local pay rates affecting up to six million public sector workers could be rolled out from next year.


Which to me tells me where this is eventually heading, full privatisation of public services claiming that private sector jobs can’t compete is nonsense to me and is further playing public sector off against private sector workers. More and more classic divide and rule tactics from this rotten Tory government.

Why are people not asking well if private sector pay is not as good as public sector why don’t we bring that up to a similar level rather than levelling down public sector all the time?

It seems to me another vicious attack on public sector workers on top of the already hard attacks on pensions, pay freeze’s cuts to services working hours and others. It’s a cynical attempt by a government who has lost its way and is desperately trying anything to kick starting a failing economy. The fact that workers wages are being attacked full stop tells me much, while bankers get their bonus’s and the rich get tax cuts the poorest workers in society see pay cuts, pay freezes and cynical divide and rule tactics enforced on them.

Its time all unions in the public sector said enough is enough and starts preparing plans for a serious wave of industrial strike action that can lead to the downfall of this government.

Its clear capitalism is not working and needs to be brought to an end replaced with a democratic planned economy based on everybody's needs not the greed o fa few.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Help re elect Dave Nellist in Coventry a socialist fighting alternative to the cuts

This year socialist councillor Dave Nellist is up for re election. One of the few remaining anti cuts councillors left in the country it is vital Dave is re elected to stand up to the pro cuts parties of the Tories and new labour.
Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor has been a lone voice against cuts on Coventry council. He stands in the tradition of councillors who stand up for those who elected them - such as in Liverpool in the 1980s and Poplar in the 1920s.


Dave is a fighting socialist who backs up his words with actions. Standing on a proud record of never voting for cuts and standing by his principles by demonstrating alongside workers whenever he can. Dave never paid his poll tax and was expelled from the Labour party for doing so he was part of militant who lead a successful mass non payment campaign where at the height of the battle up to 18 million people across the country refused to pay their poll tax.

More recently Dave has turned down the opportunity to become the deputy mayor of Coventry having stood for the longest on the council now. He didn’t feel he could take the position as he’d be obliged to vote with the ruling party and that would be labour and would therefore mean voting for cuts. He also wrote back to the council saying this
“I have taken soundings from a number of local people, and other Socialist Party supporters, and I don't feel, at this time, able to accept.
I appreciate the honour of the ceremonial role and the greater contact over two years, with people young and old, in the city. I would enjoy mayoral visits to everyone from schools to care homes, celebrating with local people. I would take seriously being the voice of sympathy for the city in commiserating with those who have suffered loss.
Some of your colleagues urged me to accept, saying I could bring a radical edge... to the job of Lord Mayor. And I have been tempted.
The first thing I thought I could have done, for example, would have been to invite all those in the queue for food parcels on a Sunday morning by the Swanswell to eat at the expense of the Lord Mayor's hospitality budget that day (and pay for it by cancelling all the normal municipal dinners and attendances at other Lord Mayor's dos across the region).
You see, I think we urgently need to review the council's role and responsibility in the matter of dealing with growing austerity, not leave it to the generosity of individuals or of faith organisations.”


. The Coventry Telegraph commented: "It is not the first time Councillor Nellist has chosen principle over personal privilege. As an MP he refused to accept more than the average worker's wage - considerably less than the salary to which he was entitled."

Fighting the government's attacks. Dave still to this day has only ever taken the average wage of a skilled worker in his area and has donated the rest back to the working class be that trade unions, communities or back in to campaigning for a socialist transformation of society.
This is socialist party policy and we are proud that Dave demonstrates this policy and how it can be done quite easily whilst being assessed by an outside independent auditor.

I was lucky enough to meet Dave and his wife Jane at socialist party summer camp last year and what a pleasure it was too. Dave is and I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this is just like you and I he is a councillor but doesn’t do it for the power or the money he is simply there to represent ordinary working class interests and give them a voice on the inside. I am proud the socialist party has class fights like Dave Nellist in our party even if he fails to get re elected this may few can doubt his record of fighting the cuts at every opportunity and raising the need to change society on a socialist basis.
Hearing Dave speak you get the feeling every word is meant and nothing at all is false or put on. Many politicians these days make lovely speech’s and twist and turn all the time and you are left wondering what exactly they said if anything. With Dave you left know where he stands exactly and his passion is clear for all to see. One of the best the militant and the now socialist party has ever had and Dave is a shining example how Marxists can work in bourgeois elections and win for workers on the outside.

I am hoping with others in eastern region to get up to Coventry to help campaign for Dave and his comrades before may and I hope others who recognise Dave’s contribution to the working class and the labour movement will offer their support and solidarity too.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Solidarity with students walking out today fighting fees and cuts

Today is the long awaited walk out of students in colleges, schools and universities across the country. Announced by the NUS but poorly organised by the layers of bureaucracy of course.
I wanted to put up a message sending my solidarity and thoughts with all students walking out and taking action today. Whether you are walking out of classes, marching to a city/town centre or engaging in other forms of protests occupations etc.
In Harlow the socialist party went down to the local college earlier this morning to hand out leaflets on the day and our material offering an alternative. Youth fight for jobs and education fight for a return of EMA end to cuts and fees and free education for all as a right.

We don’t expect today to be a victory or a huge success due to the failure of the NUS to properly build for the day but socialist students and other comrades from the socialist party will be doing all they can to assist and lend support to students wishing to take action to defend education.

The campaign needs to be stepped up with further action needing to be called very soon the student movement needs that spark again and this day of action could be it if militant layers of students take control of the movement and push for further action.

Good luck to all those taking action today. Although I can’t be with you in person due to work commitments I’ll be there in solidarity with you all.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Housing crisis deepens as cuts bite, Olympic legacy a farce

With housing benefit cuts starting to take affect we are seeing a sharp increase in the rate of homelessness across the country but felt no more so than in our capital city of London.

Repossessions 2010 = 36,300, Repossessions 2011 = 36,200 and the Forecast for 2012 = 'Worse' than the previous year’s still.
There has been a 44% increase in households who are homeless after repossession... ½ effectively.
In what is an Olympic year in London all the hype is around the games and how much of a benefit they will be to us and the capital city well is this true we wonder.
Looking closer at the so called Olympic legacy it is a disgrace that ordinary working people will not benefit from them at all and in affect is a profiteering exercise which we have thought all along.
Let’s take Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest will have 107 homes between them. Built in the next period. How is that even going to make a dent in the housing waiting list which currently stands at over 5 million across the country this is nowhere near enough.

Of the 2,818 homes left after the Olympics only 675 will be social housing. The idea of the market in housing is sickening to me when many people can’t get a home and a roof over their head while greedy landlords and market forces are making a killing out of people who pay huge amounts for small places and in often poor conditions too.
The fact that London renting charges are over double the national average it is London where this crisis on housing is felt most. Youth fight for jobs has launched a housing campaign for a programme of mass social housing building to be started. Looking to build a million homes affordable rents for the next 5 years. We hope this gains an echo at this time and is taken up by the trade unions that can campaign on this issue.
The fact that this will also create much needed jobs in building these houses could provide people with hope and a future. Constructions companies can then re employ workers and start helping workers out who are in need of jobs too at the moment.

Housing will continue to be a big issue and is something we as socialists are very keen to point out the failures of the market on. Yet another area the market has failed the majority of people and that should be planned for people’s needs over the profits of a few.

I myself am still having to live at home at the age of 23 as I simply cannot afford to move out being on such low wages also there is absolutely no council housing available in East Hertfordshire that I can get. I am on the waiting list but there are thousands of others on it. This is a growing issue and needs tackling before it explodes.

My take on Socialist party congress 2012

Having just returned home from socialist party congress 2012 I am completely shattered but more inspired and ready for the coming period than ever before. Having spent 3 solid long days in the sunny surroundings of Clacton on sea in Essex I can safely say I have experienced the most democratic political fighting conference I have ever been to.

This is no exaggeration attending my first congress I witnessed some amazing contributions from new and elder comrades. All contributed effectively and made a big difference to the discussions.

I arrived on the Friday night not really knowing what to expect but eager to find out. But come tonight I have been blown away with the sacrifice and dedication comrades show to the party and the fight for a transformation of society towards socialism.

Hearing some fantastic speeches was not the only thing that happened this weekend. Lots of fighting programmes and tactics discussed and debated and this effectively sets our perspectives for the coming year as a party.

Hearing such inspiration speakers warms your heart but also shows how much comrades do and are involved in. Hearing from comrades slogging it out in the trade unions keeping our presence strong in the left unions including PCS and RMT and the NUT to name just a few.

There was a terrific campaign for subs appeal for comrades to pledge further funds to the party to help us campaign producing leaflets banners and material for promoting our party and various struggles we are likely to need.

The difference with our party is we have no rich donors and union backing in terms of funds its all funded by the membership and every pound or penny we get is very appreciated and put straight back into campaigning for working people.
No comrade who takes a responsibility or a full time position in the party gains any financial reward for it. They don’t join the party for that reason and certainly don’t take on positions such as leadership to gain from it at all. The only benefit they do have is that they can make more sacrifice than others dedicating far more time and resources to the struggle.
The party building and organisational points and discussion over the weekend was excellent and further improvements to our paper – the Socialist will be happening with us hopefully going to a full 16 page colour edition very soon if we can continue improving our sales figures.
Much was made of the paper being the lifeline of the party our calling card on protests and street sales if you like. Many comrades do well selling the paper but we can always do more of course. But overall we are progressing well in terms of subs payments and fighting fund raising. It is some testament to the comrades that we are increasing our monthly subs yet many are seeing pay frozen, cut or loosing jobs or mixture of the lot. It shows that our comrades have confidence in our party and our ideas to invest further money in it and redoubling their efforts.
We had a international report from the CWI and its various 45 sections across the world where we are involved in big struggles in some very challenging environments too sometimes too i found this part especially fascinating given my interest in international matters affecting the world working class.

I myself did make a contribution on the second day getting up on stage in front of 200-300 comrades and visitors to speak on the growing region that is eastern region that we are in. I felt very good after I spoke and was so glad I got up to do it. Talking on my role in the party and how far I’ve com already in my political education and the fact I’ve been elected as Harlow branch secretary already I feel so proud to be given the opportunity to develop even further still.

The ideas of Marx, Lenin, Engel’s, Lenin and Trotsky have not gone away and our party looks to apply the ideas of Marxism to today’s struggles and provide a programme for workers to take up. We feel we have the right programme and our aim now is to convince new layers of the working class to sympathise with our ideas and hopefully one day join our party and help join and make a big contributions in helping changing society into a fairer equal socialist society that benefit the 99% using the wealth of the 1% and planning society based on needs of people.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Looking ahead to socialist party national congress 2012

This weekend I head up to sunny Clacton on sea in Essex for a weekend of political debate and democratic discussion.

This will be my first congress as I had just joined the party last year. I am really looking forward to it and hopefully get to meet lot of new people and old faces too.

The weekend is broken into 3 sections, Saturday political discussion on 2011 and what we can learn from the struggles last year and looking ahead to 2012 and what may unfold and our perspectives for the coming yarn.

On the Sunday we have an organisational day of branch building dealing with various roles such as our paper the socialist financial matters and recruitment too.
In the afternoon we will then discuss matters relating to the youth sections with reports back from our interventions in the workfare protests and also looking back at the Jarrow march of last year and the coming student walk outs which i have blogged about on here too.
On the monday there will be reports from all of our different sections in the CWI our international with as many as 40 different sections on every continent on the planet. That bit alone should be fascinating i think.

I can’t go into too much detail here on the inn’s and out’s of it all I will be able to after and I will be aiming to give a little report feedback next week sometime.

But with so much going on at the moment with things changing even as we speak there is much to discuss and find our position on.
I am told it’s a very democratic event and that I will gain a lot from it. I can’t wait. Hope to meet others there too with similar views to myself.

All that is coming safe trip up and look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Warning against reformism

I was having a talk to a comrade in our party the other day and he was warning us against a tactic that the capitalists could use to help them out of this crisis. One that has been tried before but would not solve the underlying contradictions of capitalism.

As we know the economy in Britain has been based on a financial reliance for some time now and the banks are currently being spanked by capitalist politicians left right and centre. They are falling over themselves to criticise the bankers and their bonuses and we’re hearing terms being introduced a fairer ethical capitalism. If there is such a thing.

But today we have seen more of this idea with Ed Miliband in his speech on “made in Britain”.

Labour leader Ed Multiband is to call for more "patriotism" in manufacturing policy to boost British industry.
In a speech to the manufacturers' organization EEF, he is expected to say protectionism should be avoided but "pride and patriotism" are needed in order for British business to succeed.
He said government should support a 'Made in Britain' mark for products.
Business leaders will suggest measures they want to help "rebalance" the economy over the next few years

This has been floated about several times with the idea of a British investment bank designed to invest in British businesses and manufacturing. This may seem a utopian idea but we could see the state playing a bigger part again as a way of saving the capitalist system from collapse.

Of course the capitalists won’t like this idea straight off but if it means saving their system from ruin and keeping up their profits they may just be tempted. As this financial crisis deepens more radical ideas like this may get more airing. The talk of a fairer capitalism is an attempt to put a nicer face on the exploitation of millions of workers and appear like the system can work for us all. In reality we know differently and we must be prepared to go back to look at “state capitalism” and its ways of working as it could play more of a role in the future.

I am not saying this will happen just saying this could be a possibility for the ruling class to turn to protect their system.

As revolutionary socialists we must learn about state capitalism and take up its meanings. Warning the class that this will not ultimately bring us prosperity and the underlying contradictions of capitalist production will still remain. The contradictions of over production and workers not being able to afford the products they make. This will not also end the periodical boom and busts that capitalism has bred in to it either therefore will not bring fairness and equality to the many still only benefiting the few.

Only a full transformation of society not just state nationalised industry along state capitalist lines but true nationalisation of the banks, top companies and run the economy based on people’s needs not profits of a select few. For this the working class needs to gain power and remove the class system basing production on need first. This can happen under a socialist transformation of society which we must look to convince people of.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Building for march the 14th, a student week of action aginst fees and cuts

As we creep towards march the 14th it is likely we will face a difficult situation in terms of building for this week of action. The NUS has called a national week of action and so far i have heard very little on plans and actions for the week.

As socialist students we feel we can lend a hand here. Where no action is planned by your student union at your college, school or university we’d like to be on hand to help with building and lending support and solidarity to the walk out.

NUS is organising a parliamentary lobby on 7 March and a ‘week of action’ from 12-16 of March. The centrepiece of the student action should be the national walk-out that has been announced. Liam Byrne, NUS president, has called for this to take place this term. This development should be welcomed by all students who want to campaign against the whole range of attacks currently underway on our campuses.
Clearly, the right wing NUS leadership has been forced to take this action by pressure from below. It cannot be forgotten last term’s two most successful protests aimed at students and youth, the Jarrow March for Jobs and the student demo on 9 November, were organised outside of NUS structures.

NUS should be mobilising to support teachers and lecturers in their battle to defend pensions. When these workers next take strike action NUS should mobilise student solidarity on the picket lines and rallies, calling on all students to join the strike. While very important, student action alone will not be enough to stop the higher education slaughter. Unity with workers, particularly when they strike, is key. Workers and students unite and fight!
The walkout is less than two weeks away. However, so far, the NUS have failed to build for a day of mass action across the country.
Socialist Students members should contact student union officers to find out what the union is planning – if anything – and how they intend to build for it.
Where a student union refuses to build for the walkout, then Socialist Students could put an emergency motion to the student union council to mandate the officers to take action.
But this shouldn’t be a substitute for building for the walkout ourselves. Mass postering and leafleting around campus can help raise the profile of the strike.
Socialist Students members could organise for their own course-mates to take part in the walkout. This could act as an example for other students to follow.
Socialist Students groups could also call meetings open to all students and groups who are willing to organise action. These ‘action committees’ could then help organise the strike as well as any protests and rallies.
Socialist Students is calling for the student strike to be spread to colleges and schools. In some towns, central meeting points for demonstrations could help link up university students with school and college students for a march. In other areas, on-campus protests might be the best option.
Liam Burns, NUS president, has said: “…let’s clear out the lecture theatres, the seminar rooms, the ITC suites and the libraries and demonstrate clearly that without students, universities are just empty buildings. Let’s work hard together to show that students care and make the national walkout count.”
These are fine words, but words alone are not enough. We need democratic, fighting student unions to defend education. We say no to cuts, fees and privatisation – bring back EMA. Strike back on 14 March!
Then, for 28 March, plan for coordinating follow up action with lecturers as they take action alongside teachers and civil servants in defence of pensions.

No support to Putin regime, for fair democratic elections and a new workers party in Russia

Over the weekend Vladimir Putin was re elected as president of Russia with a big majority as expected. But what does this mean for Russians and the future of the region.

Firstly there are many calls from wide layers of people that these elections were not fair or legitimate.

The Presidential elections took place on 4 March. They were no more legitimate than last December’s parliamentary elections. There were only five candidates; Putin, Zyuganov (the increasingly right nationalist ‘communist’), Mironov (the leader of the Just Russia Party that was originally set up by Kremlin spin doctors to try to neutralize any opposition), Prokorov (a liberal oligarch notorious for his call for a 60 hour working week and promoted by the Kremlin to give an image of pluralism) and the right-wing nationalist clown Zhirinovskii. Even the relatively ‘safe’ Grigorii Yavlinsky, who would have no chance of winning anyway, has not been allowed to stand. The same methods of vote fixing and fraud, as were used last December, have been said to have been used. Orders were dispatched to regional chiefs telling them what percentage of the vote they need to organize for Putin.

I have read some people claiming that support should be going to the communists this are very misguided and false in thinking. The communist party in Russia is nothing of the sort. It uses that name cleverly to attract workers and people who think of themselves as communist but are nothing of the sort. They are more akin to a right of centre nationalist party with pro Russia and other such anti working class ideas.
No support should be shown to these either. They were formed in 1993 and claim to be the refounders of the old communist party but nothing could be further from the truth.

In calling for a boycott of the presidential election, the CWI in Russia was not urging passivity, but on the contrary, believes that the opposition should be mobilizing its supporters to leaflet and campaign outside the workplaces and educational institutions, to build genuine committees of action in opposition to the fraud. The so-called oppositionist ‘Communist’ and ‘Just Russia’ deputies elected in December’s rigged election are not boycotting the work of the Duma but have instead passed a statement recognizing the “legitimacy” of the election. The CWI believes the post of President should be abolished, not just to establish a ‘Parliamentary republic’ but to allow the convening of a genuinely democratic constituent assembly to which the working class and the oppressed can send their representatives to decide how society should be run. Most of all, the CWI calls for the working class to organize in trade unions and to form a genuine left workers’ party that can challenge the rule of big business and its representatives in the Kremlin, and to struggle to form a government representing workers and the oppressed masses with a bold socialist programmed.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Marx on human nature and peoples ideas on peoples greed

I thought I’d blog about human nature and peoples perceived ideas on the matter. I was having a debate with someone on twitter earlier who was so gloomy about the future and what change we can affect. I naturally disagreed as I am new to revolutionary politics learning all the time and very keen and enthusiastic for socialist politics and Marxist ideas to boot.

MANY PEOPLE think socialism is impossible not because the ruling class is too powerful or the world’s resources are too limited, though many people believe this but because “human nature” will not allow it. They think “people are too lazy,” “too passive,” “too greedy,” “too self-absorbed,” “too violent,” “too ambitious.” They think that people are inherently racist, sexist, and homophobic, that they can’t help but hate people from other countries, cultures, and religions. They think that “people like being told what to do” and “people can’t think for themselves” and “people like to boss other people around.” Nevermind that some of these “inherent” traits are contradictory. Together they work to prevent socialism in the minds of many. And, as if all this weren’t enough, human nature is thought to be not only negative, but permanently fixed: “There will always be good people and evil people” and “You can’t change human nature.”
It is no surprise that people often think this way. Marx once said that the ruling ideas of any age are the ideas of the ruling class. The ruling ideas about human nature under capitalism—that it is static, and for the most part awful—greatly benefit the capitalists. On the one hand, they suggest that, because of traits inherent to human beings like greed, ambition, and a tendency towards violence, capitalism—which rewards greed and requires violence—is not only the best and most efficient economic system ever, but also the most natural. On the other hand, such ideas make it possible to blame the enormous inequality and suffering produced by the system on the “natural” defects of certain individuals. If it is natural for some people to claw their way to the top, it is also natural for others to remain stuck in squalor at the bottom.
Socialists argue something quite different. We say that human nature is flexible and multifaceted, and that the behaviors of human beings are shaped by their social circumstances. We are all capable of greed as well as generosity; which one gets expressed has more to do with the values of a society than with the inborn tendencies of the individual. As Karl Marx put it: “the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of social relations.”1 From a socialist perspective, there is such a thing as human nature, but its most prominent feature is its changeability. What makes us distinctly human is our ability, not only to change as our circumstances change, but to create new and different social relations and then adapt to them. Socialists argue that if humans could create capitalism, humans can create socialism.
There is a lot at stake in this argument. If it is natural for humans to engage in the practices that capitalism supports or requires, then any attempt to change the system is pointless.

Today, when the ruling class controls weapons and oversees business practices that threaten the existence of the planet, promoting a socialist understanding of human nature is not only correct, but urgent.
From the beginning
The tendency to revert to human nature to justify social and economic structures and to explain their failures has been present from the very beginning of United States history. James Madison rationalized the system of checks and balances between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches that, at the time, distinguished the U.S. form of government, on the basis of a negative view of human nature.

The idea that capitalism’s failures should be blamed on the poor also got an early start. Eager to please their ruling-class benefactors, scientists and scholars have always been willing to develop theories and misinterpret or fabricate experimental results to support this notion. In the nineteenth century, eugenicists and “Teutonists” (think of an upper-crust Aryan Nation) fudged test scores and measured heads to produce what was considered scientific backing for the idea that poverty is the result of inherited weaknesses of character or intellect called “social inadequacy.” The resulting conviction that “poverty begets poverty” led to forced sterilization and enforced illiteracy; if the children of illiterate parents cannot be taught to read, the argument went, why waste money on schools?
This “scientific racism,” which was applied to all members of the lower classes regardless of skin color, existed alongside of and in combination with the racism used to rationalize the enslavement of Blacks and the genocide of Native Americans. An excellent example of the way these ideas came together is a statement by Oxford University Professor Edward Freeman, who toured America in 1881, speaking to university and “learned society” audiences. According to Freeman, and to the delight of his “learned” listeners: “the best remedy for whatever is amiss in America would be if every Irishman should kill a Negro and be hanged for it.”


What is human nature?
Although the human race has seen enormous and rapid cultural evolution, human beings’ basic physical needs have remained the same for hundreds of thousands of years: we need air, water, food, shelter, or other protection from the elements, sleep, parenting for the young, and sex to propagate the species.18 These general needs are accompanied by a set of specific abilities: because humans have large brains, walk upright, have hands with opposable thumbs, and vocal chords that allow speech, we are able to use our physicality, our bodies and brains and the five senses they afford us, in ways that other creatures can’t. First and foremost, we work in a distinctively human way and, through social labor, we change our environment and the conditions that determine our “nature.”
Friedrich Engels, writing in 1876, placed labor at the very center of human development: “[Labor] is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labor created man himself.”19 Engels goes on to attribute changes in human anatomy to work in general and working with tools in particular, comparing the bone structure of the human hand to that of other primates and noting “the great gulf between the undeveloped hand of even the most man-like apes and the human hand that has been highly perfected by hundreds of thousands of years of labor.”20
In addition to working with tools, humans have always lived and worked in groups: “The development of labor necessarily helped to bring the members of society closer together by increasing cases of mutual support and joint activity, and by making clear the advantage of this joint activity to each individual.” From cooperative labor arose the need to speak and the development of language: “In short, men in the making arrived at the point where they had something to say to each other. Necessity created the organ; the undeveloped larynx of the ape was slowly but surely transformed.” The development of complex systems of language allowed for human social consciousness: the transmission of culture and history from generation to generation.
Of course it can be argued that animals also work: they hunt, gather, and in some cases store food; they build nests and dens and tend their young. Some cooperate; some communicate, albeit nonverbally; some even use tools. But the work done by animals is mostly instinctive and unchanging. Otters may use stones to crack open sea urchins but they can’t invent a sea urchin cracker. Beavers take down trees to build their dams but they’ll never use a chain saw. Whales may communicate through songs, but they can’t write lyrics or mass produce CDs. Only humans have the ability to record their history and create art. Only humans can conceive of a project, plan out the various steps to completion, and reflect with satisfaction on a job well done. Only humans can invent and construct complex tools that alter the environment and allow for enormous increases in productivity—tools that enable us to make a lot more stuff with a lot less effort.

By acting on nature to produce their subsistence, human beings change themselves. Laboring socially, humans change the material forms of what Marx called their means of production. These engender new social relations, allowing, in the end, for the distinctive variability of human behavior through history, and from one society to the next.
Marx observed that, under capitalism, human productive capacity increased so much that, for the first time in history, it was possible to have enough of everything for everybody. What’s more, the satisfaction of basic needs and the ways in which they were satisfied led to the development of more complicated needs. Crowded living conditions create a need for systems of sanitation. Complex machinery creates a need for higher education. These complications further the development of human tastes and abilities, and could lead, under conditions of socialized, planned production, to the fullest expression of human nature:
Just as the savage must wrestle with Nature to satisfy his needs, to maintain and reproduce his life, so must civilized man, and he must do so in all forms of society and under all possible modes of production. With his development this realm of physical necessity expands as a result of his wants; but, at the same time, the forces of production which satisfy these wants also increase. This realm of natural necessity expands with his development, because his needs do too; but the productive forces to satisfy these expand at the same time. Freedom, in this sphere, can consist only in this, that socialized man, the associated producers, govern the human metabolism with nature in a rational way, bringing it under the collective control instead of being dominated by it as a blind power; accomplishing it with the least expenditure of energy and in conditions most worthy and appropriate for their human nature.
But there was (and is) a problem. Capitalists were not (and are not) “rationally regulating their interchange with Nature.” They compete in an irrational and unplanned manner with an eye towards maximizing profit rather than meeting human need. Promoting “conditions most favorable to, and worthy of, their human nature” does not concern them either. Instead, their interests lie in getting people to work as hard as possible for as little as possible. And so, despite its potential to do so, capitalism does not allow most of humanity to satisfy its basic needs with “the least expenditure of energy.” Instead, it works some people to the bone while others are thrown out of work. Under capitalism, advances in technology like automation create, not leisure, but unemployment for some and overtime hours of mind-numbing repetitive labor for the rest.
Capitalism created the conditions for the fullest expression of human nature, but simultaneously denied them to the vast majority of humanity by directing all the wealth up to the tiny minority at the top of society. Members of the ruling class collect homes and cars and gadgets, attend first-rate universities, travel the world, eat exquisite food and drink exquisite wine, enjoy operas and the fine arts , and develop whatever talents or abilities they have, and often those they do not. Meanwhile, the majority of the working class struggles from day to day to make ends meet, with a few weeks off per year to develop ourselves in areas other than work—if we’re lucky. Capitalism not only stunts further human development, it is also a stupendous failure when it comes to providing for the basic needs of most people. Every day, all over the world, tens of thousands of people starve or die young of curable diseases.
Far from being naturally adapted to capitalism, most humans are battered or broken by it. If it doesn’t straight out kill them, it stunts their physical and mental development; their intellects are neglected, their artistic talents remain undiscovered or unappreciated, and the distinctively human capacity to engage in creative, socially useful work is reduced to a commodity worth only as much as the capitalist can pay and still turn a profit.
Even those who recognize that capitalism thwarts and distorts human nature—and that we now possess the means to eliminate inequality and want—may still wonder whether humans are capable of the kind of truly egalitarian society that socialists envision. Forced to compete with each other for limited opportunities, compelled to work mindlessly at jobs they don’t like, encouraged to view themselves and those around them as commodities, many people might not seem prepared, at any given moment, to plan and create, “in place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms…an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.”24 We are swimming (or, more accurately, treading water) in what Marx called “the muck of ages”—racism, sexism, homophobia, competitiveness, conformity, passivity, insecurity—all the ideas capitalists require to divide and enervate the masses and maintain their minority hold on power.
And it is easy to feel, after a few hundred years of capitalism, that things have always been the way they are now and always will be. Luckily for us, this is simply not true. Capitalism is a fairly recent development, and prior to the rise of class society some several thousand years ago, human society was not characterized by classes or inequality or systematic warfare. There are class-free societies on the planet at this very moment, societies that are “egalitarian, cooperative, and on the move.”25 All of the Ju/’hoansi (!Kung) Nharo Basarwa (San or Bushmen) from Ngamiland, Botswana, lived until just recently in societies where egalitarianism—notably along gender lines—was the rule. As some communities shift from nomadism to sedentism, this has started to change—not due to some “resurgence” of human nature, but rather to “the adoption of the economics and attitudes towards gender from non-foraging neighbors [that] facilitates the emergence of gender inequality.… [In addition, some] current development programs designed by Westerners exclude women and contribute to the increase in gender inequality which is emerging in these societies.”


SO to conclude human nature is a big beast and something we cant simply target to being the failings of everything we fail to do. Thinking that things will stay the same forever is a very unmarxist way of thinking and fails to take account of history and the class struggles.

There is nothing about human nature that makes socialism impossible, but there is also nothing that makes it inevitable. According to Marx, people make their own history but not in circumstances of their own choosing.28 If we want socialism—and the possibility of developing human nature to the fullest—we will need to organize and fight for it. This may seem like a pipe dream given the low level of class struggle in the Uk . at this time. But a socialist conception of human nature also allows us to understand how groups of people that for a long time appeared to be hardwired for one set of behaviors—like not fighting back—can transform radically and rapidly in response to social changes.



with extracts used to back up my opinions from http://www.isreview.org/issues/47/wdss-humnature.shtml