Latest News and Comment

US Christian activists, Hope Scouts – which describes itself as a worldwide charity - are raising cash to spread the word in Glasgow – because they reckon it’s so poor and deprived. 
It has organised relief projects in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Bangalore in India. It says Glasgow is now in their sights because of the so-called Glasgow Effect, a term used to describe the low life expectancy and levels of poverty in parts of the city. 
Hope Scouts – which says it was inspired by the scriptures to serve the poor, sick and suffering - say poverty, stress, alienation and pessimism are rife in Glasgow where, it claims, a third of children live in deprivation.
http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-news/us-poverty-group-targets-glasgow-b...
3 hours 2 min ago
Ethiopia is a large country (385,925 sq. miles), with a population of just over 101 million (13th largest in the world), which is growing at a yearly rate of around 2.5% (over double the world-wide average). The government proudly boasts that the Ethiopian economy has been growing, by between 7% and 8%.More than half the population live on less than $1 a day; over 80% of the population live in
6 hours 9 min ago
Most of us don’t own a single square inch of Scotland. It doesn’t belong to us: we just live here and work for the people who do own it. During the referendum debate, the partisans of independence were painting an unbelievable picture of how life would be so much better if Scotland was no longer ruled from Westminster. A social democratic paradise was to be established in Scotland. Reformism, despite failing to do so on every previous occasion it has been tried, would somehow be able this time to make capitalism work for the benefit for wage and salary workers and their dependents. Socialists didn’t believe this either. And with the dramatic fall in the price of oil, few can now support the idea that an independent Scotland could have afforded those reforms.
 The Socialist Party does not oppose reformism because it is against improvements in workers' lives lest they dampen their revolutionary ardour; nor, because it thinks that decadent capitalism simply cannot deliver on any reforms; but because our continued existence as propertyless wage slaves undermines whatever attempts we make to control and better our lives through reforms. Any fortune – whether in the form of money payments or subsidised services – that falls into our laps becomes an opportunity for those that live off our labour to lower their costs, and increase their profits. So long as there is a class divided society, it becomes impossible for us to enact measures to benefit the whole community. Socialists point to the continuing condition of our class as wage-slaves and affirm that whatever the gains we may receive, the wages system will take away.
The reason why lies in the very form of wage slavery. We are, collectively, compelled to sell our capacity to work – our labour power – in order to get access to those things which we need in order to live as members of our community – our food, clothes, housing, transportation and the like. The value of this labour power is the cost of maintaining and reproducing our capacity to work – and this entails the cost of keeping and rearing the next generation of workers, our children. This value is found through the struggle between ourselves and our employers, as they try to drive our wages as low as possible, and we try to prevent this or push up the price they pay us. It is not driven by the living costs of any one individual, but by the general costs of living in society. These general costs of living form a pressure on wages, which can force them upwards, as can the level of class consciousness and understanding of the workers; whereas counter-acting forces, such as the availability of a particular type of labour, general unemployment and the use of state power, combine to create downwards pressures on wages. All of which is to say that our wages are set by class struggle. This is a continuous struggle in which every gain has to be defended, and in which there is no relenting. If the price of one of our necessities of life falls, this will be reflected by a decrease in the upwards pressure on wages. Without a corresponding relenting in the downward forces on wages, our real wages would begin to dwindle towards a new level (either through direct wage cuts or by allowing inflation – that is a decrease in the value of money – to eat away at our spending power). Our objection to reformism is, then, that by ignoring the essence of class, it throws blood, sweat and tears into battles that will be undermined by the workings of the wages system. All that effort, skill, energy, all those tools could be turned against class society, to create a society of common interest where we can make changes for our common mutual benefit. So long as class exists, any gains will be partial and fleeting, subject to the ongoing struggle.
It is always difficult to understand why some alleged leftists will go to an infinite amount of trouble to avoid recognising an unpalatable truth. Although they cannot wait to propagate socialism, they are prepared to go on forever, alternately denouncing known enemies of the working class and supporting them for "tactical" reasons. They will discard every principle and make themselves personally ridiculous and contemptible by perpetual shuffling, all in order to gain something by manoeuvre which they cannot gain in open fight. They never do get anything worth having, and the working class have to pay the price of failure in the despair of the disappointed followers of these blind leaders. The cause of this lies simply in their refusal to recognise the fact that socialism cannot be won without socialists. They shelter behind the excuse that the workers are too ignorant and foolish ever to understand their own interests, but, as Voltaire very shrewdly remarked, "He who dreams that he can lead a great crowd of fools without a great store of knavery is a fool himself."
The Socialist Party stands not for an independent Scotland nor a united Britain but a world without frontiers. We have no objection to cultural diversity. Differences of language, food, music and the like will continue to exist in a united socialist world; indeed, would no longer be subjected to globalisation and “Mcdonaldisation” as today under capitalism. We would add that different cultures can exist in the same geographical area and that individuals can partake of elements of different cultures (you don‘t have to come from India to enjoy a curry). Our objection is to the exploitation of cultural differences for political ends, as for instance to set up or maintain a state or as the basis for a political party. The nation and nationalism are not an eternal and essential characteristic of human beings as some would have it, but are solely a tool for pursuing the further interests of sections of the master class at given points in history. The interests of our masters are not our interests. What workers have to realise clearly is that the interests of fellow workers in other lands are nearer to their own than are those of the masters in one’s own country. The bonds which bind worker with worker, irrespective of nationality, are those of class solidarity.

The voice of the Socialist Party in Scotland is a small but a constant one. All parties are in opposition to it but it persists. It will continue to expose those who, under the guise of liberators, continue to mislead the working class, included in this category being the nationalists, whether, left or right. What those who want a better society should be doing – should have done – is to campaign to change people's minds, to get them to realise that they are living in an exploitative, class-divided society and that the only way out is to end capitalism and replace it with a new and different system based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, with production to satisfy people's needs, and distribution on the basis of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”. Once a majority have come to this realisation, they will know what to do: organise themselves into a socialist party to democratically win political control and use it to bring about a socialist society. That's what socialist politics should be about.
6 hours 9 min ago
Africa is blessed with abundant natural resources but plagued by poverty. Africa conjures in the minds of many white people images of backwardness, disease, ignorance and poverty. There appears to be little appreciation of the fact that Africa is the second largest continent in the world and, with a population of about 1.2 billion, the second most populous. Africa holds 60% of the world’s
9 hours 12 min ago
Workers in South Africa are yet to access a better life and are trapped in poverty wages, a labour activist said. “It is common knowledge that workers and the working class, in general, are yet to access a better life as they remain trapped in poverty wages. The wage gap, which is characterised to a large degree by race, continues to perpetuate racial polarisation between workers in the
12 hours 18 min ago