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Rodney Bickerstaffe 1945-2017

All socialists will be saddened to hear of the death of former Unison leader, Rodney Bickerstaffe, a champion of worker's rights and social justice.

HERE to read tribute by Arthur Scargill

Freedom for Catalonia!

The Socialist Labour Party supports the Catalan people in their struggle for independence.

In the 1930’s they fought against Franco's fascist thugs and today once again they are fighting ultra right thugs who beat people to the ground because they seek to cast a vote in a democratic ballot.

The autocratic European Union condemns the people of Catalonia for daring to democratically vote and openly supports the thugs who lead Spain as they violently attack men and women who courageously demand the right to vote.

The Socialist Labour Party extends the same support to the Catalan people as The International Brigade gave eighty years ago in the fight for freedom and democracy.

Independence for Catalan.

Arthur Scargill, Leader, Socialist Labour Party, 3rd October 2017

European Union: May Should Go Says Scargill!

Following Theresa May’s announcement that the UK will seek to remain in the EU open market and customs union for a further four years, former Miners leader Arthur Scargill, a longstanding opponent of the EU, has called upon the Prime Minister to resign.

Calling Mrs May’s announcement a betrayal of the British people ‘on a par with Chamberlain’s sell out to Hitler in 1938’, the Socialist Labour Party Leader said the principle of free movement of labour and capital had been specifically rejected by the British people in a democratic vote.

Read the full text of Arthur's statement in 'Press Releases'

European Union: Scargill on Labour's Betrayal

The Socialist Labour Party warned that the Labour Party would betray not only its members but the democratic vote by the British people to leave the European Union.

As soon as that vote was announced on 23 June 2016 Britain should have left the E.U including the Customs Union, the Single Market and above all the ‘Free Movement of Labour and Capital’ which has seen the population of Britain rise from 59 million to 67 million.

The U.K. should not pay a penny or euro to the E.U. If the Border in Ireland is a concern the solution is simple; return the North of Ireland back to the Republic of Ireland from where it was taken.

Arthur Scargill, Leader, SLP, 27th August 2017

More despair in North and Midlands since Thatcherism

Recent surveys conducted by the University of Manchester have indicated that life expectancy is lower in the North and Midlands than the South of England. The figures have, apparently, dramatically worsened since the early 1990’s.

Early deaths have been caused by suicides, increased use of drugs, excess drinking, poor quality food and other social and environmental issues.

What the mainstream Capitalist media will not talk about is the effect of Capitalism and in particular the Thatcherite attacks upon the working class, especially at the time of the 1984-5 miners’ strike. The use of huge state power, armed forces and the shutdown of normal society during this time led to industrial devastation in the North and Midlands from which the areas have never recovered. The failure to give the working class any hope for the future led to run down areas where despair and despondency filled the void. Coal mining, steel production, automobile construction and many other industries based in the North and Midlands were decimated under Thatcherism and the Thatcherite reigns of Blair, Brown , Tory-Libdem coalitions and subsequent ideologically driven regimes. The Thatcherite agenda followed the mantra of the rules of the European Union which demanded that Britain de-industrialise and become a services based ‘theme park’ economy.

What the mainstream media will also not talk about are the remedies available. The most pressing is the abolition of Capitalism in the UK along with immediate leaving of the EU. Further measures would be the reindustrialisation and provision of real jobs and hope, alongside vast welfare spending for the devastated areas of the North and Midlands. Since the study has not, apparently, included Wales and Scotland then these are also areas that have seen the devastating attacks of Thatcherism and require similar measures. Areas in the South, such as Kent and the West Country were not immune to the attacks and should also come into consideration.

For the Moneyed Not the Many: Labour's Real Manifesto

Usually people want justice and a fairer society. At present some of those people are feeling inspired. We have an opportunity to change Britain they say, if we could only unite behind ‘New’ Labour. Unite, in fact, behind its 2017 general election manifesto.

Who wouldn’t in today’s harsh world feel a little excited at the prospect of a government that will roll back austerity, improve the quality of public services, place ‘human rights’ at the centre of its foreign policy and defend hard won social benefits and political rights?

No. Those on the radical left who are drifting towards Labour are repeating old mistakes; the result, empowering the pro capitalist ‘consensus’, is predictable and sets back the wider struggle for a just world. In our view, those following the Labour lead need to face the true nature of the ‘hope’ they have embraced.

Offering no formula for the redistribution of economic wealth or political power, Labour’s 2017 manifesto is a slick but transparent re-statement of the post 1945 ideology of the political class.

None of the mainstream parties wants to enforce the dominance of either the private or the state sector over the other which means none favours fundamental change. They differ in how social or liberal or free they might like it to be, but none is interested in replacing capitalism's successful 'social' model (social democracy) with anything else.

According to its manifesto Labour ‘understands that the creation of wealth is a collective endeavour between workers, entrepreneurs, investors and government’. Socialists understand that under capitalism governance is subordinated to the interests of the corporations and individuals who control resources. The effect of political change, while it can be worthwhile for a few, is largely cosmetic with no impact on the nature of the prevailing order. Labour’s promise to the workers is not the fruits of their labour but ‘partnership’, the benefits of what it calls ‘civil society’. The ‘power of finance’ will be ‘turned’ by honest and open governance to the ‘public good’. Under Labour ‘planning’, the citizen will ‘shape the kinds of high streets, homes and amenities’ he wants. This isn’t the principle of universality, according to our needs: this is ‘fair’ competition under the protection of Labour’s ‘responsible economic management’.

It is in the arena of international affairs where dissent from the natural order is most dangerous. And it is here where Labour’s record is most damning. In ‘support’ of ‘global and regional security’ Labour’s partners will be NATO, the UN and EU ‘allies’. Its promise of a foreign policy ‘guided by the values of peace, universal rights and international law’ recalls Blair’s 1997 ‘ethical’ foreign policy.

While invariably it shouts its commitment to overseas aid and ‘development’, Labour is nowhere near conceding even a little of the principle of equality with western powers for other sovereign states. As is the case with all its foreign policy manifestos, Labour’s ‘values’ driven approach is code for the coercion of poor countries by powerful super states and global ‘coalitions’. Committed to spending 2% of GDP on ‘defence’ and to maintaining our nuclear ‘deterrent’, Labour will beef up the armed forces for deployment in ‘a range of roles’.

Yes, we concede, it’s hard not to feel a little flutter at the prospect of a government that ‘embraces … the good that government can do’ promises ‘fairer corporate governance’ and ‘vigorous action against tax avoidance’ as well as ‘a new deal for ordinary working people’. Who wouldn’t support a foreign policy based on ’an international order in which rules govern state conduct … in a principled way’?

Welcome to 'Forward Together', the manifesto of the Conservative Party!

National Executive Committee, 24th July 2017

Comment by Arthur Scargill

The Labour Party Manifesto puts ’small businesses’ at the centre of its economic strategy: support for business to create secure work and reducing corporation tax for ‘small businesses’.

In order to create fertile ground for business to achieve its missions it will encourage private investment by removing new plant and machinery from business rate calculations and ‘expect’ all businesses to pay their taxes!

It will establish a National Investment Bank that will bring in ’private capital’ to deliver £250 billion of lending power and establish a new deal for business. Why? Because it is vital that government ensures that businesses doing the right thing are rewarded.

And members thought the Labour Party was committed to common ownership!

It does not stop there. The Labour Party wants companies to deliver shared wealth and give workers ‘buyer or first refusal’ when the company they work for is up for sale!

The Party will bring private rail companies back into public ownership but only when their franchises expire. This means twelve private companies will continue for between three and twelve years.

They will ‘regain control of energy supply networks en route to a publicly owned system’ and 'reverse' the privatisation at the 'earliest opportunity'.

Why not take all industries and services back into public ownership within one month of coming into government?

HERE to read this post as pdf

Lessons from History: the Globalist ‘Left’ and the Embrace of Capital

With the drift of much of the left into the Labour Party, we have seen an increased volume recently of familiar comment about ‘progressive alliances’. Lest we become seduced if not overwhelmed by this well meaning chicanery, we need to remind ourselves firstly of what distinguishes advocates of social democracy from socialists.

Yes, it wants change, but in a nutshell the non socialist left sees the roots of social injustice in political inequality. Socialists see it in the ownership of economic power.

It is for this reason that political orthodoxy, ranging from UKIP on the conservative right to some (though by no means all) of the Trotskyite left, focuses on personal identity, civil rights and ‘freedom’ at the expense of the core struggle of the dispossessed for economic power.

Since it shares its prognosis - we can be free so long as civil society can be subordinated – the embrace of capitalism is built into the DNA of social democracy. Often social democracy, by which we mean the left of the political consensus, shares the hostility of the right to any grassroots resistance which is not ‘in tune’ politically with a ‘progressive’ view of the world.

At the heart of the social democratic left’s embrace of ‘globalism’, implicit in its support of or indifference to the EU, lies an inability or unwillingness to recognise capital not ‘society’ as the source of repression.

DiEM25 or the ‘Manifesto on Democracy’ launched by Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister and latterly embroiled in the country’s Syriza nightmare, seeks a ‘democratised’ European Union accountable to the people (see Takis Fotopoulos). It assumes that a sovereign Parliament sharing power with devolved national assemblies and 'open' to scrutiny will transform a power bloc designed to remove political impediments to the flow of capital, into an instrument of 'international' justice. Its ‘Advisory Panel’ includes academic Noam Chomsky, filmmaker Ken Loach, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Green Party Co Leader Caroline Lucas.

Within the lifetimes of most of us, we have witnessed a series of brutal wars waged by globalists on poor sovereign states as well as the open use of insurrection and terrorism against governments. The nations violated, destabilised or destroyed have differing forms of government, some were developing economies, some not, and some were or are socially progressive compared to neighbours. Some, most recently Ukraine, had western style elected leaders. What these countries shared, the only element they shared, was running economies not sufficiently ‘open’ to foreign capital; they retained (or retain) some degree of state control or national autonomy.

From the Blairites on the right to ‘Trotskyists’ on the left, social democrats view the right of self determination of these nations (but not ours) as incumbent in some degree upon the character of their political system. Learning nothing from Iraq or Libya, or indeed from an ignoble left history of failing to distinguish ‘people’s uprisings’ from foreign sponsored coups, left coalitions including ‘Stop the War’ determined that Syria's resistance could not be considered legitimate unless firstly it's people are 'supported' in overthrowing their ‘reactionary’ leaders.

While socialists resist the subordination of workers to the slavery of the borderless ‘market’, for social democrats globalism is good so long as those in government favour or implement open or ‘progressive’ policies.

It has never been more important for capitalism to bury the idea of socialism than it is today. For this reason, it is vitally important for us that the fallacy at the heart of globalism, that civil ‘democracy’ can liberate the poorest nations from imperialism or the poorest people from poverty, does not become the new political ‘norm’ for the left.

Kim Bryan, 13th June 2017

HERE to read as pdf including responses from members

HERE for Takis Fotopoulos on DiEM25

General Election 2017: Flying the Flag for Socialism

In defiance of the direst predictions of doom coming from the ‘new’ Corbynite left, all our candidates in yesterday’s General Election received very good votes in their respective constituencies. In Birmingham Perry Barr, Shangara Singh Bhatoe secured third place, ahead of the Liberal Democrats and Greens. The SLP extends its thanks to our candidates and agents and to all those members and supporters who helped in the campaigns, donated funds or sent their best wishes. We extend our grateful regards to all those who cast votes of conviction and principle for our party.

Given the anti democratic ‘first past the post’ system, voters in a small number of seats who switched parties over ‘Brexit’ appear to have decided the outcome.

What is forgotten of course is that Socialist Labour is the only party contesting this election that opposes the EU idea including Britain’s membership of the single market. No other party has declared its opposition to the so called ‘four freedoms’ enshrined in the Maastricht treaty. In reality the freedom concerned is that of multi national corporations to buy the cheapest, least protected labour and disregard the needs of local communities.

The shift away from government and towards the rule of big ‘borderless’ capital has greatly reduced the ability of social democrats to reform capitalism from within. In light of this, the open abandonment of socialism by the left is all the more startling.

It is hugely important that we offered an alternative at this election. In our political life generally Socialist Labour will continue to expose and challenge the new pro 'business' consensus and the subordination of grassroots democracy to unelected, bureaucratic elites.

9th June 2017

SHOCK! Theresa May Calls Off the General Election

We refer of course to the General Election of 2020 which the Prime Minister has decided we no longer need. Instead, in a shameless example of exactly the kind of abuse the Fixed Term Parliaments Act was designed to deter, the political class, including all the 'mainstream' parties, is united in its enthusiasm for a quickie poll in which they hope once again the issues relevant to the lives of ordinary people will fail to be heard. The focus will be the phoney arguments over Brexit coming from the different factions of the establishment.

One party, however, will be putting before the public an alternative to the expansionist, 'free' market agenda supported in one form or another by all the major parties. Saying No to the EU, No to NATO and No to the armed alliance with the US, the SLP will never accept a Britain tied to political-military powers or blocs.

Socialist Labour stands for a national economy built on the industry of our people in a democratic sovereign state that lives and trades in peace, equality and friendship with all other nations. The governing principles of our Britain are the economic, political and health needs of our people, not the profit calculations of big business interests.

RED LINE! Imperialists Must NOT Take Syria

CLICK HERE to read response to the escalation of war in Syria

Scargill Attacks SNP Plans for Second Independence Referendum.

In an interview published on 15th March 2017, the Socialist Labour Party leader told the 'Morning Star' that 'Parliament must reject any proposal from the SNP for a second referendum until the UK has fully left membership of the EU. Then, and only then' he said, 'should any suggestion of separation be even considered. I am speaking as a socialist'.

'The Scottish people voted 55.3 per cent to remain in the United Kingdom. The Scottish people also voted in the largest ever known referendum whether the UK should remain in the EU or leave the EU. Having participated in that ballot they are bound to accept the decision to leave'.

Mr Scargill added: 'I have fought all my life, along with people like Tony Benn, for the UK to withdraw from the iniquitous EU'.


More current news stories from the SLP HERE.