Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 April 2011

Fighting anti-cuts programme needed in Scottish elections

Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland

The elections for the Scottish parliament on 5 May are taking place at a time of unprecedented cuts.

Scottish government spending has been slashed by 1.3 billion for the year 2011-2012 by the current Scottish National Party (SNP) government. Local councils across Scotland of all political colours are carrying out savage cuts to jobs and public services.

The various party manifestos, especially Labour and the SNP, indicate they are living in a parallel universe and are silent on the cuts they are carrying out.

The major parties are both promising to maintain 'free' education, freeze council tax and introduce a living wage. While the full impact of the cuts has been deliberately postponed until after the elections, many are already being implemented.

So, the SNP's First Minister, Alex Salmond, has declared: "If people are willing to accept pay restraint, then we will do our bit to protect family budgets and job security".

Public sector workers will rightly reply, how can you protect family budgets when carrying out year-on-year wage cuts? How can job security be protected when tens of thousands of jobs are being slashed?

What is clear is that whichever party or combination of parties form the next Scottish government, it will be a government that will attempt to carry through the deepest cuts in decades.

The current polls indicate that the SNP have now pulled ahead of Labour and could emerge again as the largest party. With no significant differences between the parties, except on independence, many commentators are speculating on the possibility of an SNP-Labour coalition.

This is an unlikely outcome. However, the lack of fundamental differences has meant that increasingly the campaign is being fought as a presidential contest between Alex Salmond and Labour's ineffectual Iain Gray.

It's a fight that Salmond, as a skilled populist, is likely to win. The Lib Dems are "going to take one hell of a beating" with their vote set to plummet as voters deliver their verdict on the Con-Dem coalition.

In fact the Scottish Greens, who are likely to make significant gains, may well overtake them in the number of Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs). The Greens have been running an 'anti-cuts' campaign.

However, their main slogan, "cut the cuts", is an indication of their acceptance of cuts, albeit at a slower pace.

In contrast the Socialist Party Scotland is taking part in these elections on a fighting anti-cuts programme that puts the need to fight all the cuts at the forefront.

In Glasgow Socialist Party Scotland members - including Brian Smith, branch secretary of Glasgow Unison and Defend Glasgow Services, and Ryan Stuart, a member of Youth Fight for Jobs - are taking part in a joint Coalition Against Cuts list with George Galloway and others.

The agreement with George Galloway includes opposition to all cuts and support for councils setting needs budgets to avoid cuts. The coalition in Glasgow is likely to get the biggest left vote in Scotland and will be an important example for anti-cuts campaigners looking ahead to the 2012 local council elections.

In the other seven regions in Scotland we will be supporting Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement election lists. In North East Scotland Socialist Party Scotland member Jim McFarlane, chair of Dundee City Unison and a local government worker will be the lead candidate for Solidarity.

Likewise in West Scotland, Socialist Party Scotland member Jim Halfpenny, who is a teacher and a rep for the teachers' union EIS, is heading the Solidarity list.

On 5 May vote for MSPs who will refuse to make cuts and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with trade unionists and communities who are fighting the cuts.

Vote Solidarity, and in Glasgow vote for George Galloway - Coalition Against Cuts.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 20 April 2011:

Anti-cuts campaigning

How can the Con-Dem coalition be most effectively punished?

Kick big business out of health care

Fight cuts - vote socialist

Fighting anti-cuts programme needed in Scottish elections

Coventry: support for socialists increases

Enthusiasm for ten TUSC candidates across Kent

Vote Against Cuts alliance launched in Leicester

"Lambeth council know the cost of everything and the value of nothing"

Socialist Students

NUS conference fails to act

International socialist news and analysis

Sarkozy instigates ban on veil to boost his political ratings

Libya: Is humanitarian aid providing mission creep for western powers?

War - what is it good for? Arms sales!

Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers lobby BP

"Staggering scale" of London Ambulance service cuts

Workplace news in brief

NUT teachers' conference

Leeds Fed Housing strike

Enthusiastic support for PCS call centres strike

Socialist Party features

Anniversary: Black Friday 15 April 1921

The Alternative Vote referendum - 5 May

Socialist Party news and analysis

News in brief

Lid blown off Met's kettle

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Newcastle: Socialists won't be intimidated by racists

Gay protest and discrimination

Angry protest at death of Smiley Culture


Home   |   The Socialist 20 April 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleLondon - We need socialists into City Hall

triangleDoing all we can to fund the anti-cuts stand at the ballot box

triangleNorth London TUSC: Planning for the May 2021 elections

triangleSouth Devon Socialist Party: End of the Corbyn era - What next for socialism?

triangleIs there an anti-cuts rebellion in Scotland?


triangleCWU elections: Vote for a fighting, campaigning, socialist EC member

trianglePCS elections - incumbents win, but solid vote for Broad Left Network

triangleSocialist Party national meeting: Perspectives for socialism after the elections

triangleRight-wing Partido Popular wins Madrid elections - a warning to the working class


triangleLondon workers prepare to fight Khan's transport cuts

triangleDouwe Egberts workers strike against pay cuts of up to 12,000 a year

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Local Elections - unions must fight to build new mass workers' party!


triangleThe 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders occupation and work-in

triangleWhere now for the Scottish independence movement?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Right lose control in national executive council election



Fight for a socialist leadership in PCS, build a fighting, democratic union!



"Rights are won not given" - London refugee wins housing debt campaign



Workplace news in brief



Post-Brexit trade deals: Workers' mobilisation needed to stop corporate extortion



G7 green hypocrisy



New book - coming soon: The Struggle for World Socialism



Hundreds march to scrap Silvertown Tunnel project



Shame on Clarion - another exploitative landlord



We're building for 3 July NHS protests



Goodlord striker speaks out: How we unionised and fought the bosses



Revolt against 'social partnership' at Wales Trades Union Congress 2021



Douwe Egberts workers strike against pay cuts of up to 12,000 a year



London workers prepare to fight Khan's transport cuts



Raising Fighting Fund in Southern region

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021