Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 June 2010

Socialist Party Scotland launched at packed and inspiring meeting

There were no vacant seats left at the launch meeting of the Socialist Party Scotland in Glasgow on 10 June. More than 50 people crammed in to hear speakers from Scotland, Hannah Sell from the Socialist Party of England and Wales and Joe Higgins, the Socialist Party Ireland MEP.

Philip Stott

The speakers made a powerful and inspiring case for mass struggle against the savage cuts being carried through by the new Con-Dem government in Britain, and big business governments internationally. The need for a socialist alternative to the crisis-ridden capitalist system was the second major theme of the meeting.

Depth of cuts

Brian Smith, the secretary of the 12,000 strong Glasgow Unison branch, a member of Socialist Party Scotland and a candidate for the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) at the recent general election, explained the depth of the cuts planned for Scotland's public services. "Next year a colossal 1-1.5 billion is to be cut from the Scottish government's expenditure - which the SNP government will put up no real fight against. This will have a devastating effect on public services, jobs and communities.

"We need to organise a struggle against these cuts and that starts on 22 June, Con-Dem budget day, when Glasgow Unison have called for a demonstration at lunchtime. But we need to go further and ensure the Scottish TUC call and build for a mass mobilisation in the autumn. This should be a step towards coordinated public sector wide strike action - including a 24 hour general strike - to stop these cuts."

Brian spoke about how the Socialist Party Scotland traces our political roots back to the launch of the Militant newspaper in 1964 and the work of the Militant from then. This included the mass struggles that Militant led, including the Liverpool City council and the anti-poll tax campaigns. The Socialist Party Scotland is the Scottish section of the Committee for a Workers' International and is a campaigning, revolutionary socialist organisation.

Graeme McIver, the national secretary of Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement said it was a privilege to share a platform with socialists and trade unionists of the calibre of Brian Smith, Hannah Sell and Joe Higgins. He personally thanked members of the Socialist Party Scotland for their support in helping to build and sustain Solidarity over the last few years.

Graeme mentioned the huge numbers of people who voted Labour at the recent general election in Scotland: "They were not voting for Brown's New Labour, a government of the rich and record inequality, but to stop the hated Tories coming to power."

Hannah Sell said that no one in the room has ever seen or experienced anything like what was coming in terms of the savagery of the cuts planned by the new government. "This is a crisis of the capitalist system and there will be mass struggle against the cuts. This is a government of the rich elite and the millionaires that will be broken by the massive resistance that their attacks will provoke."

Touching on the socialist alternative that the Socialist Party and the Committee for a Workers' International put forward, Hannah said: "For a start we call for the nationalisation of the big banking and finance companies. A socialist, nationalised banking sector would be democratically run by representatives of banking workers and trade unions, the wider working class, as well as the government.

But this would only be the start. A crucial step towards solving the economic crisis and developing society on a sound basis would be to take the big corporations that dominate Britain's economy into democratic public ownership. This would then allow production to be planned for need and not for profit."

Hannah also underlined the importance of the TUSC coalition: "We knew our votes would be modest this time around, but TUSC was important because it allowed trade unionists and trade union organisations from the FBU, CWU, RMT, among others, to seek political representation through TUSC. It is important that we build on that."

Joe Higgins brought the greetings of the Socialist Party Ireland to the meeting. He exposed the myth of the Irish "economic miracle", the Celtic Tiger, "that was based on massive speculation in construction, land and bankrolled by the Irish financial sector but which saddled young families with 35 or even 40 year mortgages, which many can no longer afford.

"Now the Celtic Tiger has gone bust and the government want working people to pay the price. Public sector workers in Ireland have seen pay cuts of 15% in the last year alone."

Joe went on to give an account of his recent visit to Greece when he addressed 2,500 members and supporters of the left coalition, Syriza. Joe and a number of other left MEPs have made a call for a week of protests from 21 to 26 June against the austerity programmes of capitalist governments across Europe, as well as raising the ideas of nationalising the banking and financial sectors and that the working class of Europe should not have to pay for the bosses' crisis.

Trade unionists

The meeting was then opened up for discussion and heard from trade unionists from Unison, CWU, PCS and the FBU Scottish organiser, Jim Malone, who thanked the speakers and called for a stepping up of the campaign to oppose the cuts. More than 200 firefighters in Scotland have already lost their jobs. Jim called for a strong socialist challenge for the Scottish parliament elections next May.

Luke Ivory from the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign outlined the impact of the planned attacks on young people, particularly in education where thousands are being turned away from university due to the cuts in funding.

The meeting inspired all of the existing members of the Socialist Party Scotland. But especially important were the new trade unionists and young people who came to the meeting including from the PCS, teachers' union EIS and Unison as well as young unemployed people and school students.

A number of them joined on the night and others said they wanted to come to more meetings of the Socialist Party Scotland to find out more.

Sinead Daly from Dundee made the financial appeal. She contrasted the so-called "new politics" of the Westminster coalition, which has involved a resignation from the government already by a Lib Dem minister for cheating on his expenses, with the record of people like Joe Higgins who live on a worker's wage. The support for the Socialist Party Scotland was indicated by an excellent collection of 525, which included 120 from a PCS member and 5 from a school student.

This inspiring meeting was a clear indication that the Socialist Party Scotland is off to an excellent start and has the potential to grow significantly, particularly among young people and trade unionists. We have also redesigned our paper, the Socialist, which is now a 12-page full colour publication and we have a website,

The key themes of the meeting, struggle and socialism, will be the basis on which the Socialist Party Scotland goes forward in the months ahead.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 16 June 2010:

Millionaire ministers savage public services

'Bloodbath budget' day protests and meetings


Comprehensive education under attack

Opposing 'Dickensian' academy schools in Waltham Forest

National Shop Stewards Network

Come to the NSSN conference

Unison local government conference: Delegates face huge struggles

Northern Rock throws workers on the dole

Wales Unison: Socialist Party member elected

NHS Scotland - ConDemned to terminal decay

Southampton library staff strike to save jobs

Save the Big House

Socialist Party editorial

Labour leadership contest dominated by right wing

Socialist Party news and analysis

TUSC plans for future elections

BP's value plunges as oil spill worsens

Willetts approves tuition fees hike

Bloody Sunday report appears 38 years late

IDS's 'anti-poverty drive' attacks the poorest!

High speed trains and high priced fares

Why we don't back the Queen's pay claim

Fast news

Diary dates


Tower Hamlets: Jobs, homes and services - not the racist EDL!

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: A test bed for 'austerity' and resistance

Spain: Millions of public sector workers strike over brutal cuts

Portugal: Mobilisation against austerity reaches new level

Socialist Party Scotland launched at packed and inspiring meeting


Home   |   The Socialist 16 June 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Socialist Party Scotland:

triangleWhat does the left victory in Scottish Labour mean?

triangleWhere is Scotland going?

triangleScotland - SNP loses but Labour could've won more

triangleElectric atmosphere at Corbyn rally

triangleCorbyn could re-win Scotland with a socialist approach to independence


triangleSalford Socialist Party: The history of the Labour movement in Ireland

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can socialists take the fight against the Tories to the people of Bristol?

triangleYork Socialist Party: Building and financing a revolutionary party

triangleHackney Socialist Party: The Left Opposition's fight against the rise of Stalinism in Russia


triangleUndercover policing legal challenge

triangleScotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Catalonia, Scotland and Wales

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Refugee Rights campaigners on the 17.3.18 anti-racism demo - pics


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run

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


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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018