Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Polling Day...

After what seems like a very, very long time election finally about to arrive!

Started in what little sunshine we had in June and its ending in the cold and dark of November.

No idea how we'll do but do know we've worked relentlessly since mid summer. In the face of celebrity bull, an indifferent media and our tiny financial resources we have tried to take a clear and compelling message on the need to challenge the greed of the system and the complacency of politicians who too often abuse the trust that people put in them.

Thousands of bulletins delivered, face to face contact with too many to count, public meetings and a demonstration to boot. The SSP regardless of the result remains a vibrant and living alternative to the cynicism and hopelessness that surrounds so much about politics these days.Proud as punch to be part of it and to have my name next to it on the ballot paper.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

MARCH for jobs - secure a future for our young people.

Proud to lead the SSP/SSY March for Jobs in Springburn today. Whilst the other parties talk about jobs being at the centre stage of the campaign, whilst promoting cuts in public spending that will increase unemployment, the SSP got on with the job of beginning the fight back against another generation being sacrificed to mass unemployment.

It now falls on the Trade Union movement to take up the challenge that we have thrown down. I grew up in the 80's and watched as Thatcher stripped away at our chances of employment and ripped out the heart of communities across Scotland. I remember demonstrations of hundreds of thousands as people refused to accept her brutal logic that the free market is best. Such resistance must be built again.

Our march today, organised at short notice, with tiny resources, marks the beginning of people saying that they will not sit back and see Labour, Tories and the rest of them condemn young people to a future of no jobs or casual, short term, low paid employment.

Homes need built, public transport is crying out for improvement and our communities need investment. Spend billions on these priorities, rather than give it to the bankers to spend on their bonuses, and create employment whilst improving our quality of life.

The mood on our march was upbeat but determined. The SSP will do all we can to save every job and defend our public services. The fight goes on because we have no other option but to resist and actively fight for a future for our next generation of young people.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

On with the Battle! (against the weather...)


The cliché just now would be to say that the race is hotting up for the by-election but after last couple of days of wind and rain somehow doesn't seem very appropriate. Battling your way through the elements you realise why Labour went for a November election. For them its anything to make sure the election is as low key as possible because the less scrutiny of their abysmal record the better as far as they are concerned.

Hasn't stopped us getting out there right enough. Particularly good to have Colin Fox and the others through from Edinburgh to give us a hand and the rain didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm when it came to knocking on doors.

Also good to speak with Raphie at a meeting in Dennistoun last week. Venue just next to the street where my dad grew up gave it a little personal interest as well. Raphie's insight from the 'belly of the beast' of the banking industry brought home just how outrageous their behaviour has been and how they continue to get away with it. Only two responses when you hear it - one is to shrug your shoulders and ask what can be done - the other is to get angry and to organise to fight back. If its the latter the SSP is for you and you should think of coming along this Saturday to our march for jobs, 12 noon at Springburn shopping centre.

March for Jobs!

March for Jobs - Saturday 7th November - 12 noon Springburn Shopping Centre

Organised alongside SSY this march is to highlight the fact that we do not want another wasted generation like those in the 80's and beyond whose future has been blighted by unemployment.

With every passing day more people are made to pay the price for the greed of the bosses whose economic crisis is threatening all of our jobs and services.

The free market parties all agree that it is working people who will have to pay for recession and the SSP is seeking to offer an alternative to this dismal consensus. Resistance has to be built and our march is part of that process.

Do not miss the opportunity to be part of fighting back against unemployment and part of the SSP's campaign to make the rich pay for their economic crisis. Bring your friends, family and banners and help make our demo a success

Come along and join the March for Jobs this Saturday!

For more info Kevin 07817 123917

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Tax the rich... say German millionaires...!

You couldn't make it up!

Reports of a demonstration of millionaires in Germany throwing fake banknotes in the air and demanding higher taxes - for themselves! Perhaps they've read the SSP Euro election manifesto where we called for a 10% tax for the super rich in Europe? Sounds like it because they are calling for 5% a year for two years!

Now with George Osborne calling for a limit on bankers bonuses perhaps socialism as an idea whose time is coming may just be the case!

Truth is it just shows how blatant the inequality and injustice is that even the some the rich are starting to get embarrassed!

A tale of two stalls... the SSP stalls in Springburn are always mobbed, while the mainstream parties who have let the people of Glasgow North East down continually, are ignored.

The battle-bus!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

The campaign is launched!

Launch of party campaign today. Really proud to share it with two outstanding socialists like John McAllion and Frances Curran.

Key point we wanted to get across was the need to tax the rich to make them pay for the economic crisis they have created.

Our 10% tax on every millionaire would raise £70 billion - imagine the difference that kind of cash could make if used to create of jobs and improve our public services. That vision, in contrast to the dismal alternative of cuts and unemployment on offer form the other parties should be the faultline in this election.

Just as we fought to move free school meals, the scrapping of prescription charges and ditching the Council Tax into the centre stage of Scottish politics so the fight starts here to put the taxing of the rich to redistribute wealth as a defining issue for 2009 and beyond.

The alternative is left...

Infuriated by last weeks fascism on the licence fee courtesy of the BBC. In what appeared to be a quite cynical attempt to boost ratings and create controversy the BBC used our licence fee to give a platform to a group of fascists who preach the politics of hate and division.

Infuriated because we fight for a space in the mass media for our socialist alternative and are denied space for our views. Infuriated because a party that can only a muster nothing on the ground in Glasgow East have been giving a week of free publicity during this election - and then hot on the heels of the BBC - after they have opened the fascist flood-gates, a local Glasgow radio station allows the same evil, nasty bigotry on our airwaves. And what a waste of good eggs. I hope they were out of date.

Makes it even more important that the SSP's alternative from the left is built to answer the failure of the mainstream parties to properly represent working class communities. Fascism has no place on our screen and on our streets and we'll continue to offer an alternative to capitalism and will resist the scapegoating of our fellow citizens of whatever creed or colour.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

"Make sacrifices!" is the advice from the rich to the rest of us...

Talks are continuing on the postal dispute and now BA cabin crew re considering a ballot on strike action. No one in this day and age takes strike action lightly but at least both of these events highlight that people are responding to the onslaught from bosses determined to use the economic crisis to further drive down wages and conditions.
At the same time heard today that Chief Executive pay is staying steady. So while the rest of us are meant to accept pay cuts and freezes the Adam Crosier's and Willie Walsh's of this world continue to pocket salaries that run into millions.
On the CWU picket line what struck me as well as the determination to defend our postal services was the outrage that long serving workers felt about a management culture that was about bullying and contempt. This comes from the top, from the same greedy bosses who are demanding sacrifices from us whilst their wealth goes untouched.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Postal Pickets

Some photos of the pickets today. We went along to show our support for these brave workers defending our postal service and fighting for their jobs.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Why I support the Posties...

Click HERE for my reasons
Click HERE for more coverage from the SSP

Me with Willie Marshal CWU Scotland No2 branch

Me outside a Royal Mail Depot - where I will be on Thursday and Friday this week - showing my support on the picket lines.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Defend our door to door posties!

If ever evidence was needed of Labour's capitulation to Thatcherism look no further than their disgraceful complicity with Royal Mail management in their provocative attempts to break this week's national postal strike.

After a ballot that overwhelmingly supported strike action to stop managements attempt to bully the workforce into accepting the imposition of changes to their terms and conditions it is outrageous that the response of management to this is to consider bringing in an army of scab labour in an attempt to break the strike.

It is difficult to believe that this threat has not been tacitly supported by the labour heirarchy as part of their determination to break the CWU to smooth the way for their declared goal of handing over our postal service to their big business friends.

Everyone should get behind the postal workers this week and beyond as they are fighting to defend a national door to door service. Labour's talk of standing up for people in Glasgow North East is again shown to be hypocrisy. When push comes to shove profit will always come before people for them.

Colin Fox Speaks on the Jeremy vine Show, 19.10.09 (the discussion begins at 7 minutes 50 seconds)

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The fight for women's rights is still raging...

Attended the 'Gude Cause' march In Edinburgh yesterday to celebrate 100 years of women's suffrage. Delighted to be part of such a big and positive demonstration.

Went along for two main reasons. the first was simply to celebrate and honour those that fought for the right to vote for women. They didn't wait to seek approval from anybody but instead realised that they would have to organise themselves to fight for what they believed was right. In the face of whatever obstacles where thrown in their way they kept going and changed the course of history. Power lies in people once they are organised and determined and those that seem powerful can do little to stop them. Its a simple but crucial lesson. Things can and will change if we want them to - we just have to stick together and fight in the way that the suffragettes did.

The second reason is that the fight for equality and rights for women is far from over. I have two daughters and they are growing up in a world where they are still likely to receive less pay for work of equal value, face the threat of domestic or sexual violence or be bombarded with images that objectify and demean women. Tackling these issues will take more than just the vote to change. For me they are part and parcel of the struggle for a society that is based on co-operation and respect, not exploitation and inequality. Celebrate our past but build for the future that's why I was on the Gude Cause march.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Get Scotland Working! (...and the Tories won't do it)

It seems like the eighties are back. If it's not Crockett and Tubbs in the remake of Miami Vice or bands ditching their guitars for synths the eighties revival is in full swing. As a child of the eighties, if nothing else, it may allow me to look at my old photos without being completely embarrassed.

Another more depressing side of the eighties is reappearing however, with growing levels of unemployment, particularly amongst the young. When I left school in 1982 I remember feeling lucky that I was doing so to start a job as amongst my school pals not too many of them were as fortunate. This was the time when the question you asked people was not so much,'what do you do?', but 'do you have a job?'. Too many lives were blighted by unemployment as the Tories, followed by New Labour, re-shaped the economy to one based on low pay and job insecurity.

Not another wasted generation will be the slogan of the March for Jobs that is being organised in the Glasgow North East constituency later this month. We can't sit back and allow the future of thousands to be crushed under the juggernaut of corporate profit and capitalism as the price once again to be paid for the failure of the system. Resistance has to start now and our march for jobs can be part of the process of rejecting a future of unemployment and low pay for our young.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Glasgow City Council - Labour Party Haste to justify closures was just not true!

It seems almost beyond satire, but after savagely closing schools across Glasgow and justifying it by claiming school rolls are falling, Glasgow City Council have admitted that surprise, surprise the number of kids at Glasgow schools has actually gone up (see HERE)!

You might expect that this would mean an apology to the parents and campaigners who so determindely fought to save their schools? Or perhaps the councillors who so contempously dismissed the case against closure would now be investigating how they could re-open the slashed school spaces to take account of their startling new admission? Not a bit of it. Once again exhibiting the twisted logic of Glasgow City Council these revised figures means that they will have to find another £22 million to cut from the education budget.

The more pupils there are - the less money we will have to spend on them. Nothing like investing in our future and that certainly is nothing like investing in our future! The fight to save our schools hasn't gone away no matter how much Labour might want it.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Vote for Education, not Labour school butchers

Started back at University recently and like most of us doing teacher training the worry is whether there will be a job at the end of it. Apparently only one in seven newly qualified teachers got a permanent job last summer and the signs for the future aren't good.

Last week the SNP attempted to cover their retreat on smaller class sizes by announcing a maximum of 25 for primary one. Some way short of the 18 promised for primary ones, two and three. Laughably the Labour Party are leading the charge to decry them. The same Labour Party that this summer butchered Glasgow's schools, closing twenty of them across the city, including schools in Glasgow North East. Pretty much sums it up for mainstream politics right now, in that society's educations needs are not met both for users of services and for those who want to work in them.

There is no doubt that part of the reason for the delay in calling the by-election was in the hope that the anger about school closures will be forgotten. Hopefully this will not be the case and more than this the demand for smaller class sizes, maintaining local schools and providing much needed jobs in education are at the heart of the campaign. Certainly the SSP will do what it can to make sure that's the case.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

On the campaign trail...

"Just back from campaigning at Springburn shopping centre and again a real willingness for people to talk and to listen about what the SSP has to offer. A week that's been dominated by the cuts agenda now being pursued by every one of the main parties, with the Tories and Labour falling over themselves to compete over just how savage their cuts are going to be. The SNP has just got on with it by announcing their cuts budget this week.
Enjoying the campaign trail in Springburn

The equivalent of £31 000 for every family has already has been paid to bail out the bankers greed and now they're telling us that we have to pay for it again with unemployment, wage freezes and job cuts. Communities in Glasgow North East have already seen their schools stripped out of them and now their community facilities will be under threat because free market politicians are terrified to make the rich pay for the economic mess they have made.
Springburn Residents were, like us, confused why the rich who caused the economic crisis were being given our tax money, and we are paying again with loss of jobs and cuts in our services...

Its no surprise that people are cynical about politics but its a cynicism that doesn't prevent people from thinking about alternatives. That's why my pledge to take only the average wage and not the inflated MP's wage is going down extremely well. Its time for politicians to put their money where their mouths are, but somehow other than the SSP, I suspect none of them will."

SSP ex-MSP Frances Curran, with me and other activists at Springburn Shopping Centre

Monday, 31 August 2009

The Scottish Socialist Party has selected Kevin McVey as candidate for the Glasgow North East by-election.
A civil service trade union representative for 20 years, Kevin was brought up in the constituency, in Ruchazie.
Kevin joined the Labour Party Young Socialists in 1984 and was expelled from the Labour party 5 years later for being a socialist.
Kevin has a long track record of fighting the poll tax, against school closures, and for taxation of the rich to improve public services.

Kevin McVey said this evening:
“At a time of daily news bulletins on the stench of corruption arising from Westminster, I am proud to publicly pledge that I will reject the £64,000 MP’s salary and live instead on the average skilled worker’s wage – not a penny more.
“After the mainstream parties have been caught fiddling expenses for food, furniture, second homes, and Michael Martin was booted out for trying to cover up these crimes against people struggling to pay the bills, Labour now wants him promoted to the unelected, undemocratic House of Lords.
“That’s an insult to ordinary hardworking people. Where I have worked you would be sacked for doctoring expenses or for failing to act against fiddles if you were in a manager’s post!
“The people of Glasgow North East deserve a socialist MP who will fight for them, not another chancer who pockets the obscene salary and then grabs even more in expenses.”

SSP Glasgow Regional Secretary Richie Venton said today:
“We are proud to put up a candidate with such a long and principled history of fighting for the working class.
“The SSP has been at the heart of fighting to save several local schools and nurseries from Labour’s butchery. We have helped stop the ambitious councillor Gordon Matheson becoming the Labour candidate, because even the out-of-touch Labour hierarchy knew he would be a complete liability in an area blitzed by school closures, which he was at the heart of. The SSP will make Save Our Schools a major issue in the by-election, demanding class sizes of 20 or less for all kids, to give them a decent start in life and to hire more teachers and nursery staff.”