Do We Know It’s Christmas?
It’s the time of year when we are encouraged to think of others and urged to donate to those less fortunate than ourselves. Who can possibly disagree with the impulse to try to support and intervene to help, whether it’s fighting disease in Africa or a local food bank?
However, in a world where 85 individuals have the same wealth as half the people on our planet and where austerity politics is tearing the heart out of our welfare system where does charitable giving fit in with this? Whether it is tax dodging pop stars or multinational behemoths pretending to be “socially responsible” for public relations purposes serious questions have to be asked about how best to stamp out obscene inequality in ways that are long term and meaningful. When our Coalition government is spending the lowest percentage of national income on the Welfare State since the 1930’s is it enough to say that charity can fill the gap?
These questions will be the focus of our final meeting of the year on Thursday 11th December at 7.30pm in The Link Community Centre in Cumbernauld at 7.30pm.
2014 And All That
To say 2014 was a remarkable year is an understatement. The reverberations will rumble on for decades in Scottish politics and one of the first indications of this may be the 2015 General Election.
The SSP has called for an “independence alliance” to most effectively challenge the Unionist parties and keep the pressure on for an independent Scotland. However, it is becoming clear that the other parties are wishing to plough their own furrows and the party has to consider its strategy for 2015. Plans are afoot to stand in selected constituencies. Come along on Thursday to find out more.
Socialists Slam Undemocratic Poster Ban
Local members of the Scottish Socialist Party have slammed the decision of North Lanarkshire Council to ban the use of lamp post posters during election campaigns as being undemocratic.
Cumbernauld & Kilsyth branch member Craig Skinner commented “less than two months after a flowering of democracy in Scotland during our referendum it is unfortunate, to say the least, that North Lanarkshire’s Labour Councillors have decided to shut off one form of democratic expression by banning the use of lamp post posters during elections. Surely we should be striving to maintain the democratic engagement seen in the referendum and surely anything that maintains the visibility of those campaigning in elections has to be a good thing. The previous rules were clear and were largely respected so questions have to be asked about the motives for this decision.”
The party believes that the decision reflects the fear of the Labour Party about their declining influence, even in their heartland areas.
Mr Skinner added, “Is it an accident that this decision is made soon after the majority of voters in North Lanarkshire rejected the Labour Party’s advice by voting Yes in the referendum? Is it somehow coincidental that it was commented on by many that the Yes campaign was much more high profile and visible in this area, including in the number of lamp post posters seen across North Lanarkshire? It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that it is a move that aims to do no more than close down democratic expression and make politics less about street campaigning and more about media influence and money. The Council should think again and rescind this regressive decision.”
End of release.
For more information: Kevin McVey 07817 123917.