Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Forced destitution.

Destitution can occur at several points in the asylum process but forced, state-sanctioned absolute poverty most frequently occurs when people’s claims for refugee protection have been refused. The Home Office believes, against the evidence [pdf], that people will return to war zones and countries where they have been tortured and persecuted if they are denied food and shelter in the UK. It is an attempt to starve people out of the country. But it doesn’t work. People will try to survive in any way they can.

This policy forces people into dangerous and exploitative situations, including domestic servitude, prostitution, and abusive relationships, just to find shelter for the night. We know too the detrimental impact that destitution has on people’s mental and physical health and the ways in which it impedes their ability to make decisions about the future.

“When people don’t have their basic needs met their thoughts and behaviour become chaotic,” says Lindsay Reid, a caseworker at Scottish Refugee Council. “This leads to feelings of shame and worthlessness which multiply and become entrenched over time. One man I know survived torture in Pakistan but through his experience of destitution in the UK has developed severe psychological problems and has lost the ability to cope.”

When people in need have no recourse to public funds it is left to the voluntary sector to plug the gaps. But this revolving door of emergency response cannot stop the cycle of suffering and degradation.

Liar Liar GE2017 (music video)

People or Profits, That's the issue

Do any of the political parties address any of the real issues:
Why is there world hunger in a world of food surpluses?
Why are there unemployed nurses, alongside closed-down hospitals and waiting lists?
Why are there homeless people in the streets and empty houses with "for sale" signs?
Why do some people get stressed working long hours while others get stressed from the boredom of unemployment?

If you don't like present-day society... if you are fed up with the way you are forced to live...if you think the root cause of most social problems is the market system, then your ideas echo closely with ours. We are standing to argue the case that capitalism is past its sell-by date. The world can now easily produce wealth sufficient to adequately house , feed , care for and educate the global population. Instead we see hunger, disease and homelessness around the world despite the concerns of governments and charity NGOs. Closer to home, in a "developed" nation like the UK, we see child poverty and an increasing gulf between rich and poor. Rates of depression and anxiety are becoming epidemic.

Capitalism now acts as a barrier, preventing production being geared to human need. Rather than keep trying to tinker with this system we should start looking beyond it to an alternative: a wage-free, money-free, class-free world community based on production for human need, not profit. This social change can only come about once the majority understand it and want it. It won't come about by following leaders or voting for someone else to do it. The other candidates contesting this election (whether openly pro-capitalist or avowedly socialist) are asking you to believe that they can run this society a little bit better . We’d argue that history shows that the money system actually ends up running them. Their pre-election promises usually amount to nothing .So don’t vote for them - it only encourages the idea that capitalism can be made better. A vote for the Socialist Party in contrast, is a statement that you don’t want to live this way and that you think another world is possible . If you have confidence that humans can live and work co-operatively without the pressure of the wages system, or the rationing system of money, then vote for the Socialist Party .

In this General Election many will encounter canvassers claiming to be “socialists” who blame the banks for causing the crisis and they will have slogans like “Make the banks pay”, Stop the tax-dodgers” and “Hands off our public services and welfare state”
But it's not true that the banks caused the crisis although they endeavoured to take advantage. Popular resentment against banks and bankers may be understandable, but it is still wrong to blame them for causing the crisis. In fact we need to argue against this misdirected resentment and its populist exploitation. The whole capitalist system was complicit and culpable for the recession. It's just what happens from time to time under capitalism as all business enterprises pursue maximum profits and cutback on production when there are no longer so many profits to be made. The only alternative is not Corbyn's reforms and regulation but to replace the profit system with one based on common ownership and democratic control so that there can be production to satisfy people's needs instead of for profit. We rightly dismiss Corbyn adopting a policy of ineffectual reforms and legislation of just one sector of the capitalist economy. We hold the entire capitalist class as culpable in the robbery of the workers. The extension of the campaign to tax havens and corporation tax loopholes may now involve the non-financial companies but it still remains at the root, the rich stealing from the rich.

The position of the Socialist Party is clear: we will not have a campaign in an election based on supporting any given set of reforms; but we do support the struggle of workers to defend their living standards and services. Nor do we seek to take over any movment of resistance to cuts like so many organisations on the left-wing do.

The real lesson is that, since all that capitalism has to offer is austerity and cuts, we should concentrate on organising to bring it to an end by political action aimed at ushering in a society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production so that there can be produce for directly for use and not for profit, and distribution on the principle of "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs". Socialism.

Let's be clear: we're not in this election for office, or power, we're in it to abolish a society in which people are made to work for the people who own all the property. We're in this election to call upon you to revolt.  If you want a state-free, class-free, money-free society where we co-operate to produce the things we need, then you need to revolt. You need to say that that is your priority. You need to tell your fellow-workers that you want them to revolt too. That is what putting a cross next to The Socialist Party candidate means, it means a rejection of the whole system of government and society, with no compromise. It's a big leap, but we are confident that you can make it. In the seats we are contesting we expected to come near enough last: best be honest, eh? But that it was quality not quantity that counts. We don't want people to vote for us, unless they mean it and understand what socialism is. Our platform is to promise nothing: if electors vote for us, they're making a promise, promising to campaign and fight for socialism, and letting their fellow workers know this. If the impossible happens and we succeed to be elected our delegate will vote, as instructed, in the interests of the workers, but we won't kid on that we can save services within the profit-driven market system where profits always come before people. As government funds are squeezed by falling commercial profits and thus a reduced tax take, they seek to cut or commercialise the costs of health care. Our election platform is to fight for the common ownership of the wealth of the world so that our health and other needs can be met directly without pecuniary consideration.

This time you will have a real choice. We in THE SOCIALIST PARTY are standing at this election to put forward an alternative to capitalism and the madness of the market. We're talking about a world community without any frontiers. About wealth being produced to meet people's needs and not for sale on a market or for profit. About everyone having access to what they require to satisfy their needs, without the rationing system that is money. A society where people freely contribute their skills and experience to produce what is needed, without the compulsion of a wage. If you want to vote for our party we're delighted. But we don't really want votes based on a misreading of what we are about. We are not promising to deliver socialism to you. We are not putting ourselves forward as leaders. This new society can only be achieved if we join together to strive for it. If you want it, then it is something you have to bring about yourselves. If you agree with this, you can show it by voting for THE SOCIALIST PARTY

Why we are in this election

 The Socialist Party has a long history of involvement in capitalist elections for our own purposes.  Parliament, for the Socialist Party, can in no way become the arena for the struggle for reforms, for the amelioration of the position of the working class. It is the task of the working class to wrest the State apparatus from the hands of the ruling class and replace it, thus is demonstrated quite clearly the basic difference between the tactic of the socialist, who enters parliament with revolutionary aims, and the tactics of the reformist. The parliamentarianism of the Socialist Party emerges as a tool for the elimination of parliamentarianism. Parliament is a definite form of the State, therefore, it cannot at all be the form of socialist society, which knows neither classes nor class struggle nor any state power. Consequently, the Socialist Party denies parliamentarianism as a form of the society of the future. 

Election campaigns should not be carried out in the spirit of the hunt for the maximum number of parliamentary seats but in the spirit of educating fellow-workers to the principles of the socialist revolution. Every socialist member of parliament must bear in mind that he is not a legislator seeking an alliance with other legislators, but has been sent into the enemy camp in order to carry out the Socialist Party decisions there. The member of parliament is responsible to the Party as in our rule-book. Members of parliament will use the parliamentary rostrum for the unmasking of the bourgeoisie and its hacks, the nationalists and patriots, and the reformists.

The workers’ discontent is already evident and is bound to grow enormously as standards of living  are reduced. The entire history of the labour movement shows that the workers tend to resort to independent political action when they find themselves defeated or frustrated on the economic field. There is every reason to believe that this tradition will assert itself more powerfully than ever in the coming period. Across the globe peoples long subjected to exploitation are rising up.  We enter this election campaign amid changing political conditions that forecast the opening of a new stage in the class struggle. Events are pushing the trade unions away from support of capitalist political parties. Working class political consciousness will be decisive in determining the outcome of the battles ahead. The status quo can’t be frozen indefinitely; new political explosions will occur and they will cause repercussions throughout the world labour movement. The very forces of capitalism that have acted to create crises are also operating to prevent any lasting social stability. The importance of an election to lies in the fact that it gives our party the opportunity to reach out fellow-workers when their political interest is at a higher level; and serves to measure the political shifts and tendencies caused by changes on the economic and political scene. We must use the election to teach workers the political the connection between their employer and the state, the connection between their status and the economic system. The bosses don’t intend class peace. They are resisting, not granting, concessions to labour; and the government is backing them up in what is rapidly becoming a war against the unions. The bosses are cutting production costs through automation, casualisation, out-sourcing and other devices intended both to squeeze more out of the workers still in a job. They resist wage demands and chip away at conditions and contracts. Union demands are met by management counter-demands calculated to eliminate long-established job conditions and to weaken union strength. The bosses are engaged in a war of attrition against its work-forces. Social ferment is increasing. Yet rising social tensions, generated by the economic recession, are beginning to get people in many walks of life to ask searching political questions; to start thinking for themselves and recognize the need to fight boldly to maintain freedom of thought, expression, association, and action.

 The Socialist Party engages in electoral processes to reach people who find themselves in this situation and present the socialist answer to these problems in clear language and comprehensible terms. Never has the need been greater than now for socialists to conduct a campaign against the machinations of capitalism. The Socialist Party will tirelessly reiterate and prove to our fellow-workers that their problems cannot be solved without the overthrow of the capitalist system. 

Media's Manipulation

"Very little about coverage of the British election could be considered objective, but this should not come as a surprise. Bias has to be seen within its context. Much of the mainstream media in the UK continued to express the pro-Conservative ideological stance of their owners..." explained London School of Economics media expert Shakuntala Banaji. "Loughborough University recently published a report that suggests that during the run-up to the election, the British media disproportionately attack Corbyn and Labour."

She continued, "The coalition government of 2010 and the current Conservative government have a history of playing up incidents of terrorism and security threats via the mainstream media in order to make themselves seem the most responsible choice of government with their "strong" militarist stance. A concurrent rhetoric about British values does include phrases and ideas that disavow British violence to others and which assume the "otherness" and difference of Muslim populations through a connection to violence." Shakuntala Banaji pointed out, "The misery created by Conservative cuts in funding to schools, hospitals, social care services, the police, prisons, the privatization of railway and water and the lack of housing in the UK can apparently be pushed to the back of people's minds by playing up an apparently "external" security threat from Islamic radicalization and in a linked vein, from migrants entering the UK."

We need you to join us

In the political and economic world we are expected never to "do it ourselves" but instead we are advised to let the experts do it. Professional politicians are paid to do our thinking for us. The Socialist Party almost alone have warned of the dangers of dependence on leaders. The working class today creates all wealth for the private owners of industry in return for a fraction of that wealth, called wages. With socialism, the same producers will create the wealth for all of society to enjoy. With those now unemployed, or senselessly occupied, put to useful endeavour, and with all the ingenious labour-saving inventions put to use, the hours of the working day will be shortened tremendously. Automation will cease to be a threat to job security, it will bring the blessing of greater abundance and more leisure time to enjoy that abundance. Instead of workers being divided into hostile groups competing for jobs that will pay enough to keep a family until next payday, we will work in harmony, cooperating to produce most efficiently the best possible products, since we will all directly benefit from each improvement in quality and quantity of the goods and services we have made available. Socialism is not a paternalistic society in which the good things are handed down to you. It is a society of economic equality, which is to say, equality of economic opportunity. You will have full voice and vote in the industrial democracy.  What a relief from strain and worry self-directed socialism will bring.  Increased leisure and general well-being made possible for all of us to lead decent lives. All will enjoy better health. The modern scourge of mental illness will be largely eliminated in a society freed from the causes of anxieties and tensions that now plague mankind.  The leisure which our shorter hours of work will give us will mean a great enrichment of our lives. Travel, the development of cultural appreciation, the best of entertainment -- all these will be ours.

At this point, you might be thinking, "Sounds like a heaven on earth. But we have to contend with human nature” Would you be opposed to helping create a "heaven on earth"? Do you really prefer voting for politicians who are pledged to maintain the present social system which is the exact opposite of that "heaven on earth" we have described? Is it your nature to desire peace or war? Are other humans different from you? Is it your nature to prefer the insecurity of employment and the exploitation under capitalism, or does your whole being yearn for economic freedom and security for yourself and your family? Are you proud of the fear-instilling and intimidating measures to curtail freedom of thought, or does your whole nature rebel at capitalism's encroachment upon your liberties? The Socialist Party maintains that the best in human nature will only be brought out by the best in social and economic conditions.

We are not prophets and we must restrict ourselves to depicting in only the broadest brush-strokes the picture of a future socialist society. The Socialist Party is committed to inspiring a vision of an alternative way of living where all the world's resources are owned in common and democratically controlled by communities on an ecologically sustainable and socially harmonious basis. We believe such a society will no longer require money, markets, or states, and can only be established democratically from the bottom up without the intervention of politicians or leaders. We are a principled movement for radical change seeking a society of cooperation and solidarity. The members of the Socialist Party share a vision of the future society as a worldwide, class-free, state-free and market-free cooperative commonwealth, based on the common ownership and democratic control of productive resources in the interests of the whole community, with production directly for use. The Socialist Party seeks to establish a free society, which will render impossible the growth of a privileged class and the exploitation of man by man. The Socialist Party therefore, advocates common ownership of the land, industry and all means of production and distribution on the basis of voluntary co-operation. In such a society, the wage system, finance, and money shall be abolished and goods produced and distributed not for profit, but according to human needs. The State in all its forms, embodying the ruling class, is the enemy of the workers and cannot exist in a free, classless society.

The Socialist Party calls upon this majority to vote for the change from private ownership and the political State to common ownership. You can "Do It Yourselves" at the ballot box. You are now carrying on all production in industry. You have only to take over and continue the operation of these same industries, producing for the use of all instead of the profit of the few. Having thus carried out your decision registered at the ballot box, you can then form new structure and networks to administer the new world you have created for yourselves.  This is the only way socialism may be attained - by "Doing It Yourselves."

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ignoring Yemen

The United Nation's top humanitarian co-ordinator has said Yemen is facing "total social, economic and institutional collapse."
Stephen O'Brien was speaking directly to the UN Security Council, telling them "urgent action is required".
Yemen is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, with almost seven million people on the brink of famine.
An outbreak of cholera has also killed 500 people, and the UN expects 150,000 cases in the next six months.
Mr O'Brien said the suffering of Yemenis was not a coincidence, or the "result of forces beyond our control" - but rather the fault of those involved and inaction by world powers.
"The people of Yemen are being subjected to deprivation, disease and death as the world watches," he said.
"Crisis is not coming, it is not looming, it is here today - on our watch," he added.
The UN envoy for Yemen, Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who had just returned from talks in the country.
But neither side has been willing to compromise, he said, and "the call for peace... is still falling on deaf ears".
This blog has drawn attention to the tragedy in Yemen quite a few times and when we havee indicated that wars are caused by capitalism, it too has fallen on deaf ears

Vote for a real change

Wars are being waged across the world that benefit no member of the working class. All over the world religious fanaticism has reached extreme levels. Global warming continues to wreak havoc with the environment with increasing extreme weather events in all around the world. Demagogues thrive on fear and insecurity. People are hurting and disillusioned with mainstream politics and increasingly angry at the austerity policies and the economic system destroying lives and the planet. Many believe that it's only a matter of time before a new crisis hits. People cannot rely on others to save them because fundamental change is required. When we work for change from the ground up and when we are building towards a future we know is possible with our own hands, we find our true power rather than hoping distant leaders. Change is not going to be smooth or easy. We are the ones we are looking to and it must be ourselves who grasp the opportunities to come together. The Socialist Party urgently needs to mobilise fellow-workers around the world for a process of transformation that can end the cause of all our social problems.  The Socialist Party is not resigned to the belief that the system cannot be changed because “that’s the way it is”. Our hope is to build a new system, a new pluralistic economic and political structure. The least we can do is begin by contributing to the solidification of that idea, involving ourselves in it as fully as we can. We seek to construct a new system geared towards turning to society into an effective decision-making entity. 

The battle between bosses and workers rages everywhere. Capitalism has failed miserably to provide the basic necessities of life for hundreds of millions of workers around the world. Millions upon millions are hungry and homeless. Millions of youth will never find work in capitalist society. Older workers are thrown on the scrap-heap when they no longer have any value to an employer. The boss class is presently ripping up many of the reforms that workers have fought hard to gain. Like all thieves, the capitalists have no honour among themselves and are constantly falling out causing wars across the globe. The only solution is the socialist revolution, otherwise, we will suffer capitalism's ceaseless exploitation and endless wars. Capitalism means the ruination of, our families, our friends, our fellow-workers and our neighbours. Productivity has reached undreamed of heights; skills are available and so are the raw materials. We have solved the problem of carrying on agriculture, the widespread system of transportation we have organise, the wonderful machinery of production we have built, have freed us from the danger of lack of food, clothing, or houses to live in because of the inability to produce them. We have been able to supply our needs. We have solved the problem of production. We can produce all that is needed to supply the necessities of life, as well as some of the comforts of life — education and the opportunity for recreation — to all the people. And, yet, people go without. Does not this indicate the bankruptcy of a system? The ruling class would like the workers to forget these things. Only world socialism offers an alternative to the misery of capitalism.

The Socialist Party wants a society where the people run everything in the interests of the world's people. We want a system that encourages everyone to become involved in running society for the common good and does not indoctrinate people to "look out for number one;" that opposes placing selfish interests above the social needs. We want society to help each person grow to his or her full potential. In a capitalist society, only the employing owning class are free--free to hire and fire, free to pillage and plunder, free to make our class fight for their profits. In contrast, socialism will allow no freedom to exploit workers. Instead of the principle "every man for himself" in socialism, it will be "to each according to need." Socialism will abolish the wage system and people will work because they want to, because their brothers and sisters around the world need their contribution. The measure of work will have nothing to do with what people receive. People should and will get what they need, within the limits of what everyone can produce. For the first time in history, workers will receive a fair share of society's wealth, regardless of the work they do. They will share in decision-making, including the distribution of goods and services according to society's needs. They will share shortage along with abundance. Socialism will abolish socially useless forms of work that exist now only for capitalist profit. Socialism will not need of lawyers, advertisers, or salespeople. In one stroke, it will do away with layers of needless government bureaucrats, as well as the hordes of petty supervisors and administrators who oversee and manage us for the bosses. It will free everyone to perform socially useful work, which is the source of true creativity. The socialist re-construction of society requires the active commitment of the majority. Socialism will not succeed unless people understand it, agree with it, and help to make it succeed. A society of free individuals in which all, through their own work, contribute to the liberation and enrichment of the lives of others, is the only environment in which any individual can really grow normally to stature. Business wants interchangeable docile and trained personnel for their offices and factories and voting sheep for their parties. They do not need independent, critical-minded individuals.

The Socialist Party is not interested in upholding capitalist economics. We are not asking anyone to vote for us who does not understand and want socialism; we are not in the business of providing reformist promises to patch the system back together. We are asking you to study the case for socialism so that when you do vote for socialism, you will, in effect, be voting for yourself for your own interests. We believe in the hard-headed understanding of knowing what we want as a class and the perseverance to achieve it. The Socialist Party has clearly explained for over a century that poverty and all the economic and social evils are caused by the ownership of the tools of production by a tiny minority with the consequent need for the vast majority to sell their mental and physical capabilities and work for wages with which to buy back some of what they produce. If that sounds crazy, that’s because it is! Production for profit has created the mess we are in.  The Socialist Party isn’t interested in making life less harsh for anyone within capitalism, but in overthrowing an economic system that makes, and will continue to make, life harsh for the vast majority. We hold that the root cause of today’s social problems is that a tiny minority owns the world’s natural resources, and all political parties, except those of the World Socialist Movement, exist to maintain the status quo. We advocate a society where the means of production and distribution are owned by everyone and where all production is to satisfy needs, not profit. In such a society, there will be no military budget, in fact, no military and no budget; no bombs, no taxes, no funding for anything; no fares, no prisons, no police, no racism, no rents, no homeless, no utility cut-offs, no corporations, no take-home pay, in fact, no money. A society based on common ownership, where all take what they require will eliminate buying and selling and has no need for money. It will be a case of “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.”

Raise your consciousness

Services and amenities are being cut and people shouldn't put up with this, but this is the fault of the capitalist profit system as it goes through one of its economic crises. So, it is misleading to blame those who administer this system rather than the system itself. The Socialist Party does not foster the illusion that things could be different under capitalism if only there were militant left-wingers such as those who endorse Jeremy Corbyn's leadership in charge. The only way capitalism can get out of a crisis is by cutting living standards. This is why the Socialist Party in this general election is campaigning for the abolition of capitalism, not for a change in the people running it or trying to make it work in a way it just cannot.

Parties promising to do things for others is not our idea of politics, so we are not making any promises to do anything for anyone. The Socialist Party is standing to give people the chance to show they reject the capitalist system where making profits always comes first. Capitalism is emerging from one of its periodic economic crises and the only way out for it is to restore profits by cutting the living standard of working people and their dependants. That’s why what our wages can buy has shrunk. It’s why benefits are being slashed. And it’s why the government has been cutting social services and benefits. In times of recession public services are the first thing that gets cut. This is the nature of capitalism and it’s time to wake up. We’re in a society that doesn’t work in our interests. That’s why, faced with an economic crisis, the government has been dismantling the Welfare State. And why local councils have been forced to do the same. It’s to leave businesses with more profit in the hope that this will lead them to start expanding again. That’s how capitalism works and can only work. It's not as if the government is imposing cuts because they're bastards (even if some of them could well be) who want to deprive pensioners of their outings or kick kids off their playgrounds or drive people out of their homes because they've got a spare bedroom. It's because they are in government when capitalism is in one of its slump periods and in slumps government spending has to be cut to help restore profits. Profits before people that's how capitalism works and can only work. There is no alternative within capitalism and it's misleading and even dishonest to suggest that there could be.  Capitalism is in crisis and they are making us pay for it. Austerity means increased hardship, attacks on the living conditions and wages of the working class, and a squeeze on those in receipt of benefits.  The growth in food banks is in reality a case of the capitalist state saving money by ridding itself of its role of providing basic support for destitute working class families – of, basically, feeding its hungry citizens – and forcing them to rely instead on charity. Socialism will provide food and drink, and much more, to everyone as of right in accordance with the principle 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs'. Nobody should have to rely on charity and nobody would.

There’s nothing we can do about it unless we dump the capitalist system. It won't be just the Tories but whichever party is in control. Conservative, Labour, LibDem politicians all accept capitalism and apply its economic law of profit before people. If Labour was in government they would be following the same economic course. In fact Labour did impose cuts to benefits and services. Politicians are just running the system in the only way it can be. It’s the system that’s to blame, not those elected to run it. That’s why changing the politicians in charge makes no difference. Instead of trusting in politicians we’ve have got to change the system ourselves, to one where the places where wealth is produced are no longer run as profit-seeking businesses but owned and democratically controlled by the community and used to provide a decent life for all.

The party’s main focus in elections is to use them as a platform from which to denounce the way the profit system works against the interest of the vast majority by imposing its logic of “no profit, no production” and “can’t pay, can’t have”. To argue instead for a world community without frontiers based on the planet’s resources being the common heritage of all humanity under democratic control and where the principle “from each according to their ability to each according to their needs” would apply.

 We’re looking for a real change. Not the kind of change that puts a different set of leaders in charge of the same old system. We’ve got a system which is ruled by money and the drive for profit and by its nature it causes insecurity, divisions and conflicts between people and grotesque inequality. It allows the world’s richest to own more wealth than half the world’s population put together.

This obviously won’t do. The Socialist Party stands for the kind of change that calls upon people over the whole planet to vote for a free access society without money and wages, without borders, without leaders and led. It’s a society based on democratic co-operation in using the world’s resources rationally to feed, clothe, house and give a decent life to everyone. It’s not a utopia either, it’s a real tangible prospect and more and more people are seeing that.

Our idea of revolution is not one of riots, barricades and blood on the streets. It’s about a complete change in the basis of society. From the present minority class ownership and production for profit to common ownership, democratic control and production to meet people’s needs. The present system can never be reformed to work in the interest of the majority. All the other candidates disagree and are promising to reform it in one way or another. But reform has been tried many times and look where we still are. The present system can only work by putting profits before people.

It’s not what governments, do that shapes how we live. It’s the economic system. And that’s what got to be changed. We shouldn’t vote for parties that are out to run the system. But we shouldn’t allow them a free run. That’s why the Socialist Party is contesting this election. To give people a chance to show they want an essentially peaceful democratic majority revolution to replace capitalism with a system in which productive resources have become the common heritage of all to be used for the benefit of all.
In a socialist society children's lives would be one great adventure , education a creative journey, and the free development of each child the condition for the free development of all children.

Things are not produced today to meet people’s needs. They are produced to make a profit. And that’s the cause of the problems working-people face. Under the profit system profits always come first. Before providing basic services like health care and transport, before improving conditions at work, and before providing decent housing. It’s profits first, people second. Under the profit system production is in the hands of profit-seeking business enterprises, all competing to maximise the rate of return on the money invested in them.

Decisions as to what to produce and how much, and how and where to produce it, are not made in response to people’s needs but in response to market forces. As a result, the health and welfare of the workforce and the effects on the environment take second place. The profit system can’t help doing this. It’s the only way it can work. Which is why it must go. The reduced incomes and cuts to services that working people are having to put up with are a direct result of the profit system being in an economic crisis. When this happens governments, whatever their political colour, have to cut their spending so as to give profits a chance to recover. As local councils are largely financed by central government this trickles down to the local level too.

One thing is certain. The Tories, LibDems and Labour have nothing to offer. They all support the profit system and are only squabbling over which of them should have a go at running it. If we are going to improve things we are going to have to act for ourselves, without professional politicians or leaders of any kind. We are going to have to organise ourselves democratically to bring about a society geared to serving human needs not profits.

So, what’s the alternative? Production to satisfy people’s needs. That’s the alternative.

But this can only be done if we control production and the only basis for this is common ownership and democratic control. Register your rejection of the profit system and your agreement with the alternative by placing your X against the candidate's name representing the Socialist Party. Social consciousness is the key to this common ownership society and that’s what we’re trying to achieve by asking people to vote for us on June 8th. 

CELIBACY RULES-OK? (weekly poem)


The Catholic Church has a shortage of trainee priests
and may consider a relaxation of their celibacy rule.

The Catholic Church is short of priests,
So may amend its rule;
To now enable married men,
To answer to the call.

Such is the Vatican's disdain,
For the whole human race;
It couldn't bear for normal men,
To show their actual face.

Thus as from the 12th Century, (1)
It's eunuchs in long frocks; (2)
Have ministered the sacraments,
To their quiescent flocks.

The Vatican's fictitious world,
Attracts a certain kind;
Of those eccentrics who possess,
A otherworldly mind.

Reality for them exists,
Behind their secret doors;
Where sex-starved clergy formulate, (3)
A list of human flaws.

That they insist are quite innate,
Yet must be overcome;
A contradiction atheists,
Consider somewhat dumb!

(1) At the Second Lateran Council held in 1139,
all Catholic Priests were forbidden to marry.

(2) Some scholars believe Biblical references
to eunuchs may also include celibates.

(3) Wikipedia lists numerous Popes who disobeyed
the celibacy rule including Benedict IX who allegedly
practised sodomy, bestiality and arranged orgies.

© Richard Layton

Exposing the Immigration Myths

The Migration Matters Trust, a cross-party group of politicians, business leaders and trade unionists concluded that unemployment would rise from 1.6 million today to 3.1 million if net migration fell below 100,000. It has not stood at that level since the mid-1980s during the Thatcher Government.
According to the study, the employment rate for British citizens – the percentage wanting to work who have jobs – would drop from 75 per cent to 70 per cent, the lowest level for 20 years. The number of jobless people chasing each vacancy would rise from two today to seven.
Barbara Roche, chair of Migration Matters and a former Labour Immigration Minister, said: "According to the Government’s own figures, in industries like hospitality, which have a higher proportion of migrant workers, seven out of 10 employees are Brits. These are the workers who will suffer if migration is cut.” She added: “The case for immigration isn’t about abstract altruism but British self-interest. By plugging skills gaps in businesses, immigration safeguards the jobs of British workers in those firms.”
The Office for Budget Responsibility, the independent fiscal watchdog, estimated last November that a 80,000 drop in net migration would create a £6bn-a-year hole in the public finances by 2020-21.
The Centre for Economic and Business Research found that cutting migration to below 100,000 would reduce the size of the British economy by between 1.5 per cent and 3 per cent by 2025. It highlighted the need to plug skills gaps to ease bottlenecks as a key driver of whether the economy grows or stagnates.
Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College, London, has said there is strong evidence that arbitrary cuts in migration would make the UK less prosperous, and could reduce GDP per head by several percentage points by 2030.

Increasing number of food banks

 Independent Food Aid Network finds at least 2,000 food banks giving out parcels, with demand continuing to grow. 

Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network recently reported that it gave out a record 1.2m food parcels to families and individuals in need in 2016-17, the ninth successive year in which demand had risen. The Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan), confirm that the Trussell figures represent only a partial picture of the scale of organised food bank provision, and suggest that the level of food bank use is far greater than headline figures indicate. There are at least 651 grassroots food banks operating independently of the Trussell network, ranging from tiny voluntary groups that give out a few food parcels each week, to larger charity operations that hand out thousands of parcels to hundreds of clients each year.

Prof Jon May, of Queen Mary University of London and chair of Ifan, said the figures emphasised the rapid rise in the number of food banks over the past five years, and the changing geography of poverty. “There are now food banks in almost every community, from the East End of London to the Cotswolds. The spread of food banks maps growing problems of poverty across the UK, but also the growing drive among many thousands of people across the country to try and do something about those problems”.

Rachel Loopstra, lecturer in nutrition at King’s College London and an expert in food insecurity, said: “Recent national survey data suggests that 8% of adults experienced not having enough money for food over 2016"

Monday, May 29, 2017

What we said in 1964 (as valid now as it was then)

Whenever there is an election the ordinary person, the man in the street—the working class voter—becomes suddenly very popular. Any number of political parties are anxious to please him and to make him all manner of tempting promises, if he in his turn will agree to vote for their candidate. Election time, in other words, is the time when there is an enormous hunt for Votes—for your vote.

The bait which is used in this hunt is largely made up by promises. All the other parties offer this bait, and the generosity of their promises is usually in inverse proportion to the likelihood of their getting power. The Labour and Conservative Parties cannot be too extravagant; the Liberals can be a little more wild; the Communists can promise almost anything. And so on.

Most of the promises in this election are about things like modernisation, housing, education, pensions, wages and prices, war and peace. To read the literature of the other parties, it seems that all that has to be done to solve overnight all the problems connected with these issues is to vote for their candidate. They will all, it seems, bring British industry up to date, replace all the slums with new houses, give everyone a fair chance of the best education, increase pensions, keep prices stable while wages increase, banish war from the earth.

These promises sound very fine and in one election after another millions of working people vote for them. And presumably, when they do so, they think that they are contributing to the solution of our problems.

But let us stop and think about it.

Firstly, it is obvious that election promises are not a new thing. Political parties have been making them for as long as anyone can remember—and always about the same sort of problems.

Now what has been the result of all this?

The housing problem remains with us; despite repeated promises to deal with it, slums are developing faster than new houses are being built. For the workers, who depend on their wage to live, housing is still an aspect of their general poverty.

The sort of education we get is governed by the financial standing of our parents. Even if a working class lad wins his way to university he is only studying to become a different type of worker—one with a degree behind him.

Millions of old age pensioners are living on the tightrope of destitution—and it only needs something like a severe winter for many of them to loosen their precarious hold on life.

Prices continue to rise, as they have done steadily since the war. No government has yet given a free rein to the level of wages—they have all tried to restrain them. And whatever the respective level of prices and wages, we always find that our wage packet only just covers our food, clothing, entertainment and whatever else goes to keep us ticking over.

War is just as much a universal problem as ever. At the moment there are only comparatively minor incidents, punctuated by more serious clashes such as Cuba and Berlin. But over it all hangs the threat of another world conflict, this time fought out with nuclear weapons.

It is not accidental that the politicians make so many promises and that they have so little effect upon the ailments they are supposed to cure. The world is full of chronic problems, but this is not because political parties have not thought up reforms which are supposed to deal with them nor because their leaders are not clever or knowledgeable enough.

The fact is that the problems persist whichever party is in power—and this suggests that their roots go deep into the very nature of modern society.

We live today in a social system which is called capitalism, The basis of this system is the ownership by a section of the population of the means of producing and distributing wealth —of factories, mines, steamships, and so on. It follows from this that all the wealth which we produce today is turned out with the intention of realising a profit for the owning class. It is from this basis that the problems of modern society spring.

The class which does not own the means of wealth production—the working class—are condemned to a life of impoverished dependence upon their wages. This poverty expresses itself in inferior housing, clothes, education, and the like. In the end, it expresses itself in the pathetic destitution of the old age pensioner—a fate which no old capitalist ever faces.

The basis of capitalism throws up the continual battle over wages and working conditions with attendant industrial disputes. It gives rise, with its international economic rivalries, to the wars which have disfigured man's recent history.

Every other party in this election stands for capitalism, whatever they may call themselves. And whatever their protestations, they stand for a world of poverty, hunger, unrest and war. They stand for a world in which no human being is secure.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain, alone, stands for Socialism. We stand for a world in which everything which goes to make and distribute wealth will be owned by the people of the world. Because Socialism is the direct opposite of capitalism, it follows that when it is established the basic problems of capitalism will disappear. There will be no more war, no more poverty. Man will live a full, abundant life; we shall be free.

But Socialism cannot be brought about by promises. It needs a knowledgeable working class who understand and desire it. They alone can establish the new world order.

That is why we have a candidate in this constituency. He does not make you any promises; he does not try to convince you that he will do anything for you; he does not even seek your vote. What he—and the party which he represents—are offering you is the case for a new social system. We are seeking to spread the knowledge of Socialism and to give as many people as possible the opportunity of voting for a world of abundance, peace and freedom.

Bored of elections? Try voting for a change.

Not enough profit, no production. That's the way the capitalist system works and why it should be replaced by a society based on common ownership and democratic control.

The General Election is here and your ballot paper offers you a dozen versions of the same old stew. But wait: there’s a morsel that's a bit more tasty: you can vote for the abolition of capitalism. You can say yes to forever scrapping this cock-eyed system that takes from the poor and gives to the rich; that preaches austerity for the 95% whilst the elite get yet richer; where millionaire leaders shed crocodile tears over poverty as they live in luxury. Somehow it has been sold to us that this is normal and only way to organise society.

The election coming up seem to be very similar to every other. Your vote is needed to clear up the present issue of the day and the party asking for it is the only party who can sort it out. But for all the promises nothing ever gets better.  Nothing ever gets resolved.  The solution isn’t around the corner; this has gone on for ages.  The political parties appear to be trying to clean a window with a dirty cloth and rather than swap it for a new one they harangue each other about how they use it. The Conservatives see nothing wrong with the dirty cloth, all that we need for a brighter British window is to apply it more firmly, roll up our sleeves and try a little harder.  UKIP see nothing wrong with the dirty cloth either, but feel its use should be guided by a purely British hand.  Labour is appalled!  Labour feels that by wringing out the cloth and changing how it’s applied will lead to a fairer, more prosperous window.  The Left feels this doesn’t go far enough, only by cleansing the cloth and a complete reorganisation of how the window is scrubbed will do.  No matter who takes charge, the vision of the future remains dull, there is only so much that can be done with a dirty cloth.

But we do possess a choice. We could share all the world, scrap capitalism and abolish the monetary system. We will not have achieved salvation but many of the idiocies of the current capitalist society will have gone: life will not be quite so problematic. No longer would the accountant who finds tax-havens for the rich to hide their wealth to avoid tax earn a thousand times more than the carers looking after the health of your old aunt – because there would no longer be wages.  No more wage slavery, just imagine.  You’d be able to do what you do and be able to take what you need.

You will no doubt be told it’s mad and totally unachievable.  But think what would have been said about the internet or triple heart bypass surgery 50 years ago. Human beings are incredibly intelligent – just look at how much and how quickly we can achieve things when we set our minds to it – and we in the Socialist Party are simply saying the world can be organised in a more intelligent way.  It cannot be seen as either intelligent or necessary that most of the wealth of the world is given to so few. All the other parties offer you some variant of what we have already – possibly a few more checks and balances. Sadly history shows that, whatever the government, the rich come out on top.  We are here to say it need not be like this.  Join in this election and vote for a change, vot for the Socialist Party's candidates. Every other political party believes that capitalism can be reformed and made 'better' .  In this sense the Socialist Party is unique. 

Our understanding is that our Earth is part of the universal offshoot of the Sun and has evolved over the vast period of time. Subsequently life developed and evolved and human society itself arose and developed with the changing ecology. It has been a wonderful evolution. The Socialist Party considers that our present 21st century society has now passed its zenith of useful development – “past its sell-by date” – as did past societies, the Hunter-Gatherers, the Greeks and Romans, etc.  We think that it is now time to take the next step. To replace the narrow, competitive, divisive, private ownership of the means of production with an open community of those means and true democratic control by all. To make this change, we have to understand and want it. Yes, we have to think about it – despite the constant control of the news. Yes, it is now possible. It is a basic society change for the better where all the human family give freely of their ability and in true democracy, having freely of their needs as produced. True Socialism.

Collectively, we have marvellous scientific and intellectual abilities, but the present system has inbuilt unbalances and conflicts and is inherently flawed and cannot act in the interest of the vast majority of men, women and children – to say nothing of the natural world. Let us rise to our true civilisation human nature and make our world a better place for us and all to come. Think about it! In the world today, the resources, technology and skills exist to feed, clothe and house every man, woman and child on Earth. United Nations agencies confirm this. So, why do people waste their time arguing about nations and borders i?
Whether they are for or against the EU, all the UK parties in the current parliament are united on one thing: one way or another all support a system of society (capitalism) which puts profit before people.

Does anyone really believe that the problems of the working people of this or any other country (“the 99%” who do all the work but see little to show for it) will be solved while the wealth of the world is controlled by a small minority? There is one party standing in this election which really wants to change things. We propose the establishment by peaceful means of a truly democratic society in which the majority determine how human needs are met. Working people everywhere already run society from top to bottom, but we run it for the people who own it, rather than for ourselves. If we owned the world in common, we could provide plenty for everyone. No need for buying and selling, just sharing and free access. Instead of spending our time fighting over scraps, we could work together to make life better for all.

The Socialist Party challenges all other parties because it knows that capitalism can only be run in the interest of the few.  For us the question is whether the “national interest” and the people’s interests are the same.  The answer is no.

The Socialist Party is part of the World Socialist Movement.  For 113 years we have organised without leaders practising real democracy.  A vote for us in the General elections is a vote for yourself.  Our goal is not to run capitalism for you in the interest of individual nations.  Our goal is to unite the people of the world so that we, the people, can run it in the interest of ourselves. We will not stand for starvation in a world that can feed everyone more than adequately.  We will not see those who work and create the wealth struggle while those who manipulate thrive.  We will not see the environment destroyed in the name of profits.  We will not see honest, hard working people turned against each other in war to serve a minority’s interests.

The Socialist Party calls for socialists, then their votes. Don’t waste your vote supporting politicians who promise to solve your problems but never do.