Thursday, April 29, 2010
Scottish Socialists in the upcoming U.K. Elections
Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
The working class and peoples of Britain face a ruling class offensive which will intensify over the coming period.
It is an offensive against public services, incomes, living standards and trade union rights in order to boost monopoly profit. Not content with the banks receiving the biggest bail-out in the history of British capitalism, big business aims to make workers and their families pay to serve the interests, first and foremost, of the City of London's financial institutions.
It is also an offensive which will be stepped up regardless of which party wins the forthcoming General Election. The likelihood is that a Tory government will make earlier and deeper cuts in public spending than a New Labour one. A Labour government may also be more vulnerable to trade union pressure not to outlaw industrial action in 'essential' services.
But both main parties intend to prolong the imperialist occupation of Afghanistan and to maintain the expansion of nuclear power and a new generation of British nuclear weapons.
Therefore this coalition is contesting the General Election to show that there is a clear left-wing alternative to policies of public sector cuts, privatisation, militarism and environmental degradation.
We recognise that there will be Labour and non-Labour candidates standing in the general election who agree with our policies, who share our socialist aspirations and who will be supported by left and labour movement organisations participating in our coalition.
We also recognise that there are different strategic views about the way forward for the left in Britain, whether the Labour Party can be reclaimed by the labour movement, or whether a new workers' party needs to be established.
But our coalition is united on the need for mass resistance to the ruling class offensive, and for an alternative programme of left-wing policies to help inspire and direct such resistance. These are the policies which we therefore propose to put before the people:
PUBLIC OWNERSHIP, NOT PRIVATISED PROFIT
Stop all privatisation, including the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), and the immoral privatisation of prisons. Bring privatised public services and utilities back into public ownership under democratic control.
NO CUTS - QUALITY PUBLIC SERVICES
Take rail back into public ownership and build an integrated, low-pollution public transport system.
For a high-quality, free National Health Service under democratic public ownership and control.
Stop council estate sell-offs and build eco-friendly, affordable public housing.
Good, free education for all, under democratic local authority control; student grants not fees.
Keep Royal Mail as a publicly-owned service, not a privatised cash cow.
JOBS, NOT HANDOUTS TO BANKERS & BILLIONAIRES
Bring banks and finance institutions into genuine public ownership under democratic control, instead of giving huge handouts to the very capitalists who caused the crisis.
Tax the rich. For progressive tax on rich corporations and individuals, with a crackdown on tax avoidance.
For massive investment in environmental projects.
EMPLOYMENT & TRADE UNION RIGHTS
Repeal the anti-trade union laws.
A minimum wage set at half average adult male earnings, with no exemptions.
Invest to create and protect jobs, including for young people.
Solidarity with workers taking action to defend jobs, conditions, pensions, public services and trade unions. Reinstate full trade union rights to prison officers.
PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT - STOP GLOBAL WARMING
Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions - otherwise climate change, caused by capitalism, will destroy us.
Invest in publicly-owned and controlled renewable energy.
Move to sustainable, low-pollution industry and farming - stop the pollution that is destroying our environment.
Recognise that many of our planet's resources are limited and that capitalism fritters them away for profit.
Produce for need, not profit, and design goods for reuse and recycling.
DECENT PENSIONS & BENEFITS
Restore the pre-Thatcher real value of pensions. Reinstate the link with average earnings.
Protect entitlement to benefits; for living benefits; end child poverty.
DEMOCRACY, DIVERSITY & JUSTICE
Welcome diversity and oppose racism, fascism and discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, disability, sexuality, age and all other forms of prejudice.
Defend the right to asylum. No scapegoating of migrant workers.
Ensure women have genuinely equal rights and pay.
Defend our liberties and make police and security democratically accountable.
SOLIDARITY NOT WAR
Bring home all British troops from Afghanistan immediately - no more wars for resources.
No more spending on a new generation of nuclear weapons, huge aircraft carriers or irrelevant eurofighters - convert arms spending into socially useful products and services.
An independent foreign policy, based on international solidarity – no more being a US poodle, no moves towards a capitalist, militarist United States of Europe, no Lisbon Treaty.
For a democratic socialist society run in the interests of the people not the millionaires. For democratic public ownership of the major companies and banks that dominate the economy, so that production and services can be planned to meet the needs of all and to protect the environment.