Monday, 3 September 2007

SSP statement on victory against cuts

Comrades from England (and the world) may not be aware of the plan of the SNP/Lib-Dem controlled Edinburgh City Council to axe about 22 schools and nurseries as well as implement further cuts that would result in job losses and other things that nobody on the left likes. Well, whether you were aware of it or not, you will be happy to learn that the SNP decided to scrap the plan after a spontaneous movement of students and parents rocked their shocks. The Lair brings you the SSP statement on this very heartening victory

Under an onslaught of protest from school students, community activists, parents and trade unionists, SNP councillors on Edinburgh City Council have been forced to end their support for a devastating series of schools, nurseries and community centre closures.

A general strike of UNISON members employed by the council brought services to a standstill on Thursday 23rd of August, heavily supported by school students and community campaigns such as Save Our Old Town and Save Meadowbank.

This was followed by a city wide protest of school students on Friday 31st that saw children from primary to secondary taking protest action.
Withdrawal of SNP support for the closures effectively ends the immediate threat to essential community resources.

Anti cuts campaigners are jubilant after a highly effective Edinburgh wide campaign was rapidly mobilized with the support of existing community campaigns and hundreds of new activists.
Former MSP Colin Fox and UNISON activist Catriona Grant played a key role in brining together trade union and community activists.
The SSP was also represented amongst the school students by Lothians Scottish Socialist Youth organiser Sarah Higgins.

Yet again the people of Edinburgh have taken protest action in defence of public services and for people, not profit.

The previous Labour administration was beaten back in its attempt to privatise the entire municipal housing stock by a grass roots tenants campaign that defeated a multi million pound advertising blitz.
Now Edinburgh communities have again taken action that has defeated attempts to dismantle municipal facilities.

The SSP has been at the heart of the movement to defend public services in Edinburgh and the Lothians since our inception nearly a decade ago and are proud to be a continuing part of the people’s battle to defend the basic principle of public services; for people not profit.


Charlie Marks said...

I was aware, and it is good news.

Say, given any thought to joining the Witanagemot Club yet?

Korakious said...

Can you explain a bit what's it all about? Would fighting for socialist hegemony there be a bit of an uphill struggle?

Charlie Marks said...

The Witanagemot Club is for bloggers who support an English Parliament, regardless of ideological hue - so it's not about fighting for socialist hegemony - by crowding out the right or by winning arguments for socialism - it's about ensuring that the case for devolution in England is not the preserve of Tories.

Actually, I've recomended to a Welsh comrade that something similar - a club and a feed aggregator - be set up to act as a focal point for the debate about Welsh self-government.

By the way, at first I thought that you meant England - "Would fighting for a socialist hegemony there be a bit of an uphill struggle?" And perhaps you did mean England?

Korakious said...

I actually meant the general "movement" for an English parliament. As far as I know, the English left has completely ignored the issue, tied to "Britain" as it is and I'm afraid that when demand for an English parliament actually does develop into a movement, it will be almost entirely taken over by little Englanders, or worse.

Charlie Marks said...

You are right, the "Brit" left is bad on this issue. Constitutional questions are beyond the ken of revolutionary socialists and as for the reformists... they run scared of devolution for England fearing Scottish and Welsh independence will be enabled as a result, thus leaving a Tory-dominated England.

Still, I reckon that it wouldn't do any harm for you to join the Witanagemot Club. You'll see a marked increase in potty people posting on the blog... which can be amusing. Or harmful?

AN said...

On Witangemot, I think we can count the number of English socialists who take the issue of the break up fo the Uk seriously on the fingers of one hand.

But back to the main aricle, well done, and this is exactly the correct way for the SSP to be working to rebuild. :o)

Korakious said...

@ charlie,

Ah what the hell, I'll join.

@ andy

That's true. I think the political establishment is pretty fragile in Scotland, with the SNP engaging in blatant populism while also having to serve business interests. I think we'll have quite a few opportunities to build politically and despite the whole Sheridan affair, I am sure there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Charlie Marks said...

Given that it looks increasingly like Sheridan is moving out of politics and into a galloway-type career - do you suppose there will be many solidarity peeps returning to the SSP?

Korakious said...

Well, I am quite sure that some of the folks that were deceived by Sheridan's whole "witches' cabal" story might actually come back after Solidarity implodes. On the other hand, it is very possible that a large chunk will simply drop out of politics altogether, as many comrades actually did during the split.

Then, there's also the lot that wouldn't dare return to the SSP, or if they did, they'd probably not be allowed back in.

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