Monday, 17 February 2014

Video: The Arab Sting And It's Consequences For The Global South



Video recording of Sukant Chandan (of Sons of Malcolm blog) and Dan Glazebrook (of The Rebel Griot blog) giving a presentation on The Arab Sting And It's Consequences For The Global South.

Was originally streamed live on 16th Feb. Skip to 11min 30secs for the start of the presentation and avoid all the pre-match chair shuffling and sandwich sharing...

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-arab-sting-and-its-consequences-on-the-global-south


Speakers:

Dr Abdal Aziz - Aljud Charity 

George Shire - Zimbabwean Liberation War veteran, scholar and political activist

Ammar Waqqaf - Syrian Social Club 

Dan Glazebrook - Author of 'Divide and Ruin, The West's Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis

Chaired by Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm 

On the third anniversary of the pro-nato uprising in Libya, the Libyan Aljud Charity and Sons of Malcolm presents an important conversation exploring the consequences of the 'Arab Spring' on the middle east' and North Africa, and more widely what this has resulted for the the vast majority of Humanity in the GlobalSouth.

This event brings together speakers and attendees who are critical and radical voices loyal to the independence and Black and Brown liberation struggles of the GlobalSouth against white supremacy and imperialism.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Scottish Government effectively abolish ConDem Bedroom Tax in Scotland




It is perverse that Labour are claiming credit for this. The Scottish National Party government did not need a single Labour or other opposition vote to pass this. And it is Labour councils across Scotland that were prematurely implementing the tax by sending out eviction notices. Of course if Labour MPs were bothered enough to get off their corrupt arses to turn up in Westminster to vote for their own bill, this would never have needed to be done. But they didnt.

Bedroom Tax: Hated Tory tax is banished from Scotland after vote lasting less than 10 seconds
(extracted from Daily Record - 6th Feb 2014)


Scottish Government Finance Secretary John Swinney (SNP) announced he would provide the full funds needed to undo the Con-Dem cut.
Delighted campaigners were last night organising a Glasgow rally to celebrate their victory.
Bin The Bedroom Tax Coalition’s Sean Clerkin said: “This is the news everyone who has been involved in the campaign has been waiting for.
“I want to commend the Record for their fantastic coverage of this unjust policy.”
Swinney confirmed the lifeline as his £30billion budget for 2014-15 was approved at Holyrood.
He said the Scottish Government will spend more than £244million helping those affected by UK Government welfare cuts between 2013-14 and 2015-16 – at the expense of spending in other areas.
He confirmed an additional £15million has been found so the entire £50million required would be available in benefits to social housing tenants judged to have a spare bedroom.
Swinney said: “None of the funding is a solution to the bedroom tax. This is about mitigation, about picking up the pieces from Westminster’s iniquitous policy.
“The only real solution is to scrap the tax and this Government believes the only way to do that is for this Parliament to have full powers over welfare in Scotland.”
Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) said, 
"This is not a long-term solution but it’s enough to ensure people are protected from the effects of the tax.
The only real solution is to scrap the tax for good.
We are in the ridiculous position of having to find money to mitigate the impact of a policy imposed on us by a government we didn’t vote for.
To make matters worse, we are being forced to ask Westminster’s permission to allow us to spend all of this money – Scotland’s money.
But the cost of mitigating the tax in Scotland is a drop in the ocean compared to the £2billion of welfare cuts being inflicted on Scotland’s most vulnerable in the current year.
Nicola Sturgeon speaks in Perth 

The Left and Scottish Independence: Break Britain or Save the Empire for the Workers?





One of the most common arguments we hear from leftists against supporting Scottish independence is that this will somehow weaken or divide the British Labour Movement & the struggle for socialism. You will hear this line from Labour Party hacks all the way through to anarchist idealists.

But it completely fails to address this simple fact. There is NO united British labour movement. There is NO struggle for socialism. There is not even anything approaching a serious resistance to cuts.

There is nothing happening now that will in anyway be threatened by Scottish independence.

Quite the contrary is true. Scottish independence will actually, pretty much at a stroke, meet the demands of most of the campaigns that do actually exist; whether it be over the bedroom tax, immigration rights, ending welfare cuts, anti-war, anti-nuclear, etc.

And by doing so this can only provide a positive example for those fighting against the commonly held belief south of the border that cuts & war are necessary, that there is no alternative. Because the alternative will be right there, just next door. Far from weakening the position of the working-class in this island, it will strengthen it.

Really, the real fear behind this argument is this; that independence will weaken not the spurious & ill defined 'labour movement', which no longer even exists in any meaningful sense anyway, but the Labour Party. That without Scotland, England will be condemned to endless tory governments. We will put aside the rather offensive implication that the nation of Scotland should continue to have to suffer Tory governments that is never votes for, just on the off chance that Labour get elected sometimes, and point out two things.

One, Scotland has only twice provided enough Labour seats to determine the outcome of a UK general election. Twice. And the last time was 38 years ago. Every other time a Labour government has been elected, it has been elected on a majority of English seats.

Second, F*** Labour. Does anyone still actually believe that the Labour Party & the trade unions are just holding back waiting for their moment before they take power & nationalise the top 200 monopolies & send the Royals into exile? Has anyone ever seriously believed that at any time in the last 20 years?

Labour MPs couldn't even be bothered to vote for their own bill to end the bedroom tax. It could be gone, right now, and the ConDems left in disarray. But no, they couldnt even bring themselves to do that. And meanwhile the biggest trade unions, largely based in the public sector, are falling over themselves trying not to rock the boat as they continue to implement government cuts on their behalf.
(Labour thought of it. England voted for it. Scottish Govt axed it.)

So much for the 'British labour movement'.

So what then is left of the argument? 'We want fewer borders, not more'. By keeping powerful, aggressive imperialist states intact? Nice try hippy. But if there is ever to be unity of peoples it will only come about when the imperialist states have been broken and shattered, and THEN we could see some global unity being actually able to develop - and even then it wont be coming from anywhere north of the Med or the Rio Grande.

Unless by breaking down borders you mean you just want the British Empire back ruling the world, which, frankly might not be far from the truth when it comes down to it for some of these white 'one-world' defenders of 'universal human values'. You know, the ones who dropped spreading 'civilisation' for delivering 'civil-rights'. On cruise missiles.

Okay, so I guess that's it. Don't be coming at us with your 'no borders', trying to claim the red in the Union Flag is for some mythical 'working-class unity', when we know it is the stain of the blood of the workers of the world. It just won't wash.



They call us 'narrow nationalists' and hint at fascism and racial hate, division and sectarianism, oppression & impoverishment, even though they know it is contrary to the ideals of every single political formation in Scotland that supports independence.

But these are the defining characteristics of the Kingdom they wish to keep 'united'. Of the people they find themselves standing alongside. This insatiable need to dominate and divide, hate and plunder, all wrapped up in the red, white & blue. That is the nationalism the 'internationalists' defend when they oppose Scotland's independence.

Because in the final analysis, it really is this simple. Breaking the British State will be the greatest achievement of the people of this island in 300 years of bloody Union. And it will be the greatest gift we can give to a world where not one corner has not at some point felt the boot of British imperialist brutality on it's neck. And where far too many still do.

'Yes' in 2014 isn't just for the people of Scotland. It is for all the people of this island. All of the people of this world. It really is that big. This small little corner of northern Europe can make a decision that really will make a difference world-wide. A modest one perhaps, but it is real and; it is very much achievable. No, it isn't the Bolshevik revolution. No one ever claimed otherwise. But it is revolutionary. And if you can't understand why, then you really do need to go homeward and think again.

Sucks that being gay is illegal in Russia. Or at least it would if it were true...

Sucks that being gay is illegal in Russia. Or at least it would if it were true...

"The age of consent currently stands at 16 since 2003, regardless of sexual orientation.

Transsexual and transgender people can change their legal gender after corresponding medical procedures since 1997.[note 1]
Homosexuality was officially removed from the Russian list of mental illnesses in 1999 (after endorsement of ICD-10).

As far as adoptions of children: Single persons living within Russia, regardless of their sexual orientation, can adopt children. Russian children can be adopted by a single homosexual who lives in a foreign country provided that country does not recognize same-sex marriage.[15] A couple can adopt children together, as a couple, only if they are a married heterosexual couple."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Russia

So, perhaps not 100% perfect then, but still pretty damn legal.

Meanwhile, In the good ol' US of A...

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/08/05/gay_people_are_still_being_arrested_for_having_consensual_sex_in_some_red.html