Workers’ campaign in Scotland

Communist candidates say ‘no cuts, no closures’

THE LAUNCH of the Communist Party’s election campaign in Scotland last weekend was impressive.

On Saturday morning comrades were out on the streets introducing the candidates and selling the Weekly Worker.

Our rallying cry of ‘No cuts, no closures’ had a powerful resonance in Tayside, where budget cuts were announced on Thursday.

The district council in Dundee is held by Labour, while the Regional is hung but SNP - dominated. Neither council challenged central govern-ment’s spending cap - Labour even took pride in it. Council tax will rise on average by 6.7%, well above the rate of inflation. Water charges have also been increased. But, despite the increase, services are being slashed.

Working class voters, fed up with the lies and attacks of SNP and Labour, were interested to hear why the Communist Party was different and that we were about liberation, not about bringing back the Soviet Union.

Mary Ward, selling papers outside the Dundee election shop in the Hilltown (where she is a candidate), was told by one passer-by that “what we need is a revolution”!

Down the road in Lochee, communist candidate Dominic Handley was campaigning against hospital closures. Most shoppers stopped to sign our petition and hear why Dominic was saying, “No to any rationing in the health service”.

In Dundee centre the same slogan had people queuing up to sign the petition and take our election manifesto which demands that the “NHS should meet the growing needs of the population, not operate according to what capitalism can afford”.

On Sunday people on the doorstep in Lochee were surprised to see the Communist Party, but most were very interested in what we had to say. Everyone took a paper and manifesto and some wanted us to come back regularly with the Weekly Worker.

We still have a long way to go to turn the sympathy we received on the streets of Scotland into action. We need to convince workers not only to vote communist but to join us in the fight against this system. People are quite obviously completely fed up with the bosses, their system and their parties. The Communist Party in the local election on April 6 is raising the alternative that workers in Scotland so desperately need.

Lee-Anne Bates

Sweatshop conditions

THE LAUNCH of the campaign was celebrated on Saturday evening at a production of Banner Theatre’s Sweat Shop. The production is a harrowing indictment of the treachery of union bureaucrats and the lack of any independent working class organisation across the world.

Song, slide projection and taped interviews with strikers and sweat shop workers - whose “hidden hands” create the bosses wealth with their sweat - tell the story of appalling working conditions and pay. This has been allowed to continue and escalate in sweat shops around the world: from Burnsalls in Birmingham, to Nike shoe workers in Indonesia, to Levi Strauss machinists in San Antonio, Texas.

The stories and music left you with haunting images of the horrific conditions forced upon workers as a result of our failures. The production looked forward to a future of working class unity and strength, but the lack of, and urgent need for, working class organisation was starkly exposed.