Alex Miller

More than 120 branch delegates and a substantial number of visitors attended a conference in Glasgow on March 3 to finalise the Scottish Socialist Party’s manifesto for May’s Scottish Parliament elections.
On February 24, 60,000 anti-war protesters took to the streets of central London in a demonstration against the US-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and against the threat of military action now hanging over Iran. On the same day, thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Glasgow, demonstrating against the Labour Party’s plans to upgrade the Trident nuclear weapons facilities based in the Clyde estuary.
An official European Union report issued on February 20 revealed that one in six people in the EU live below national poverty thresholds. The February 21 British Morning Star reported that according to the European Commission’s social inclusion report 10% of people in the EU — one of the wealthiest regions in the world — live in households in which no-one has a job.
A man released without charge after a week in detention as one of the latest batch of police “terror suspects” has branded Britain as “a police state for Muslims”. Abu Bakr, one of nine men arrested in high-profile raids in Birmingham on January 31, made the comment on the BBC Newsnight program following his release on February 7. One other man was released along with Bakr; another seven are still being held in police custody.
More than 200,000 public service workers in the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) held a nationwide strike on January 31, which is being followed by a two-week overtime ban. The February 1 Morning Star reported that “the action hit 200 government departments, halted important court cases and paralysed passport offices, benefit centres, and tax offices”. In addition, the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff was forced to abandon proceedings, and in London the British Library, Tate Modern and Tate Britain were closed.
By Ian D. Thatcher
Routledge, 2003
240 pages
Parliamentarians from the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), the Dutch Socialist Party, the Greens and the Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru party were arrested on January 8 following a protest at the Faslane nuclear submarine base on the River Clyde. The protest was organised by Faslane 365, which is promoting a year-round blockade of the base.
Murder in Samarkand: A British Ambassadors Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror
By Craig Murray
Mainstream Publishing 2006
400 pages $59.95 hardback.
Scottish Socialist Party MSP Frances Curran has described as a “democratic outrage” a decision by the Scottish Parliament’s Communities Committee to block the SSP’s bill to provide every schoolchild in Scotland with a free nutritious meal each day.
Scottish Socialist Party MP Rosie Kane was released from Cornton Vale women’s prison on November 8 after serving half of a 14-day jail sentence. The sentence was imposed when Kane refused to pay a £300 fine for participating in a 2005 anti-nuclear weapons protest at the Scottish parliament
Marx’s Das Kapital: A Biography
By Frances Wheen
Allen & Unwin 2006
130 pages $22.95
At its first conference to be held since Tommy Sheridan and his supporters split from the Scottish Socialist Party to set up a rival organisation, SSP national convenor Colin Fox said that the party had been through a “real-life horror movie, a nightmare so acute that it would have broken other parties completely”, but “with every passing week, more and more people are overheard saying that it was the SSP that was telling the truth all along”.


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