As our new government sit down with their glasses of wine discussing how they can cut the living standards of the ordinary people, they will also be making rumbling noises about, us all being in this together. They will be discussing cuts to health, education, social services, social benefits, pensions, council budgets and all this will be tied in with higher unemployment. They will bleat about it being necessary and we will all need to tighten our belts.

          However, we should be aware of a few facts, not one of those working hard to implement these savage cuts to our standard of living will in any way be affected by those cuts. You see, our new cabinet is really a cabal of extremely rich individuals. Our two public school boys at the helm are part of a cabinet that has in its little cosy circle no less than 25 millionaires!! Can you see them doing anything that might hurt their positions of wealth and power in an attempt to help the lot of the ordinary people? Do they even understand the problems of the ordinary people? Do they really care??

        You can rest assured that they will be working hard to safeguard their own positions of wealth, power and privilege. They will be working in conjunction with their rich millionaire/billionaire friends from Cameron’s cousin the Queen to his buddy Lord Ashcroft, making sure that the wealth continues to travel up the way into their sweaty little hands and we continue to slavishly accept our position of humble, subservient workforce. They will of course every four years or so give us the privilege of changing which millionaires will preside over the transfer of wealth in the usual upwards fashion.

          Surely we must all be nuts to accept such a ludicrous situation. We live in perpetual struggle producing all that this planet has and they sit on top of us licking up the cream. These parasites need us to maintain their position of wealth, power and privilege, we, on the other hand do not need them to produce a thing. It is our world, we have earned it by the blood,  sweat and tears of our ancestors, all we need is the will and the courage to take it back.

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      Culture and Sport Glasgow workers from unions Unison, Unite, BECTU and GMB will be striking on Friday 28 May and Monday 31 May. This is a continuation of the fight from the strikes on the April 30 and May 6.         

      Strikers will again be picketing major Culture and Sport Glasgow holdings across the city, including Kelvingrove Museum, the People’s Palace and the Burrell Collection.

       Strikers are protesting because CS Glasgow is: 

– cutting all overtime payments to single time;

– downgrading some jobs to impose pay cuts of £500 – £2,000 per year;

– ending premium rates for work on six public holidays.

Strikers would appreciate solidarity at the pickets.


      [Scottish Artists Union] Solidarity with those protesting Culture & Sport Glasgow cuts.   Posting Date: 14-05-2010

      As industrial action by employees of Culture & Sport Glasgow continues the SAU expresses its support of the work being done by BECTU, GMB,Unison and Unite. We know that many Glasgow-based artists rely upon jobs within CSG venues as a source of crucial supplementary income. Not nly are the pay cuts and reduced hours proposed by CSG an attack on the well-being of these workers and their families, they risk leaving the population of the city culturally impoverished.




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       Recent government figures show the extent of poverty in this, one of the richest nations on the planet. The previous government set the target of cutting in half by 2010 the number of people living in poverty. It miserably failed, the figures for 2008/09 show the number of people in this country living in poverty amounted to 10.9 million, 18% of the population. A marginal decrease from the previous year. Of course in this rich capitalist country, working does not necessarily mean that you lead the good life. You can be employed and still need to have your income topped up by taxpayers money, in fact we are subsidising your employer who fails to pay you a living wage. This sink of poverty is spread across the full spectrum of the population, taking in children, adults and pensioners.

         The number of children living in poverty in this country is a staggering 2.8 million, 22% of the child population of the country. Pensioners after their life of working producing the wealth of this country come out no better. 18% of pensioner couples, 18% of single male pensioners and a shameful 25% of single female pensioners are all struggling in that sink of poverty.

         If those with their rose tinted glasses expect to see the manicured twins now in charge, wave a magic wand and make poverty disappear, they are going to be miserably disappointed. With the cut and slash plans they are spouting, what we can expect is a revisit to the Victorian era. Ask yourself, when has this rich capitalist country ever been rid of poverty? What makes you think that keeping the same capitalist system that has mired millions in poverty will somehow transform itself into a benevolent system that will see to the needs of all?

          We don’t need a change of faces at No.10, we don’t need a pair of photogenic, privileged public school boys to fiddle about with some figures, making sure that the wealth stays right where it is at the moment. NO, we need a complete change of system, an end to the free market capitalist winner take all and to hell with the hindmost. We need to organise to take control of our communities, work places and assets, and organise society so that we can see to the needs of all our people,. We need to build a society based on mutual aid, free association, voluntary co-operation and sustainability. We either do that, or we face a future of more poverty for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

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       In Britain today we are a nation of the observed, there is one cctv camera for every 14 people, making a total of 4.2 million cameras watching you go about your business, more than any other country in the world. It is not unusual for an individual to be captured on more than 300 cameras on one day. There are now plans to to expand the capacity to read vehicle number plates from an amazing 35 million per day to 50 million by 2008.

         You are also being recorded in other forms, the national database holds more than 3.5 million profiles of individuals. Since 2002 there have been more than 8 million criminal records checks on those applying for jobs. By the end of 2002 law enforcement bodies had made more than 400,000 requests for data from mobile network operators. Last year to April, 631 adults and 5,751 juveniles had been electronically tagged.

         We have kids being fingerprinted at school on the pretext that it makes it easier for them to use the library, (how did you use the libraries in the past?) and some schools using palm prints for ID.

           Is your personal data safe, the simple answer is NO. As more and more private companies enter the security field the sharing of data becomes more widespread, the more it is shared the more it leaks into other hands, plus data is valuable on a commercial basis and companies will pay good money for information about you and what you get up to.

           At present there are 216 catalogue companies in the UK that are part of the Abacus data-sharing consortium with information on more than 26 million people. All this available to those how have the money to pay. You can also rest assured that there are lots of other organisations collecting your details to sell to the big companies, if there’s a profit in it, somebody will do it. .

          It is all about control, control of you and me, that’s why the state backs every one of these activities. To know where you are, should you be there, have you permission to move to another point, are you doing what you should be doing at that given time, and all verifiable and therefore can be enforced. Such activity is repugnant to any society that professes to be free, this society is obviously not free. Until we dismantle the state and all its attendant apparatus and replace it with a system of free association, voluntary co-operation and mutual aid, the growth of this type of activity is inevitable. Use your imagination, think where can it further expand to in you personal life, perhaps your living room? Big brother would like that!!

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          We should always know our history, it gives us a more accurate picture of the world we live in and the injustices perpetrated in the name of power. The imperialist power struggle goes on with the corporate world leading the charge backed up by its minder the state apparatus. Today the battle for the ordinary people is still the state and its bed partner the corporate world.

         Britain’s Imperial history is always portrayed as a force for good, a paternal approach. Taking care of the colonies for their own good, a civilising process until they were able to look after themselves. Of course those who know their history are fully aware that the reality is a far different scenario.

      Mike Davis’s book, Late Victorian Holocausts, published in 2001, details famines that killed between 12 million and 29 million inhabitants of the Indian continent. He clearly shows that these people were murdered by the British state. When the drought of 1876 impoverished the farmers of the Deccan plateau India had a net surplus of rice and wheat. The then viceroy, Lord Lytton, insisted that nothing should stand in its way as it was exported to England. In 1877 and 1878, at the height of the famine, grain merchants exported a record 6.4m hundredweight of wheat. As the peasants began to starve, officials were ordered “to discourage relief works in every possible way”. The Anti-Charitable Contributions Act of 1877 prohibited “at the pain of imprisonment private relief donations that potentially interfered with the market fixing of grain prices”. The only relief permitted in most districts was hard labour, from which anyone in an advanced state of starvation was turned away. In the labour camps, the workers were given less food than inmates of the Nazi concentration camps. In 1877, monthly mortality in the camps equated to an annual death rate of 94%.

         As millions died, the imperial government launched “a militarised campaign to collect the tax arrears accumulated during the drought”. This collected tax, which ruined those who might otherwise have survived the famine, was used by Lytton to fund his war in Afghanistan. Even in places that had produced a crop surplus, the government’s export policies manufactured hunger. In the north-western provinces, Oud and the Punjab, in spite of the fact that they had brought in record harvests in the preceding three years, at least 1.25m people died.

         The same type of imperialist policies are still employed today by the western corporate world. The continents of Africa and South America can bear witness to the poverty inflicted on millions of people to feed the corporate greed machine. Only when we as ordinary people come together and organise at community level and co-operate with each other on a global scale creating societies based on mutual aid and sustainability, undermining the festering marriage of state and corporate greed and so consigning it and its wars, exploitation and greed, that is part and parcel of that system, to the dust bin of history and perhaps remembering it as man’s darkest hour will we see a world fit for all our children and grandchildren.

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Justice for Aafia Siddiqui


Public meeting,

6:30pm, Saturday 22nd May, Augustine Church,

41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL

Speakers:  Aamer Anwar, Mujahid Islam 

Organised by SACC and the Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh

       Dr Aafia Siddiqui is a Pakistani woman who has lived and studied in America. She  is currently Prisoner Number 90279-054 in New York’s Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Centre.

        In 2003  Aafia “disappeared” along with her three children while visiting her mother in Pakistan. Evidence now shows that she was “Prisoner 650” in the notorious Bagram. As a US Detainee she was given no rights to question her treatment and has suffered physical and mental torture.

       In 2008  she was taken to the US to stand trial. After all the investigations done on her, the only thing they charged her with was “assaulting and attempted murder of US personnel in Afghanistan” while she was in prison. She was convicted in March 2010 on flimsy evidence. 

In the Brooklyn Detention Centre she is being denied phone calls and letters while she awaits sentencing (scheduled for 16 August). This is inhuman and she is becoming very ill.  

       SACC is a member of the Justice for Aafia Coalition, an umbrella body of organisations campaigning for the release and return to Pakistan of Aafia Siddiqui and for the opening of a full investigation into the circumstances of her detention and the fate of her children. We are also demanding that while Aafia Siddiqui remains in US custody she must be treated humanely. The humiliating and degrading strip and cavity searches must stop. She must be allowed contact with her family. She must be allowed letters, phone calls, visits and reading material. 

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          … consent is always compromised by force; the mere existence of effective force dedicated to some end constitutes coercion toward that end, whatever you may think or want. If I consent to abide by the law when that law is enforced by a huge body of men with guns and clubs, it is never clear, to say the least, whether my consent is genuine or not. … It will always be prudent for me, under such circumstances, to simulate consent, and there are no clear signs by which a simulation could be distinguished from a genuine consent in such a case. That I am enthusiastic in my acquiescence to your overwhelming capacity for violence—that I pledge my allegiance according to formula, sing patriotic songs and so on—does not entail that I am not merely acquiescing. … [T]he mere existence of an overwhelming force by which the laws will be enforced compromises conceptually the possibility of voluntarily acceding to them. Or put it this way: the power of government, constituted by hypothesis under contract, by which it preserves the liberties and properties of its citizens, is itself conceptually incompatible with the very possibility of their consent. (50-51)

Crispin Sartwell.      Against the State, Page 50/51

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