Repeating the lie that Britain’s chief problem is government borrowing and spending, Chancellor and hereditary millionaire George Osborne intends to intensify his attack on public services, public sector workers and on the unemployed, sick and disabled who rely on welfare benefits.

In order to reduce the government’s funding deficit by an extra £30 billion to 2018, the Tories and their little LibDem helpers would slash spending on public sector services, wages and pensions by £13bn and on benefits by £12bn. The cuts would be twice as deep over the next two years as this year and previously. The other £5bn would be found from feeble measures to tackle the tax dodgers.

Mid Somerset CND & Peace Group is promoting a Battle of the Bands, to be held on Saturday 21st March 2015 at the Red Brick Building, Glastonbury.

Doors will open 7.30pm and tickets will be £5 on the door. The event is being organised with the support of Bocabar, the Red Brick Building and Orchard Studios.

Local bands “Bring Tomorrow”, “The Sombrero Society” and solo artist “Zak Arthur” will be competing for a prize of studio time with Orchard Studios. Professional local acts will also support, including local singer songwriter Helena who will also M.C. the evening. The judges include local Glastonbury promoter Michael Eavis.

The evening will be headlined by Somerset based nationally known band : Seize the Day.

On the 26 March the NUT will be taking national strike action in England and Wales. The Communist Party in South West England and Wales supports their action.

The action is being taken against:

  • Excessive workload and bureaucracy
  • Performance related pay and in defence of a national pay scale system
  • Unfair pension changes

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said:

"Teachers deeply regret the disruption caused by this strike action to parents and teachers. The Government's refusal, however, to engage to resolve the dispute means that we have no alternative other than to demonstrate the seriousness of our concerns.

RMT leader Bob Crow in Bridgwater last October to commemorate the founding of Bridgwater Trades Union Council.

To all members of the RMT,

I and my comrades are shocked, and deeply saddened, to hear of the sudden and untimely death of dear Bob Crow. On behalf of all communists in South West England and Cornwall, I offer you, and all sisters and brothers in the RMT, our heartfelt sympathy. Bob was a great trade union leader and a working class hero and we are strengthened and inspired by his example.

As our General Secretary Robert Griffiths said: 'The left and the labour movement have lost a great champion of workers and their families across the world. Bob was a deeply committed and principled socialist who fought as hard for the working class as our political enemies fight for the capitalist class. That's why he has earned the undying affection and respect of millions of workers - and the undying hatred of the right-wing mass media'.

Our work with the RMT continues.

In solidarity,

Ken Keable,
District Secretary, South West England and Cornwall District, Communist Party of Britain.

Cornwall branch invites all South West region comrades and friends to attend their public meeting in Truro on Saturday April 12th at 2pm in the GWR Staff Assoc. Club at Truro train station, TR1 3HH.

Our main speaker, CPB general secretary Rob Griffiths will present the Socialist argument for withdrawal from the European Union.

Young Communist League representatives will be attending so all young workers and students interested in socialist politics will be very welcome.

The venue is simple to find; on leaving Truro train station, turn left, cross the forecourt and the Staff club is on a small rise ahead of you.

Download the poster

Files:
Cornwall Public Meeting EU - Exit Left
 

"DEEDS NOT WORDS"

Let us never forget the Suffragettes 
The deaths, force feeding, 
Drugging, beatings 

Our Railing Chainers 
Hunger Strikers 
Window Smashers 
System Fighters 

Purple, Green and White 
They won us rights 
Keep up the Fight! 

Don't let this slide away
This is our day
Our watch
RISE UP!

"Who would be free
Themselves must strike the blow"
Equality
We are yet to know
Austerity
We are force fed now.

Suffragette Spectaculars!
Arise, go forth and BE
That power of the the Pankhursts,
'General' Flora, Mary Leigh
"Deeds Not Words" from
Charlotte Despard, Edith New
and Marjorie Wallace Dunlop
Know OUR Black Friday's over due.

With love and power to all Sisters everywhere

Bobbie-Jo Treglown, CPB Dorset

Bristol Bath and Gloucester CPB invite you celebrate May Day with comrades and friends by joining in our Big Red Quiz at the Nova Scotia Public House , Bristol, BS1 6XJ.

Wednesday May 1st. First question 8pm sharp.
Entry: £1 per head, in teams of 2-4. A prize for the winning team.

As usual contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

A new Facebook page has been launched for readers and supporters of the Morning Star in the South West. Like the page on Facebook to be kept up to date with all the latest news and events of supporters in your area.

Gerrard Sables, Secretary of the North Devon Branch of the Communist Party discusses a variety of global topics, from movements against austerity to international labour to gun control in the US as well as Cuba and the Middle East. The interview was broadcast on Pacifica Radio KPFT in Houston, Texas.

A new section of the district website has been launched to promote the electoral work of the party. This May the North Devon branch of the Communist Party is standing a candidate in the local elections -  the Barnstaple North county division. You can follow the campaign here.

 

Taken from the Morning Star

Post-1991 capitalist euphoria over the demise of the Soviet Union encouraged the perception that the private enterprise system had triumphed historically over socialist alternatives, heralding a new dawn for neoliberalism.

Barely two decades later the dreams associated with neoliberalism have transformed into nightmares.

Shock treatment imposed on the former republics of the Soviet Union saw an oligarchy take control of untold wealth while the mass of the population saw only poverty and the mortality rate rise.

Even in the European Union, which took a leading role in promoting change in Russia and other post-Soviet states, recession, unemployment and deprivation have taken hold in response to a financial crisis sparked by private banks.

Gerrard Sables, North Devon Communist Party Branch Secretary, explains why he is standing in the year's local elections.

There is a problem with the Labour Party locally - it is bone idle. I don't say that just to be nasty, but they only stood one candidate in the 2011 Barnstaple Town Council elections.

I am going to stand in the Barnstaple North county division. This comprises three district and town council wards: namely Barnstaple Central in which I live and have fought two town council and one district council elections, Yeo where Paul Dyer stood for the Communist Party in 2007 and Pilton where the Communist Party has a stall each year at the huge Green Man festival. The county seat was fought by Paul Dyer for the party in 2009.

This election campaign will give voters a real choice to register a strong protest against this treacherous, dishonest and unpatriotic coalition. If elected I will take my fight against the austerity programme into the council chamber. I come from a solid trade union background and have followed the slogan "Educate, Agitate, Organise" all my life. I would expose the continuing attempts to turn public services into sordid business opportunities. I would work with not against the public sector unions.

However North Devon branch of the Communist Party is small and is going to need help. It needs both time and money from comrades and friends. There are nearly 10,000 voters to get leaflets to. We hope to hire a loudspeaker van. We want to debate the issues with the other candidates.

If you feel able to help the elction campaign, please contact Gerry on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Taken from www.pcs.org.uk

PCS members are taking action on Budget Day to stop attacks on their livelihoods and job security.

Action will start with a 24-hour strike. When the chancellor stands up to deliver his budget members will be protesting across the UK, including a rally outside Parliament from 12pm.

There are two large rallies in the South West:

Bristol - 12.30pm - Tony Benn House (Unite Building), BS1 6AY.

Plymouth - 12.30pm - Guild Hall, Copthorne Hotel, Armada Way, PL1 2AD.

This Saturday, the 16th of March, protests are being held across the country against what has become known as the "Bedroom Tax".

Changes to housing benefit mean that many thousands of people will be worse off from the 1st of April. The lead organiser, Dr Éoin Clarke explained the decision to commence this wave of campaigning.

"The bedroom tax affects nearly 700,000 people the majority of whom are disabled. One quarter of those affected are lone parents. Other people hit with this penalty include carers, terminally ill, foster children, families with children fighting in Afghanistan, and many more besides. The great majority of British people think this is unfair. Not even a majority of Tory voters support this cruel policy.”

The South West events are in:

BathBristolCamborneExeterPlymouthTauntonSt Austell and Weymouth (note the Weymouth event is on the 15th)

Download our flyer:

Bedroom Tax Flyer

Anti bedroom tax flyer, generic SW Communists branding

Taken from the Morning Star

South-west Morning Star supporters launched a new regional drive on Saturday with an inaugural trade union-backed conference in Exeter.

Over 40 delegates from Somerset, Devon and Dorset made their way to the city's university to discuss issues affecting members and communities.

They heard Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths argue that the real purpose of the City-driven cuts agenda "is nothing less than to dismantle and privatise the welfare state and all public services."

And RMT union's Alex Gordon delivered a sharp critique of the EU's role in driving down standards, warning of a new era of "anti-social Europe" with workers and public services in the crosshairs.

Delegates also listened to regional and workplace trade unionists on local victories and campaigns, including the fightback against cuts-hungry Exeter Uni bosses and the latest on the drive to beat back plans by the so-called "south-west cartel" of NHS trusts to tear up national pay deals and force down wages and conditions.

Britain is still one of the world's richest societies. We can afford first-class public services, higher wages, decent pensions and welfare benefits. 

But most of the wealth is owned by a small minority. The richest one-tenth own £4,000 billion in personal wealth.

The following flyer sets out measures that would make Britain a better, fairer society.

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Wednesday 21st March 2012

GMB PROTEST WITH ‘COACH AND HORSES’ ON THURSDAY OVER BATH EMPLOYMENT AGENCY ILLEGALLY SUPPLYING STAFF TO SWINDON HOSPITAL DURING CARILLION STRIKE DAYS

GMB is asking the government’s enforcement body EASI to conduct an investigation into the alleged strike breaking as breaches of the regulations result in fines of £5,000 per worker per day supplied to do the work of the strikers.

GMB is to stage protest demonstrations on Thursday 22nd March in both Swindon and Bath using a Wild West stagecoach and horses over a Bath employment agency running a ‘coach and horses’ through the law that forbids employment agencies to supply staff during trade disputes.

Robert Griffiths, general secretary of the Communist Party, on how the 2012 Budget is just another slap in the face for working people.

Chancellor George Osborne has done it again. He's used yet another Budget to attack workers, the unemployed and benefit claimants and to enrich still further big business and the super-rich.

As before this Con-Dem regime claims that its overriding priority is to close the deficit between what the state and central government spend and what they receive in taxes.

This, we are told, will give private enterprise and the "markets" the security and incentive to invest in economic growth.

Yet the government's policies of slash, burn and privatise have so far halted economic recovery dead in its tracks.

A special edition of the Communist Party's bulletin Unity, deals with the increasing crisis of unemployment in Britain and the rest of Europe caused by the capitalist economic crisis.

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What is the PSC flyerThree groups affiliated to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have organised a public meeting on the 22nd of March.

Yeovil and West Dorset Stop the War Coalition, Sherborne Palestine Support Group and the South Somerset Peace Group, all affiliated to the Campaign, are hosting a meeting at Unity Hall in Yeovil at which Betty Hunter, the Honorary President of the PSC will give a talk.

The meeting begins at 19:30 with doors opening at 19:00. Click on the image for the full flyer, including the contact details of the three groups involved.

For more details on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, visit www.palestinecampaign.org

March the 8th is International Women's Day (IWD), originally known as International Working Women's Day. In the following article Jane Yates, the South West District's Women's Organiser, begins by giving a brief history of the event and the struggle of women for democratic rights and equality over the past 100 years and then argues that only socialism can bring true equality to all sections of society.

The article makes reference to Clara Zetkin, whose article Only in Conjunction With the Proletarian Woman Will Socialism Be Victorious can be downloaded from this website.

International Women's Day had its beginnings in the 1900s, when critical debate amongst women started to occur. In 1908 fifteen thousand women marched through New York City demanding better pay, shorter working hours and voting rights.

The first National Women's Day was observed across the USA on the 28th February 1909. This was in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

In 1910 Clara Zetkin (leader of the women's office for the Social Democratic Party of Germany) tabled the idea of an IWD at their second International Conference of Working Women. Over 100 women from 17 countries attended, these included representatives from unions, working women's clubs, 3 women elected MPs from Finland and other women from Socialist parties. This was unanimously approved and the first official IWD was born!

International Women's Day was honoured for the first time in Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland in 1911 on the 19th March.

Over a million women attended rallies, campaigning to end discrimination.

Party members from across the region will be marching in London on the 26th of March. Coaches and trains are being organised by trades councils and anti-cuts groups from all areas of the South West. To find your nearest transport visit the march for the alternative website.

The following statement was issued by General Secretary ROBERT GRIFFITHS on behalf of the Communist Party of Britain in response to the ConDem budget 2011.

COMMUNISTS DEMAND BUDGET FOR THE MILLIONS NOT THE MILLIONAIRES

This was a Budget for the millionaires, including the 22 who sit in the Con-Dem Cabinet.

This Budget for recession and unemployment, which will do nothing for growth, will worsen the economic crisis and increase the deficit. It  demonstrates the disastrous course that the government has adopted, in line with demands of the City paymasters who fund the Tory Party.

The economy is stagnant, living standards are falling for the majority of people, the hoped-for tax revenues from growth are not materialising and unemployment is soaring above three million, as the Con-Dem coalition takes the knife to vital public services, benefits and jobs.

The two-point cut in corporation tax on big business profits, to 26 per cent, as the first step in a process of reducing the tax to 23 per cent by 2014, means that Britain will fall even further behind almost every other major capitalist economy when it comes to taxing the big monopolies.

Profit taxes in the US and Japan are 40 and 41 per cent respectively, while France, Germany, Australia and Canada already have significantly higher levels of tax on corporate profits than in Britain.

More than half of the top 700 companies in Britain pay little or no Corporation Tax — a scandal that will only end when Barclays, Boots, Vodafone, Tesco's and the rest can no longer shuffle funds between tax havens and "shell" companies overseas because all such loopholes have been shut down.

Chancellor Osborne's puny £2 billion windfall tax on monopoly profits in the British oil industry should fool nobody. It is a drop in the ocean compared with Royal Dutch Shell profits of nearly £12 billion last year and the likelihood that they will double again in 2011.

The only way to ensure that the associated reduction in petrol duty is not passed on to consumers is through price controls at the pump, which this government is not prepared to impose.

While the increases in personal tax allowances will leave the average household with an extra £205 in annual income, this will soon be swallowed up by price increases in food, domestic fuel, public transport, debt interest and housing costs.

Linking future tax allowance increases to the consumer price index means that these elements will not be taken as much into account as with the retail price index.

But the reality is that neither index fully reflects cost of living increases for millions of working class and even middle class households.

A working class price index would show inflation running at 12 per cent, not 5.5 per cent (RPI) or 4.4 per cent (CPI).

Instead of a millionaires' budget, workers and their families need a "People's Budget."

Price controls should be imposed on food, petrol, domestic fuel and public transport.

A windfall tax should be levied on the monopoly profits of the banks and the pharmaceutical, armaments and energy corporations as well as the oil corporations.

The railways should be returned to public ownership and current subsidies used to invest in a modern, low-fare and comprehensive rail network.

Pensions, benefits and the national minimum wage should be uprated in line with a genuine working class price index.

A wealth tax should be levied on the super-rich and a Robin Hood tax on financial transactions in the City of London, which would raise far more money than will allegedly be saved through public spending cuts.

At Saturday's TUC demonstration (Saturday March 26), we will hear the voice of the millions. It needs a declaration of war on a ruling-class government that has already declared war on the welfare state, the working class and the majority of the people of Britain.

The objective must be to clear out this illegitimate Tory-led government and replace with it with a Labour government that is forced to act for the millions not the millionaires.

March 24 2011

 

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On March 26 as many as 1 million people will be marching to save Britain from the plans of the Tory-led coalition.

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