Press Releases and Statements
24.06.16 - Socialist Labour Party welcomes Britain's vote to leave the EU. It will strengthen the struggle for a better world
Socialists have good cause to celebrate the British people's decision to come out of the European Union and get back into the world. The Socialist Labour Party's policy and reasons for leaving the European Union – very different from those of Tories or of UKIP – have been vindicated by the outcome of the Referendum.
The SLP has always recognised the EU as an engine of free-market globalised capitalism. Membership of the EU has inflicted horrendous economic, social and political damage to all working people trapped within it. As for Britain, 90% of our manufacturing and key industries have been wiped out with our health, education and welfare provision steadily wiped out. We see the damage everywhere around us in the need for food banks and campaigns to protect homeless families and hundreds of individuals sleeping rough, whilst high-cost sky-scrapers shoot up to house billionaires and blight our cities.
The decision by the British people to 'come out' of the unelected and unaccountable bastion of the European Union allows us to renew the fight to restore all the industries and services privatised by Tory and Labour Governments to public ownership – but this time we must campaign for true common and social ownership and control: in our badly damaged National Health Service; our social services including care for our elderly and children; in our education system; and we must demand the restoration of council housing, owned and controlled by local authorities.
The vote to leave the European Union is a challenge to Britain's trade union leaders to reflect the views of their members on issues such the abolition of Trident and opposition to nuclear power and fracking, alongside job protection, wages, zero-hours contracts, agency working and privatisation. The Socialist Labour Party has consistently pointed out that EU membership has eroded – not protected – workers' rights.
European Union directives and European Court of Justice decisions have robbed us of hard-won free collective bargaining, the right to strike, and attacked our pension rights. We must now all join a fight to overturn these injustices – and Britain's trade unions must give a lead in recovering the rights our forebears fought hard to achieve.
The Socialist Labour Party has consistently made clear the fundamental difference between immigration and people seeking asylum, on the one hand, and the massive inflow of 'migrant labour' from EU countries under the 'free movement of labour'. Both before and after the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 the number of immigrants/asylum-seekers entering Britain averaged 250,000 a year whilst the number of people emigrating from Britain averaged 350,000 a year.
On the other hand, in 2014/2015 whilst official figures recorded the numbers of 'migrant workers' entering Britain from EU countries as 480,000, during that same period the Government issued 1,222,000 National Insurance numbers – to migrant workers. This clearly shows that over 1.2 million EU 'migrant workers' entered Britain in 2014/2015.
The massive increase in the numbers entering Britain are a direct result of the European Union's central policy of free movement of labour and capital – in other words, a free-market philosophy. The free movement of capital has seen the destruction of key industries such as our automotive industry and heavy and light engineering, whilst all our key utilities such as electricity, gas and water are owned privately by foreign companies (not to mention the sell-off of our railways!). Our coal and steel industries have been or are being eliminated – yet Britain is importing – at an enormous cost - both steel and coal, produced elsewhere through subsidies and/or by slave (including child) labour.
The Socialist Labour Party has always argued that Britain's economy will thrive when it leaves the European Union and gets 'back into the world'. EU membership has left us with a trade deficit of between £60 and £100 billion each year, whilst trade with countries outside the EU has led to a trade surplus of between £30 and £50 billion per year.
We should extend our trading arrangements not only with the 53 Commonwealth countries but with the 100 plus other countries outside the European Union while maintaining trade on a fair basis - not a free-market basis - with the 27 countries inside the EU.
In the Referendum campaign we have witnessed the majority of Tory MPs desperate to remain within the European Union monolith, which is incidentally on the brink of settling an iniquitous free trade agreement – TTIP – with the United States. The Referendum campaign has exposed the collaborationist philosophy of the Labour Party with a majority of its Members of Parliament and its Leader shown to be completely out of touch with the problems facing their constituents.
Statements by Jeremy Corbyn (long admired as a Socialist campaigner/politician) that he is now in favour of a 'mixed economy' show an abandonment of principle and a betrayal of those Socialists who gave birth to the Labour Party in 1918. It is beyond dispute that the present day Labour Party and its Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, are pursuing the same collaborationist policies as other social democratic parties in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Greece.
The result of the Referendum and the Socialist Labour Party's campaigning should persuade people to join our party and its fight for a Socialist future, for our children and our grand-children.
Leader, Socialist Labour Party
01.04.16 - Vote "NO" to EU says Scargill - The Socialist Case for Leaving the European Union
Socialist Labour Party Leader Arthur Scargill, speaking in South Yorkshire, outlined the case from the left for British withdrawal.
"Britain's membership of the EU had virtually destroyed our major industries - the latest victim being British Steel - while devastating the NHS, starving education and virtually eliminating council housing. The policy and austerity measures of EU directives have destroyed jobs and communities, spreading hardship and poverty ever wider yet the banks received a multi-billion pound bailout. Britain's loss of sovereignty is such that unless we leave the European Union the crisis, both economic and social, will get worse".
Mr Scargill lambasted the free movement of both labour and capital, which have resulted in the destruction of British Industry, zero-hours contracts, unemployment, homelessness and poverty not seen in Britain since the 1930s. He said: "What is needed is a policy in line with the economic principles that prevailed for a short period after 1945: we need import controls and subsidies to stop imports including goods produced in intolerable conditions by slave and child labour".
He continued: "Immigrants, particularly from former British colonies, and asylum-seekers in need of refuge are not the cause of the economic crisis and the massive population increase in Britain. Last year, for example, the number of immigrants and asylum seekers entering Britain was only 250,000 whilst 350,000 British citizens emigrated - in other words a net outflow of 100,000. However in the same year, the free movement of labour - a fundamental principle enshrined in Article 45 of the EU Treaty - resulted in over 550,000 citizens from amongst the 30 countries permitted to do so by the EU enering the UK 'freely'. It is this free movement of labour which has created a crisis both economic and social - and political.
He slammed the Labour Party leadership, both past and present, for its policy of remaining in the EU and working for "improvements". "The current Labour Party leadership's policy is a betrayal of socialist principle and a betrayal of all those in the Labour and Trades Union Movement who campaigned in 1975 for a 'No' vote. I was centrally involved, along with Tony Benn, in that campaign".
"In the forthcoming referendum, the people of Britain are going to have to decide whether we continue to surrender our sovereignty and become part of a United States of Europe - or whether we get out of this European Union hell and get back into the world.
I call upon everyone on 23 June to vote 'NO' and restore Britain to the British people."
The Socialist Labour Party.
21.02.16 - EU Referendum.
If Jeremy Corbyn does not campaign for the UK to leave the European Union it will be not only a u-turn but a sell-out of nearly 60 percent of Labour Party members who voted for him as Leader of the Labour Party. In 1975 I campaigned with Tony Benn against the European Common Market. I warned that it would become a United States of Europe controlled by an unelected body of bureaucrats, a warning that has become reality. Corbyn should commit all Labour MPs to vote against the Tories and call on the British People to vote to leave in the referendum on 23 June.
Leader, Socialist Labour Party.
27.11.15 - Socialist Labour Party calls on all Labour MPs: Reject any proposal to bomb Syria!
In 2013, Parliament rejected a proposal to become involved in the armed conflict in the sovereign state of Syria. International law makes clear no country has the right to interfere in another country's internal affairs unless requested to do so by the government of that country. No such request has been made by the Syrian government to the United Kingdom.
Every Labour MP should, as they did in 2013, vote against any proposal to become involved in the armed conflict in Syria. Above all, Labour MPs should vote against Cameron's proposal to become involved in bombing in Syria.
When the Labour Party's membership elected Jeremy Corbyn Leader by 60% in September 2015 it was on the clear understanding that he opposed any UK involvement in the armed conflict in Syria and that Labour wants no part of yet another armed conflict in the Middle East following the bloody disaster in Iraq.
Corbyn's overwhelming election commits every Labour MP to oppose Cameron's proposal to commence bombing campaigns in Syria. There can be no basis for any Labour MP to abstain or seek to have a free vote on this fundamental issue.
The Socialist Labour Party calls on all Labour MPs to support a policy which was endorsed by 60% of Labour's membership as recently as September 2015. Vote No!
Arthur Scargill, Leader. Ken Capstick, Treasurer/Organiser. Kim Bryan, General Secretary.
23.11.15 - Labour leadership … statement by the National Executive Committee of the Socialist Labour Party.
Following its recent meeting the NEC expresses its full and unanimous support for the position outlined by the SLP Leader and SLP Treasurer in their statement of 19th September.
As an independent party, the SLP is not concerned in the affairs of other parties. Its policies are unaffected by debates, controversies or events occurring within or between non-socialist parties and groups.
To those outside our party who may be tempted to believe Labour under a new leader is offering ‘hope’ the committee wishes to address the following comments.
As our party leader explained in comments to the committee on the 19th September, the Labour Party was formed in 1918, many years after the Independent Labour Party and the original SLP, as a ‘social democratic’ counterweight to socialist ideas. No ruling social democratic (reformist) party has ever brought about a transition to a socialist economy or society. Syriza in Greece is the most recent example of ‘left radicals’ taking leadership of social democratic parties. The promise of principled opposition to the capitalist EU was, in open defiance of the Greek people, betrayed in favour of the usual social democratic ‘accommodation’ with powerful economic interests.
Even from opposition, the committee notes a number of policies associated with Jeremy Corbyn which appear already to have been shelved or amended, on the EU, fiscal policy, austerity, the revival of the coal and steel industries and even the re-nationalisation of the railways which we are told will happen only when private contracts expire. Both in its shadow cabinet and appointments to the House of Lords, Labour continues to promote pro capitalist, pro war figures, a tradition which is reproduced at local level where, in the experience of former Labour members who joined the SLP, local candidates are routinely sidelined in favour of ‘career’ politicians from privileged backgrounds.
The committee believes that many who drifted towards Labour because of Jeremy Corbyn were attracted by what they believed was the ‘alternative’ he was offering.
Yet the policies he advocated as a backbencher can never be put into practice through the forum of a political party committed to capitalism.
Because it does not operate in alliance with non socialists or reactionaries, the Socialist Labour Party alone offers the possibility of real socialism.
In the SLP, policies including withdrawal from the EU and NATO, unilateral nuclear disarmament, full employment, living pensions, free education and health care, abolition of the monarchy and unelected House of Lords, a new written constitution and election by proportional representation do not need to be compromised and will not be betrayed.
National Executive Committee, 23rd November 2015.
October 2014 - National Union of Mineworkers South Africa.
Arthur Scargill President of the International Energy and Mineworkers Organisation (IEMO) and Leader of the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) welcomes the decision by the National Union of Mineworkers South Africa (NUMSA) to resign as an affiliate to the ANC, an organisation which does not represent the socialist aspirations of workers in South Africa.
Mr. Scargill urges the NUMSA to take the next step and affiliate to the IEMO and become a sister party to the SLP in Britain which stands for the same aspirations as do socialists all over the world.
President of the IEMO
Leader of the Socialist Labour Party
29.07.14 - Massacre in Gaza: No Excuses.
The National Executive Committee of the Socialist Labour Party condemns without reservation the latest massacre in Gaza by the Israeli Army.
The SLP rejects the corporate narrative that says western powers are entitled to dominate, destabilize or destroy sovereign states while calling those resisting occupation or oppression ‘terrorists’.
Israeli violence against Palestine, including bombing, occupation, assassination, kidnapping and blockade are routine. Flowing from its colonial heritage and values, Israel needs to contain permanently the aspirations of the Palestinian people which it does not see as the equal of its own.
We do not therefore regard the current assault on the territory as ‘provoked’.
We hold the western powers ultimately responsible for the crimes committed historically against the Palestinian people and against the peoples of neighbouring states by their proxy, Israel.
We call upon the community of independent states to unite in support of the principle of self determination which applies without discrimination to the people of Palestine as a whole including those displaced.
National Executive Committee Socialist Labour Party 29th July 2014
02.03.14 - SLP announces Welsh Candidates for the European Election.
The SLP is pleased to announce that on Saturday 1st March SLP Wales selected the four candidates that will stand on the Candidate List for the European Parliamentary Election on May 22nd.
The four candidates are, and will appear on the Candidate List, as follows -
1. Andrew Jordan, 2. Kathrine Jones, 3. David Lloyd Jones, 4. Liz Screen.
28.02.14 - SLP Statement - Party Welcomes Councillor Jim McDermott.
Our warmest welcome is extended to Councillor Jim McDermott who has joined the SLP after resigning from Labour.
Jim, who has represented the Eastbury ward of Barking and Dagenham since 2006, tells us he feels the Labour Party in Barking has over many years been taken over by people ‘following a different political agenda’ not consistent with the principles he believed the party represented when he joined it fifty years ago.
As an SLP councillor we believe Jim will be free to speak out more openly in support of the interests and needs of his electors as indeed it is his wish to do.
His actions demonstrate integrity, and a concern for the benefit of others over self which is rare in politics these days.
If you share the concerns of Jim McDermott and many others, who are disgusted by the brutal capitalism that is scarring our society and our world, take the first step. Join Us!
Kim Singleton, SLP General Secretary.
13.02.14 - Venezuela.
The Socialist Labour Party notes with alarm the current violent disorder in Venezuela.
The SLP views the latest disturbances as a further attempt by Venezuela’s foreign backed opposition to subvert the Venezuelan state and the democratic will of its people.
In a number of countries we have seen unrepresentative elements or elites empowered by the backing or expected support of aggressor states in the west.
The result has been civil war, an escalation of bloodshed or the fragmentation of the national state and civil infrastructure.
For many oppressed peoples around the world, the Bolivarian revolution is an inspiration. It is essential that the progressive state of Venezuela does not become another victim.
The SLP calls for the unequivocal rejection by all democratic forces of ‘La Salida’ and the isolation of all elements inside Venezuela who are committed to or colluding in the plan to bring about the overthrow of its government.
Dr Kim Singleton, General Secretary. On behalf of the Socialist Labour Party