Contact Matthew Waddell

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Take the fight to those who rob us

I have had enough of being told that poverty is the fault of the individual, that society has reached its peak, that the only right for change that the working class is entitled to, is voting for which millionaire politician they want to be screwed over by for this half decade.

I reject the notion that all the ills of our society are mere accidents, that even with the combined might of humanity, poverty is an essential part of civilisation. Our communities and industry lie in desperation because those in power have nothing to gain by our happiness or fulfilment. A good quality of life for the working class is detrimental to the drive for profit.

How long has working class been merely voting for? How long has the workers life been owned by the boss and the landlord? At what point does our class stand up and take what is rightfully ours?

It is the aim of myself and of the Communist Party to reverse the balance of power, from a capitalist society where a minority of exploiters live off our labour at our expense, to a socialist society, where the workers are in full control of the wealth they produce.

I have spent my whole life in Lothian, Edinburgh specifically, and as well as fighting for socialism on all fronts, pay special attention to the issues which are most prevalent in Lothian

I have watched this city deteriorate, and it is becoming a playground for landlords and tourists. Workers have been left completely out of the equation. Industrial space is torn down so that developers can build expensive short-term accommodation only suitable for students and tourists, while the centre is gutted of all community to make way for air B&Bs and useless shops. Workers are priced out of their own city and forced to live in new builds, which are not built around the needs of the resident, they are not built to be community’s, they are not even built well. They contain no public infrastructure, no centres of leisure or community, they are built solely for profit.

You cannot have a housing system that accommodates for the full needs of the people whilst the majority of houses are owned solely for profit either by banks or by landlords. The two are completely at odds with each other; The higher the rent and the fewer repairs and improvements made to the property, the higher the profit margin is for the landlord. Indeed, one cannot think of more useless and parasitic profession than that of the landlord.

For all workers across Scotland and especially the youth, the outlook is far lower than that of previous generations. Since the fall of the labour movement and the Communist Party, the quality of life, life expectancy and fulfilment have all decreased. Work is temporary, unstable, low paid and not respected.

None of this should come as a surprise though, as the working class do not control housing, do not control our own communities, and do not control the very economy which is built off of our own labour. How can the working class expect to have a decent, secure and fulfilling existence when we as a class hold no power?

We must strike at those who make our lives a misery, who pay us pittance and fire us at the drop of a hat. Parliament alone is not enough to bring about complete change, as the true levers of the economy are in the hands of those who own Scotland’s finance, energy production, transportation, land, and so forth. Although, the Communist Party does advocate for the powers over the economy to be devolved away from the City of London, and into the hands of the Scottish Parliament, in a federal Britain.

The Communist Party believes that if we are to build a genuinely good future we must take the fight to those (who for the sake of their own profit) deny it to us.

Whilst the fight lies primarily in the workplace and in the community, this election gives you the chance to show the boss, the landlord and the politician (who aims only to serve both) that they have lost the faith of the people, and cannot even hold onto their own parliament.

It is my aim and that of the Communist Party to lift this society above the depravity of capitalism, to end the poverty, hopelessness and despair caused by this economic system.

Make your vote count, vote for your class, vote for the Communist Party!

Matthew Waddell
Candidate for the Communist Party – Lothian List

Contact Daniel Lambe

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My fight for my local community

I grew up in Craigneuk, an area in Wishaw with a strong working-class sense of community. Here, neighbours and families live close by in the surrounding streets and everyone is willing to help each other. It was second nature to reach out to people during times of crisis. My roots have been the driving force of my politics and I want to give back to my community in the most consequential ways possible.

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was one of the first opportunities I had to engage in (often heated) political debate. It was an outpouring from young people who are very often ignored on the political battlefield, and oftentimes we are the casualties for this ignorance. During this time, I was working at an artisanal market in Glasgow city centre as a market crier and stall constructor, I would go into the city early bells and be on the late trains home, for to be quite honest, lacklustre pay. During my shifts, I was graced with the opportunity to speak to people from a variety of backgrounds with one thing in common: they worked long hours, in terrible conditions, for low pay, and were just trying to get by. But, despite all their burdens, these good working-class Glaswegians always had time for the boy standing in the rain calling out the next ‘hot off the shelf bargain’.

From working in the city centre, I became increasingly aware of the contrasts of the city. From the glam of all the top market superstores on Sauchiehall Street, brimming with the new must have attire and consumer products, to the market traders haggling a sale with travelling tourists, right down to homeless people in the street. This was the first time I began to think, this all seems a bit peculiar, a bit strange. How can there be so much luxury on one hand and then such dire need on the other? The seed of consciousness of what class means in relation to me, and the people I found myself surrounded by, began to grow.   

As I voted in more elections I began to see a pattern. No matter who the victor was, little improved for working class people. Austerity is constantly brought down on our communities. It felt like a never-ending battle. I witnessed the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn offer an alternative to the crushing austerity passed down by the SNP and the Conservative Party. Unsurprisingly, the policies which promised an alternative for working class people were received by a horrendous onslaught from the media. Policies which only served to benefit working class people, such as accessible internet for all, were ripped to shreds. Policies which seemed progressive and beneficial for society at large were construed as unelectable.

The media assault of socialist policies encouraged me to look to other parties that  fight for real and lasting change to the wearisome status quo. After searching, I found the Young Communist League, the youth section of the Communist Party of Britain. I am proud to say that I am now a member of both the YCL and the Communist Party. The political theory has allowed me to conceptualise my lived experience of class divisions to understand the social and economic foundations of society. These foundations serve to divide the working classes in all aspects of our lives to maintain the status quo of the outstandingly rich, to our detriment. But, more importantly, the party has shown me how this can change.

I’m currently settled in the construction industry. My job involves going from site to site to help build houses for private purchase and a very limited amount being social housing. I have seen hundreds of homes built on each site, in full knowledge that people who need homes will not get one simply because they cannot afford them. There is an insurmountable gap between wages and the price of buying a home, and this is standard trend across all necessities. We are so accustomed to it, we call it ‘the cost of living’, we accept that the necessities in life, homes, food, clothes, all come at a price. And when we cannot afford it, nothing can be done. Working class people are directly responsible to produce these necessities, why can’t we afford to own them? The pandemic has revealed the ugly truth that some of the most important workers in our society are some of the worst paid and worst treated. The working class produce the necessities, services and luxuries of our society and are not rewarded in kind for their efforts. This cannot go on.

During the first lockdown, and any opportunity I have had thereafter, I have volunteered at a youth community centre. The centre had shifted its efforts to running a foodbank delivering 3-day emergency parcels and delivering prescriptions to the shielding vulnerable during lockdown. We also lent a listening ear to those suffering with anxiety and mental illness. I met a lot of different people. All had been abandoned by the government in some way or another. From a lack of mental illness services, to low paid workers who had been paid off by big companies the minute the pandemic hit. Many people received furlough payments which were so inadequate, they couldn’t afford to pay gas and electricity bills, pay rent and feed their families at the same time. Without the staff of the centre and volunteers providing this support to these working people, many of them would have been abandoned. But the issues these people had were not new. For working people and families, these issues existed before the pandemic but are so prominent right now because of the failure of our Governments, Westminster and Holyrood, to prepare and then deal with such a catastrophe as the covid-19 pandemic.

Being a member of the Communist Party has equipped me with the understanding of why the current economic, capitalist system is actively hurting working class people. I truly believe the current system will never address the problems of inequality that working class people face. I am standing as the Communist candidate for Motherwell and Wishaw because I want to advocate for the working people here. I want to ensure their needs are met, to ensure that not one more human being goes hungry, to ensure not one more person is faced to live an undignified life. I am part of a mass movement across Britain striking back against austerity in all its forms: in our communities, in our workplaces and in our campuses.

The working people of Motherwell and Wishaw deserve better. Britain deserves better. Wherever you can. Vote Communist.     

Daniel Lambe
Candidate for the Communist Party – Motherwell and Wishaw Constituency

Contact Johnnie Hunter

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Let’s Make Our City Rise

I’m passionate about politics and for me that’s about making a real difference to the lives of working people and empowering working-class communities in Scotland.

I’m not a career politician. I joined the trade union movement when I started working in a supermarket at 16. I’ve been an active member and a shop steward ever since because I believe that when working people come together we can achieve anything.

I joined the Communist Party at 16 because I know that working people can achieve a new type of society. Not capitalism with its greed, exploitation, poverty, and discrimination. But socialism, a society based on progress, equality, democracy and providing for the most vulnerable in our society.

The Communist Party has a long and proud history in Scotland, and Glasgow in particular. The Communists have always been at the forefront of the struggles for working people, we’ve always been the Party the rich can’t buy.

I’m proud to be a Glaswegian. I’ve lived all across our city – in Townhead, Partick, Anniesland, Govanhill, Mount Florida, Kelvinbridge, Port Dundas and elsewhere – and loved it and everything Glasgow has to offer. But our city and working people are living through hard times.

We’ve suffered through well over a decade of cuts and attacks on living standards from the Tories in Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood. Poverty, unemployment, drug abuse and homelessness are at epidemic levels across Glasgow as a result.

Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP said they would be stronger for Scotland, but what has changed?

They’ve passed on Tory cuts and made even more cuts of their own. Almost every promise they’ve made whether its on class sizes or the NHS has been broken. They’ve hoarded money at Holyrood while more than 1 in 4 children in Scotland grow up in poverty.

The SNP promised big things when they replaced the decrepit Labour council here in Glasgow, again I would ask, what has changed? More cuts to jobs. More cuts to public services. More cash to their friends in big business. More misery for working people in Glasgow.

I’m standing in this election for the Communist Party because I think it’s clear that we need radical change in our city and across Scotland. We don’t need more big business puppets in Holyrood, regardless of whether they’re unionist blue or nationalist yellow. We need principled working-class politicians determined to fight for our people and our communities.

People make Glasgow as the saying now goes, but the Communist Party argues that we need to remake Glasgow for the people.

Our city faces so many problems, but they all have similar roots – poverty, unemployment, cuts and underinvestment and a lack of meaningful democratic control over our lives and communities.

The money is there to do amazing things in our city.

We could easily reverse the decade of cuts made by the SNP and Tories and the £110 million in newly planned cuts. We could establish a city-wide apprenticeship scheme to tackle rampant youth unemployment in Glasgow. We could embark on the new council house building plan to provide new quality homes for families and end the homelessness scandal. We could provide free access to cultural, leisure and sports facilities to tackle the physical and mental health crisis among young people in our city. We could create a new city-wide integrated green cheap transport network. We could establish a new scheme for the targeted elimination of child poverty in Glasgow.

I was inspired to stand in this election by the limitless potential of working people and our city. I know that we could do all this and so much more – but only if we elect principled working-class politician dedicated to fighting for them. But far more importantly, we need to build a mass movement of working people outside parliament who can win these gains for working people regardless of who forms the next government at Holyrood.

What politicians of every stripe fear most is when working people come together to demand change. During and after this election Communists are fighting for working people in Glasgow and across Scotland to take their future into their own hands. We need to empower communities to build a bright future for the first time in decades.

As a young person and as a Communist, I think that the youth have a fundamental role to play in this. Young workers and student have always led from the front in winning change in Scotland and across the world.

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented tragedy across Scotland. It has proven that the lesser of two evils is a dangerous trap for working people. We deserve better than cuts, incompetence and corruption regardless of whether its touting Tory blue or SNP yellow.

So, we’re asking you to make your voice to heard on the 6th of May this year. We’re asking you to vote with confidence. We’re asking you to vote for a dignified life. We’re asking you to vote for the Communist Party on the Glasgow Regional List.

A solid vote for the Communists will tell politicians across Scotland that working people know what we’re owed, we know what’s been taken from us – and we’re going to fight for it.

But unlike the other parties, we’re not just asking for your vote this year.

We’re asking you to join the mass movement against cuts and poverty and for a future worth living for, a mass movement based in our communities, our workplaces and our campuses. We’ll be back on the streets on 7 May working to build this movement harder than ever before.

If you’re serious about socialism, we’re calling on you to join this fight and to join the Communist Party.

Johnnie Hunter
Candidate for the Communist Party – Glasgow Regional List