Front Cover

The Glasgow Keelie

No.19 Mayday 93

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THESE WERE THE LAST WORDS of Albert Parsons before his execution for being found guilty of taking part in a protest against the police killing of a number of striking workers.

They were murdered on the 3rd of May 1886 when they marched through the streets of Chicago as part of a 300,000 strong show of solidarity in support of striking comrades. Such savage double-treachery by police and their paymasters was as predictable then as it is today.

One of numerous similar incidents throughout history, these events form the basis for international commemoration of May-day as a workers’ holiday. It is one of the few opportunities left for ordinary people to join in public memory of the sacrifices made by workers in pursuit of decent working conditions and basic levels of social-justice. It is also a chance to get together for the re-assertion of solidarity and to demand our rights in the political processes which govern our lives. Principles as important today as ever in the face of monopolisation by the boss-classes and their business buddies masquerading as politicians.

May-day is the time to re-affirm the very nature of our struggle and to consider the current political issues and forms of action that can challenge this monopoly.

The Timex Dispute is one such example that has drawn massive public support. Not only has this forced the workers to organise against the bosses, it has once again demonstrated the amorality of the Government. As in the Miners’ Strike they used the law and the police to obstruct people from making a legitimate protest. This May-day we must address the fact that almost every measure of social-provision and legal right won in bitter struggle by the Labour Movement, is being destroyed by the profiteering business classes.

Their greed and cynicism is forcing us into conditions of poverty not seen for a hundred years. In conspiracy with the Government they ignore the voice of the people as it has been stunned into silence. We are often reminded how ruthless these politicians and power-brokers are when they demonstrate their support for the kind of extreme right-wing policies that lead to outright fascism.

We must not let them get away with it and ensure that the voice of the people is heard and the power of their presence be felt in every social and political struggle.

Power to the people!


IF WE LOOK at them together, the Child Support Act, the abolition of Legal Aid, the Care In The Community Act, and the constant run-down of health and education, are all making daily life unlivable for the majority of the population.

Add to these water privatisation, VAT on fuel, light and heat, and we begin to put into context the real brutality of our Government. We, and our children, are suffering needlessly, but we can fight back if we realise that this dire situation can unite us in opposition. An essential part of any fightback is to draw these issues together and fight them as one. The sad fact is that a lot of us will have to fight back simply to survive. You may well be apathetic to politics but politics is coming to get you.

The Government have learned their lesson from the mass opposition to the Poll Tax. They have not abandoned their plans to make the ‘poor pay’ and, if anything, they have intensified their attack. They have rethought their strategy and now their big plan is to split up any opposition, to divide it up to make it less effective. Remember too that these new Acts also include attempts to obstruct any legitimate protest by cynically removing all access to legal representation.

This is simply an effort to make sure that anyone who will not comply with the legal fraud, lies, and propaganda, is silenced.

The Government knows full well the extent of the misery they are causing. In fact, they are counting on it causing enough misery, despair, and hopeless apathy, that they will get away with it. It is not incompetence or ignorance at work here. They have been systematically attacking the poor for the last 14 years. Can anyone point to one Act of Government over these years which has done anything other than take money and rights away from the poor and given them to the rich?

Our aim must be to reverse this process and that struggle is simple: to fight poverty and oppression.

Make no mistake, the new levels of poverty created by these attacks on our standard of living are appalling. They represent the depths of depravity the Government are willing to sink to. Their main targets are those who are already receiving a pittance that is grossly inadequate to their needs. The new rules conspire to reduce this even further, particularly the Child Support Act which puts people through an unjust and disgusting interrogation process. It is a total intrusion into our personal lives. And the misery only starts there. After the inevitable deduction of benefit from those who fail to comply, we will have to face the wrath of nice Mr Major’s classless society.


Somehow, we will have to find the money for extortionate water, heat and light bills. Somehow, we will have to find the means of looking after aged parents. Somehow, we will have to find the means of looking after the mentally ill and the physically and mentally handicapped. The suicidal list goes on and on. It is not even worth having a nervous breakdown about it all because you will be shoved back out on to the streets: another victim of the Care In The Community Act.

This is our future if we don’t fight back. Is the present reality really any different?

Mr. Major has already been making speeches which promise his rich friends and bankers that there is more to come for the unemployed. He is ready to hand out the punishment of ‘Community Service’ in the form of Workfare (much in the manner as the Courts do because the jails are full) only we are not even going to be given a decent trial.

The root cause of this misery has come down from the Treasury, who will save millions by stealing from us, the poor. The Treasury is not interested in humanitarian concerns, it deals solely in hard cash. It also performs the dubious task of being the voice of government to the financial world while, at the same time, being the voice of the financial world to the government. The top Treasury staff are composed of key people from various financial institutions: the Banks; the Merchant Banks; Insurance Companies; etc. They also make up the powerful committees that the Government pretends to oversee: such as the Stock Exchange and the Insurance Houses.

We are supposed to believe that they deal with Government policy in a purely impartial fashion. But the reality is that they forcefully represent the interests of private business whose shares and profits benefit no-one more than themselves. Here, the major policy decisions are removed from the public gaze, let alone influence. It is a closed system. Call it private enterprise, or capitalism, or whatever you like. It still forms the basis of how to keep control over the institutions of society and, through that, it retains the capacity to control and manipulate how people live or die.

Consider too that no political party will ever interfere with this system. Practically every MP in the House of Commons is either a shareholder, paid advisor, or director of the very same companies that exert such an influence on government policies.

The deal is sealed by the fact that companies fund the major parties. Quite plainly, they are getting something in return for this support and the major reward is a readily available source of finance in the form of Government money, our money, from the Treasury. There is no doubt that the abolition of the Welfare State, and the ultimate hand-out of privatisation, are a direct product of this system of bribery and corruption.

The only thing the politicians actually contribute to society is their talent for ignoring the plight of the people they supposedly represent, and their willingness to participate in the process of exploitation.


After all, that is how profits are made. And let us not forget the noble, legal profession who, for a price, are willing to magically make it all legal. What we are contending with is a government that acts as if it owns the people, as if we were slaves, and they have decided to dispose of those of us who cost too much. If we are economically unviable (unprofitable for big business concerns) we are quite simply made economically redundant, chucked out of the benefit system. We become outcasts who are so desperate, we become ready to accept almost anything. Slave labour wages and conditions, for example.

Who then, will fight for us, other than ourselves? Make no mistake, this is a straight-forward case for self defence. We have no option but to defend ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Experience has proved that we cannot depend on the Labour Party to fight these battles. They have already conceded defeat on the Child Support Act. They also conceded defeat on the Poll Tax. All they ever did was loudly describe how brutal it was and then, through their powers as local authorities, implement it and then award massive pay rises to their top people. The tactics of the union bosses are much the same. They are already complying with the Child Support Act while emphasising the need to ensure that it is ‘all handled sensitively’. But how can you ‘sensitively’ take bread and water from. children’s mouths?

This is everyone’s fight. Most of us will soon realise that we have no option. We can either become isolated and driven to despair, which wiII suit the financial institutions and the Government fine, or we can get angry. Angry enough to get organised and publicly display that anger.

We can join with others in our community and enjoy feeling alive fighting for some kind of life for ourselves. Tactics and strategies can be creative as we like. Get together with people to discuss it and you’ll soon find out that you want to do something. You don’t have to take orders and you don’t need a leader, or party organisation. Experience shows that they are all too easily bought off. Make it happen for yourself, no one else is fighting the battle against enforced poverty.

Can we stand back and watch passively while the brave politicians and their pals in business repeatedly attack our living standards? The Government’s lawyers have worked hard to make these obscene scams appear to be wonderful acts of a caring government. In reality, they are acts of violence against those that are governed. People are already dying (pensioners and the homeless through hypothermia and lack of suitable housing or care), tuberculosis, rickets and scabies are all making a comeback.

Must we wait till we have an epidemic of poverty-related disease before we act?

Heh You!

Heh you, with not enough to feed and clothe your children
Never mind protect them against the ravages and savages of a
Broken-down society of dustbin-dippers and moonlight-skippers
In their cardboard-cabins of despair and human disrepair, despised by all who call the tune that put them on the streets
With the loathesome pimps and pushers who consume one another
To the tomb while handing out invitations to get on board
As the numbers soared to an all time high which pinned
Too many people to the poorhouse floor and pinned medals
On chests of Ministers of morality and High-Priests of humanity
And other slugs and slavetraders who consider themselves to be
Custodians of decency while denying access for ordinary folk
To anything that might be remotely described as a future,
No need to worry no more!
Today, Mayday 1993, we have been told the recession is over.

Who is laughing now?

They call it long term unemployment
and they pass the buck to you
So laugh and laugh about it
It’s all that’ll see you through

It has split up many families
and saw many tears in lieu
But laugh and laugh about it
It’s all that’ll see you through

There are dreams and aspirations
of what you can not do
But laugh and laugh about it
It’s all that’ll see you through

Fears of crime are growing
and we trust a chosen few
But laugh and laugh about it
It’s all that’ll see you through

The bosses talk of job-fare c
heap labour from the buroo
But laugh and laugh about it
It’s all that’ll see you through

We are screaming revolution
and it is our point of view
As we laugh and laugh about it
It will not see them through

Paul Anderson

Scottish Tory Anthem

Bonny Scotland we adore you
but our interests come before you.
We love each mountain, loch and glade
when there’s a profit to be made
from timber, water, peat and coal.
And for this we’d sell our soul-
Soul? How dare we use the name,
we never did possess the same.

For we are Scottish traitors all
for England’s gold we hold in thrall
A nation that we hate to see
struggling towards its liberty.
We fear and dread that glorious morn
when truth triumphs and freedom’s born
and good folk all, from near and far,
see us the scoundrels that we are.

Fake ‘Labour’s’ rose is deepest pink

Fake ‘Labour’s’ rose is deepest pink
Our cowardice creates a stink
Lacking courage til we die
We’ll keep our pink rose flying high.

Welsh-rabbit Kinnock proved a curse
And windbag Smith is even worse
Though bean-pole Dewar will rant and lie,
We’ll keep the pink rose flying high.

The British Tories have a field day
We crawlers let them have their way
Red Flag betrayed’s the reason why
We keep our pink rose flying high.

We’ll aye let down the workingclass
For we’ll aye kiss the boss’s ass
Obey his laws, not him deft,
And keep the pink rose flying high.

Freddie Alldersoll



An appeal by the father of a victim of Occidental’s criminality

On November 12th 1990, Lord Cullen published his report of the Public Inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster which killed 167 men on July 6th 1988. Presiding over the long and painstaking investigation during which every piece of evidence was dissected, he judged that The Occidental Oil Company had acted recklessly and negligently leading up to and during the disaster. Occidental had been found guilty twice before of negligence in relation to safety during one of which a man was killed.

Despite this, in July 1991, over 3 years after the disaster the Lord Advocate for Scotland, Lord Fraser of Carmyle, announced that he would not be prosecuting Occidental. This announcement was suspiciously timed to coincide with Parliament’s summer recess and when most interested people and their organisations were on holiday.

This decision by the highest Law Lord in Scotland made a nonsense of the findings of the Public Inquiry and surely must in itself border on criminality. With the Lord Advocate being Westminster’s representative, then the decision not to prosecute must be seen as an act of conspiracy between the Government of the U.K. and the Occidental Oil Company.

I call on every person and their organisations and associations to demand an Inquiry into Lord Fraser’s behaviour in deciding not to prosecute Occidental. Help me to get justice for my son who was killed through the criminal negligence of Occidental the main villain of this terrible disaster.

Together we can bring the Occidental Oil Company to justice helping to save lives in the future by making the North Sea a safer place to work.

Gavin Cleland

from a leaflet distributed on the streets of Glasgow