Scotland

Scottish referendum: vote no to independence!

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Editorial

In five weeks time, the people of Scotland will decide whether or not to become an independent state.

YouGov polls have consistently shown voters to be split down the middle. That was until the debate between Labour’s Alistair Darling and the Scottish Nationalist Party’s First Minister Alex Salmond at the beginning of the month. Poll results now show “No” votes to be 55%, “Yes” votes at 35%, with the rest undecided.

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Common Weal

Common Weal has split from the Jimmy Reid Foundation.

Although this sentence may not mean much (if anything) to anyone outside of Scotland (nor, indeed, to most people in Scotland), the split says a lot about the ‘left’ arguments for Scottish independence.

The Jimmy Reid Foundation was launched after the death of its namesake in 2010. Reid had had shot to fame as the leader of the UCS sit-in of 1971-73. Thereafter, he remained something of an almost iconic figure in the West of Scotland labour movement.

Common Weal has split from the Jimmy Reid Foundation.

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Construction workers' sit-down safety strike

Author: 

Darren Bedford

Nearly 1,000 construction workers at a gas plant in Shetland staged a sit-down strike in their workplace canteen on Monday 21 July, over safety concerns.

Nearly 1,000 construction workers at a gas plant in Shetland staged a sit-down strike over safety concerns.

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We all belong to Glasgow

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Charlotte Seleus

The Glasgow girls, are a group of school students from Drumchapel High School in Glasgow, who in 2005 took it upon themselves to campaign for the release of their friend Agnesa Murselaj, a Roma girl from Kosovo who was detained by immigration police in a dawn raid.

Agnesa’s whole family were placed in Yarls Wood detention centre and faced deportation back to a country where Roma people faced persecution.

A review of Glasgow Girls (15 July, BBC3).

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Glasgow Council workers face down anti-union bosses

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Anne Field

Unison members employed by Glasgow Life, an “arms-length company” set up by Glasgow City Council, staged a series of protests last week to highlight their employer’s treatment of them as a second-class workforce.

Workers at Glasgow City Council are taking on anti-union employers during the Commonwealth Games.

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The Monthly Survey

Socialists must support Scottish self-determination (Dale Street)
Labours maundy money (Martin Thomas)
The Fragile Middle East peace (Mike Fenwick)
TUC leaders bow down to Blair

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Industrial news in brief

Workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, London are balloting for more strikes. The campaign is gathering momentum but management are still refusing to negotiate on demands for the London Living Wage. Workers have struck three times in the last three weeks.

Students support Lambeth College strike

The dispute at Lambeth College between workers and management continues. UCU members at the college are fighting against reduced terms and conditions for new workers, as well as threats to the conditions of current staff.

Brixton Ritzy cinema strike; students support Lambeth College strike; Church of Scotland workers strike.

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Farage in Scotland

Over 300 activists turned up last Friday (9th May) to protest at a visit to Edinburgh by UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

Farage’s last visit to Scotland – in May of last year – ended in a fiasco for the UKIP leader after protestors trapped him in a pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and police had to be called in to rescue him.

This time Farage managed to avoid the same fate by bringing with him his own security team and creeping into the venue for his press conference and (very poorly attended) ‘rally’ through a rear entrance.

Farrage visits Scotland and avoids getting an egging.

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Right on Scottish independence, but for the wrong reasons

“It is difficult to decide which camp in the Scottish independence debate makes the stronger case for voting the opposite way,” were the sensible opening words in the 21 February editorial in the Morning Star.

In recent weeks, the editorial pointed out, “some dire weakness in the SNP-led Yes campaign have been ruthlessly exposed.”

From a socialist perspective, the arguments put forward in support of an independent Scotland make little or no sense (and the more “radical” the arguments, the less sense they make).

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Ineos sacks union convenor

Unite convenor Mark Lyon was sacked by Ineos at Grangemouth last week.

His dismissal follows the resignation three months ago of another Unite convenor, Stevie Deans, after a witch-hunt based on collusion between Ineos, the police, the media and the Tories (with some assistance from people in Labour).

According to a statement issued by Unite:

“Mr Lyon’s sacking comes in the face of significant medical evidence that he is suffering from a serious stress-related illness as a result of the treatment he has endured at the hands of the company.”

Unite convenor Mark Lyon was sacked by Ineos at Grangemouth last week.

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