Scotland

Scotland: Vote Labour, not Nationalist!

Author: 

Dale Street

“Neither Nicola Sturgeon nor her deputy (Stewart Hosie) are saying austerity can be avoided. Instead, it’s being re-badged and re-profiled, or spread out for longer. …”

“The defiant refusal to accept more austerity, which won power for Syriza in Greece last month, is not being offered here. Instead, a serious bid for a share of power in Britain requires a message that won’t spook the markets.”

Why the SNP is a party of austerity.

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Scottish Nationalists: the party of austerity

Author: 

Dale Street

“Neither Nicola Sturgeon nor her deputy (Stewart Hosie) are saying austerity can be avoided. Instead, it’s being re-badged and re-profiled, or spread out for longer. …”

“The defiant refusal to accept more austerity, which won power for Syriza in Greece last month, is not being offered here. Instead, a serious bid for a share of power in Britain requires a message that won’t spook the markets.”

That was the verdict of BBC Scotland’s business and economy editor Douglas Fraser, and it is about right.

SNP leaders says that this election is not about independence for Scotland but about austerity. In fact, as far as the SNP is concerned, everything is about independence, including this election.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Ollie Moore

Seventy Unison members who work with the homeless in Glasgow Council started an indefinite strike on Tuesday 31 March.

The strike is to win recognition of their work reflected in their pay grading. Unison says workers doing similar jobs are paid a pay grade higher than the homeless support workers.

Workers have been taking action short of strike action since January. Send messages of support to: Glasgow City Unison

Lewisham academies fight wins extension

Glasgow council workers strike; Lewisham academies fight wins extension; Unison rep reinstated; Network Rail pay ballot; RMT election.

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An Open Letter to a socialist supporter of the SNP

Author: 

Ann Field

Dear Jimmy,

A few weeks ago we carried a series of articles arguing for a Labour vote rather than a Green vote in the general election.

The arguments in the articles were all very calm, cool and collected, a series of reflections on the fact that whatever the apparent attractiveness of – at least some – Green policies might be, this did not justify calling for a vote for the Greens.

Why socialists in Scotland should not vote SNP in the general election.

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Jim Murphy's chief of staff

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The new leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Jim Murphy, has appointed John McTernan as his "chief of staff".

Read on, then, for this excerpt from the Morning Star (6 March) which tells you what you need to know about McTernan.

McTernan was speaking at a breakfast meeting at the conference for Policy Exchange, a Tory-leaning think tank. The whole event was paid for by the Stock Exchange.

McTernan poured praise on Thatcher. He said: “She changed the economic structure for good. As in forever. But also for good. It’s a good thing she did what she did.”

The new leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Jim Murphy, has appointed John McTernan as his "chief of staff".

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Class interest, not patriotic interest!

Author: 

Ann Field

On Saturday 6 March a special conference of the Scottish Labour Party voted by 69% to 31% for a constitutional amendment declaring it to be a party which “works for the patriotic interest of the people of Scotland.”

The bulk of the opposing votes came from Unite and Unison, plus a scattering of local parties. According to unconfirmed reports, the GMB voted for the amendment, and the CWU and ASLEF abstained.

Winning a third of the conference to a vote against the amendment was no small achievement.

Jim Murphy’s re-writing of the Scottish Labour party's constitution is a transparent exercise in squalid opportunism.

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Edinburgh fights cuts

On 12 February 2015 the City of Edinburgh Council, a Labour-SNP coalition, passed a budget with £22 million of cuts which will see a reduction of 1200 jobs from the council workforce.

Fiona Menzies from Edinburgh East Save Our Services told Solidarity: “This did not go unmarked. Community and trade union activists both lobbied outside the council and delivered inspiring deputations inside. People can get some idea of the range of groups and the arguments being made by watching the deputations on the council webcam.

Edinburgh Council, a Labour-SNP coalition, has passed a budget with £22 million of cuts which will see a reduction of 1,200 jobs from the council workforce.

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How not to reverse Labour's fortunes

Author: 

Anne Field

He’s promised to bring back the sale of alcoholic drinks at football matches.

He’s pledged to make Labour the true patriotic party, patriotically committed to the patriotic interests of patriotic Scotland. And he’s been photographed jogging along the Clyde wearing a Scotland team football top. But none of this has been enough for Jim Murphy, the recently elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party, to achieve a reversal in the party’s poll ratings.

The Scottish Labour Party has alienated many of its core voters by failing to offer a radical alternative to the politics of privatisation, anti-union laws and austerity. But the growth in support for the SNP and its portrayal of independence as a cure-all panacea is not a shift to the left.

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Scots, Wha Hae Wi Murphy bled!

Author: 

Anne Field

Newly elected Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has produced his own version of a new Clause Four for the Labour Party in Scotland.

(To be more accurate: he claims that it is all his own work. In fact, it reads like an entry in a primary school competition (“Write your own clause four and win a gold star!”) which has been pulled out of a hat at random.)

The first part of the new, Scottish, Clause Four is the verbose and vacuous Blairite Clause Four adopted by the Labour Party in 1995, albeit with a reference to Scottish Labour and “the people of Scotland” thrown in.

Jim Murphy’s message to Scottish Labour members at last month’s rally where the result of the leadership contest was announced should have been: “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for oblivion!”

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Next steps for Labour in Scotland?

Author: 

Dale Street

2014 closed with the election of Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale as leader and deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

Murphy won 56% of the total electoral college vote (split three ways between: MSPs and Scottish MPs and MEPs; individual Labour Party members; affiliated trade unions), against 35% for left-wing challenger Neil Findlay. The third candidate, Sarah Boyack, won 9%.

In the deputy leadership election Kezia Dugdale won 63%, against 37% for left-wing challenger Katy Clark.

The left in the Labour Party and the trade unions in Scotland should follow up the leadership contest by organising a Scottish Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory in May’s general election.

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