Scotland

Les Forster, 1919-2016

Author: 

Ann Field

The veteran Glasgow socialist Les Forster died last week, aged 96. Forster was the last survivor of a generation of socialist activists in the West of Scotland who broke with the Communist Party in the early 1950s and struck out to build a non-Stalinist and anti-Stalinist socialist tradition.

The veteran Glasgow socialist Les Forster died last week, aged 96. Forster was the last survivor of a generation of socialist activists in the West of Scotland who broke with the Communist Party in the early 1950s and struck out to build a non-Stalinist and anti-Stalinist socialist tradition.

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Setback for Trade Union Bill

Author: 

Gemma Short

The House of Lords has taken issue with the parts of the Trade Union Bill which relate to party funding and have referred them for closer scrutiny in the committee stages.

The House of Lords has taken issue with the parts of the Trade Union Bill which relate to party funding and have referred them for closer scrutiny in the committee stages.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Michael Tron and Gemma Short

Lambeth Libraries staff have voted overwhelmingly for strike action to save jobs and keep all ten Lambeth libraries open.

Staff voted 89% to strike against plans to close libraries and cut jobs. Unison will now be discussing extended strike action with the library workers in the borough. This strike vote follows a community campaign to keep the libraries open, as well as a walk out by staff in December when news circulated that books were already being taken out of one of the libraries.

Lambeth workers strike to save libraries; Tube unions call new strikes; teachers struggle against cuts; support LANAC candidates in NUT; Birmingham job losses; fighting for fair 16-19 funding; FE college pay strike planned; fighting union busting; Sheffield housing strike.

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Do some Labour Research!

Author: 

Ann Field

A three-page advert in “Labour Research” (monthly magazine of the Labour Research Department) costs £4,000. But the current issue of the magazine gives the SNP three pages of advertising for nothing.

Uncritically and inaccurately, an article entitled “Scotland and Employment Relations: Scotland - Showing the Way?” covers the SNP’s position on the Tories’ Trade Union Bill and the SNP’s attitude towards trade unions.

Labour Research misses the point on SNP's policy on the Trade Union Bill

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SNP attack Labour from the right

Author: 

Ann Field

Thanks to the Labour Party, tens or hundreds of thousands of families in Scotland would be worse off as a result of the Tories’ tax credit cuts. And the Labour Party’s campaign against those cuts was “disingenuous”.

Socialist activists need to take a lead in pushing for Scottish Labour and the trade unions to pursue a policy of confrontation, not just with the Tories but with the SNP as well.

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SNP MSP tweets anti-semitic cartoon

Author: 

Dale Street

On 6 November, SNP MSP Sandra White retweeted a particularly vile antisemitic “cartoon” commonly used by US neo-Nazis.

The “cartoon” portrayed a pig labelled “Rothschild”. A picture on the pig portrayed Rothschild himself (above a blood-red Star of David), Bush and Obama. On either side of the picture were clawed hands and hooked noses. Such details would not have been apparent in the tweet of the “cartoon”.

SNP MSP Sandra White has retweeted a vile antisemitic “cartoon” used by US neo-Nazis.

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Scottish Labour Conference: Scrap Trident!

The Scottish Labour Party conference on 31 October-1 November voted overwhelmingly (70/30) against Trident renewal.

Support for Trident renewal was spearheaded by the Community and GMB leaderships. Both argued that nuclear weapons were good for the nation’s defence, and good for jobs. According to Community strategy and policy director John Park: “We are supportive of the nuclear deterrent and of the conventional defence industry.”

Scottish Labour Party conference votes overwhelmingly against Trident renewal.

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Defend our unions against Tories and the SNP!

Author: 

Ann Field

Unsurprisingly the recent Scottish Labour Party conference voted unanimously to oppose the Tories’ Trade Union Bill. But the motion, from Unison and three Glasgow Constituency Labour Parties, had its weaknesses, saying, for instance that trade unions are “good for business”. But if unions are good for business, why do so many employers derecognise them?

Nothing could better illustrate the poisonous divisiveness of the SNP that with the union-Labour link under full-scale assault from the Tories, the SNP is launching its own attack on it.

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SWP snared in Scotland

Author: 

Anne Field

The SWP in Scotland adopted a distinctly sniffy attitude towards the Corbyn campaign.

According to an SWP leaflet distributed at a Corbyn rally in Glasgow, “while we should wish Jeremy Corbyn well [thanks!], we urgently need a socialist alternative to Labour.”

Corbyn’s victory was dismissed by the SWP as a matter of little account for Scotland: “Scottish Labour has elected an uninspiring new leader in Kezia Dugdale. Corbynmania hasn’t passed it by, but it looks set to suffer another crushing defeat next May.”

The SWP in Scotland adopted a distinctly sniffy attitude towards the Corbyn campaign.

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Remnants of Scottish steel industry to go

Author: 

Ann Field

Two hundred and seventy jobs are directly at risk after Tata Steel announced plans to “mothball” its Dalzell and Clydebridge plants, the final remnants of the Scottish steel industry after the Tories’ de-industrialisation of the 1980s.

Hundreds more jobs in local communities which depend on the plants and their workforces are also at risk.

The Scottish Labour Party has responded with a range of slightly confusing demands on the SNP government in Holyrood:

Tata Steel to “mothball” Dalzell and Clydebridge plants,

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