Scotland

England right, Scotland left?

Author: 

Rhodri Evans

One story being told about the 7 May election is that Scotland has become left-wing, and England right-wing. Labour lost, so they say, because it was too left-wing for England and too right-wing for Scotland.

A likelier explanation is that the SNP was able to project itself as both a bit left-wing, and safe, whereas Labour’s combination of general talk against “predators” with extravagantly cautious and tiny policies left it looking neither really left-wing nor really safe.

One story being told about the 7 May election is that Scotland has become left-wing, and England right-wing. Labour lost, so they say, because it was too left-wing for England and too right-wing for Scotland.

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Unions are not to blame for Labour's defeat

Author: 

Dale Street

When Jim Murphy announced he was standing down Murphy claimed that he had been “at the centre of a campaign by the London leadership of Unite the Union, (who) blame myself or the Scottish Labour Party for the defeat of the UK Labour Party in the general election.”

“Sometimes people see it as a badge of honour to have [Unite General Secretary] Mr McCluskey’s support. I see it as a kiss of death to be supported by that type of politics… We cannot have our leaders selected or deselected by the grudges and grievances of one prominent man.”

Jim Murphy may be stepping down as Scottish Labour leader but his pernicious influence on the party is far from finished.

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Make sure Murphy goes!

Author: 

Dale Street

After surviving a no confidence vote by 17 votes to 14 at the meeting of the Scottish Labour Party Executive Committee (16 May), the Party’s leader Jim Murphy tendered his resignation.

Murphy’s election as Scottish Labour leader last December was the product of a carefully orchestrated plot by Blairite MSPs and Scottish Labour MPs. Last summer Murphy was given the lead role in the Better Together campaign, in order to raise his profile. The Blairites then triggered the resignation of incumbant leader Johann Lamont’, reportedly by circulating a statement of no confidence in her.

After surviving a no confidence vote by 17 votes to 14 at the meeting of the Scottish Labour Party Executive Committee on 16 May, the Party’s leader Jim Murphy tendered his resignation.

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A government for the rich

Author: 

Ann Field

The Tories are committed to cutting public spending by £30 billion over the next four years. This will mean annual cuts twice the size of any year’s cuts over the past five years. Although they have not identified all their cuts it is already clear to some degree where the axe will fall.

Policies include debarring unemployed under-21s from claiming Housing Benefit and cutting the annual benefits cap — the maximum payable to any claimant, whatever their circumstances — from £26,000 to £23,000.

The first Tory government since 1997 to have an absolute majority in Parliament will rule on behalf of the rich, the powerful and the bigoted. It will target the poor, the disadvantaged, the sick, the working class, and the one force capable of defeating the Tories’ new laws: the trade union movement.

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Where now for Scottish Labour?

Author: 

Dale Street
Jim Murphy must go. Rebuild class struggle politics in Scotland.

Winning just one seat in Scotland, the Scottish Labour Party was annihilated as an electoral force, and possibly as any kind of political force, on May 7th.

On being elected Scottish Labour leader last December, Jim Murphy said: “I am confident we will hold all the Westminster seats we have.”

In January he criticised the SNP for being “sluggish, lethargic and off the pace.” He was “surprised by their lack of energy, by their lack of response, or belated response, to a lot of the things we’ve been doing. I’m just astonished by how quickly they’ve run out of ideas.”

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The SWP's cunning plan

Author: 

Dale Street

When it comes to mealy-mouthed oleaginous opportunism, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has always been in a class of its own. And in the general election campaign in Scotland the SWP is now doing what the SWP does best.

According to an SWP leaflet produced for May Day demonstrations in Scotland: “The SWP is not calling for a blanket vote for the SNP on 7th May.”

This could mean: Vote TUSC or SSP where they are standing (as subsequently advocated by the leaflet), but vote SNP everywhere else. This would be consistent with the presence of the word “blanket” before “vote”.

Are they, or are they not, backing the SNP?

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Len McCluskey: take on the SNP!

Author: 

Ann Field

“I didn’t come to Scotland to criticise the SNP,” said Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey at a public meeting in Saltcoats a fortnight ago, organised by North Ayrshire and Arran Labour Party as part of its campaign to retain the seat for Katy Clark.

McCluskey was as good as his word.

He called for a vote for Labour. He called for a Labour government. He called for, if need be, a minority Labour government rather than one which entered pacts or a coalition with other parties. But he was not prepared to attack the SNP.

Why doesn't the leader of Unite criticise the SNP, the cuts it has made, its nationalism and lack of support for trade unions?

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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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