Scotland

A battle to liberate Scottish Labour from the old guard cathy n Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:59
for real change

The result of the contest for leadership of the Scottish Labour Party will be announced on Saturday, 18th November.

At the core of that contest has been a struggle by the rank-and-file of the Scottish Labour Party and affiliated trade unions in Scotland to liberate the Scottish labour movement from the grip of a right-wing old-guard establishment.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 12:56 Author: Charlotte Zalens, Gemma Short, Dale Street and Peggy Carter

Picturehouse workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, and East Dulwich, Crouch End, Hackney and Central Picturehouses struck on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 November for the start of Living wage week.

On 6 November the new Living Wage was announced, and in London it rose from £9.75 an hour to £10.20 an hour.

Striking on the day of this announcement meant the strike gained national press coverage, including on ITV news, as the press covered the raise in the Living Wage.

Vote Richard Leonard for Scottish Labour Leader

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 12:17 Author: Dale Street

Supporting nominations from Constituency Labour Parties in the Scottish Labour Party leadership contest closed on 13 October. Richard Leonard had 42, compared with 16 for Anas Sarwar. The right-wing Community trade union backed Sarwar. All other unions which submitted a supporting nomination backed Leonard.

Jackie Walker's questionable allies

Submitted by cathy n on 7 August, 2017 - 3:39 Author: Dale Street

“Anti-Semitism is a crime. Anti-Zionism is a duty” read the banner in front of the stage at Jackie Walker’s performance of her one-person show “The Lynching” at the Edinburgh Fringe in early August.

Walker is currently facing Labour Party disciplinary charges over allegations of antisemitism. She describes her play as “the one-woman show about a real-life witch-hunt: an attempt to destroy Jeremy Corbyn and an entire political movement.”

The Scottish left: the strongest nationalists

Submitted by cathy n on 26 June, 2017 - 9:43 Author: Ann Field

“The Labour Party in Scotland has been wiped out.” That was the verdict of the Socialist Party Scotland (SPS) on the 2015 general election. The next step was: “The trade union movement must now prepare to build a new mass party for the working class.”

In alliance with the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the SPS had stood ten candidates in Scotland under the ‘Trade Union and Socialist Coalition’ (TUSC) banner. Their votes ranged from 0.2% to 0.7%, and amounted to only 1,772 in total.

But that did not constitute a “wipe-out”.

Save Lightburn Hospital!

Submitted by Matthew on 21 June, 2017 - 10:32 Author: Ann Field

Fifty demonstrators protested outside of Lightburn Hospital in Glasgow on Saturday 17 June to re-launch a campaign to prevent its closure. Lightburn is the last in-patient hospital in Glasgow’s East End. It provides rehabilitative care for elderly people suffering from strokes, dementia, Parkinson’s or similar illnesses. Each year it admits around 450 patients, and deals with 400 new day cases and 3,000 return visits.

Nationalists in decline

Submitted by cathy n on 10 June, 2017 - 8:51 Author: Dale Street

Compared with the 2015 general election, the number of SNP MPs fell from 56 to 35. Scottish Tory MPs increased from one to 13, Scottish Labour MPs increased from one to seven, and Scottish Lib-Dem MPs increased from one to four.

Eleven of the new intake of SNP MPs have majorities of less than 900. In some constituencies their majorities were wafer-thin: two, 21, 60, 75, and 195.