Scotland

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.

Scots nationalism can be pushed back

Submitted by Matthew on 24 May, 2017 - 12:40 Author: Anne Field

The SNP performed so well in the 2015 general election that it wants to make 2017 a repeat performance, albeit with a few changes to the roles to be played by the different characters.

Exploiting the boost given to nationalism and national-identity politics by the 2014 referendum, the SNP succeeded in persuading Scottish voters in the 2015 election that they key question was not which political party should form the next government, but which political party would best represent Scotland.

The SNP and the Tory #rapeclause

Submitted by cathy n on 23 May, 2017 - 1:11 Author: Dale Street

#Rapeclause was one of the four most popular Twitter hashtags used by SNP MPs and MSPs in the run-up to the Scottish council elections held earlier this month.

SNP MSP Humza Yousaf tweeted about “Tory born-again Brexiters and rape-clause advocates.” Fellow SNP MSP James Dornan explained: “If you’d rather vote for the Tories than SNP, you’re a right-wing Rape Clause supporting enabler.”

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 17 May, 2017 - 11:12 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Staff at Manchester Metropolitan University will strike against job cuts on 24 and 25 May, against a backdrop of hundreds of jobs at risk across the sector. Manchester University is planning to cut 171 jobs; up to 150 are at risk at Aberystwyth; 139 at the University of Wales Trinity St David; Sunderland, Durham and Plymouth are all looking for voluntary redundancies.