Scotland

Scottish Labour right is wrong to attack McDonnell

Author

Ann Field

In 2014, the Scottish Labour right wing virtually destroyed Labour in Scotland by allying with the Tories in “Better Together”. Now, in 2019, they’re back for a repeat performance.

The 2014 class collaboration with the Tories resulted in: the loss of 40 out of 41 Westminster seats in 2015; the loss of 13 Holyrood seats in 2016, leaving Labour a poor third behind the Tories; and the loss of a raft of council seats and control of Glasgow City Council in 2017.

SNP trans contradictions

Author

Heather Herbert

On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the SNP member of parliament Mhairi Black gave a fantastic speech calling for the reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).

SNP floats new referendum on separation

Author

Dale Street

SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence if Britain leaves the EU. The referendum would be some time before 2021, when the next Holyrood elections take place.

The Scottish Parliament is to pass a “framework Bill” by the end of this year. This will lay down the rules of a second referendum. Westminster’s permission would not be needed to pass the Bill.

Debate: Glasgow, Zionists and racism

The UN anti-racism demonstration in Glasgow this year, as last year, faced a counter-demonstration by would-be left groups which refused to join it unless the Glasgow Friends of Israel were excluded from the march.

The pro-Israel group was about the same size as last year, 20-odd people. It carried no Israeli flags. It is unclear whether that was unintentional or by design. One argument last year was: they wave Israeli flags; Israel is a racist state; therefore, they should not be on the demo.

Mock-workerism and the Scottish Labour Party

Author

Ann Field

GMB Scottish Regional Secretary Gary Smith was accorded front page coverage in the 3 March 2019 “Herald on Sunday”.

Billed as an “Exclusive”, the article in fact consisted of some extracts from an interview with Smith conducted by one of the pro-independence paper’s resident right-wing journalists, Paul Hutcheon.

Hutcheon is still remembered for his notorious witch-hunting ‘articles’ about the Falkirk Labour selection contest and Grangemouth Ineos dispute of 2013 (although he has written no shortage of articles in a similar vein since then).

Scottish Labour and the Glasgow council issue

Author

Dale Street

The long-running campaign for equal pay for Glasgow City Council women workers, finally settled in February 2019, is on the agenda of the Scottish Labour Party annual conference, taking place in Dundee on 9-10 March 2019.

A motion submitted by the Scottish Labour Women’s Conference – tabled at that conference by the GMB, which represented many of the low-paid women – notes the resistance to equal pay for local authority women workers, “including during years of Labour power”.

Industrial officials are never wrong?

Author

Ann Field

“We, the lay members of PULS, stand in solidarity with our left officers and organisers. We know they will always do the right thing.” So says a recent open letter recently from “Progressive United Left Scotland” (PULS), a faction in Unite the Union launched in 2016 because of the supposed demise of the existing United Left Scotland (ULS).

Salmond and “conspiracy”

Author

Dale Street

Former Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond appeared in court on 24 January after having been charged the previous day with two attempted rapes, nine sexual assaults, two indecent assaults, and a breach of the peace.

In line with Scottish legal procedures for “solemn” serious cases, the hearing was held in private and Salmond was not required to enter a plea. After the hearing Salmond told reporters that he was “innocent of any criminality whatsoever”.

Glasgow equal pay: accounts to settle

Author

Ann Field

Last October, the lack of progress in settling a long-running dispute at Glasgow City Council led to the biggest equal-pay strike in British history.

On Monday 21 January, over 250 women members of the GMB employed by Glasgow City Council attended a meeting to hear an update on the campaign.

The previous week the media had reported that agreement had been reached with the now SNP-­run Council in a dispute stretching back to 2006, when the then Labour­controlled council introduced a new pay scheme to address gender-­based pay inequalities.

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