Archive for "Left Strategy"

Latest Edition of Scottish Left Review Published

Mar 31, 2015 Add a comment

Industrial Democracy and General Election Predictions Dominate

18 Articles offer informative, provocative and constructive comment in the latest Issue of Scottish Left Review (SLR)

Contributors look forward to the STUC Congress in April and demand industrial and economic democracy as unions understand – no matter which party is in office – they need full rights and powers. The revelation, to some, of the hundreds of thousands of people who are in work but poor, has created a momentum for all political parties to adopt progressive policies to improve individual employment rights and address economic inequality.  Effectively challenging the cost of living crisis and decline in real wages requires a wider commitment to remove the restrictions on union recognition and representation enabling them to have the freedom to organise and bargain collectively.

The May General Election is regarded as the halfway mark in a journey that will determine our political settlement for some years to come.   Realistically, we will only be clearer about how politics has evolved after the referendum when the result of the Holyrood Elections is announced in May 2016.   Gregor Gall, Editor of Scottish Left Review (SLR) points out:

“The main beneficiaries of people’s political disillusionment will be the likes of the SNP and UKIP. Sooner or later, the hopes placed in them will be disavowed as their ideologies are but mere variants of neo-liberalism.  In the case of the SNP, it’s called social liberalism which depends on growing the capitalist economy but obvious problems are weak economic growth for the moment, and for the foreseeable future, continuing government austerity and the power of capital to make governments bend to their will.

Moreover, there are growing concerns about the SNP government’s tendencies towards centralisation so that the democratic part of any alleged social democracy is also being called into question. It appears not only is managerialism taking over but internal enhanced devolution is not on the cards either.  Will there be a revolt within the SNP against this social liberalism from those on the left that have recently joined?”

Articles are available for re-production subject to full acknowledgement.


Action Against Austerity

Mar 12, 2015 Add a comment

The People’s Assembly Scotland Against Austerity has a  petition against
austerity cuts.  To find out more go to


Outsourcing public services is damaging for staff and service users, says TUC

Mar 04, 2015 Add a comment

The outsourcing of public services provision to private providers has a detrimental impact on the workforce and a knock-on effect on the quality of care, says a new TUC report.

The research, conducted by the New Economics Foundation on behalf of the TUC, looked at the scale and scope of outsourcing in five key sectors – social care, health care, offender management, local government and employment services. The report also examined the effects of outsourcing on staff working in a variety of public service jobs, such as care workers, nurses, prison officers and security guards.

The TUC findings show that compared with public service employees, workers in privatised services are more likely to work longer hours, receive less pay and be on insecure or temporary contracts. Some key figures broken down by job-type are:

  • Security guards are more than twelve times more likely to regularly work longer hours (more than 48 hours per week) if they are employed by a private company rather than the public sector.
  • The hourly wage for a private prison officer is more than £4 less than an equivalent public sector employee.
  • Residential care workers employed by the public sector typically stay in post more than three times longer than private sector workers.

Low pay and poor working conditions in the private sector can affect the commitment and the motivation of employees and have repercussions on the quality of service provided.

For more information and a breakdown of the statistics see the full press release at



Work for the Common Weal

Jun 27, 2013 1 Comment

We need a new economic philosophy, one where people come together for the benefit of all members of society – Scotsman article from today

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What next for ‘Common Weal’?

May 06, 2013 5 Comments

It has been a promising start to a project to outline the details of a better Scotland. But now it is for others to shape the path forward.

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Poverty isn’t a rebranding opportunity

Feb 17, 2013 5 Comments

Scottish Labour is suddenly all about poverty, but it looks more like a means to attack the SNP than a realisation of past errors. Credibility comes from action, not PR.

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Some thoughts on the First Minister’s lecture

Jan 30, 2013 Add a comment

Last night First Minister Alex Salmond gave the inaugural Jimmy Reid Memorial Lecture on the theme ‘Addressing Alienation: the opportunity of independence’. These are a few thoughts on what he said.

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Two Post-RIC Contributions

Nov 27, 2012 Add a comment

So much stuff coming in post-RIC. Here are two interesting contributions we’ve received; George Campbell with an interesting take on how to develop some aspects of an economic agenda and Tom Coles with a philosophical overview

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This is Not a Protest

Nov 25, 2012 4 Comments

Anyone who was involved in yesterday’s Radical Independence Conference knows the political buzz is justified, but the big question is ‘what next?’

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What should have been learned in ‘back-to-front’ week

Oct 30, 2012 1 Comment

Those who interpret and predict Scottish politics spent last week fussing over a minor bluff while, potentially, the very structural integrity of Scottish politics may have begun to shift

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