The latest Edition includes 13 articles including one from Neil Findlay setting out why he is standing for the leadership of Scottish Labour, the STUC’s submission to the Smith Commission, Book Reviews, letters and the regular ‘Vladimir McTavish’s Kick up the Tabloids’. http://www.scottishleftreview.org/
Comment on White Paper by Reid Foundation Director in the Daily Record
I was prepared to be underwhelmed by the Scottish Government’s White Paper. I am pleasantly surprised.
It proposes we should radically change economic policy to create a high-pay economy, make the primary purpose of government greater equality among citizens, place dignity and respect at the heart of welfare policy, renationalise Royal Mail, offer free childcare for every family, give employees a right to sit on the boards of their companies, see trade unions as a partner, remove nuclear weapons in four years, have a written constitution, end tax evasion by corporations, focus on growing Scottish industrial base and much more.
If a UK political party was offering this it would be called the most radical and people-focussed manifesto since the Atlee Government set up the welfare state and the NHS. Ed Milliband has been praised highly by some for offering much less.
What I was looking for was a promise that between a Yes vote and the first democratic election in 2016, the SNP wouldn’t behave like it had the right to design a new country all by itself. The paper promises we will all get to play a part in writing a constitution and that its opponents will be included in the negotiating team that agrees the deal we get when leaving the UK. So I am reassured.
That does not mean the Scottish Government has got everything right. It is wrong on cutting corporation tax, it is wrong on keeping the UK’s terrible banking regulation and in my opinion it is wrong to join NATO. But these are all issues that will only be decided after a democratic election so I and everyone else in Scotland will get to have a say about it.
Has it answered every question? Well, the thing is the size of a doorstep and a genuine effort has been made.
Will you be convinced? That’s up to you. The Scottish Government is in the position where if it tries to answer questions that have no definite answers it will be accused of lying and if it doesn’t it will be accused of hiding. With this report it is certainly not hiding.
And that is where Better Together looks weak to me. Alastair Darling has just been on TV suggesting that since he thinks Alex Salmond is a liar, no-one should trust him or his answers. But does Darling honestly think we trust him, that we’ll take his word for it?
I don’t think it’s going to be that easy. Whatever you think of it, this White Paper sets out a vision for a high-pay society with a strong welfare state. That is a leap forward from anything we’re being offered by the UK.
I and many other experts believe this vision is realistic. I don’t think shouting ‘liar’ will be enough to get Better Together off the hook if it rejects it.
If you want certainty, get a digital watch. If you want a better country, judge people on what they are offering.
Yesterday a big gulf opened up between the two futures we are being asked to choose between.
Will working people have enough confidence to jump that gulf and take a chance on a new future?
You’ve got about nine months to decide.
Nationalising Scotland’s oil is not a priority – stopping multinationals and their pals in the Treasury fleecing us again in the renewables field as they did in oil is: Robin McAlpine’s article from today’s Scotsman
Robin Hahnel and Gar Alperovitz are two of the major figures in the New Economic movement in the US. We are very lucky to have them writing on the Common Weal and Scotland’s economic future – from today’s Sunday Herald
A teaser from the Scottish Left Review which will be out next week. Jim Mather argues that the model of financialised capitalism has very clearly failed to address the ‘Common Weal’ either in terms of shared wealth or economy security. A new approach is needed.
We need a new economic philosophy, one where people come together for the benefit of all members of society – Scotsman article from today
My Scotsman article – Political leaders and their parties have to be told to stop parroting what the plutocrats want them to say and start doing what the people who elected them told them to
Belatedly – my piece in The Scotsman the Scottish Government economic paper: The SNP’s plan, while recognising some of what not to do, seems to include repeating the mistakes that caused the economic crisis in the first place
The response to a protest against an anti-immigration, xenophobic political party has been as hard to believe as it has been distorted. The impact on Scottish politics is alarming.
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.