The discussion in the Morning Star and elsewhere on the Left, on the approach socialists should take to the Labour Party seems to be growing more intense and while I understand and am sympathetic to the frustration and anger many socialists feel, I continue to believe that the left should dig in and challenge the current Labour Party leadership.
In the end the margin between the two front runners for the SNP leadership turned out to be very close. Humza Yousaf won with 52.1% of the vote compared to Kate Forbes 47.9%. Ash Regan scored a respectable 11% in the first round.
The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill is bad legislation in so many ways. It is a blatant attack on trade union rights and those of individual workers. It is a Bill designed to avoid the scrutiny of Parliament. It further undermines the powers of devolved administrations and it will ultimately lead to a worsening of relations within important public service that depend so much on the good will of workers.
The decision of Nicola Sturgeon to stand down as First Minister of Scotland was sudden, but not unexpected. There has been speculation on her future for months despite her claim just two weeks ago that she had plenty in her tank to keep going.
After 16 years of SNP government in Scotland, we have become used to seeing just a few high-profile figures. I feel reasonably confident that few members of the public could name no more than a handful of SNP Scottish ministers.
After two years work Gordon Brown has delivered his Report from the Commission on the UK’s Future. For those, few, who were aware that it existed, there was little or no information about what was happening and how they could submit their ideas to it.
The report has finally been launched after a few weeks of to-ing and fro-ing in the media raising questions about one of its more eye-catching proposals: would the House of Lords be abolished and would it would be a first term commitment or be delayed to sometime in the future? On the same day different news outlets were claiming that Keir Starmer had committed himself to a first term change and others saying that he had not given that commitment. Starmer did state clearly at the launch that it would be consulted on in advance of the next General Election so that it could be in Labour’s manifesto and its recommendations could be ready to be implemented in the first term.
The Scottish Government have indeed broken new ground with the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill. Never in the field of parliamentary scrutiny has a piece of legislation been so panned by so many so completely. The Bill was published by Humza Yousaf in June. It is currently being examined by Parliamentary Committees They asked for views, and boy did they get them. Seems a Bill to create an ill defined system based on outsourcing and delivering contracts not care has found few friends.
For the past 10 years the Red Paper Collective has assessed the different options for Scotland’s future against three criteria:
British people are facing an existential threat to their lives and living standards. The crisis is given visibility by escalating energy prices, but has been incubating since the late 1970s. It has been nurtured by neoliberalism and the state-corporations nexus, which has systematically sought to increase capital’s share of gross domestic product (GDP).
Whatever else the SNP government’s new publication A Stronger Economy with Independence is about, it is not about independence. This publication, the third in the series would have an ‘independent’ Scotland firstly chained to the Bank of England by sharing a common currency with the remainder of the UK until (at some unspecified date in the future) it creates its own currency. This is necessary for the next big step in Scottish liberation – membership of the European Union.