Labour needs a Corbynista leadership in Scotland

The Scottish Labour leadership contest this autumn is important for the entire Labour Party in Britain, because how the party performs in Scotland will be a significant factor in whether Labour can form the next UK government. For Labour to win it is vital Scottish Labour improves on its poor performances at the 2015 and 2017 general elections. That requires the Scottish party to change its political orientation. A new leadership is needed that will promote Jeremy Corbyn’s popular anti-austerity agenda to the Scottish electorate. Continue reading

Report of Scottish Labour’s May executive

Inside Labour ScotlandThe May meeting of the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) inevitably focused on the election post-mortem.

General Secretary, Brian Roy set out his analysis of the voting and the party’s own polling. The numbers can be found in the SPICe report, for those in need of further depressing reading.

The party’s mid-campaign polling was better than the final result and this appears to be the basis for the suggestion that the anti-Semitism row had an impact on the result. While it was certainly unhelpful and may have had an impact in one or two areas, most SEC members were sceptical that it had much of a wider impact. Continue reading

Is there a Scottish road to Socialism?

Scottish Road to SocialismIs there a Scottish road to Socialism?’ This is the question posed in the third edition of this SLR Press book. The format is the same – a range of contributors from across the left wing spectrum in Scotland attempt to answer this question.

The last edition was in 2013, pre-dating the independence referendum and the General Election. These have been turbulent years in Scottish and UK politics, so a new edition is certainly justified. There are 18 contributors, excluding the Editor, Gregor Gall, who has his own unique analysis. They can be grouped into some broad camps with similar approaches.

We have the far left camp, including those grouped into the latest attempt at partial left unity, RISE, including Cat Boyd, Neil Davidson and Colin Fox. Together, or not, with Tommy Sheridan of Solidarity and Philip Stott of Socialist Party Scotland. Their analysis predictably sees a space caused by Labour’s demise for the far left in Scotland that the Greens cant fill because they have little appeal in working class communities. The fact that their vote rarely secured more than 0.4% doesn’t appear to have dented their optimism. Independence remains the priority, particularly for Tommy, and almost everything else is secondary. Continue reading

Why Scottish Labour was right to oppose the replacement of Trident

Scottish Labour ConferenceAt the Scottish Labour conference today, 70% of  votes were cast against replacing Trident and to endorse the composite set out below. Dave Watson, UNISON Scotland’s Head of Bargaining & Campaigns and former Chair of the Scottish Party explains why his union backed that vote

Trident is an expensive status symbol that has no military value and drains resources from conventional defence and socially useful investment.

Today, the Scottish Labour conference in Perth debated the replacement of Trident. Having a debate is in itself a huge achievement. It is due to an imaginative members day initiative by the leadership of Scottish Labour and the support of both trade union and CLP sections in the priorities ballot. The UNISON Labour Link Scotland delegation voted for the motion that opposes the replacement of Trident. Here’s why. Continue reading

Jez there can be a Corbynite Labour Party in Scotland

Inside Labour Scotland with KeziaSince the leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn has made it his priority to turn Labour into a democratic socialist party with the support of social movements. To this end, British-wide meetings have been organised by groups such as the Labour Campaign for Free Education, whose party guide for newcomers is in circulation. But socialists are also attending to their distinctive situations in the regions and nations of the UK, where quick local organising could transform and radicalise the Labour party from the bottom up.

Can Corbyn activists grow socialism at a civic level in northern cities like Newcastle? What might London socialists do to resist a reactionary turn from ‘independent-minded’ Sadiq Kahn during the mayoral election? How should socialists penetrate the Welsh party where Carwyn Jones is sure to resist the anti-capitalism of this new movement? Continue reading