Blaming Labour's defeat on opposition to fracking

Published on: Tue, 07/01/2020 - 20:56

Ann Field

“I would like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Christmas and healthy and prosperous New Year,” wrote GMB Scottish Regional Secretary Gary Smith in his end-of-the-year message to GMB activists in Scotland.

But Gary’s thumbnail sketch of why Labour lost the general election would suggest that not everyone was on his list for season’s greetings:

“It is a source of personal frustration that the party of Labour were not in touch with the real-world experiences of working-class Scotland. Those who orchestrated the Labour Party’s abject defeat should own it – they were well warned by GMB

The most incoherent suicide note in history

Published on: Tue, 07/01/2020 - 17:58

By Dale Street

The "Scottish Labour Open Letter"

The Scottish Labour left has been presented with a new hero of the class struggle: Alison Evison.

Evison is the sole Labour member of Aberdeenshire Council. She is also Deputy Leader of the Council Opposition Alliance (consisting almost entirely of SNP councillors), President of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, and Secretary of the COSLA Labour Group.

At no point in time has Evison, whose multiple roles in local government make her particularly well-placed to do so, ever advocated defiance of the cuts imposed on Scottish local authorities over the

Five arguments about why Labour lost

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:48

Sacha Ismail

“Labour has lost the working class”

Over the years, but particularly in the Brexit era, older people have swung to the right and younger people to the left.

In 1983 18-24 year olds backed Thatcher over Labour by 9 points, while over-65s backed Labour by 6. This time 18-24s backed Labour 57-19, while over-65s backed the Tories 62-18! Among women voters aged 18-24, only 15% went Tory.

Older people are more and more over-represented in areas where Labour lost the bulk of its seats, and young people more and more under-represented. And older people are much more likely to turn out and vote.


Why Labour slumped in Scotland

Published on: Mon, 16/12/2019 - 20:38

Anne Field

In the 2019 general election the SNP won more seats, more votes, and a higher share of the vote on a higher turnout than it did in 2017.

The number of SNP MPs increased from 35 to 48. It picked up a million and a quarter votes (as against a million in 2017), representing 45% of the popular vote (37% in 2017). And whereas voter turnout in the rest of the country fell, in Scotland it increased by 1.5%.

With only one exception, seats held by the SNP in 2017 with majorities of just a couple of hundred saw SNP MPs returned in 2019 with majorities of between 5,000 and 6,000.

Seats won by the SNP

The general election in Scotland

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 08:44

Dale Street

Speaking at last Saturday’s #indyref2020 rally in Glasgow, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon pledged that there would be another referendum on Scottish independence in 2020.

This was the first pro-independence rally to have been addressed by Sturgeon since the run-up to the 2014 referendum. But it was not the first time that she has promised another referendum.

Sturgeon first promised a second referendum immediately after losing the 2014 one. She has been promising one ever since.

In the 2017 general election campaign, for example, she initially called for a second referendum “in the autumn of 2018

Lessons from the seventies

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 09:04

Pete Boggs

When Avon jet engines being refurbished for use by the Chilean air force came into the workshop at the Rolls Royce factory in East Kilbride, Scotland, from 1974, workers there decided to refuse work on them.

The Chile solidarity movement in Britain celebrated this action as exemplary, and it is the subject of the 2018 documentary Nae Pasaran. Eventually, due to downwards pressure, not only from their bosses, but also the Labour government and the trade union bureaucracy, the workers were forced to end the boycott. But even then they loosely fitted together the bolts in the engines loosely, and

Pay claim for Brexit work

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 08:45

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

The ongoing chaos around Brexit is having many detrimental impacts on PCS members’ working lives.

In Stratford DWP, hundreds of workers have been temporarily reallocated to Brexit-related work on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra). Members have said they want to ballot over this.

The concern is that DWP is looking to move work outside of London, where they don’t have to pay London weighting, so workers are worried that they might not get their DWP work back after the Defra project is finished.

The union will be submitting a pay claim to the government

Lessons from the 2014 Scottish referendum

Published on: Mon, 02/09/2019 - 13:04

Dale Street

There are worse ways to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum than to read, or re-read, Joe Pike’s “Project Fear” – the story of the Better Together campaign and Scottish Labour’s subsequent collapse in the 2015 general election.

Pike was the partner and then husband of the late Gordon Aikman, a Labour Party stalwart and Better Together research director. His book is therefore certainly not a hatchet-job. But that makes its contents all the more damning.

The SNP’s victory in the 2011 Holyrood elections and its creation of a one-party government – which the

Scottish Labour right is wrong to attack McDonnell

Published on: Wed, 14/08/2019 - 09:24

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.

The fact that it now turns out that a majority of Tory Party members are happy to see the break-up of Britain in order to achieve Brexit

SNP trans contradictions

Published on: Wed, 29/05/2019 - 11:45

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). This came two days after the only trans councillor in Scotland quit the SNP accusing it of institutional transphobia, and just weeks after 15 senior members of the SNP wrote an open letter, publicly attacking the SNP’s plans to reform the GRA, the very reforms Mhairi gave an impassioned speech prompting.

The reforms to the Gender Recognition Act shouldn’t be that controversial. The current

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