South Africa: lessons for the SNP and for Radical Independence

Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine has become a staple (some might say clichéd) reference point for many on the anti-authoritarian left. However in the lead-up to the Scottish independence referendum, and as the opinion polls show an increase in support for a yes vote, many minds in Scotland are turning to what will happen in [...]

Time for a chat about left electoral pacts?

“There is nothing more divisive on the left than a call for unity”. These wise words came, I am told, from the ever witty Scottish Socialist Party leader Colin Fox after the launch of Ken Loach’s new outfit, Left Unity. He is, of course, right. The prospect that, in the short term, all of the [...]

Compass, a good time for a relaunch

By Victor Anderson There is a change of gear taking place in British politics, now we’ve passed the point of 2 years to go before the next general election.  Ed Miliband is repositioning Labour on the economy and welfare, the Tory Right is looking for a post-Coalition future, the LibDems are increasingly separating themselves from [...]

Are the SNP the Scottish UKIP?

A crowd of activists pointing out that the UKIP leader is a bawbag does not a national sentiment make. In fact, with the good folks at Hope not Hate refocussing their ire from the scattered BNP onto its besuited twin, I imagine that Nige is soon going to have to contend with more crowds expressing [...]

The independence referendum has become a straight up left/right fight

There is, of course, a left wing case for opposing Scottish independence. It is articulated best by the likes of Owen Jones – ‘we shouldn’t divide the working class’. Likewise, there is, of course, a right wing case for independence – the Scottish Enterprise Party got a handful of votes for espousing it, once upon [...]

Scottish Independence: the no campaign and how to deal with it

It is becoming clear what the strategy of the ‘no’ to independence campaign will be: confusion. So far, we’ve had a few opening shots: lines which the UK nationalists presumably hope will ricochet down the next couple of years: what will currency be? What about the Scottish army? Even, ‘who will own Rockall‘? OK, maybe [...]

The Scottish Independence Debate and England

I’ve just finished listening to a particularly unenlightening discussion of the UK’s constitutional future on BBC Radio 4 and, once again, I’m left despairing at the shallowness of the analysis. For a start, this is not just a debate about Scotland and England. There are two other nations in the United Kingdom which the BBC [...]

Sometimes We Win

After the heartbreaking defeats of several popular anti-cuts campaigns in the last few months, we can sometimes forget that campaigning isn’t always a futile activity. But yesterday, after a six-month-long campaign by local residents, the City of Edinburgh Council voted to reject proposals to privatise two major service areas. The proposals were part of an [...]

Three things about the independence referendum scrap

First: let’s get one thing straight. Nations have a right to self determination in international law. David Cameron may quibble about the devolved powers of the Holyrood Parliament under the Scotland Act. He may even, if it came to a battle in the international court, win. In my experience the arc of judicial rulings bend [...]

Privatisation and the SNP

While Alex Salmond received a hero’s welcome at the SNP conference in Inverness last weekend, controversy has been brewing back in Edinburgh. On Thursday, the City of Edinburgh Council – led by a coalition of the Liberal Democrats and SNP – will be taking the first of a series of votes on whether council services [...]

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