Holyrood pantomime distracts from real issues

Politics in Scotland this week has been entirely dominated by the ongoing enquiry into what is being dubbed as Salmond vs Sturgeon in a he-said-she said battle of the heavyweights. On Thursday (19 March 2021) it was announced that the Committee investigating the Salmond Inquiry was due to vote, by five to four, in favour of finding that Sturgeon misled Parliament. Calls for Sturgeon’s resignation have been growing louder from all corners, although this still seems unlikely. Sturgeon will be expected to resign, but only if the Committee finds that Sturgeon ‘knowingly’ misled the parliamentary committee.

Holyrood passes controversial Hate Crime Bill

MSPs have passed what has been described as “Scotland’s most controversial piece of legislation”. The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill was passed on Thursday (11 March 2021) by 82 votes to 32, with 4 abstentions after a marathon debate of amendments on Wednesday. The legislation seeks to consolidate existing law and extends protection for some vulnerable groups with a new offence of “stirring up hatred”. Concerns have been raised about the potential impact on freedom of speech, with opponents arguing that the full implications of the proposed law have not been thought through. While supporting the principle of protecting people from prejudice, they argue that the definition of “‘stirring up hatred” is too vague and open to interpretation.

Leader of ‘Workers Party’ plans to vote Tory in Scottish elections

George Galloway, leader and founder of ‘Workers Party Of Britain’, has stated his intention to vote for Douglas Ross’ Scottish Conservatives in May’s Holyrood elections. Galloway, who is heading up the ‘electoral alliance’ named Alliance for Unity to maintain the union and “kick out the SNP”, took to Twitter to claim he would vote for the incumbent Tory MSP in his constituency and use his secondary vote on the South Scotland list to vote for himself.

Communism isn’t to blame for soup kitchens in Glasgow – capitalism is

Recently, a picture has emerged of a soup kitchen in George Square, Glasgow, organised by Kindness Homeless Street Team, with a queue that was around two hundred people long. The surprising thing about this is that people were surprised. Homelessness is all around in Glasgow. It is not something that is hidden like it is in other parts of the country. A short walk from Glasgow Central Station to Buchanan Street would show you that, with people sleeping rough at the side of the road.

Richard Leonard resigns as Scottish Labour Leader

Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard, has today (14 January 2021) announced his resignation with immediate effect, making him the tenth leader to try, and fail, to overturn the Party’s seemingly terminal decline. Nearly 14 years since the SNP first went into Government, Labour appear devoid of answers as the next election looms.

Glasgow Young Communists fighting food poverty this winter

Following news of a winter lockdown, Young Communists in Glasgow have been collecting food donations over the past few months. These food bank drives have been highly successful and have gathered a great and welcome reception from Glaswegians.

Latest lockdown measures highlight UK and devolved governments’ failure

Across the UK yesterday, further lockdown measures were announced and plans for a break in the restrictions have been curtailed. As Christmas week looms, the latest measures further highlight the Government’s total failure to contain the virus which has killed tens of thousands across the country since March. Despite repeated lockdowns the country remains in the grips of the deadly virus.

Scottish Parliament unanimously passes Period Poverty Bill

This evening, 24 November 2020, the Scottish Parliament unanimously voted to become the first country in the world to pass legislation making period products freely available to all. The Bill, which was proposed by Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour spokesperson for Health and Sport, is the result of years of campaigning from anti-poverty campaigners.

Covid-19 outbreaks across university campuses

Over the weekend, it was announced that students in Scotland and in Manchester were to be placed under further restrictions following significant outbreaks of Covid-19. In Manchester, 127 students have tested positive for the virus, while around 1,700 university students have been told to self-isolate.