Scotland is sleepwalking into a fresh crisis under the SNP-Green coalition, writes Johnnie Hunter
The Communist Party has urged the labour movement not to listen to “the false prophets of the right” in response to the 6 May election results. “The likes of Lords Mandelson and Adonis only have one overriding aim – to defend the power and wealth of monopoly capitalism”, CP General Secretary Robert Griffiths told the party’s Political Committee on Sunday evening (9 May 2021).
This afternoon (26 March 2021), Former First Minister, Alex Salmond announced he was launching a new pro-Independence Party ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 6 weeks time. “The Alba Party” is expected to run in each of Scotland’s 8 regions and as part of the launch, Salmond announced the Party was aiming to ensure “the Independence Supermajority’, calling on SNP voters to vote tactically to ensure a majority of pro-Independence MSPs are returned to Holyrood.
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.
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.
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.
Nick Wright argues that despite the disappointing end to the Corbyn era in 2019, the labour movement is not in a weaker place in terms of militancy, membership and motivation — and this can be translated into electoral success once again.
The Young Communist League has issued an updated statement on the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic in response to the massive increase in deaths and new infections and the government’s total failure to battle the crisis.
A prominent study published towards the end of 2020 through Cambridge University made the stark finding that “This is the first generation in living memory to have a global majority who are dissatisfied with the way democracy works while in their twenties and thirties”, receiving significant coverage in parts of Britain’s media.
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.