Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 1720

Scottish shock

This article is over 21 years, 2 months old
Issue 1720

What we think

Scottish shock

THE ELECTION last weekend for Labour’s successor to Donald Dewar as Scottish first minister produced a staggering result. The leadership’s favoured candidate, Henry McLeish, won by only 44 votes to 36, despite having the public support of all senior and junior ministers and most of the Labour Party’s Scottish executive.

The vote was confined to members of the Scottish Parliament and members of the Labour Party’s Scottish executive. The result is even more remarkable because, although it was supposed to be secret, voters had to write their preference in full view of others. The contest was not a simple left-right division. John McConnell, the other candidate for first minsister, does not offer a political alternative to McLeish.

But because he was not the leadership choice and made vague noises about resentment at “control from London”, McConell became a focus for the unease even at the heart of New Labour. Four by-elections in the coming weeks offer a chance for socialists to campaign for a real alternative to New Labour both in Scotland and south of the border.

Scottish Socialist Party candidates are standing for the Glasgow Anniesland Westminster seat (Charlie McArthur), for the Anniesland Scottish Parliament seat (Rosie Kane), and in Falkirk (Iain Hunter). In England the Lancashire Socialist Alliance is standing in the Preston parliamentary by-election (Terry Cartwright). Every socialist should throw themselves into these campaigns.

Anti-capitalist protest in Korea

THOUSANDS OF South Koreans chanting “No globalisation!” demonstrated last week against the Asia-Europe summit meeting where world leaders were discussing trade

Help us raise 200,000 -to build the fight against capitalism

OVER THE last week you have sent in 22,194. This brings the total to 84,853. Every pound helps us build the fightback by working people in Britain. It meant, for example, we were able to rush out posters and placards in the wake of the Hatfield rail disaster attacking the profiteering of the fat cats and demanding renationalisation of the railways.

Donations this week include 

WORKPLACES AND EVENTS: Manchester Council SW readers 30, Greenwich Council SW readers 42, Neath Remploy SW readers 18, collection at “Passion of Buenos Aires” play in south London 80, car boot sale in Leeds 81. 

INDIVIDUALS: S Goldstone 200, Matt Bowles 100, Paul Whalen 30, Keith Hodgson 25, C D Main 20, Mick Hydes, Barnsley Defend Council Housing, 3.

Thanks to everyone who sent money, and please keep your donations rolling in to help us hit the target.

Sign up for our daily email update ‘Breakfast in Red’

Latest News

Make a donation to Socialist Worker

Help fund the resistance