Socialist Worker

Scotland


Gains for the left

04 May 2002
LEFT WING candidates have made gains in elections for the national executive of the civil servants' PCS union. Scottish Socialist Party member Janice Godrich has been elected president and Steve Cawkwell vice-president.

Coming Events

27 April 2002
Saturday 27 April No to war on Iraq, justice for Palestine. Demonstrate, 11am, George Square, Glasgow. Speakers include George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan. Called by Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War.

Cracks can't be papered over

27 April 2002
THE SCOTTISH Trades Union Congress (STUC) met in Perth last week against a background of rising bitterness with New Labour. The conference opened with a stage managed attempt to paper over the cracks between the unions and the government.

Letters

06 April 2002
The SSP has them scared The Daily Record has launched another bitter attack on Scottish socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan. That should come as no surprise after its vicious assaults in the past. What is new this time is that the Scottish National Party has joined in. They dared to suggest that Scotland's most open and accountable MSP is somehow involved in dodgy financial deals.

Socialist Alliance trade union conference caught the mood of revolt

23 March 2002
The biggest conference of rank and file trade unionists for two decades took place in London last Saturday. Over 1,000 trade unionists from across Britain came to the event organised by the Socialist Alliance, which will be standing hundreds of candidates at the May local elections. The Scottish Socialist Party also supported it. The conference signalled a further step in the deepening rift between the government and trade unionists.

Payback time on track

16 March 2002
Train drivers on ScotRail struck on Wednesday of last week and on Monday, bringing services across Scotland to a halt. At the same time non-drivers on Arriva, which runs trains across the north of England, were preparing for action over Easter. This is part of their fight over pay.

Left challenge to New Labour

16 March 2002
The Socialist Alliance's campaign is taking off across England in the run-up to the local elections in seven weeks on 2 May. The alliance is hoping to stand over 100 candidates in London and over 300 across England. The mood for a socialist alternative to New Labour was seen in Scotland last week. The Scottish Socialist Party, the Socialist Alliance's sister organisation, won 16 percent in a local by-election.

Scottish Socialist Party conference

09 March 2002
"Socialism is alive and kicking in every corner of Scotland." That was how Tommy Sheridan, national convenor of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), opened the party's fourth annual conference in Dundee on Saturday of last week. "Labour has been transformed from the party of the millions to the party of the millionaires and the multi-millionaires," Sheridan said. The SSP, by contrast, had "a vision of an independent Scottish socialist republic where pensioners are more important than profits, kids are more important than cash, and people are more important than big business". The SSP, he said, was "internationalist to the core".

'Rail workers are hitting back now'

09 March 2002
Over 2,000 rail workers brought services across the north of England and Scotland to a halt last week as they struck over pay. "This is a demonstration of the power of rail workers to hit back, not least over privatisation," one picket in the RMT union in Newcastle told Socialist Worker.

Banks after homes...

09 March 2002
Birmingham council tenants are being asked to hand control of their homes to the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Labour-run city council was meeting on Tuesday of this week to give the final go-ahead to a ballot starting on 18 March over the plan to privatise over 80,000 council homes.

Defend council housing

02 March 2002
The close vote on privatisation at the Scottish Labour Party conference last weekend underlined the depths of opposition to policies like handing council homes to private companies. The vote came just after a significant minority of the ruling Labour group of councillors in Glasgow voted against the plan to go ahead with a ballot on privatising the city's more than 80,000 council homes.

Anti-privatisation

02 March 2002
Over 150 trade union activists marched through driving snow and winds to lobby the Scottish Labour Party conference in Perth last Saturday. Some coaches were prevented from attending due to the snowfalls. John McAllion, the Labour MSP, spoke at a rally against privatisation after the lobby.

Charlotte Gray: just too many shades of grey

23 February 2002
Set in occupied France during the Second World War, Charlotte Gray tells the story of a young Scottish woman who is recruited to the Special Operations Executive. Charlotte, played by Cate Blanchett, wants to defeat fascism and search for her missing lover. She is sent to work with the French Resistance.

Faslane blockade

16 February 2002
Despite high winds and driving rain, around 500 people joined a lively demonstration outside Faslane nuclear submarine base last Monday. The blockade kicked off the three-day "Block 'n' Roll" of the Faslane base in Scotland, organised by CND and Trident Ploughshares.

Glasgow & Tower Hamlets

09 February 2002
The Scottish Executive announced last week that it is to give £300 million of public money to shore up the plan to privatise Glasgow's council homes. New Labour is prepared to throw still more public money in to push the privatisation through in a tenants' ballot due to get under way in March. Glasgow is just one of the major privatisation plans coming to a head.

Council housing

02 February 2002
The Scottish Executive last week proposed that the ballot for the privatisation of 80,000 council homes in Glasgow will start on 4 March. The date was leaked on the New Labour executive's website, and seems to have caught the New Labour Glasgow council unawares.

A tribute to the dramatist John McGrath

02 February 2002
Everyone who ever saw it remembers The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, the 1973 play by John McGrath, who died last week. The play traced a continuing history of exploitation and class struggle in Scotland, from the savage expulsion of the peasantry to the arrival of the multinationals in the 1970s.

Executive could scrap free care for elderly

19 January 2002
THE SCOTTISH Executive this week looked set to delay its introduction of free personal care for the elderly for three months. The executive was meant to introduce free personal care this April. Now its introduction could be delayed until the autumn.

Cruel blow for a crucial fight

12 January 2002
TOP TRADE union officials have dealt a shattering blow to striking Scottish Power workers. They have conspired to wrap up strikes and allow management the chance to claw back important gains.

Bank workers

12 January 2002
BANK WORKERS at the Royal Bank of Scotland went on strike for the day on 2 January after bosses refused to pay them more for working on a traditional Scottish holiday. A lively picket took place of the bank's Glasgow headquarters.

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