Socialist Worker

Scotland


Socialist Alliance & SSP

15 September 2001
DEREK DOBBINS, Socialist Alliance candidate, gained 2.5 percent of the vote in a council by-election in Gloucester last week. The Scottish Socialist Party's Mary Ward won 5.3 percent of the vote in a council by-election in Dundee.

Building an alternative in Scotland

10 March 2001
Carolyn Leckie is branch secretary for North Glasgow Hospitals UNISON union and the Scottish Socialist Party's health spokesperson. She is a single parent with two children and will be an SSP candidate in the general election:

Wrong results

10 March 2001
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), the body responsible for last year's exams crisis in Scotland where 17,000 pupils got the wrong results, has admitted that it could make mistakes on an even greater scale this year.

Campaigns for peace

03 March 2001
Around 70 people attended a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting in Glasgow last week. Scottish National Party MSP Shona Robison and leading pro-Palestinian academic Dr Michael Prior were joined by Palestinian and Jewish speakers in calling for solidarity with the intifada.

Say no to Record

03 March 2001
The Daily Record, a Labour-supporting tabloid in Scotland, has organised a march against drugs on 1 April as part of its "war on drugs" campaign. Brian Souter, the anti-gay millionaire owner of Stagecoach, is supporting the march.

Photo finish

03 March 2001
Instant camera firm Polaroid plans to sack 235 workers at its Dumbartonshire factory in Scotland despite soaring profits. Polaroid's profits jumped from £5.2 million to £22 million last year. One worker facing the axe said, "They are throwing people on the scrapheap so the bosses can rake in cash." One of those who could be handing out redundancy notices is "human resources" director Alistair Liddell, who is married to New Labour Scottish secretary Helen Liddell.

Glasgow airport

24 February 2001
Workers in the GMB union at Glasgow airport are to be balloted over strike action in protest over the sacking of a union representative. GMB Scottish secretary Robert Parker said, "GMB Scotland believes that British Airways (BA) set up our member. "BA needs to be aware that we will take whatever action to reinstate the sacked union rep."

Stop bombing Iraq!

24 February 2001
Protesters disrupted a lecture by George Robertson, the general secretary of NATO, at Dundee University last Saturday. They were protesting against his warmongering in the Balkans two years ago and the bombing of Baghdad the night before. They succeeded in stopping his talk, and the protest was covered in the Scottish Post.

The crazy nuclear agenda

17 February 2001
Nuclear weapons were suddenly back on the political agenda this week. They were in focus because of the determination of protesters at Faslane, and because the government is ready to do the bidding of the US and spend billions more on new missiles that could destroy the earth. The outcry against nuclear weaponry runs deep. At the Faslane protest police arrested over 370 people, including Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan, Labour MP George Galloway and Green MEP Caroline Lucas. Nuclear weapons show Labour's priorities.

Betrayed over asbestos

27 January 2001
Victims of asbestos poisoning are getting "sympathy but no money" according to leading asbestos campaigner in Scotland Tommy Gorman. Thousands of workers may never get payments they are entitled to after the insurance company, QBE International, handling their claims recently went bust. "It could be a major problem," says Tommy. "People were poisoned when they worked on the Upper Clyde shipyards in Scotland. And it's not just Scotland. In areas like Liverpool and Tyneside workers were affected too."

Coatbridge

20 January 2001
Lecturers at Coatbridge College, members of the EIS-CLA (College Lecturers Association), were to strike on Tuesday and Thursday this week over pay. The action follows two one-day strikes before Christmas. Lecturers at the college have not received a pay rise since 1998. Coatbridge is the only college in Scotland not to have settled its lecturers' pay claim for 1999-2000.

Scottish teachers

20 January 2001
Scottish Teachers are being asked by their union leaders to vote for longer working hours and the right of management to control every minute of their lives. This is what the pay and conditions deal we are being balloted over really means.

Scottish councils

13 January 2001
"This is about our union leaders letting New Labour off the hook," was how a worker in East Ayrshire council reacted to the news that leaders of the UNISON union are calling off strikes by council workers across Scotland. Workers in other Scottish councils had the same reaction. "There's a feeling of shock, of betrayal," argued a worker in Inverclyde council. "The union leaders are trying to ditch the fight, to help out New Labour in the run-up to the general election."

Scottish teachers' pay offer is a con

13 January 2001
The Scottish press slammed teachers as "greedy" last weekend for not jumping for joy at a proposed pay deal. Papers claimed negotiations between the Scottish Executive, teachers' union and local government representatives had come up with a once in a lifetime offer, worth a 21.5 percent pay increase over the next three years.

The socialist challenge at the general election

13 January 2001
William Hague's Tory rabble playing the race card or Tony Blair's New Labour government privatising everything in sight. That is the choice presented to us in this year's general election. But there will be an alternative. Across Britain over 120 socialist candidates are preparing to stand in the election.

No joy for New Labour

06 January 2001
LABOUR WON the by-election in Falkirk West by the thinnest of majorities just before Christmas. Labour's majority of 13,800 in 1997 was slashed to just 705 over the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Galbraith must go

26 August 2000
"HOW CAN he sit there smugly and say it is not his fault?" That was the response of 15 year old Fiona White from Dundee to news that the minister responsible for the exam fiasco in Scotland, Sam Galbraith, has no intention of resigning.

The sisters of cruelty

26 August 2000
Shocking allegations of child abuse emerged in a Scottish court case last week. At the centre of the accusations is a religious order revered by "pro-family" campaigners such as Cardinal Winning, head of the Catholic church in Scotland. Winning denounces gays as "perverted" and backs the anti-gay Section 28, which he claims is needed to "protect children".

UNISON round-up

05 February 2000
Roddy Slorach THE APPEAL against the expulsion of leading Scottish activist Roddy Slorach from his UNISON union was last week postponed until 7 March.

Why it's right to scrap Section 28

05 February 2000
TORIES AND religious fundamentalists are trying to unleash a flood of anti-gay bigotry. Catholic Cardinal Winning and millionaire owner of the Stagecoach empire Brian Souter (an evangelical Christian) are leading a crusade to keep the anti-gay Section 28 law in Scotland. Tory lords and Church of England bishops have now waded in to defend Section 28 in England and Wales. All of them claim they oppose discrimination. Yet recently Winning called homosexuality a "perversion" and likened gay people to Hitler's Nazis. His insult is sick beyond belief. Gays were one of the groups Hitler sent to concentration camps.

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