‘What we have done is to allow the banks to get away with this scot-free and, in the crisis that was caused, we have made the poor pay for it and we have made them do that through cutting benefits, through austerity, through cutting government spending generally, but also through Quantitative Easing (QE)..’
Inequality in Scotland is on the rise. “It seems likely that more radical changes, such as significant redistribution of income, labour market reforms and major investment in deprived areas, would be needed to bring Scottish inequality close to Nordic levels.”
Scottish Labour needs to learn lessons from its recent ( and wrong-headed/ill-informed) high-profile campaigning on Monklands Hospital. “We must be concerned with evidence, developing new policies, doing things differently and respecting communities and staff on the ground. This campaign ignored all the evidence and demonstrated a poor understanding of the issues and communities involved.”
‘In short, ‘ending austerity’ is possible with significant but not unrealistic spending increases. What makes a promise to end austerity politically difficult is that it cannot be achieved without tax rises if the government is to keep to its fiscal rules and commitments.’
‘If a future UK – or its consciously uncoupled constituent countries – is to transform itself into a democracy, then it’s imperative that the rules of that state are written not by the politicians of any one party, but through a process which itself is seen as legitimate, democratic, and plural.’
If the right moves are made, RBS could become a great bank again. If not, Ian Fraser doubts the bank will exist in ten years’ time. An ethical revolution is required
Carol Craig finds reasons for hope in an upsurge of Scottish grassroots activism and cross-party collaboration. It offers a chance of rebuilding local democracy – as long as it remains free to challenge central government.
As RBS crashed there was only one man in the driving seat – but his fellow passengers could have helped to steer a safer course. Edited and abridged extracts from Ian Fraser’s best selling Shredded identify four guilty men.
When was the last time you heard the shouts, squeals and laughter of young children as they ran, jumped, climbed, built dens, made mixtures and played ‘Let’s Pretend’ in their local neighbourhood? Sue Palmer of Upstart Scotland makes the case for outdoor play
‘There is a saying among global trade negotiators that the world is divided between cannibals and lunch. The UK may be finding painfully that leaving the protection of the cannibals has condemned it to become lunch. It was certainly Stephen (Haseler)’s view that the English superstate was just as incapable of responding to new challenges internationally as it was domestically.’