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.”
‘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.’
“Pro-independence commentators on the Left are angry that (the recent Sustainable Growth Commission report) appears to reduce an “independent” Scotland to a “vassal state” (h/t JRM) of the Bank of England, Westminster/Whitehall and Brussels.” Some comments from the right as well as the left on the Big Debate…
As a new case for Scottish independence emerges and #indyref2 looms, the latest Sceptical Scot podcast looks at the case for federalism as the best route to true community empowerment.
Labour Hame editor Duncan Hothersall is worried that ideological purity should be the test for becoming a Labour candidate. ‘All of the voices on the left should have a place in the Labour Party if it is to succeed. Even the voices of sad old men.’
‘A real-world illustration would be that of Northern Ireland or Scotland seeking to secede from the UK following Brexit. When the UK exits the EU, it will drag the two regions (which both voted to remain) out of the EU. That will greatly affect the Scottish and north Irish economies and their international relations…’
‘Certainly, if Brexit in some shape happens in March 2019 and a 20 or 24-month transition brings nothing but economic pain and social conflict along with a revived Far Right, then the ‘progressive alliance’ between Labour and SNP at least in Scotland and/or in Westminster may not just be desirable but essential to save democracy – and a lot more’.
‘If the limit of our collective ambition is to elect a media-friendly performer (like some kind of reliable weather forecaster) who can deliver a few hits in Holyrood to rally the troops, we’re underestimating the scale of Labour’s problem. And running the risk of getting giddy on the political equivalent of the worst football managerial merry-go-round’.
Justin Reynolds reflects on four fascinating and exhausting days at The World Transformed, the Momentum-organised festival that took place concurrently with the Labour Party conference in Brighton.
‘For many on the independence side this is all a bit of a let down, but instead it should be seen as a challenge and window. Scotland’s journey to greater self-government isn’t all about the SNP. Nor is it about keeping quiet and burying any reservations until Independence Day.’