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.’
Top down policy won’t transform those wasted spaces. Meaningful regeneration grows upwards from community grassroots but it needs help from above. Fay Young introduces two articles by Susan Mansfield describing how empowered communities can transform local environments and quality of life.
Jeremy Corbyn’s serene countenance during the election campaign drew frequent parallels with that of a Buddhist monk, Corbyn himself at one point referring to his efforts to attune himself to a Zen mindframe. But Corbyn’s unaffected homily at Glastonbury suggests a comparison with another spiritual archetype might be more appropriate.
“It is this total vacuity of devolved politics, self-consciously free from conflict and danger, that allows the spectre of Scottish Toryism to haunt us so brazenly. They can happily adopt the rhetoric of the centre-left parties that have predominated in Scottish politics, articulating a politically empty ‘Scottish’ interest that means whatever the voters want it to”.