independence – self-determination – autonomy

The 5 best moments in activism 2015

Those of us who spend a significant amount of our time trying to change the world for the better can’t help but get downhearted and depressed at times. That’s why it’s always valuable – and downright necessary – to take stock and celebrate that which we have achieved. And what better time to do so than on the final day of the year? Here is a run-down of some of the highlights from 2015:

1 The Living Rent Campaign

image03In the aftermath of the referendum, Radical Independence Campaign activists in Edinburgh wondered where to direct their energies now. After a visit by Edinburgh Private Tenants’ Action Group, they struck on an issue everyone in the city is pissed off about: high rents and rip-off landlords. One of the tragedies of housing policy is that is simultaneously boring but barely more important for human well-being.

The campaign lit a massive spark. After a few months of demonstrations, public endorsements from sympathetic politicians, the creation of a slick information campaign and website, street stalls to spread the message, and private lobbying of local MSPs, Nicola Sturgeon announced in September that she will consider rent controls for high-pressured areas. Make no mistake: it wouldn’t have happened without the Living Rent Campaign.

2 Better Than Zero

image00Finally, we’re talking about workers’ rights again. Under Blair and Cameron, we have seen the rise of precarious work. Yes, you have a job, but the employer has no legal obligation to guarantee you any hours at all. It’s the ultimate, grim expression of profit over people. The business might not need you that week, but you still need to eat.

Unfortunately, traditional trade union activism seems to alienate the young. Despite the importance of organised labour to the success of the working class historically, trade union structures and processes are alien to most young workers. The Better Than Zero campaign took a different tack – choosing creative, eye-catching stunts to highlight the issue of precarious work and demonise the greedy bosses – looking at you, Stefan King – who oversee its use in their businesses. Ultimately, to win concessions we need formal trade unions and the threat of strike action. Organized labour is capitalism’s Achilles heel. It’s time to resurrect it.

3 Jeremy Corbyn and the Body-Slamming of New Labour

image01New Labour have had many dishonourable moments. Perhaps one of the most disgraceful was their decision to abstain on the Tories’ monstrous Work and Welfare Bill in summer this year. The Bill didn’t just further hack away at the already meagre benefits of those out of work, but those in work as well. That’s right – the so-called ‘workers party’ refused to oppose the making the working poor poorer. Social media lit up with fury, asking ‘Labour, what’s the point of you?’

In response, hundreds of activists poured themselves into the leadership campaign of left-wing backbencher Jeremy Corbyn. Much of it seemed to be driven by young people, who have simply had usual enough of miserable, stael New Labour agenda. They want the promise of real change – on rents, on student debt, on housing, and on climate change. None of the other candidates offered that. The commentariat dismiss Corbyn as unelectable, but they underestimate the desire for transformational change. Now, the Tories are confronted with someone ready to embarrass them, instead of Milliband’s pathetic excuse for an opposition, who merely reinforced Tory messaging. As some people joke: Her Majesty’s Opposition seemed to have forgotten their job description, to Oppose.

4 The #OurLand campaign and the Land Reform Movement

image02A situation where 432 people own 50% of all Scottish private land damages Scottish life in all sorts of ways – from housing to energy to tax justice to ecosystem restoration. It cannot continue. For a long time, it felt like Andy Wightman and Lesley Riddoch were banging on about itto no avail, but finally the message seems to be getting through. As well as a flurry of petitions and demos at the Scottish Parliament, the issue caused a stir at SNP conference. A motion describing the Land Reform Bill as radical was remitted back by the membership, who insisted that the Bill was not radical enough to deserve that description. As a result, the Bill is being enhanced so that it has more teeth.

5 The Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

image04Climate change is the great existential crisis which will engulf the twenty-first century. As Naomi Klein has powerfully argued: ‘It’s more than an ‘issue’ – it’s a civilisational wake-up call, spoken in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts, telling us that we need an entirely new way of living on this planet.’ Confronted with the financial might of the likes of Koch Brothers in America and their well-funded astro-turfing campaigns (such as the Tea Party), what sort of counter-power can we have?

‘It’s more than an ‘issue’ – it’s a civilisational wake-up call, spoken in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts, telling us that we need an entirely new way of living on this planet.’

We finally have some with the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement. The campaign demands that institutions like universities and businesses divest their pensions or endowments funds from fossil fuel portfolios. Initially, it was intended to only be symbolic, stripping the fossil fuel industry of the moral licence to extract and burn. But now, the movement has reached such a level – divestment at around $3.4 trillion in assets – that oil companies will be losing the financial means to do so as well. Edinburgh University students led their own campaign, eventually occupying the Finance offices of the university. Initially, they were met with bureaucratic intransigence. But they persisted, and won.

Climate change is the great existential crisis which will engulf the twenty-first century. As Naomi Klein has powerfully argued: ‘It’s more than an ‘issue’ – it’s a civilisational wake-up call, spoken in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts, telling us that we need an entirely new way of living on this planet.’ Confronted with the financial might of the likes of Koch Brothers in America and their well-funded astro-turfing campaigns (such as the Tea Party), what sort of counter-power can we have?

We finally have some with the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement. The campaign demands that institutions like universities and businesses divest their pensions or endowments funds from fossil fuel portfolios. Initially, it was intended to only be symbolic, stripping the fossil fuel industry of the moral licence to extract and burn. But now, the movement has reached such a level – divestment at around $3.4 trillion in assets – that oil companies will be losing the financial means to do so as well. Edinburgh University students led their own campaign, eventually occupying the Finance offices of the university. Initially, they were met with bureaucratic intransigence. But they persisted, and won.

Honourable Mentions

There’s no doubt the formation of RISE brings together a real socialist, pro-indy constituency which deserves representation in Holyrood. The 1 in 5 campaign’s Jamie Szymkowiak is pushing disability rights throughout the political process. The TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) campaign has lead on an issue which, for many, is an issue of life or death: homophobic bullying in schools. Many LGBT people might not get involved with such a campaign because of the trauma attached, so Jordan Daley – the young gay man who founded it – deserves credit for his bravery.

Finally, each of the above campaigns haven’t just been important, they’ve been fun, bringing with them a sense of comradeship that brings joy and exhilaration to the people involved with them. As Emma Goldman once said: ‘If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.’

Get Involved
All of these campaigns are looking to push on to bigger and better things in 2016. There’s never been a better time to get involved.

Living Rent Campaign – http://www.livingrent.org
Better Than Zero – www.betterthanzero.org
Our Land – www.ourland.scot
Fossil Fuel Divestment – www.gofossilfree.org.uk
RISE – www.rise.scot
1 in 5 – www.oneinfive.scot
TIE – www.tiecampaign.co.uk

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29 Comments

  • Jim Bennett 11 months ago

    I find all these campaigns laudable but perhaps a mere, tiddly mention of the SNP's near 90 year campaign lwad8ng to the deatruction of Labour in Scotland might merit a word or two?
    ....and let's hear it for the Orkney electors taking on their local establishment in the biggest crowd funding campaign of the year! n

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    • Frank 11 months ago

      Agreed. And quite why Rise, which is nothing more than a rebranding of the SWP keep getting promoted by this site is beyond me.

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      • Bella Caledonia Editor 11 months ago

        Would you prefer if this site focused solely on the SNP, without mentioning other parties and groups Frank?

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        • Frank 11 months ago

          Not at all. I have no dog in this fight as they say, I'm just surprised that a group like Rise is given free publicity. And for the sake of balance what about something on Solidarity or Tommy Sheridan? Incidentally, I'm no fan of Sheridan or Solidarity but I find it uncomfortable that he has been effectively 'no platformed' by the yes campaign.

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      • Alistair Davidson 11 months ago

        I edited this one - the author sent it in, I edited for style, but left his choices as they were. If you want to write something with a different view, send it in!

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    • Bella Caledonia Editor 11 months ago

      I think Jim we were looking at non-party politics in this instance?

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      • yesindyref2 11 months ago

        I agree with Frank that Sheridan and Solidarity should be given more space. I don't though see any harm if RISE is given perhaps unevenly more coverage here, it's a different platform and doesn't get much coverage elsewhere apart from The National.

        Here's a thing, the definition of "state" is "a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government". To my mind, whatever the politics, the very first duty of a "state" is to its people. We have Tories at Westminster shrinking the UK state just as fast they can get away with which is pretty fast because of a total shambles of Opposition from infighting Labour so far.

        The SNP / Greens / RISE / Solidarity hopefully all have the idea of putting people first in their versions of "state", it's not the destination that differs hopefully again, it's merely the means of getting there.

        With that thought it's back to my late tea.

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      • Jim Bennett 11 months ago

        Bella Editor - That may have been a fair point if the section on RISE was omitted!

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  • yesindyref2 11 months ago

    Very good, interesting article, a summary of activities where People do count.

    More of the same in 2016 please - both activities and summary reports!

    Yes, people can and should make a difference to Government and I say that as an SNP member.

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  • C Rober 11 months ago

    2105 was a year of activism , fueled by the realisation of referendums work for those that use the stick of fear more than the carrot of self determination. We seen SLAB almost wiped off the anus of politics in Scotland at Westminster , for following their pay packet , not the voters that gave them it for their actions a year before.

    I hope for more in 2016 , not just that 2015 was a one off salvo , and for investigations into land dealings within the SNP and land owners in North Ayrshire using the council and the LDP powers enacted by Hollyrood. A few rotten apples need ejected by the barrel itself for the continuing success of the SNP , or it appears that it is the norm.

    For Labour as long as the party line is unionism they will never achieve their giddy heights once again , which is a pity for the red members , even with Corbyn at the helm for the meantime , it will revert back to Centre left politics of middle England eventually - as Scotland votes left but doesnt get left.

    I give Scotland one last chance for me next election , a total change of politics in Hollyrood is needed and wanted.

    One cannot let the SNP continue to blame others for their own ineffectual policies , or ones that they conveniently ignore to progress the wealth of the very land owners they are promising land reform about.

    They are getting to accustomed in their jobs , too comfortable for their own being , and need to follow the electorates activism , aiding it with the laws it has on its books , continuing the fight against the control of the BBC in Scotland - with making the licence fee illegal to collect in Scotland as an illegal tax.

    Scots law is a devolved power , even if the Licence fee is not , as long as it continues to fund the BBC in England and its staffing is part of the power of Westminster , then it is and will continue to be taxation. All it has to do is declare the licence fee illegal to collect as long as it is not financially returned in the same percentile manner as other taxes.

    Lastly as Westminster gives its northern councils almost the same devolved tax powers that Scotland was essentially promised during indy , if not more , then the voter needs to be reminded of this during the coming election

    Westminster expects Scotland to pay more tax than England , keeping the status qou , and has its media and muppets to repeat ad nausem about Banret.

    The new tax raising powers are "amount reduced from the block grant" , which is the original tax being returned , so essentially pawying tax twice , and is of course the single sole reason for Hollyrood to reject the Smith outline alltogether. This is the kind of activism needed , with example of conviction , and of course with it the reasoning's released as a party political broadcast pre election.

    As long as the SNP are a party of neo socialism , in the same way that the Scottish Labour party are a one of old socialism , then the activism will only rise , pun intended , even if it is the middling classes fuelled by chianti and weed posting tweets and vblogs.

    True activism will be when the masses take to the streets , not the middling classes taking to their keyboards and webcams.

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    • greatbighoo 11 months ago

      "True activism will be when the masses take to the streets"

      Oooh. Be careful about what you wish for.

      The Scottish masses - the Neds - 'taking to the streets'?

      Not desirable.

      Don't think they won't come for you, or will leave you alone if you wave a Saltire, show your Yes2 badge and stammer Saor Alba gu Brath.

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      • C Rober 11 months ago

        Not wishing for it J , just a repeat of the poll tax activism , that was backed by the SNP , Labour and the Socialist Champers swiggers like Sheridan.

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  • Redguantlet 11 months ago

    The amount of hostility to RISE which people express BTL is nauseating....

    Stuart Hosie, Nicola, respect them as I do, are on fat cat salaries, and so many of us are living in poverty. There needs to be a party who represent the poor in Scotland, who put social justice at the top of their list of requirements for a better future, and right now, that party is RISE....

    ...you would think that, with some of the ahistorical crap people come out with BTL, that the SNP were socialists. They are not socialists by any meaningful definition of that term.

    I am a socialist, and so I am with RISE.

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    • C Rober 11 months ago

      Lets not forget that some of those are also still partners in Law firms , with its secondary income that comes with it , or those in executive positions on land development in councils that somehow exude more wealth than their salary could possibly provide , or those double dipping with hiring wifes as secretaries etc.

      Is there a reason why the SNP is so backdoor on legal reform in Scotland , of course there is

      The purest control of the people is law , the biggest way to prosper is to move law where Lawyers can be paid twice. See Double jep reform.Claires law which is against human rights that the SNP champion , even recent dog legislation while doing nothing about cats destroyng wildlife or spreading their shit in peoples gardens , even cyclists are always innocent in accidents.

      While the Snp has the media eye diverted the laws are being rebalanced , not for the accused or victim , or even the defendant in an accident suit , but for wealth creation of lawyers.

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  • Redguantlet 11 months ago

    You know, Jim Bennet, above, tells us that the author of this good article - well done to Stuart Rodger for highlighting the people who do the real work - should be praising guys on 40,000, 50,000, 60,000 a year.

    The SNP are flush with cash due to the Westminster system of party funding....if the SNP are so socialist, why don´t they do what Podemos Euro MP´s do and cap their salaries at two times the minimum wage? But could somebody like Stuart Hosie live on two times the minimum wage? I very much doubt it...that plumby accent of his, that pure Edinburgh lawyer, might wane, and he might actually start talking like the people who he carps on about purporting to represent...

    ...the SNP do not represent me. They don´t even have a culture policy. Where does there success lie? In being an effective party machine, which brooks no rebels or mavericks, and in the self-combustion of the Labour Party...but please, I´m no thick, don´t tell me they are socialists, and don´t even tell me they are nationalists....they aren´t.....they foist English arts administrators on us by dictate....

    ...so I´m with the guys in RISE. We and the SNP coincide on but one policy issue....the rest is noise....

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    • Jim Bennett 11 months ago

      Hello Redgauntlet. You must have see something in my comment that I didn't when I wrote it:
      - I didn't mention RISE, other than obliquely when I said all the campaigns mentioned were lauable.
      - I made no ad hominem attacks on anyone, let alone RISE.
      - I made no assertion that the SNP are socialist (never have and never would)
      - I merely said that the fact that the SNP had achieved a significant campaign milestone might be worth a tiddly mention (alongside the Orkney campaign).
      There's an unpleasant etiquette on these discussions where attack first and read second seems to be de rigeur. Unfortunate.
      Redgauntlet, you say you're a socialist and that's why you're woth RISE....mmm... so, what about Solidarity? TUSC? Socialist LP? Are they not socialists? Are there no socialists in the Greens or SNP or even one or two left in Labour? Or is your brand of socialism the only true path?
      As for the SNP, yes, they now have significant Westminster money as a result of their campaign success. But they achieved an completely astonishing result without it.
      Redgauntlet, I don't know who you are but I have quietly worked on poltical and industrial campaigns from the 1983 NGA dispute to the Miner's strike, from the Poll Tax to the Fowler Reviews, blah, blah, blah... I was there when key figures in RISE (in the then Militant) instructed its membership not to involve themselves in the Poll Tax campaign as it defleced from the "industrial struggle". The originator of the Anti-Poll Tax Campaign has had no recognition for it, Paddy O'Brien from Musselburgh, who built the whole concept against the best advice of some of your current leadership. So, don't lecture anyone on this discussion group about the RISE version of socialism being the true path.)

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    • Frank 11 months ago

      You criticise the culture of the SNP. Okay, perhaps some of what you say is true. But the political culture of the far left is also prone to group think; simplistic analysis; hyper life style activism; romanticsation/obsession with class; sloganeering; self righteous and phoney moral indignation.

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      • Jim Bennett 11 months ago

        Frank, you hit the nail on the head re your "groupthink" comments and the socialist left. It does also apply to much of the SNP too though.
        I don't doubt that there are many in RISE who are committed to an open, democratic, participative model of socialist activism...and very good luck to them.
        However, I also know that RISE will be the subject of (politically) sectarian manoeuvring where pseudo "branches" are formed so that members of sectlets will gain delegate status to influence policy and take leadership positions. I know because I've been heavily involved in that shit in the past.
        It just beggars belief that in a country as small as Scotland, we can have all the constituent groups that comprise RISE, the SWP, Solidarity, TUSC, the Socialist LP and probably more from the alphabet soup of Sottish socialism. Each has their own received truth, sees the others as the enemy rather than the Tories, campaigns for their own advancement rather than that of the working classes they seek to represent.
        The interest of these groupings (and I do recognise that there will be some genuine people in each grouping) is not primarily to win advances for the poor but to educate a layer of individuals into their "truth" to build for their version of utopia with a select few "leaders" disseminating the "truth".
        It tires me to even think about it.
        My experience of the socialist left is that it chews up and spits out activists like the machine it alleges to replace. It has no "real" interest in political gains for the poor, only in positioning ego and messianic power for the elite within each of the individual sects.
        I'll give and example. I have a long standing friend who recruited me to the Militant when I was 16. He's spent 35 years as a trades union activist, a very effective one at that, taking on and winning the vast majority of "personal cases" in Scotland for his union on a voluntary basis. The union he operates in is dominated by fights between various left groupings, none of which he's a member of. He was bumped from all positions to make way for inexperienced members of a favoured "slate". In the year since, the union has won very, very few personal cases and fallen into disorganisation and chaos while the newly elected slate jostle for their time-off for union duties and national union positions. The day-to-day grind and mundanity of casework is of no interest to most of the sectarian left, more important is position, power and influence. Ordinary, effective trades unionists who aren't in the gang are often simply side-lined.
        I have no particular axe to grind against RISE. I find them slightly more attractive than the other left groups for their youthful, modern approach towards activism. However, they have a very long way to go to achieve a real democratic, participative movement. A start would be to recognise that they are only one of several socialist groups in Scotland and that they should work to break that division down.

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        • Frank 11 months ago

          Good points Jim. I have been around the left for the best part of 20 years and it's only been in the past couple of years that I 'dropped out' as the activists say. I did have some hope for Rise, but when I went along to my local Edinburgh 'circle' with a friend I discovered that it was mainly SWP or ex SWP types who have been around Edinburgh left wing politics for as long as I care to remember. Most of them have only jumped onto the independence bandwagon out of sheer opportunism. And despite the talk of 'circles', or social movements without leaders, good friends of mine in the SSP who didn't join have stated that Rise is top down, riven with factions, and controlled by a handful of apparatchiks. Nothing new there then!

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          • Redguantlet 11 months ago

            Jim and Frank,

            Hi and thanks for your replies.

            Jim, my point was that you mentioned in your post that the SNP ought to have been included in a round-up of grassroots activism. That's what got my goat up, Jim. Well, the SNP, are the establishment in Scotland, and if Bella Caledonia starts pumping out SNP propaganda - and they are one of few sites that actually allows for us SNP sceptical people to voice our opinions - then I wouldn't bother checking in here.

            The SNP won us the referendum, and then they lost us the referendum with their pusllanimous cap in hand, shilly shally nationalsim. Can we just recall the fact that the great SNP strategists who nobodies

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          • Redguantlet 11 months ago

            ...sorry, I posted the above by mistake, before finishing..

            Look, bottom line: the more parties in favour of indie, the more likely we will attract voters across the political spectrum. The SNP have come up with a strategy - and there is as much strategy in it as conviction - of occupying the social democratic space vacated by Blair's New Labour. Fair enough, but you don't have to be a genius to see that is politics as much as anything...Stuart Hosie I trust as much as far as I could throw him...

            ...my point is really simple. You know, they talk about the revolutions, the French Revolution or the Russian Revolution or the Cuban Revolution, but they never talk about the Thatcher Revolution. And the Thatcher Revolution is real and in full swing, and is the most radical and bloody Revolution since 1917, and the idea is to return us to the feudalism with the banks and the state in the place of the land owner.

            So we need a vibrant Left, and I don't know much about RISE, I don't live in Scotland right now, but can I just say that the circle which is derided by your pair above, actually is the symbol of Podemos in Spain because, when the 15-May movement broke out, you could not walk through the centre of Madrid without coming across a group of young people sitting in a circle talking about how to change things. They occupied all of the plazas for months on end. Mostly, they were under the age of 30, probably they talked a lot of nonsense too, but it is the young people who are the hope for change. People with no hope or jobs or future under the Washington Agreement....highly educated people by the way.

            We had the same spirit with the YES campaign.If RISE can tap into that, then there is hope. If they stick under the same class politics of the Left under a new banner, then they are dead, I agree. But what I want to see is a Scottish Podemos.

            Pablo Iglesias comes from the Govanhill of Madrid...which is Vallecas...

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          • Redguantlet 11 months ago

            I mean, I want to see the Left win power, for once. It's like Pablito says (wee Pablos) you can't change anything unless you win power. Colin Fox - great guy - and all the old hacks like Tommy, will never ever win us power. And they know it. So why bother?

            We need a new Left, with a new language, and they have to have an alternative to the politcis of the Old Left., so they need theory....We have to outsmart them, the Establishment, which is what Pablo Iglesias has done in Spain. I don't agree with Pablo Iglesias on everything, but he has given so many of us a voice...not everything we wanted to say, but some of it...he won over 5 million votes...

            ...if the SNP drain off the radical thinkers, stirrers and orators of Scottish politics, and in entombe them in the Westminster system as is the case of Mharai Back, then Scottish indie will be dead for a generation...

            ...the Left will ultimately lead Scotland to independence, not the SNP, who just failed spectacularly in that goal...and if I was in RISE, my first goal would be to get Mharai, and people like her, on board...

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          • Redguantlet 11 months ago

            I mean, truly, the new symbol of the Scottish Left should be the umbrella, not the circle.

            The major political moment of my life was when I saw the young people of Madrid occupy the public space. It was absolutely inspiring...and it lasted months... They sat in circles and they talked about how to change things.

            I always felt I was too old to sit down with them - but remember that when you meet Spanish youngsters in Scotland, many of them are Podemos folk...there are Podemos circles in Scotland.

            If we sat down in circles in Scotland, it would rain on us.

            That's why we need the umbrella...lots of different groups under one banner with their own independence, lots of common ground, no need for any party hierarchy

            ... and one ticket for every election that is fought....that's where we need to go...

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          • Jim Bennett 11 months ago

            Hello Redgauntlet,
            Thanks for your replies which I found interesting. There have been two significant movements that I've been involved in in Scotland which chime with your experience in Spain; the recent referendum and the campaign against the Poll Tax. I too welcome that all embracing, fun, participative genuine movement for change. Where we differ is that I simply don't see RISE as the only player in that field.
            You suggest the SNP are the establishment in Scotland. No, I don't think so. The establishment are the landowners, the aristocracy, the big business owners and others mostly outside Scotland who control our economy. My perspective is that the fight isn't with the SNP, it's with the real establishment.
            I don't trust the SNP either. However, I do recognise that their on the ground campaign by tens of thousands of ordinary activists changed the face of Scottish politics last year. All I said was that merits a mention. The formation of RISE wasn't a historically significant moment!

            ....and as for Colin Fox. Nice guy but him and Frances Curran et al are all marred with the same history as Tommy. They all need to move aside.

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  • greatbighoo 11 months ago

    "The commentariat dismiss Corbyn as unelectable, but they underestimate the desire for transformational change."

    Corbyn is going to hang onto the 6 million or so voters who just tick the box marked 'Labour' without thinking about it too much, and a million or so fellow hard left nutters.

    There is going to be a massive Conservative Majority in 2020. Massive. And there is nothing that you Separatists can do about it. Except have another referendum. Which you'll lose again. Or declare UDI. And there will be riots. Big riots.

    "Now, the Tories are confronted with someone ready to embarrass them"

    Labour now dropping to 30% in the polls. And that's just in the polls. The Tories are in the pub. They don't even need to do anything.

    There is going to be an enormous Conservative Majority in 2020, and they will be able to do whatever they want. And there will be nothing you Separatists can do about it.

    "instead of Milliband’s pathetic excuse for an opposition"

    Milibean was pathetic, granted.

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    • C Rober 11 months ago

      Yet slab are content to reamain Blairists , and with a token breath of socialism , just like the snp.

      I dont think Corbyn will lead labour to anything , until he goes the home rule route , where you still have a union , but mostly a geographical one , bar international politics and of course the lacklustre war machine that is the British forces.

      So whom will be at the helm in 2020 , will it be boris or Napolean Osbornparte? I agree with you , but Voting SLAB to make a difference is turkeys for xmas.

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  • Stella 11 months ago

    This article is about grassroots activism, why have we started having a debate about party politics? I despair. Take a minute to recognise ordinary people, organising against the powers that be, and making a difference. These inssesent arguments about authority figures are taking away from the point of this article, and taking power away from the people's hands.

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  • Redguantlet 11 months ago

    Jim, no space above, thanks for your reply.

    Aye, the poll tax campaign and the miners strike. I mind standing outside the NLS in 84 waiting for the bus, and I had a badge on which said "Support the Miners" and a can of Irb Bru, and an old guy comes up and puts fifty pence in my can of ginger, hee hee hee...

    I was maybe 15 then, but that mobilized Scotland, those two events mobilized Scotland, Scotland was electric then, it suddenly became debatable land from London rule....the only thing comparable to that were the two final weeks of the referendum campaign....then you could smell it, there was rebellion in the air...

    ..I can't see how the SNP can ever deliver that given the power they have, and, whether I personally like it or not, the most likely route to indie is to the Left....There Is Always a Road to The Left...

    ...but if, as you say, RISE,, and I have no idea really what they are, are rehashed Militant Tendency, then we can forget about it. I used to hide from them when they came to pick me up to go meetings....I'd hide behind the couch......Pablitos and Podemos are the example, and they are very, very savvy, political scientists....they are following a theory, they are presented by the media as a bunch of cranks, they are nothing of the kind...

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  • Redguantlet 11 months ago

    Anyway's lets get off our arses and do it, which is what I liked about Stuart's article...let's go there, no matter our political tendencies, Scotlandindie@2016....let's get it right up them....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI-ShJft9Bc

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