Archive for the Labour Movement Category

The historical myth of Labour as Scotland’s national party

The historical myth of Labour as Scotland’s national party

Gerry Hassan and Eric Shaw have produced a fact-rich, reference-rich work, ‘The Strange Death of Labour Scotland’, which illuminates contemporary Scottish politics. For some 40-odd years Labour seemed to dominate Scottish politics and convinced itself, especially after Thatcher’s accession to power, that it was the national party […]

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The Strange Death of Labour Scotland by Gerry Hassan and Eric Shaw

WITH its echoes of Dangerfield’s 1935 work on Liberal England, this book has an odd title. Gerry Hassan and Eric Shaw question both the concept of “Labour Scotland” and the finality of its decease but, by focusing on Labour’s decline, have produced a telling analysis of the […]

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Labour needs to ask: Is Scotland a nation?

Labour needs to ask: Is Scotland a nation?     The independence campaign has officially started. Over the next two years the positions of politicians will meld and change. Already several former Labour Party activists, including a few heavy-weights such as Denis Canavan and John McAllion, have […]

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An Interview with Tam Dalyell

An Interview with Tam Dalyell

From 1962 until 2005 Tam Dalyell represented firstly West Lothian, then Linlithgow, as Member of Parliament.  In 2001 he succeeded Edward Heath as Father of the House, the longest serving MP in parliament.  His autobiography, ‘The Importance of Being Awkward’, dedicated to “the men and women of […]

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A question of social values

A question of social values

The decision by Ruth Kelly, the Communities Minister in England, to enrol her son at a private school comes at the same time as the Centre for Policy Studies report, Three Cheers for Selection, argues for a return to selective schooling. Let’s eliminate the red herring about […]

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An ethical emptiness

An ethical emptiness

Tommy Sheridan’s trial verdict marks the end of a long era in Scottish politics. Despite the hegemony which Scottish Labour seemed to enjoy, the socialist left, in its different guises, was an ever present irritation. Throughout the 30s and 40s the ILP provided Labour with a popular […]

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Dennis is no menace

Dennis is no menace

There are few politicians in Scotland, who leave the political arena as respected as they entered it. Dennis Canavan is one. His autobiography, ‘Let the People Decide’ (Birlinn, £9.99) is a remarkably simple and straight-forward account of events and times which were far from simple and straightforward. […]

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No capital. No cool.

No capital. No cool.

No capital. No cool Carol Craig stands out in contemporary Scotland. She has analysed Scotland’s crisis of confidence and roundly condemned the various theories which attribute personal or social deficits to a lack of self-esteem. She is sceptical about the marketing of Glasgow as the post-industrial ‘Capital […]

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Do we want to be part of the world or part of the kailyard?

Do we want to be part of the world or part of the kailyard?

Do we want to be part of the world or part of the kailyard?   Alex Wood   I It is an exciting time. Scotland is examining itself and contemplating its constitutional future. There’s a proper place in that process to debate financial issues such as taxation, […]

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Hamish Henderson: the man who escaped Scottish Calvinism Review

Hamish Henderson: the man who escaped Scottish Calvinism  Review

Volume I of Timothy Neat’s Hamish Henderson, a Biography (Polygon Books, 375 pp, £25.00), explores the early life of Hamish Henderson, the poet, folk-lorist, soldier, communist and nationalist, one of contemporary Scotland’s most dazzling intellectual stars.  Henderson was born in 1919, the illegitimate son of a respectable […]

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