by Stevie Anderson
In 1979 there were over 13 million trade union members. They represented over 60% of the British workforce.
In 2013 the number of trade union members was around 6.5 million, a mere quarter of the workforce.
Tell that to nearly anyone on the street, and you see their toes curling and them thinking “trade unions, oh god, booooring!!”.
Indulge me for a moment. How did that attitude and that level of stigma come to be associated with something that was a central pillar of working class life and identity? How did unions become so vilified and seen as redundant to the modern working class? How did we go from their high-point in the 1970’s to where we are now?
In this issue, the Scottish Socialist Party’s John McAllion – former Labour MP and MSP – explains why he thinks the Scottish Labour Party is a shadow of its former self. This theme is also taken up by Labour for independence’s Allan Grogan, and SSP workplace organiser Richie Venton in his piece ‘Ructions after the referendum’.
In this issue, we look at the European Parliamentary Election results, and why UKIP’s English earthquake was not repeated in Scotland, how they managed to sneak in a Scottish seat despite their lack of impact on the ground here, and what these results mean for the prospects of a Yes vote in September.
In this issue, published in time for May Day, Richie Venton explains why a Yes vote is the best option economically, politically and culturally for the working class in Scotland, and why Scottish independence – and the proper democracy it can bring – will be a beacon of hope for workers not only in the rest of the UK but also globally. And inside, you’ll find all the details you’ll need to donate to our indyref financial appeal. We’ve got to find £50,000 – and any contribution is welcome!
In this issue, the Scottish Socialist Party’s Campbell Martin points out that in North Ayrshire alone, some 1,765 tenants facing higher rent charges – because they’re deemed to have a “spare room”
In this issue we look at the ‘Wonga vs The Bishop’ loans row. Rather than scrapping over how much a loan should cost, the real debate should centre on why thousands of people have to survive each month on pay cheques that only last two weeks, filling the gap with loans.
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