[A-List] Scotland: political realignment
michael.keaney at mbs.fi
Mon Sep 27 08:08:01 MDT 2004
This is significant, although the SNP, even with Salmond back at the helm,
is unlikely to be any more resistant to neoliberal dogma than the rock-solid
Old Labour base of New Labour that is implementing some of the most
regressive, reactionary and idiotic privatisations. The RMT rail workers
union has aligned itself with the SSP, which makes much greater political
sense than this. However, the defection of unions from Labour, Old or New,
to alternative parties willing to defend (at least rhetorically) state
provision of public services is a blow to Labour's hegemony, and a
progressive move inasmuch as it makes clear the real divide:
unionism/neoliberalism vs. "independence"/progressive economic policy.
Firemen ready to fund SNP at polls
By James Hamilton
The Sunday Herald, 26 September 2004
THE SNP's financial worries eased slightly last night after a leading trade
union raised the possibility of funding the party at the next general
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) cut its links with Labour in June in protest
at the government's behaviour in its recent strike. It plans to fund
individual candidates who oppose the private finance initiative and support
John McDonald, FBU Scotland's executive council member, said this could
include SNP candidates. "The SNP have been very receptive to our arguments
," he said.
McDonald said the Nationalists, whose deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon
co-chaired an FBU event at the SNP conference last week, had a
left-of-centre message with which his union was comfortable. He also
stressed that FBU branches could fund left-wing Labour and Scottish
Socialist Party candidates.
The SNP's debt stands at about £800,000, largely caused by the sum spent
contesting last year's Scottish parliamentary elections. Last week,
Nationalist leader Alex Salmond said the debt would not be increased to
fight the next general election, and pleaded with members to raise the
£250,000 he felt was necessary to give the SNP a chance at the hustings.
An SNP spokesman said: "The FBU and the SNP share a great deal of common
ground. They are aware, as we are, of the bankruptcy of government policy on
the public services."
A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: " Supporting the SNP will not make one
jot of a difference to the lives of FBU members."
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