Tuesday 30 July 2013


 The event began by affirming our belief in a return to Clause IV and support for removal of Trident. Such views have been long held in the hearts of many Scottish Labour households and I am delighted to see the support for their return.

 Following this, we spent the rest of the morning listening to and then discussing the merits of The Common Weal with Jimmy Reid Foundation director, Robin McAlpine. This meeting really was the perfect start to our conference as you could see the light bulbs go on in our members' heads. The Common Weal is an exciting vision; one which we believe will bring equality, social justice and prosperity to Scotland. We are delighted to strongly support the concept and seek to find a Labour vision of this proposal.

 The Common Weal discussion set the stage for the rest of our conference. Throughout the two days, I was excited as expert session leaders provided enough to raise lively debate on all matters from drug addiction to investment. I would like to thank all of our invited guest speakers including, Robin McAlpine, Dr John MacDonald, Jenny Robertson from Phoenix residential treatment centre and perhaps our biggest star this weekend George, a former addict who had the courage to share his story with us.

 With only two days it is only right that we do not confirm ourselves to all that was discussed and in areas such as health, education and the economy more work will need to be done. However, I am very pleased to announce these decisions voted, and approved by our members:

  1. Reject Nuclear Weapons in Scotland
  2. Support Common Weal concept and contribute to it
  3. Support full-employment Keynesian development policy
  4. Support Major Banking reform in the New Scotland
  5. Support the establishment of a Nationalized Scottish Central Bank
  6. Support for 2nd language education from the age of 7 years.
  7. Support an introduction of a living wage
  8. Establishment of a state owned oil company such as the Norwegian company
  9. Not to join NATO but to explore other joint defence international agreements
  10. Expansion of universally free childcare.

We hope that this will be the beginning of our vision of what an independent Scotland can look like. It is an exciting time within our country. The SNP will offer their vision in November, we look forward to other parties and organisations announcing their visions as we are; to give the people of Scotland a choice of what our nation can become with a yes vote.

Our message should be simple, vote yes and choose from these visions. Choose no and get more of the same.

I hope many more of you will join us and help to shape a Labour vision of what Scotland could be like after a yes vote.

Allan Grogan
Labour for Independence.


  1. Nothing to argue about there. I bet mainstream labour politicos will look at that and think its naive.

    Personally the word I'd use is aspirational,* its what's missing in the UK.

    *Might not be a word apparently but I'm having it.

  2. Aspirational is a word. I dunno how many points you get for it though...but what I do know is that points mean prizes ...or somthing.

    Anyway. I'm reading this and I'm thinking... this could be what Labour was like if they didn't have Wee Milibean pushing them to be more and more like UKIP.

    Who knows what Labour will think of it. Johann is still missing and, according to the latest polling, both she and Don't Sleep in the Subway would lose their seats at the next election.

    How is that for crap?

  3. Support for 2nd language education from the age of 7 years.

    In China they start a second language from the age of 4 years.

    1. Seven is a good start. We'd have to start school a year earlier for four!

      I think our problem will be in finding enough people to teach a second language.

      There is no doubt though that if the aim is going to be to make people capable of actually talking in a second language the best time to start is, well, as early as possible.

      Our kids have been in the habit of starting at 12, which is madness. Just at the time you are at your most self conscious they ask to to stand up in class and making funny sounds which are supposed to mean something.

      Brilliant psychology.

      We certainly must do better. And it's not good enough to say that they can/should speak English. I wonder if, when America's hegemony diminishes, english will still be the langue véhiculaire du monde.

    2. In Finland they don't start school until 7, and they are regarded as one of the best educated populations in the world.

  4. Tris

    It is actually refreshing to see a proper forward thinking Labour vision as this has been sadly lacking since possibly Michael Foot was the boss. This may also be the start of a proper labour Party in Scotland. if they can get the message out to root and branch labour members they will change hearts and minds. By all accounts the conference was very successful and received positive media coverage, unlike anything YES and SNP get, so sounds like a good weekend. It will be interesting to see how the Tory labour machine react if this movement continues to gain support, will they turn on their own, my bet is yes and then it will really get interesting. Lamont being missing is a good thing at a personal level but bad for the yes vote as she's an asset.


  5. Bruce. I've not heard what the "top" people in Labour think of Labour for Independence, but I've seen tweets from Labour functionaries putting them down already.

    I can't see anything to dislike in their list of policies, but to be fair many of them are pretty much the same as the SNPs'.

    I'd certainly be interested to know what our two staunch unionists think of this REAL Labour, for that is what it is.

    I can imagine that with the exception of the "independence" bit, Niko will like the ideas. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Niko.)

    I'm not so sure that Dean will like them. (Likewise, correct me if I'm wrong, Deano.)

    Dependent on the personalities involved come the time, I'd consider them for my vote in and independent Scotland. (I say 'consider' because my own MSP, Shona Robison, is second to none in her dealings with constituents and frankly it's a comfort to have someone you know you can depend on to help you.)

    I begin to be a bit worried about Lamont. Where is she? What's wrong? It's all very well to poke fun at how inept she is, and how untrue she is being to her own principles, or how she has been sidelined by London ove pretty much everything, but I hope there is not more to it than that.

    Her absence is beginning to look quite weird. I hope she's not ill.

  6. I see the Yes campaign resort to deception and downright lies in its frantic attempts to invent 'labour for independence'

    Labour for independence? Not true, barely even exists - its part of the Yes campaign lies and untruths.


    1. Do you find that burying your head in the sand works for you? Can't really see that it would, but if it makes you happy . .

  7. Dean. There are thousands of members of the SNP who are actually Labour supporters, but who moved away from Labour because they became a right of centre party catering to the aspirations of the SE of England (these are Peter Mandelson's ideas, not mine. They are in his autobiography.)

    When it was forbidden to use the word "socialism" or any of its derivatives, some people looked for somewhere else to hang their hats. Many of them drifted to the Scottish Socialists party (again a left of centre organisation, and one which supports independence) and when they had all their troubles, internal wrangling and the campaign to get Tommy at all costs) some stayed and some left.

    Some found a home in the SNP, not always because they agreed with independence, but because the policies of helping the poor appealed to them.

    It is not at all surprising that people who have campaigned fo0r a centre or left of centre SNP candidate over a person like say Tom Harris who makes George Osborne look pinky, would also be behind Labour for Independence.

    It is possible that, like you, they have changed their allegiance when they saw a party that more closely represented their aspirations.

    It is interesting that the party conference was held in the STUC building, don't you think? The Labour Party and the STUC having such a joint history.

  8. Thought this would interest you chaps. 'Think tank suggests independence' would enable to avoid/reverse "poorly thought out" welfare reforms from London'.

    Kind of feeds into the idea of socialists supporting nationalism.
    However to be a nationalist is to support the division of the working class; pitting them against each other basded onthe genetic lottery of where they happen to be born. Sounds like as big a threat to equal opportunities as social class divisions frankly.

    You can't be a socialist labour supporter (lower case L deliberate note) and support something as pernicious as nationalism. Yet, it is true there are progressive possibilities to be gained from separation.

    Ultimate question for socialists and closet socialists: is the betrayal of socialist working class solidarity worth supporting separatism? I don't see how it could be Tris.


    1. What is the difference between Scottish nationalist and British nationalist(loyalist)?

    2. http://www.labourforindy.com/#!news-release-310713/c1a5x

    3. Hint!

      UK Plc

      The most eloquent and articulate summation of the corporate corruption of the British State is expressed by Seamus Milne:

      …the real corruption that has eaten into the heart of British public life is the tightening corporate grip on government and public institutions – not just by lobbyists, but by the politicians, civil servants, bankers and corporate advisers who increasingly swap jobs, favours and insider information, and inevitably come to see their interests as mutual and interchangeable. The doors are no longer just revolving but spinning, and the people charged with protecting the public interest are bought and sold with barely a fig leaf of regulation.

  9. Methink Ewan doth protest too much.

  10. What a load of cobblers, Dean.
    I live in Dundee. Should Dundee Council be elected by the citizens of Dundee, or should we ask Glasgow voters to elect our council?
    It's simply about common sense and local democracy.

  11. Dean: It is interesting that we could overturn some of the frankly cruel decisions that were made in London by Tories regarding social security.

    I think that Scotland under the SNP or under a proper Labour party would be able to do something a little less evil than deprive people of a spare bedroom when they are either disabled, or elderly, and perhaps require to use a chamber pot in the room at night...

    ...Or families which have been reduced in size , perhaps due to deaths, especially when there are no houses available to move them to.

    International socialism is a great idea, its name gives away its purpose...INTERNATIONAL. We can work across borders, surely, to help the downtrodden in other countries. I seem to remember that labour leaders used to go to socialist meetings all over Europe. I'm not sure that they do any more.

    In any case, Scotland would want to remain in the EU, which Mrs Thatcher described as "socialism by the back door" (one of the main reasons I support it). It looks more and more likely that England will leave the EU and become an isolated right wing country on the fringes of everything, except of course the USA.

    If you believe in international socialism, the working class movement across the world, then the fact that working class people are "foreigners", shouldn't matter to you.

    The No team seem to make a HUGE issue of "foreigners", as if being "foreign" were some sort of ghastly error of judgement. Margaret Curran seemed to think that if her son lived in England he would become "foreign". Well of course, he wouldn't. I lived in France and didn't become French. People only become "foreign" when they take citizenship of the country to which they have moved.

    Tony Benn (a man I respect) was daft enough to say that, had Scotland been independent his mother would have been a foreigner. And he wouldn't have liked that...despite the fact that his beloved wife was American, which by his standards means that his children are half "foreigners". And him an international socialist.

    We need to get rid of the island mentality that foreigners are in some way bad.

    As for could Scotland afford it. Can I remind you that we pay more towards the UK's social security than we take out of it. Can I also remind you that, not being a major player in the world, scotland would contribute less to the policing of it. We would have more money to spend on our poor. We would not have nuclear weapons: we would have more money to spend on the poor.

    Like so much of what comes from Better Together, it is scare stories with no foundations. michael Moore trot out whatever David Cameron and Alistair Darling tell him to. Clearly in most cases without giving it any thought at all.

  12. PS Dean: We seem to be subsidising Housing benefit in England, or rather the massive rents charged in London and the SE to a vast extent. That would be a good saving for us not to have to subsidize these greedy landlords who make a vast fortune from the government by putting their rents to the maximum allowed, with no regard to the facilities on offer.

  13. 'a little less evil than deprive people of a spare bedroom'

    Tris the Little Englanders couldn't give a damn about the spare bedroom. The people can't move to a smaller house because mostly they don't exist. They are taking money from people until their 'pips squeak' as Dennis Healey used to say about the rich. The Bullingdon boys are doing it to the poor and it's all about money, not bedrooms.

  14. Yes David. I know. They sold off council houses and couldn't build any new ones, because people would just have bought them too.

    They encouraged people to buy ever more expensive houses, even people who couldn't reasonably ever afford to, in a world of short term contract employment (and no redundancy for ordinary people on these short term contracts, unlike those working for the Olympics delivery company).

    They did nothing to discourage the rise in rents to astronomical heights and then complained when people required housing benefit, after they allowed the country to get into a depression and hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs.

    They refused to insist on a living wage as a minimum wage for people who managed to keep their jobs, and increased people's dependency on benefits. And now they say we can't afford the benefits.

    And Brits just sit there and take it as one right wing party after another doles out another measure of crap to them.

    There are no houses as you say.

    The government was stupid enough to believe that muppet Brown when he said, a bit like Midas, that he had delivered the end to boom and bust. They never thought that they would need poor people's housing again.

    What a set of useless jerks.

    And of course the Bullingdon Boys know that poor people exist. But they don't meet them, except when they have occasion to bang into one of the servants, or an office cleaner.