The Red Paper collective meets again in Glasgow on Saturday to consider the impact of constitutional change on working people. The group, made up of labour movement activists, trade unionists and academics are hosting a seminar at the STUC to publicly discuss the content and main themes of their forthcoming book.
The Red Paper Collective argues that Labour’s involvement in the Better Together Campaign brings it too close to the Tories and Lib-Dems and is preventing it from using the referendum to articulate a vision for greater equality and economic democracy. On the other side the Red Paper Collective criticise Yes campaigners for selling independence as the medicine to cure all ills arguing that independence will actually give little scope for genuine change.
Pauline Bryan Editor of the Red Paper said,
The Red Paper Collective came together to revive the tradition of the first Red Paper for Scotland (1975), which explored how Scotland could have greater equality and democratic control of its economy. The current contributors reject both independence as offered by the SNP and the restricted vision of the Better Together, Devo Plus and Devo Max campaigns.
Leading thinkers on the left in Scotland will come together on Saturday to present their ideas for discussion and feedback. The outcome will be to describe the society we should be aiming for and then ask, what powers we need to achieve it. Thereafter, the ideas that emerge will then be advanced in the Scottish Trade Union and Labour Movement.
The Red Paper is touching a nerve with Labour and trade union activists, in a way that I’m afraid the Better Together is not. Its coalition with Tories and Lib Dems is quite simply failing to inspire people. Labour should be using the referendum to explore and call for a vision of greater equality and economic democracy. We hope that the Red Paper Collective can help stimulate more radical thinking on the constitutional issue in the Labour and Trade Union movement.
Another member of the group, Neil Findlay MSP said,
The Red Paper Collective is producing some very important material and much needed evidence that I believe is helping to inform the current debate. It is vital that the Scottish people make a decision on our future based on evidence rather than assertion.
The Red Paper Collective is first and foremost organised and based around the principle of what is best for working people. Its asking how we tackle the obvious inequities that exist in Scotland today and how we build a better tomorrow for all our people. Saturday’s event builds upon our previous work and will help us develop strategies and campaigns towards a better and much more equal Scotland.