Dave Watson blog on Red Paper launch

Dave Watson’s blog has a piece on the launch of the new Red Paper book Class, Nation and Socialism last night (Thu 12 Sep) at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Here’s a wee bit:

“As the book has some hard messages for both nationalists and unionists, we expect criticism from all sides. That’s fine, even if it would be better if they read it first! This book challenges those who look to constitutional change rather than political change.  Posing nation against class is a blind alley which will only reinforce Scotland’s exposure to the power of multinational capitalism.”

Read the rest over on Dave’s blog here: http://unisondave.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/class-nation-and-socialism-red-paper-on.html

Class, Nation and Socialism – The Red Paper 2014

Class, Nation and Socialism - The Red Paper 2014

Published today: Class, Nation and Socialism – The Red Paper 2014
ISBN 978-1-905-86668-7
Glasgow Caledonian University Archives
Available by post from Scottish Centre for Work Based Learning, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA £11.00 including postage payable to ‘The Red Paper Collective’.
Also available in Waterstone’s

“This book is such an important contribution to renewing a crisis-ridden left. The outcome of the current debate in Scottish politics has clear ramifications in Britain and elsewhere.”
Owen Jones

This book is not only of importance in Scotland, it is vital reading for anyone in the UK who seeks social justice and the transformation of our society.

It is the product of two years of discussion, research and campaigning by the Red Paper Collective.

A group that is more interested in the politics of class than the politics of nationalism and in social and economic change rather than constitutional change. Made up of trade unionists, academics and politics activists; they have sought to provide a labour movement alternative to the sterile nationalist v unionist debate around the referendum and explore the issues they consider to have been neglected.

For example, they question whether the Scottish Parliament has made use of the powers it currently has for the benefit of working people; they explore where power really lies, and how it can be put in the hands of working people and whether the Scottish Parliament should enjoy enhanced powers, which would both enable a challenge to the growing scandals of poverty and inequality while still retaining the historic link with working people across the UK.

The Red Paper Collective argue that the real problems facing people in Scotland is not to be found in a flag, a border or even a list of powers in Edinburgh and London, they have challenged the main players to make clear why they want more powers and what they will do the powers they have.

Pauline Bryan and Tommy Kane

Stephen Boyd
Katy Clark MP
Chik Collins
David Conway
Matthew Crighton
Jackson Cullinane
Neil Findlay MSP
Rozanne Foyer
John Foster
James Gillies
Lynn Henderson
Muir Houston
Richard Leonard
Kevin Lindsay
Stephen Low
Alan Mackinnon
Vince Mills
Dave Moxham
Gordon Munro
David Shaw
Eric Shaw
Stephen Smellie
Dave Watson

The aim must be to deliver greater democratic control of our economy

Article on Class, Nation and Socialism – The Red Paper 2014
by Pauline Bryan and Tommy Kane of The Red Paper Collective
from The Herald Agenda  page, Tuesday 10 September 2013

IT is more than two years since the Red Paper Collective came together to consider the implications of constitutional change.

The book Class, Nation and Socialism: The Red Paper 2014 is, we hope, a timely contribution to the Scottish constitutional debate. Featuring prominent trade unionists, politicians, political activists, academics and researchers it takes an unashamedly class-based perspective on the question of constitutional change. On that basis the central question the contributors address is how best the interests of working people are served and advanced.

The Red Paper Collective is critical of the stagnant debate of the competing nationalisms and poses a political challenge to both the Yes and Better Together Campaigns. It also goes beyond the limited procedural and technical perspectives of devo plus and devo max with their thinly-disguised commitment to neo-liberalism. Hence, the primary concern of the Red Paper is to win powers for a purpose: powers that will enable us to tackle the huge social and economic problems that Scotland, shamefully, still faces.

It is quite understandable that people may want to escape the possibility of a further assault on our public service and welfare services by David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Many suggest we have nothing to lose from a Yes vote. The evidence presented in the Red Paper is unequivocal; we actually have a great deal to lose. Not least, as a Yes vote would break Scotland away from the democratic structures of the UK without breaking the control of Scotland’s economy that is overwhelmingly situated in London and other centres of global capital.

Constitutional change does not in itself mean social change and many of the promises of a progressive Scotland coming from the left of the Yes camp are more reflective of their own hopes rather than current political and economic realities. It is the case that the party that delivers independence will deliver the constitution and put an ideological stamp on the future development of Scotland, which would be hard to undo. The SNP will not conveniently dissolve itself and create space for a left-based alternative. Its very strength lies in its cross-class alliance that is committed to lowering corporation tax, keeping the monarchy, being part of a sterling zone and remaining in Nato and the EU.

The referendum could, however, be a turning point in Scotland even without a vote for independence. The remaining 12 months before the referendum provide an opportunity to raise fundamental questions about current political and economic conditions and to explore political alternatives which would be beneficial for people across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The Red Paper argues that any constitutional change must be measured against its potential to challenge the power of international capitalism and deliver greater democratic control of our economy. Democratic control could encompass a variety of forms of public ownership including co-operatives and mutual ownership which would help build a sustainable and secure economy and redistribute wealth from the rich to the rest of the population and geographically from areas of greater wealth to areas of need. In short, developing a society founded on social ownership will help to build an economy in which we all have a stake and from which we can all benefit.

The Red Paper Collective argues that the answer to the real problems facing us all will not be found in constitutional change, but in political change. If we can find a constitutional solution that enhances our capacity to make that political change, which maintains our class alliance with our brothers and sisters across the rest of the UK, and that meets the majority demand for greater devolution, it will allow the energies and imagination of all those concerned with a progressive future for Scotland to be put to more effective use. We could then begin to turn back the tide of austerity and rebuild a base for socialism in Scotland and across the UK.

This article was published in The Herald on Tuesday 11 September 2013