Trade unionism is not about creating even more divisions based on nationality

Trade unions are about solidarity. The very name of our movement is symbolic of the fact that we are bound together by ties that go beyond nationality or location.

better together

By John-Paul McHugh, Scottish officer at Community Trade Union

Trade unions are about solidarity. The very name of our movement is symbolic of the fact that we are bound together by ties that go beyond nationality or location.

We stand together with colleagues across the UK, campaigning as much for fairness in Scotland as we do in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

At a time of economic turmoil across the world now more than ever we need to stand together in the pursuit of social justice. Putting up barriers between workers in the rest of the UK makes no sense at all.

And workers across the whole of UK stand united in solidarity. Whether we are from Glasgow, Grimsby or Glamorgan, we know that by working together we can achieve so much more than we could apart.

Where is the social justice argument in abandoning colleagues south of the Border?

I am proud that Community members from across the UK have come together to say with a clear voice that we are better together and will campaign against Alex Salmond’s plan to break up the United Kingdom.

Working together with trade unionists across the UK we have achieved so much. From the National Minimum Wage, which the SNP failed to support, to health and safety legislation, pooling our resources across the UK has resulted in significant improvements for our workers.

Things are far from perfect, but the suggestion that workplace rights would be infinitely better in a separate Scotland is risible.

The complete failure of the SNP to support the Scottish steel industry when contracts were being handed out for the Forth Road Bridge replacement was a taste of what life would be like in a separate Scotland.

The SNP’s economic case for breaking up Britain appears to rest on cutting corporation tax for big business. When companies like Starbucks, Vodafone, Apple, Google and npower stand accused of avoiding tax on a grand scale, Alex Salmond wants to reduce their burden even further.

We are promised Scandinavian style public services and investment but Irish style levels of low taxation. It simply doesn’t stack up.

One area of significant concern to steel workers in Scotland is the impact of separation on pensions. Campaigners fought long and hard to establish the Pensions Protection Fund (PPF), the UK wide scheme which supports workers whose pension schemes go bust. What will happen to this if Scotland breaks away?

The failure of the SNP to provide any credible assurances on the PPF’s future is indicative of the flimsiness of their case.

Working together and pooling our resources is what the trade union movement, and Community in particular, is all about. Creating divisions on the basis of nationality is contrary to our whole world vision. We are so much stronger and better together as part of the UK.

49 Responses to “Trade unionism is not about creating even more divisions based on nationality”

  1. jeuandavidjones

    If no, then what about supporting radical reform of the UK constitutional framework? It can’t stay as it is, 3 variations of devolved governments, a hotch-potch of anachronisms and contradictions in the UK parliamentary system, with an unelected second house, a partial theocracy and effective dictatorship by the PM through the royal prerogative! A Modern democracy fit for the 21st century?

  2. franwhi

    Why would any sound trade unionist argue for the dreadful status quo which is quashing hope and living standards across these islands ? Its not good enough to argue that things are far from perfect. We know that ! Its not good enough to tell Scots that they are somehow “abandoning” others in the UK just because they want self-determination. True solidarity comes from people harnessing their own power and not abdicating their democratic right to choose an alternative. Of course the trade union movement in Scotland currently have their own issues with democracy in Falkirk and are hardly a shining example of political integrity.

  3. uglyfatbloke

    However….if Wilson and Callaghan had not suppressed the McCrone report and consistently lied (like Thatcher, Major and Blair) about the Scottish economy Scottish workers would now be very much better off instead of marginally worse off than their counterparts in the UK. Both Labour and Tory government s spent the oil revenues on projects that benefited the whole country from Watford the north to Guildford in the south. As for democratic values…..does the TUC advocate democratic reform? I don’t know. Does the party advocate democratic reform? No it does not. In fact, the Scottish parliament is elected under a system that was specifically designed to stop the gnats from ever becoming the biggest party; how democratic was that?

  4. George

    Nonsense. I don’t feel any more or any less solidarity with workers in spain, italy, france or where ever. He himself, in his argument, is building barriers between workers across the globe. Were all Jock Tamson’s bairns, after-all. Take a look at yourself before selling out to the Labour Party in London, as Community Union have done.

  5. Selohesra

    Didn’t do a very good job of stopping the Nats getting in though – did they 🙂

  6. uglyfatbloke

    No they did n’t and there is a touch of poetic justice I suppose. In practice the gnats won because they are better at delivering social democrat government; that does not mean that they will win the referendum OTH if Better Together keeps up the ‘Project Fear’ approach they will continue to shoot themselves in the foot. It’s not to risky just now because of the important support of the BBC and the media generally, but in the campaign period proper when the BBC has to be more impartial it will become a problem.

  7. DavidT

    Why bring up the issue of Forth Road Bridge steel? Does this man know anything about the steel industry in Scotland. Scottish steel was not used because no Scottish firms took part in the tender process. They didn’t take part because there are no Scottish firms which can make steel to the required specifications. They can’t make the steel because the UK government destroyed the industry in Scotland. Better Together? I think not.

    Also, Independence (not “separation”), has nothing to do with the SNP. There will be elections in an independent Scotland. The SNP are only the means of getting independence.

    As for his argument about the SNP not supporting the minimum wage, for someone so obviously interested in their policies, why does he not know that the SNP want to replace the minimum wage with a living wage.
    There is too much wrong with this piece to go into every detail, suffice to say it is full of the usual lies, deceit and misrepresentations I have come to expect from the anti-independence lobby.

    This reads like a Better Together press release that Mr. McHugh has been forced to put his name to. If these are indeed Mr. McHugh’s own words, then I fear for all those represented by the Community Trade Union when there is such an absence of thought and intellectual honesty in their officers.

  8. Jimmy Ross

    How about an explanation of the totally undemocratic vote at conference to support bettertogether. How many members in Scotland were asked and by whom. This has little or nothing to do with workers rights and everything to do with currying favour with London Labour

  9. john

    How a trade unionist can argue that we should keep the millionaire tories in power is beyond me.
    As for the steel industry he has a short memory. A vibrant Scottish steel industry could have provided steel for the Forth bridge. The decimated remains we have now are the result of Thatcher. Conveniently forgotten

  10. Eilif

    Excuse me but support for independence is a not a division based on nationality. Why not make that argument against devolution? The idea that supporters of independence don’t have a strong bond with people in England that is plain ignorance and if it is what you are suggesting then it is insulting and you should hang your head in shame!

  11. Eilif

    And another thing:

    “The complete failure of the SNP to support the Scottish steel industry when contracts were being handed out for the Forth Road Bridge replacement was a taste of what life would be like in a separate Scotland.”

    Similarly the war in Iraq, the billions wasted on WMDs, the prospective privatisation of Royal Mail, the oil revenues wasted by the UK treasury not investing in a sovereign wealth fund, the bedroom tax to name but a few is a taste of what life would be like if we stuck with the Union. If the UK state was working in a way that ensured a much fairer society there would be little point in me arguing for independence.

    And your unionist colleagues had the chance to provide the people of Scotland with the opportunity to choose more powers within the UK. A two-question referendum would have meant a Yes vote to independence had little or no chance of winning and it was perfectly workable. But the unionist politicians rejected this offer with unbelievable antagonism leaving many in Scotland completely unimpressed. Now the unionists want to wait until after the referendum before even considering a debate about more powers whilst at the same time expecting answers about the long-term currency arrangements of an independent Scotland when that is only something you can put to the people of Scotland when Scotland is independent.

    And if that isn’t enough we have Alistair Darling daring to create an atmosphere much like you are of cultural blackmail, daring to dictate the terms and conditions of our very identities – ‘Thou shalt call thyself British if thy voteth for independence.’ We are human beings with a free will we will not take orders about our identities from politicians!

    If the Westminster government wants to strengthen the bond someone from Glasgow has with someone from Glamorgan then they should be making plans to build Hi-speed 2 as far north as the border so then the Scottish government can provide the rest of the journey. Then it will be easier to meet more often. But that will take many years of course. Until that point perhaps it would a good idea if the Scottish Government had control over Air Passenger Duty to make it cheaper for someone to fly to Cardiff. Only by shrinking this island will we be able to strengthen our relationships with our family south of the border.

    I’m afraid you will have a hard job Mr McHugh of convincing the people of Scotland that there really is a better alternative under the union.

  12. dougthedug

    John, you said, “From the National Minimum Wage, which the SNP failed to support…”

    Since the SNP voted for the UK National Minimum Wage Bill on 16 Dec 1997 in Westminster and committed to a £7.45 Scottish Living Wage on 05/11/2012 for employees working in parts of the public sector under the Scottish Government’s pay policy perhaps you could clarify this.

  13. dougthedug

    “When companies like Starbucks, Vodafone, Apple, Google and npower stand accused of avoiding tax on a grand scale, Alex Salmond wants to reduce their burden even further.”

    Since Labour and the Conservatives (The Better Together Alliance) wrote the tax legislation with loopholes so big that Starbucks, Vodafone, Apple, Google and npower have just driven a coach and horses through them then reducing the rate of taxation will matter not one whit to companies who simply avoid paying anything anyway.

    Of course an independent Scotland would have the power to close these loopholes without the encumberance of the Labour and Tory hero worship of big business.

  14. ross

    The ‘social justice’ argument is based on Scotland abandoning the Westminster elite, not our fellow workers. Current economic turmoil is caused by neolib governments bowing down to demands of the markets & big business! A smaller more representative Scottish government would represent the more communitarian, egalitarian Scottish politics (with a small p) something utterly devoid in the Westminster profit over people perspective. This article is shockingly poor from the author, editor & left foot forward. Left foot forward – try to raise the level of debate next time please.

  15. StewartW

    The John Paul McHugh article says more about current Labour
    Party philosophy than it does about the independence issue. To seek to deny the
    people of Scotland the
    opportunity to elect a left wing government simply to preserve the Labour
    Party’s Westminster
    ambitions illustrates how far the party has stumbled to the right.

    There are many on the left in Scotland who see the
    referendum next year as a once in a lifetime chance to ditch the outdated
    political orthodoxy of Westminster, start with a clean slate and elect a
    government based on social justice, equality and fairness. Forget the SNP’s
    policies. Two years after a YES vote, we can elect the government we want. Far
    from abandoning our colleagues south of the border, I believe that once they
    see the benefits of a socialist government, they will demand the same of Westminster.

  16. sawney_hasbeen

    Pretty depressing article.
    Steel industry destroyed by Westminster? Blame the SNP.
    Pensions destroyed by Westminster? Blame the SNP.
    Large corporations helped by the head of HMRC and then given sweetheart deals to avoid tax. Blame the SNP.
    I’m surprised JP didn’t call for drone strikes against Holyrood.
    Still, a ‘NO’ vote will protect his salary and pension.

  17. Disco Diva

    I notice none of those who support a separate Scotland have commented on the SNP’s plans to slash corporation tax at a time when most are criticising big business for minimising their corporation tax… hardly seems socially justifiable when the working class are being penalised for the failures of the banking system (RBS and BoS included).

  18. Lynsey

    Why are you limiting solidarity among the workers to the UK? Why are you suggesting that cross-border solidarity is not an option post independence?

  19. Lynsey

    Perhaps because the SNP is only one of the parties that will participate in the post-independence election? Independence is about change, looking for a better, more responsive democracy – not about supporting the SNP and all of their policies.

  20. Elliott Steven

    In an independent Scotland we would still stand shoulder to shoulder and support colleagues in England and Wales. What BritNat tosh this article is spewing. In fact the Scottish trade unions would be stronger and able to offer greater help given that the Scottish economy will be gradually re-industrialised. Again, Little Britlander mentality all through this article. Trade unions have an international aspect to them and the trade unionists can stand shoulder to shoulder with those in France, Germany Spain etc.

  21. Dr Alan McCowan

    Since Labour slashed Corp Tax twice when last in power and the Tories are doing the same, it seems odd to single out the SNP.

  22. Dr Alan McCowan

    This is a shameful tissue of partisan Labour drivel from Mr McHugh.

    1. There is no need for a political union between Scotland and the rest of the UK for trade unions to exercise solidarity. Many trade unions currently operate across borders, eg the NUJ, which represents both UK and Irish journalists.

    2. Nobody will be “abandoned” by Scottish independence. England elected a Labour government as recently as 2005 and is perfectly capable of doing so again without Scottish votes. The last Labour government which relied on Scottish votes for a (tiny, almost useless) majority was in 1974.

    3. Even if England sticks with the Tories, why should the Scots be dragged down too when we’ve rejected the Tories consistently for 60 years? How does that help anyone? Is it not better to have a left-of-centre government in Scotland setting an example of social democracy than to have the entire UK suffering under the Tories and constantly being dragged even further to the right by UKIP (and Labour’s gutlessness)?

    4. Since the likes of Starbucks and Amazon and Vodafone already pay next to zero tax under Labour or Tory UK governments, what difference does it make if they’re dodging it at 25% or 20% or 15%?

    5. You appear to be quite simply lying about the minimum wage.

    6. When, precisely, did anyone claim “workplace rights would be infinitely better in a separate Scotland”? Infinity is rather hard to measure. But in 13 years Labour did nothing to restore union rights destroyed by Thatcher, and now the Tories are taking the axe to them again. How could Scotland possibly do any worse?

    7. As others have noted, no Scottish steel company was capable of providing the type of steel needed for the new Forth crossing, because Labour stood uselessly by in the 80s and 90s and let Tory Westminster governments Scotland had rejected at the ballot box destroy the Scottish steel industry. At least the bridge is being built, creating jobs and economic stimulus.

    You should be ashamed of yourself, telling these lies to try to stop five million people escaping from the Tories out of pure spite.

  23. Jamie Hamilton

    This article is nonsense, I’m afraid, and in complete denial about the realities of industrial relations in Scotland as part of the UK.

    Since 1979, trade union membership in Scotland has halved and we have seen the most repressive labour legislation in the developed world imposed on Scottish trade unionists under successive British governments. Meanwhile, today, yet another Tory government at Westminster (that was, once again, overwhelmingly rejected by Scotland’s voters at a British general election) is winding itself up to weaken public sector trade unions (the last bastion of trade union membership in Scotland) further. And John-Paul McHugh’s response? – “we know that by working together we can achieve so much more than we could apart”. Even a cursory glance at the evidence of the last thirty years shows that this is little more than a shallow political claim for Scotland’s continued membership of the union rather than an evidence-based analysis of the unenviable realities of industrial relations in Scotland as part of the UK.

    As for his claims about the National Minimum Wage and workers rights. Does he assume that his readers are complete idiots? Does he not know that in 1997, the UK was the only major advanced economy in the world that did not have either an explicit or implicit National Minimum Wage. Does he not know that many of the (limited) rights extended to Scottish workers after 1997 were a consequence of the British government belatedly signing up to the EUs Social Chapter and that, for years, Scottish workers had been denied these rights, which other EU workers had enjoyed, because the British government in 1991 had opted out of the Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty.

    John-Paul McHugh’s position seems to be that continued Tory governments and continued weakening of the limited rights that Scottish workers currently have, are a price worth paying to keep Scotland in the union. Fortunately, more trade unionists in Scotland today have wakened up to the realities of their precarious position in the UK. They can see that independence, while not providing a solution to all of their problems, offers an alternative path of development to the continued attack of successive British governments on workers’ rights, social justice, equality and welfare, among other things..

    Thank goodness the days are long past when British automatons like McHugh spoke for the Scottish working class.

  24. Richard Lucas

    Left Foot Forward is making itself look ever more foolish with its constant stream of evidence-free pro-Union bile. Get a grip.

  25. EmbraBoffin

    Perhaps its just failure of imagination on the part of Mr McHugh but unions can and do organise across national borders. Witness this multi-national union strike of air controllers recently

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22850250

    “The French unions’ counterparts in some other European countries are set to join in the strikes on Wednesday or hold other industrial action. They are those in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Slovakia.”

    Additionally, Unite manages to organises it members across both the UK and Rep or Ireland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unite_the_Union), it is surely simple enough to extend its membership in an independent Scotland.

  26. Donald Kerr

    “Alex Salmond’s plan”

    “break up”

    “separation”

    blah, blah.

    “pooling our resources across the UK has resulted in significant improvements for our workers”

    Yeah, right. Pensions? wages? Anti-trade union laws never repealed. Oh, give me more please.

    “One area of significant concern to steel workers in Scotland is the impact of separation on pensions.”

    Yeah, right. like this is not happening under a Westminster Government: http://www.fbu.org.uk/?page_id=131

    “We are so much stronger and better together as part of the UK.”

    Yeah, right. Prove it.

    As a trade unionist, I do not agree with this article in any way, shape or form. The Scottish left wants independence but this old-shcool, anti-snp hatred (Labour) has had its day. You are out of touch and living in the past, John.

    P.S. Glad that you haven’t deleted the comments and counter argument.

  27. David Myers

    Then perhaps you should open your eyes, because there are comments there.

  28. Bill Cowan

    Mince, pure and simple mince.

  29. Bugger (the Panda)

    Why do I feel that this little piece has been written as “not for publication in Scotland”

    Every blessed point that Jean-Paul McHugh lays out has been, quite rightly, rubbished time and time again in various blogs over the last few years.

    It smacks of desperation that the No campaign and their supporters really cannot give one simple and cogent reason why Scotland would be better off within the Union than to break it and leave.

    Same regurgitated tripe.

    The historical labour movement deserve better than those holding the torch nowadays.

    Cheer up, maybe they will get better in an independent Scotland, or at least the next generation could.

  30. Joe Middleton

    The choice is between staying with the UK and David Cameron’s Tories or similar with the possible malign influence of UKIP also involved (if Ed Miliband gets in he will change nothing substantial just like Blair) or having a democratic opportunity to choose something better after independence.
    The SNP may not be perfect but they are politically consistent and they are only around a year away from possibly acheiving their ultimate objective. Labour have sold their political soul to the Tories to the extent that there is little point putting them into power. Trade unionists should consider whether they can do better than part-funding a party which kicks their teeth at every opportunity.

    If there is a left of centre government in Scotland post independence (and the SNP Government is already far to the left of Labour so this is highly likely) then this will inspire other countries by example just as Norway and Denmark do already.
    Scotland is a country in it’s own right and if England wants left of centre policies they need to start voting for them themselves.

  31. pmcrek

    I couldnt get very far reading the article it was utterly awful, I read all the comments though which were much more informed.

  32. Ian Stewart,

    What a truly awful article, It’s full of Lies and untruths, Im a trade Unionist and I saw no unity during the miners strike or when Thatcher was smashing up the Trade Unions, If Scotland was Independent there would still be solidarity with our commrades in other parts of the UK, There is that unity with Trade Unionist all over the world, The Truth is this article has nothing whatsoever about solidarity ! its a blatent attack on a country and its people who want self determination and to run their own affairs, As I say again Im a proud trade Unionist and You dont talk for me Mate !

  33. Susan

    “The complete failure of the SNP to support the Scottish steel industry
    when contracts were being handed out for the Forth Road Bridge
    replacement was a taste of what life would be like in a separate
    Scotland.” If this was true then we would have seen guys from our
    Scottish steel firms who had placed a bid and lost it to the foreign
    companies dragged to First Minister’s Question time by Ms Lamont. John
    McHugh, please stop patronising Scotland, we do deserve better than
    this!

  34. Jeannie

    Given that the Labour Party has said it does not intend to repeal anti-trade union legislation, nor does it intend to repeal anti-social justice measures such as the bedroom tax, thus making it increasingly difficult for you, as a trade unionist, to properly represent, supportand improve the working conditions of your own members, could you tell me if you are now giving consideration to adopting a more-Scandinavian approach to working with employers? That is to say, participating directly at board level, working in partnership with employers and playing a part in the whole planning process when any changes are being considered within a company, so that both the company and the employees mutually benefit, as opposed to the current UK “us and them” approach which often results in ballots for strike action. I just ask as you mentioned Scandinavia in your article. As you will no doubt know, this approach has also been suggested by the Jimmy Reid Foundation in their advocacy of a “Common Weal” approach in an independent Scotland. I think it is an approach worth considering, but I do think we would need a fresh start as a small, independent state to make it work as there is just too much vested interest within UK organisations to allow it to work.

  35. Eddie McReadie

    The final sprint to independence is seeing the usual Labour worthies last ditch attempts to protect their jobs.

    Scottish Labour’s new mantra should be “Say anything, Do anything, to stay on the Union Gravy Train’

    And their new party song by Janet Jackson first released in 1986 (appropriately) ‘What have you done for me lately’

    Real working men of Scotland are not fooled by this nonsense article.

  36. Elliott Steven

    ‘slash’… hardly. 3% points less than the British average – daft thing to suggest that it’s being ‘slashed’

  37. Haver

    Where is the social justice in having Scotland’s working classes trapped in a UK where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer courtesy of the Westminster elite. The Labour Party have a shadow cabinet of 29 MPs, 23 of whom are millionaires. What do these millionaire career politicians know (or care) about the working classes? They’re there to look out for their own kind.

    The Labour Party had 13 years in power where they could have removed the muzzles put on the unions by the Tory’s. What did they do? Hee haw – ef aw, is what they did. Labour have already stated they are pro education fees, pro benefit cuts, pro bedroom tax, pro prescription charges, pro removing bus passes. Is that what the author of this piece on nonsense imagines to be social justice? Or is it more about self interest – looking to protect his position and salary?

    As for the loss of Scotland’s steel industry and tax cuts for the rich: we could go on at great lengths about that, that and Labour’s complicity in it.

  38. Bill Cruickshank

    Seldom have I read such an ill-informed article, it is riddled with lies, distortions and smears. Three examples:

    1. ” The very name of our movement is symbolic of the fact that we are bound together by ties that go beyond nationality or location.”

    Using this argument, workers all over the world would be “bound together”. Why stop at workers in the British context, what about workers in France, Germany and Timbuktu?

    2. “The complete failure of the SNP to support the Scottish steel industry when contracts were being handed out for the Forth Road Bridge replacement was a taste of what life would be like in a separate Scotland.” The facts behind this particular lie are that a Westminster Government closed the steel works in Scotland which could have produced the type of steel necessary to build the Forth Road Bridge replacement. That is, no steel works in Scotland produced the type of steel needed.

    3. “We are promised Scandinavian style public services and investment but Irish style levels of low taxation. It simply doesn’t stack up.” I take it this is a reference to the “Common Weal” as outlined by the Jimmy Reid Foundation. If it is, it is wrong on two counts: a) The Common Weal has been “promised” by nobody. The SNP are to look at the proposal. b) The Common Weal does not include a proposal based on low Irish taxation. It is based on Scandinavian models.

    A question for Mr. McHugh: Why should Scottish workers have to endure Tory Governments because England votes Tory?

    Three of Scotland’s greatest socialist sons believed in an independent Scotland i.e. John McLean, James Connolly and Jimmy Reid; great socialists and great trade unionists Their hope and desire for a self determining Scotland will be achieved next year when Scotland votes YES.

  39. Sunshine on Crieff

    You have put the following explanation at the foot of your article:-

    “This entry was posted in Social Justice and tagged Alex Salmond, Better Together, internationalism, Scottish Nationalism, SNP, socialism, Trade Unionism, Trade Unions.”

    Why have you not included a tag British Nationalism? Because that seems to be your underlying philosophy.

    I quote:

    “We stand together with colleagues across the UK, campaigning as much for fairness in Scotland as we do in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    “At a time of economic turmoil across the world now more than ever we need to stand together in the pursuit of social justice. Putting up barriers between workers in the rest of the UK makes no sense at all.

    “And workers across the whole of UK stand united in solidarity. Whether we are from Glasgow, Grimsby or Glamorgan, we know that by working together we can achieve so much more than we could apart.”

    Why not stand united in solidarity with workers from other, non-UK nations? After all, whether we are from Glasgow, Gdańsk, Gorakhpur or Guangzhou, we know that by working together we can achieve so much more than we could apart. That doesn’t mean that Scotland needs to be governed from Warsaw, New Delhi, or Beijing, or that our tax revenues be paid to Poland, India or China, with their governments deciding what proportion be spent here.

    To suggest that solidarity should be limited to those workers under the control of the UK state is British Nationalism.

    And as for this:-

    “Where is the social justice argument in abandoning colleagues south of the Border?”

    What patronising rubbish! By opting for self-government, people in Scotland would be abandoning no-one, certainly not people ‘south of the border’ (as you put it). The people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland are as capable of making their own choices as anyone else, and do not need rescuing by the people of Scotland.

    And they certainly do not need the help of the faux trade unionists that seem to make up the leadership of Community.

  40. Eddie McReadie

    Torpedo… Straight to the engine room of HMS Dribble. Kaboom!

  41. Eddie McReadie

    “Why bring up the issue of Forth Road Bridge steel? Does this man know anything about the steel industry in Scotland. Scottish steel was not used because no Scottish firms took part in the tender process. They didn’t take part because there are no Scottish firms which can make steel to the required specifications. They can’t make the steel because the UK government destroyed the industry in Scotland. Better Together? I think not.

    Great to see Politicians and their ‘Familiars’ being put in their place. We have had to listen to their lies for too long.

    I much prefer getting the ‘Truth’ from real people who were there and speak honestly. Well done Sir.

  42. MincePie

    The best thing that can happen for poorer people in the UK would be for an independent Scotland to show that there is a different way to run things from a westminster Labour/tory neo liberal agenda. Things will not change in the UK as long as there is a Westminster Labour/Tory hegemony in politics,

  43. Richard McHarg

    What a dreadful misrepresentation of the facts! Lies, lies and mere assertions based on lies!

    How can anyone with a milligram of sense imagine for a second that being part of the UK will deliver any sort of social justice and equality for the citizens of Scotland, when it has singularly failed to do so to-date. This article is beyond comprehension.

    The UK (UK PLC) is a state that exists to benefit its establishment, essentially its shareholders: the monarchy and its hangers-on, the bankers and the corporations, and their political stooges in the Tory, Labour and Lib Dem parties.

    It’s even harder to stomach after learning that many trade union leaders are earning more than most politicians.

    Grow-up, Mr. McHugh!

  44. Iain Lawson

    Doug this is not the only inaccuracy in this article which could be kindly described as pathetic. Any steelworker in Scotland, current or past go voted for staying with Westminster would need there head examined.

    The Union destroyed Scottish steel, we didn’t vote for Margaret Thatcher but we got her and her privatisation drive destroyed our steel industry. We remember her choosing tea with English cricketer Ian Botham rather than meet the Gartcosh marchers who had walked from Scotland to London over the planned closure. That was bad enough but it was compounded when the Labour opposition cancelled the steel debate in the House of Commons in favour of a debate on Westland Helicopters.

    Was it the few remaining Scottish Steelwokers who voted, or was it the UK Members? Was there even a vote?

    Anyway as a Yes supporter and one of the Gartcosh marchers I would like to thank Mr Mchugh for his article which will be ridiculed the length and breadth of Scotland as a fine example of the depths a labour lackey will plummet to in an effort to seek personal advance.

  45. jdmank

    interesting,
    now by no means am I an expert in steel production but is seems neither are you john
    since it would appear the Scottish government had no choice but to go abroad for the steel for the forth bridge as the the type of steel required for it is no longer made in Scotland, thanks to Margaret Thatcher, while Germany and France invested in thier steel industries Thatcher saw a better way,
    where everyone in Britain is in the service industry selling services to each other and noone MAKING anything
    better together? your havin a girrafe mate

    ps the minute you resort to lies, you’ve lost the argument

  46. Caadfael

    Left Foot Forward?
    Aye, but only because the right one is firmly wedged in the author’s mouth!
    Mince? Tripe? At least they can be swallowed, unlike the lies spouted above!!
    A wee thochtie for you, if you have two women in your bed, that’s a threesome; if just one woman, thats a twosome … I beleive you’re whats called handsome?

  47. Bugger (the Panda)

    I’m having that thanks; a handsome!

    Thanks Brother

  48. sawney_hasbeen

    Will Mr McHugh be mature enough to retract the smear about the SNP failing to support the minimum wage? The willingness of some to stand shoulder to hip with the elite of the two chambers in Westminster always gives one pause for thought.

  49. Ewan MacKenzie

    You’re absolutely right, nations are a huge barrier to social justice. The sooner the UK gives up 100% of its powers to Europe, the better. After all, why should solidarity stop at Dover?

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