Allan Grogan to Speak at Scottish Labour Conference
Labour for Independence are delighted to announce that Allan Grogan has received an invitation to debate the independence referendum at the Scottish Labour Party Conference.
The invitation, which has been accepted, came from the Law society which will host the debate at their fringe meeting on the Saturday of conference.
LFI Leader Allan Grogan spoke of his delight at being able to engage with the membership on such a platform.
“I'd like to thank the Law Society for providing the forum for this debate to take place, the very inception of Labour for Independence was based on the lack of debate over this issue within the party. This is an important event for LFI to put the case for independence to fellow party members.”
The Labour Party conference will take place at the Perth Concert Hall from Friday 21st March to the 23rd March.
Labour for Independence National Tour heads for Aberdeen!
Labour for Independence will continue with their National tour promoting a Labour vision for Independence.
Join us from our third National event of 2014 during the Aberdeen Festival of Politics.
Allan Grogan, Leader Labour for Independence
Deborah Waters, Deputy Leader Labour for Independence
Debbie Figures, Labour for Independence and Unite the Union Rep
Bob Thomson, Former Chairman of Scottish Labour for Independence
The event will be chaired by Political activist, writer, musician and LFI member Pat Kane
More Speakers to follow..
Visit our events page to RSVP here
Bob Thomson Joins Labour for Independence!
With just 7 months to go in the independence campaign, Labour stalwart and former Scottish Party Chairman and Treasurer Bob Thomson has joined Labour for Independence to campaign for a yes vote this September.
'I will now be voting Yes because I think it is the only way forward for anyone who wants to see a fairer, more equal and more prosperous Scotland.
'I'm no nationalist but I'm angry after 18 months of Better Together rubbishing Scotland’s economy and talking down its chance of being a successful country.
'In my view the biggest threat to Scotland’s prosperity is remaining within the UK, whose economy has been in steady decline since the 1970s, kept afloat by oil revenues and selling national assets.'
Mr Thomson recalled his early days in the Labour movement and how he watched the destruction of high-skilled jobs.
'Our manufacturing industry, once our biggest export, has been destroyed' he said.
'The factory in Motherwell where I served my apprenticeship is just one of hundreds which are long gone with the loss of tens of thousands highly skilled, high-paid jobs.
A member of the Labour Party for over half a century, Mr Thomson has been angered by the negativity and lack of socialist vision within the No campaign.
Bob’s defining moment came, he explained, when he saw his party “make a pact with a right-wing Tory and try to bully Scotland”, a reference to Labour giving its backing to Osborne’s insistence that he would do everything in his power to ensure that a sterling area would not happen.
Mr Thomson said: “I have been swithering on how to vote in the referendum and have been waiting in vain to hear something positive from Better Together to help me make up my mind.
“Watching a Labour Shadow Chancellor make a pact with a right-wing Tory to try and bully Scotland and preserve the dominance of City of London financiers solved my problem.“Their arrogance has convinced me that there is no chance of a radically fairer Britain being built by these London-centric parties.
His decision to join the campaign of Labour for Independence was curiously omitted from the Herald article. In his press release Mr Thomson stated.
“I have been a Labour Party member for more than 51 years. The actions of the Scottish Labour Party have been disappointing to say the least. It has ganged up with a toxic Tory government which is dismantling the Welfare State and they’re trying to bully Scottish voters. That’s not what I joined the party for.”
“I am no SNP supporter. They’ve done some socially progressive things but they’ve also been centralising and sometimes authoritarian. But this referendum is not about the future of the SNP - it is about the future of Scotland. I will be joining with many old comrades in Labour for Independence to encourage the 800,000 plus Scots who voted Labour in the 2010 General Election to vote Yes on 18 September.”
Labour for Independence leader Allan Grogan stated his delight at having someone of Bob Thomson's stature join LFI.
“ Today represents a big step in the campaign of Labour for Independence, Bob brings with him a tremendous stature to our cause. He has campaigned for most of his life for social justice and equality. I am delighted that he will be campaigning as a part of the Labour for Independence movement.
Successful Dundee National event
Labour for Independence held their second natonal event in 2014 last night. To a full house in Dundee including 5 former Labour councillors members of LFI and the Labour Party were joined by former Labour MP and MSP John McAllion to outline a Labour vision for an independent Scotland.
Allan Grogan, founder member and leader of Labour for Independence, said: ‘An Independent Scotland will set about massive constitutional change in the rest of the UK. By voting yes we can ensure that not only will we be free of Westminster rule but the rest of the UK will have more of a say in running their affairs in a federalised United Kingdom. Removed from the shackles of a Westminster Labour Party, we will see the restoration of a real Scottish Labour Party one which meets the aspirations of Scotland. Once again we can become the party of the people of Scotland.’
Deputy Leader Deborah Waters talked of the despair felt by many within the Labour Party.
“I don't know about you but I'm tired, tired of having workers blamed for all of the U.K.'s problems, tired of being treated this way.”
Alex Bell, Chairman of Labour for Independence and former Labour Councillor for Dundee Downfield highlighted the opportunity for setting out a more ethical approach to foreign policy. He said: ‘Dundee is the City that is proudly twinned with Nablus, let's take that internationalism further. An independent Scotland can and will stand up for Palestinian self determination. We can make Robin Cook’s dream of an ethical foreign policy come true.’
Unite the Union representative and LFI/Labour member Debbie Figures highlighted the need for gender equality in the workforce.
“It would take my husband four days to work in my job to earn the same money I do in five, this must be a top priority in an independent Scotland.”
John McAllion highlighted the need for independence in order to tackle the problems affecting Scotland that those within the Labour movement care about most deeply.
He said: ‘If you want to tackle the poverty, inequality and social injustice that is tearing Scotland apart then start by taking sovereign control of our country back into our own hands. On September 18th we have the opportunity to bring political power back home to Scotland. Without that power, others will decide for us what the shape of our own futures will be. With that power we will determine the future for ourselves. That is what real democracy is all about. Only a yes vote can deliver that real democracy.’
Mr McAllion was a Labour MP for 14 years and an Labour MSP for four years, both spent representing the Dundee East constituency. He was also a member of Scottish Labour Action and of the Labour Campaign for Socialism and was often outspoken in his defence of civic-minded Scottish nationalism.
The event, which has been seen as the official launch of Labour for Independence Dundee was chaired by Dundee regional organiser and Sohail Haque.
Statement by Labour for Independence Executive Committee..
The Tory-led Westminster apparatus are again using scare tactics to try to influence the independence referendum. Following a Yes vote they will accept a sterling currency zone with Scotland as it benefits the rest of the UK as well as Scotland.
George Osborne is rattled by recent polls showing momentum behind a Yes vote and is bluffing on currency to scare us into voting No. Even if he was serious, Scotland has options on currency and does not need to ask for Westminster's permission to continue using the pound. As such it would be prudent to assess other options which Scotland has available to it.
Scotland can continue to use the pound as its currency, benefit from a more stable financial system and (since Westminster would not be sharing UK assets) be completely debt-free upon independence. Added to the fact that if Westminster says no to a currency zone, it will do huge damage to the ROUK balance of payments and businesses south of the border. George Osborne knows this and that is why he is bluffing. Currency is the medium of exchange not the source of wealth. We'll still be an economically affluent nation no matter what you measure it in. LFI will support any available option which is in the best interests of Scotland based on the economic needs of our people. However, we would stress that people shouldn't be taken in by a scared Tory Chancellor trying to scare the Scottish people into voting No.
Updated line up for our 2nd National Event of 2014 in Dundee.
Our updated line up for our second national event in Dundee on February 28th at the Mark Henderson Centre.
Speakers confirmed for the event are:
John McAllion Former Labour MP
Allan Grogan, Leader, Labour for Independence
Deborah Waters, Deputy Leader, Labour for Independence
Alex Bell, Chairman, Labour for Independence and former Dundee Labour Councillor.
Debbie Figures, Unite Representative.
- Soahil Haque, Labour for Independence member and chair.
More speakers to follow.
To RSVP for the event please visit our events page here
In order to promote this event we will be leafleting at the City Square on Saturday 15th February at 12.30pm and in the Hilltown (meet at the Mark Henderson Centre at 12.30pm. If you can come along to help out please do so.
Agenda: Why a Yes vote is the best thing for the people ...
and the Labour Party.
Bob Holman via The Herald.
Agenda: Why a Yes vote is the best thing for the people ... and the Labour Party
I was born in England, though I have lived in Glasgow for 30 years.
I am a member of the Labour Party, which is against Scottish independence, but I will be voting Yes in September. My decision is not because I have strong nationalistic feelings, but because I believe in democracy and equality. Here is why:
The House of Commons is not representative. In 2010, the Speaker of the House of Commons chaired a group of MPs in a study published as The Speaker's Conference on Parliamentary Representation. It showed a large number of MPs were drawn from the 7% of the population educated at public, that is private, schools. 27% attended Oxbridge. Working class MPs were in decline. The report concluded that many MPs "are divorced from reality" and "it is important to ensure that there is no single route into politics".
The report was ignored and political elitism has increased. Seven-tenths of the Coalition cabinet are from Oxbridge. The latest development in the Labour Party is candidates chosen because of the right contacts. Stephen Kinnock, Will Straw, David Prescott and probably Euan Blair are among prospective MPs with political relatives.
The social composition of the parliament of an independent Scotland would probably reflect that of Holyrood. Few come from private schools. Most have been to college or university but there is no institution with the prestige and power associated with Oxbridge. More were brought up in working-class homes. One-half are women, contrasted with 19% in the Commons. They are more like ordinary people and so more representative. Given also the absence of a House of Lords, independence would bring greater democracy.
Much of my life has been in socially deprived areas. In Easterhouse, Glasgow, which I know well, there is increased poverty. The Coalition Government has cut billions of pounds from the welfare budget imposing inadequate benefits, hunger and despair. An SNP government in an independent Scotland would be committed to abolishing the punishment that is right-wing welfare.
I joined the Labour Party 53 years ago as a Christian socialist who believed that all people were equal in the sight of God and that, as far as possible, resources should be fairly shared. The research by Professors Wilkinson and Pickett demonstrates that the most equal countries such as Denmark and Norway, where the top 20% earned only two to three times as much as the bottom 20%, had far fewer social problems and more contentment than unequal ones such as the UK and USA, where they earned between seven and 10 times as much (The Spirit Level. Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, 2010).
The SNP's paper, Scotland's Future, talks much about equality. For instance: "Social justice and equality are objectives that should be pursued for their own sake. They are also important aspects of improved economic performance which in turn provides for a happier, safer and fairer society." I believe a parliament less controlled by privileged elites and more concerned about ordinary people would radically reduce the gap between rich and poor.
l Still Labour
I am still in the Labour Party. Yes, the party whose commitment to equality was revealed by its shadow chancellor, Ed Balls. He announced that Labour would impose a 50p tax rate on the rich. When they objected, he said it would only be temporary.
Yet I think the Scottish Labour Party, freed from the influence of the British Labour Party in an independent Scotland, would move to the left again - the only way to challenge the SNP. I hope it would back public and co-operative services, a living wage, social housing, peace, humane policies towards asylum seekers and migrants ... plus equality, but with a much more precise objective than Alex Salmond's vagueness. It should state just what would be the financial distance between top and bottom.
Yes, independence with its loss of Labour seats in the Commons would reduce the party's chances of electoral victory at Westminster. But what is the point of a Labour government which, in reality, is still Blairite? Perhaps the Labour Party south of the Border would then decide it should offer the country an alternative - like socialism.
First National Event of 2014 A Great Success! Two New National Events Announced.
Labour for Independence would like to thank each and everyone of you who came along to our first national event of 2014. Due to the huge demand we ended up hosting the event in two halls and rotating our speakers between the two. Unfortunately we still had to turn people away due to the capacity. Rest assured we will learn from this and will have a much bigger hall the next time we are in Glasgow.
We would also like to give huge thanks to Cherry Media who recorded and live streamed our event. The Streaming hit a high point of around 250 viwers which meant we were able to double our audience on the night. We will also upload the videos so if you were unable to attend you can still hear our case for independence.
We hope everyone who came along, enjoyed the event. If you are interested in becoming more involved in Labour for Independence please visit the Get Active section of our website here.
We can now announce our next two national events
We will be in Dundee at the Mark Henderson Centre on February 28th.
Already confirmed for the event are:
Labour for Independence Chairman and former Labour Councillor Alex Bell
Labour for Independence Leader Allan Grogan
Special guest from RIC Jonathon Shafi
Former Labour MP for Dundee John McAllion
More will be confirmed in the weeks ahead.
We will also be in Aberdeen, during their festival of politics.
Our event will take place at the McRobert Building Aberdeen University on March 29th
Speakers will be announced shortly.
Chair for First National Event Announced!
Labour for Independence are delighted to announce the chair for our first national event in 2014. The event will be the first of many promoting A Labour case for Yes - A Labour vision of Scotland’s future.
The event will take place on Thursday, January 23, 2014, in the main conference hall of the STUC (333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow.) It will begin at 7.30pm and will feature a panel comprising members of the Labour Party, Labour veterans and stalwarts and prominent members of the Labour movement.
The full line up of speakers:
Sir Charles Gray, Leader of Strathclyde Regional Council, 1986-1992.
Alex Mosson, Lord Provost of Glasgow, 1999-2003.
Dennis Canavan, Labour MP for Falkirk West, 1974-2000.
Jeane Freeman, Special Advisor to Labour First Minister Jack McConnell, 2001-2005
Allan Grogan, Labour for Independence Leader and Labour Party member.
Bob Thomson, Scottish Labour Party Chairman, 1990-91 and Treasurer, 1993-99) who will discuss the benefits of the Common Weal Model in Scotland.
We are thrilled to announce that actress, comedienne and Yes Scotland Advisory Board member Elaine C Smith will chair the event.
LFI Leader Allan Grogan described the occasion as a potentially game-changing event in the referendum campaign, which proves that a Yes vote in September is not a vote for the SNP.
He said: ‘It is important for people to see that a Yes vote this September is not a vote for Alex Salmond or the SNP, but rather an opportunity to improve the lives of all people in our country. The fact we have such strong support within the Labour movement is testament to the merits of what independence can bring to Scotland and also towards the restoration of the Labour Party to its founding principles.’
Sir Charles Gray also highlighted the benefits independence can bring to those within the Labour movement.
He said: ‘The sound argument for Scottish independence is fast crossing the political divide, but the Labour case is at the top and remains there due to the increasing interest by solid Labour voters and active Trade Unionists who anticipate a post-referendum Labour victory.’
The event is free to attend and is open to all who wish to hear an alternative message on the benefits of independence. Doors open at 7pm for 7.30 pm start.
New Speaker Announced for Glasgow National Event!
Labour for Independence are delighted to announce another speaker for our national event on January 23rd at the STUC in Glasgow.
Former Labour MP for Falkirk West for 26 years and Independent MSP for the same region for 8 years Mr Dennis Canavan.
Dennis left the Labour Party as New Labour set in in Scotland.
Labour for Independence Leader Allan Grogan welcomed Mr Canavan's participation in the event.
"We have always maintained that a return to a real Labour Party is only possible in an independent Scotland. If there is anyone alive today who epitomises real Labour values and traditions, then it is Dennis Canavan."
Our updates list of speakers is as follows....
National Event Announced!
Labour for Independence are proud to announce that we will be staging 6 national events in all major cities in Scotland in 2014. These events in addition to our local events and work with Yes Scotland groups around the country, will complement our grass roots campaigning, social media and press strategies.
These national events will be entitled: 'A Labour case for Yes, - A Labour vision of Scotland’s future.' and will play host to speakers from a wide spectrum of the Labour Party and wider labour movement.
At this time we are delighted to announce that our first event will take place on Thursday January 23rd at the STUC in Glasgow. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
Already confirmed to speak at the event are;
Bob Thomson- Scottish Labour Party Chairman (1990-1991) & Treasurer (1993-99)
Sir Charles Gray- Leader of Strathclyde Regional Council (1986-1992)
Alex Mosson- Lord Provost of Glasgow (1999- 2003)
Jeane Freeman- Special Advisor to First Minister Jack McConnell (2001-2005)
Allan Grogan- Leader of Labour for Independence
Deborah Waters- Deputy Leader of Labour for Independence.
The event is open to all and is free to enter, although donations to the campaign are greatly appreciated.
Labour for Independence are looking for the following, can you help out?
Volunteers to leaflet/ publicise the event
Volunteers to help out on the evening of the event
Sponsors for the event
Another Labour Stalwart Joins the Yes Campaign!
John Mulvey, became the latest senior Labour figure to come out in support of Independence following Sir Charles Gray and Alex Mosson at the end of 2013.
The former Lothian Regional Council Leader and ex boss of Better Together chief Alistair Darling,announced his support for Scottish Independence in today's Scotland on Sunday.
The achievements of the Scottish Parliament under devolution, according to Mulvey, 69, show that “the next logical step” is to be fully independent.
“There are those who don’t support the SNP or, perhaps, don’t like Alex Salmond. But it’s more important than that. People of all political persuasions should come out and vote – preferably for Yes – and then decide what kind of Scotland they want to see in the election of 2016 when the political parties make their cases to be the first elected government of the newly independent nation.”
Labour for Independence would like to welcome Mr Mulvey to the campaign as yet further inroads are made, into the Labour Party and Labour Movement in securing a yes vote.
Welcome to 2014 - Allan Grogan, Leader, Labour for Independence. January 1st 2014
Independence is our best chance to change, to shape our nation making it fairer and more equal. Giving our children the chance of a better future.
So what kind of society do we want to have? Following a ‘yes’ vote, the Scottish Government has promised that all parties will play a role in the negotiations for an independent Scotland.
Because of this it is important for all parties to set out their vision of an independent Scotland. In light of the refusal of Labour HQ to do this, Labour for Independence will set out what we believe are real Labour policies.
One of the biggest changes we propose to make is that we will never object to proposals based on our core principals for the sake of political gain. As we have seen so many times in these past few years.
SLFI will adhere to the founding principles of the Labour party of fairness, equality and justice. We will also strive to keep in place some of our greatest creations in the NHS and the Welfare State. We will seek ways to improve, but we will never remove our belief in free education and healthcare for all at the point of service.
An abolition of a minimum wage and in its place a LIVING wage. One which reflects real living costs and prices. A living wage will protect the most vulnerable, removing most from the poverty line and costing the country less in Tax Credits, and other forms of income support.
We support a simplified version of the Welfare system. With real incentives to work. This system should be fair and support those who can and do work. The welfare system must again return to the basis of its creation to support the needy and most vulnerable. That is why we support the removal of means testing on disability allowances.
We are also open to the possibilities of nationalisation or re-nationalisation of energy, transport and care work. We are not a political group which promotes nationalisation for the sake of it. However in tough economic times we believe companies which are making a profit in these areas are doing our nation a disservice. The profit from these industries would and should be returned to the Scottish people as lower prices or placed into the country’s finances.
We like 80% of the Scottish people support a complete removal of all nuclear weapons from our land. We believe that a nuclear arsenal on our doorstep is both dangerous and unwarranted in this nation. We hope that we will lead the way forward as an example to all nations to remove such weaponry.