Tag Archives: Unity

The Scottish Labor Party’s failure to enter a clear center-left with a pro-union identity helps explain its decline | Instant News


Kieran Wright shows how Scottish Workers adopted a less left-leaning justification for their stand on constitutional issues in the years after the party lost power to the Scottish National Party. As a result, the party failed to present itself as a clear center-left alternative to the SNP and downplayed the progressive case for Scotland’s remaining UK.

The results of the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections will determine whether Britain remains united for longer. If the Scottish National Party continues its success in the recent elections, the demand for a second referendum on Scottish independence is likely to increase. The recent success of the SNP is due in large part to the fact that the SNP has been more successful than the Scottish Worker in arguing that the preferred answer to the constitutional question is the best route Scotland uses to pursue a social democratic policy. Consequently, challenging this argument is essential if Labor is to reclaim a significant segment of the support that has been lost to the SNP in recent decades.

In my research, I use the language used by elected representatives in the First Ministerial Question (FMQs) session in the Scottish Parliament as an indicator of the strategic approach Labor and the SNP are pursuing, starting with the first session in 2000 and ending with the last. session before Holyrood 2016. Until 2007, the Labor Party’s strategy was to frame its stance on constitutional issues with reference to the party’s progressive identity. He argued that remaining in England was the best route to Scotland which benefited from a progressive center-left policy, and characterized independence as a distraction from the pursuit of progressive goals such as overcoming poverty. Losing power to the SNP in May 2007 appears to have prompted the Labor Party to change this strategy and increase the extent to which it questions economic viability and the desire for independence rather than the progressive credentials of those who support it.

The strategic approach adopted by Workforce can be obtained by counting the number of times certain key words appear in the written record of contributions to FMQs sessions by Labor representatives. An important part of Labor’s pre-2007 strategy to question the progressive credentials of the SNP refers to the latter being labeled ‘nationalist’ the party seems aloof. It makes a simple count of the number of times the party MSP has used the term as one way of tracking the extent to which Labor has adopted the strategy. Likewise, a search for the use of the term ‘poverty’ provides an indication of the extent to which party representatives use profanity from a center-left stance, as it is a word used disproportionately by those on the left of the political spectrum. . Meanwhile, the use of the word ‘currency’ provides an indicator of the extent to which Labor has adopted a strategy of questioning the economic viability of Scotland’s independence, the issue of which currency the newly independent Scotland will adopt is an important aspect of economic criticism of independence.

The results presented in Figure 1 clearly show the MSP of Labor using the terms ‘poverty’ and ‘nationalist’ up to and including 2007, followed by a dramatic decline after the party went into opposition. In 2011, the use of the term ‘poverty’ began to increase again, but there was no accompanying increase in the use of the term ‘nationalist’. The Labor Party does not appear to have returned to its pre-2007 strategy of trying to associate the SNP with non-progressive ideology. In contrast, the use of the term currency is increasing, indicating that the party is increasingly using strategy to criticize the SNP’s stance on economic grounds.

Picture 1: Total use of the terms ‘nationalist’, ‘currency’ and ‘poverty’ by Labor representatives during their First Ministerial Inquiry Session in Scottish Parliament 2000-2016

I argue that the increased focus on the economic case against independence has undermined Worker’s ability to present itself as a distinctly center-left party relative to the SNP. Center-left politicians tend to speak positively about their ability to deliver improvements to public services. In contrast, the center-right emphasizes financial constraints where the goal of better public services must be pursued. In focusing on the economic constraints on which independent Scotland would be forced to operate, the Scottish Workforce uses a language much redder than center-right.

The negativity of the arguments raised by the Labor Party can also be seen as undermining any attempts by the party to present itself to be at least as pro-Scotland as the SNP. In focusing on the things Scotland do not as an independent country and not to what it could have as a part of Britain, the Labor Party allowed the SNP case that independence was a more positive, pro-Scottish and progressive answer to the constitutional question to be relatively unchallenged.

There is evidence to suggest that the type of Labor Party and SNP imagery projected during the study period had an impact on public perceptions of each party’s policy identity. Poll data from the British Election Study pointing out that during the year the independence referendum took place, when Labor’s association with criticism of the idea of ​​economic independence would be so prominent, Scottish public opinion shifted from seeing Labor as the left-wing party of the main Scottish party to seeing the SNP occupy that position.

The example of splitting the former Czechoslovakia into its parts shows the potential effect of a large number of voters believing that they can only have the economic policies they want through territorial separation. In that example, Slovak voters who were hostile to free market reforms introduced after the collapse of communism felt that they could only block those reforms by breaking away from Czechoslovakia, and this happened despite their little pre-existing desire for Slovak independence. The fate of Czechoslovakia shows that a multi-national state like Britain can only survive if there is a maximum potential for all kinds of political contestation to occur within an existing constitutional framework. In the Scottish context, this means that the SNP’s strategy of characterizing social democratic goals as most attainable through an independent Scotland is not to be denied. The role of the Scottish Workers must provide that challenge. It must be argued for a positive and progressive case for the union.

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Note: above refers to the author published works in Parliamentary Affairs.

About the Author

Kieran Wright is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent.

Featured image credit: christopherhu on Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.

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Amazon workers on strike in Italy | Instant News


Thousands of Amazon workers and delivery drivers participated in Italy’s first-ever national strike on Monday.

According to the national trade union federation, about 75 percent of employees were beaten. Amazon reports a much lower strike rate of between 10-20 percent. The company reportedly employs more than 9,500 direct workers nationwide, and an estimated 15,000 through a network of third-party subcontractors, which are not directly employed by Amazon but are subject to the dictates of a burdensome quota algorithm.

In this Thursday 16 April 2020 file photo, the Amazon Logo is seen in Douai, northern France. (AP / Michel Spingler Photo, File)

The strike comes amid a major campaign by unions in the United States for recognition at the Amazon Bessemer, Alabama plant. Democratic President Joe Biden publicly supported the union campaign and asked Bessemer workers to vote for union recognition. In this context Jacobin The magazine, published by the Socialist Democrats of America, a pseudo-left faction of the Democratic Party, prominently reports on the Italian strike, calling it a “history of the labor movement” and a sign of a potential “rise of trade unions.”

The strikes in Italy clearly demonstrated enormous opposition and increasing resistance among Amazons and other workers around the world. The company has expanded its Italian operations significantly over the past five years, including building six new fulfillment centers since 2017.

The striking workers who spoke to the media described conditions of brutal exploitation. Francesca, 30, tells me Republic, “When picking, you have to do the same movements for eight hours, in the cage. You don’t change. Within a few days, you will feel pain in your arms, back and knees. On the third day, a picker could not walk because of a sore leg. … After a month, your wrist tendons hurt. Occasionally someone passes out. “

Gianpaolo, 38, admits to wearing ankle braces because he has traveled a lot more than 20 kilometers which he has to take every shift. “This system is driven by an algorithm, which demands results,” he said. “Whoever is in charge doesn’t care how the numbers are obtained. Power rests in the hands of these managers, aged 25 to 30 who have just graduated, who sometimes decide to use it even in uncompromising and dangerous ways. “

There is a sharp divide between the sentiment of Amazon workers, however, and the interests motivating the unions calling for Monday’s strike. It should be noted that in the various statements on strike action, unions did not make a single concrete claim regarding wages, hours of work or conditions as grounds for action. Instead, their main request is that the Amazon agrees to negotiate with them the terms of a national agreement and establish “stable trade union relations” with them.

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Smart locking will be enforced in several union councils in Baldia City, SITE | Instant News


Someone who has his body temperature checked as part of the coronavirus standard operating procedure (SOP) mandated by the government. Photo: Files.

The Sindh government announced on Wednesday that a smart lockdown would be imposed on two sub-divisions of the Keamari District in Karachi.

According to the notification issued regarding this, the decision was taken after district health officials identified several areas as hotspots for the corona virus.

According to a report by Geo.tv, smart lockdowns have been enforced at three UCs in Baldia City, including UC-5 from Saeedabad, UC-3 from Islam Nagar, and UC 1 from Gulshan-e-Ghazi, the notice said. Correspondingly, smart locking has also been enforced at two UCs in the SITE area, including the UC-6 from Frontier Colony UC-4 Metrovil.

The smart locks will remain in effect on the council of affected guilds until April 4, 2021.

The lockdowns were put in place in all five areas after the confirmation of one positive patient for the coronavirus in each of the union councils.

The notice further said that the lockdown was enforced in the line of each affected union council.

All persons entering and exiting designated areas must wear face masks, the notice said, adding that unnecessary movement at the affected USC, motorbike hitchhiking and commercial activities would be prohibited.

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UPDATE 1-Rugby-Lions tour set for South Africa as an English option ruled out | Instant News


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LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – The UK & Ireland Lions 2021 tour of South Africa will go ahead as planned after officials said on Tuesday they had rejected the idea of ​​holding a draw in Britain and now see only one option. .

A joint statement from Lions and SA Rugby said they were “in line” in South Africa as a venue for this year’s tour, with contingency plans for a series based in the UK or Australia as hosts ruled out.

“After reviewing information relating to the various contingency scenarios under consideration, I can confirm that the Board’s intended position is for the Tour to continue as scheduled in South Africa in 2021,” said Jason Leonard, Chair of British & Irish Lions.

“We acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done to provide a strong COVID-19 response plan to ensure a successful, safe and uninterrupted Tour.

“SA Rugby will have our full support to help carry out this plan.”

The July-August tour has been in uncertainty for months due to the COVID-19 situation in South Africa, which has improved significantly in recent weeks.

But with Africa’s most developed nation not yet starting to vaccinate the general public, and the timeline for the complex’s launch is unclear, the Lions’ winter tour will almost certainly be without fans in the stadiums.

However, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander remains hopeful they will have some supporters in the stands, which will provide much-needed income to the cash-strapped organization.

“We value the Lions’ faith and share their desire to see a safe and successful tour,” said Alexander.

“We have been in regular contact with our government to make this happen against the backdrop of the pandemic and its forecast for the coming months.

“There are serious financial implications for SA Rugby, if the event takes place without any supporters present, and we cannot ignore that in our judgment.”

Alexander confirmed that the original tour schedule of eight matches, with three tests against world champions Springboks, was also under review.

Earlier, Rugby Football Union chairman Bill Sweeney, who sits on the Lions Board, said the tour should continue this year because 2022 is not an option.

“If they (SA Rugby) cannot host then the agreement is null and void. We may run out of time in England. So you look at playing in 2025, “he said. (Reporting by Mitch Phillips in London and Nick Said in Cape Town, editing by Ken Ferris)

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UPDATE 1-Rugby-Lions tour set for South Africa as an English option ruled out | Instant News


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LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – The UK & Ireland Lions 2021 tour of South Africa will go ahead as planned after officials said on Tuesday they had rejected the idea of ​​holding a draw in Britain and now see only one option. .

A joint statement from Lions and SA Rugby said they were “in line” in South Africa as a venue for this year’s tour, with contingency plans for a series based in the UK or Australia as hosts ruled out.

“After reviewing information relating to the various contingency scenarios under consideration, I can confirm that the Board’s intended position is for the Tour to continue as scheduled in South Africa in 2021,” said Jason Leonard, Chair of British & Irish Lions.

“We acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done to provide a strong COVID-19 response plan to ensure a successful, safe and uninterrupted Tour.

“SA Rugby will have our full support to help carry out this plan.”

The July-August tour has been in uncertainty for months due to the COVID-19 situation in South Africa, which has improved significantly in recent weeks.

But with Africa’s most developed nation not yet starting to vaccinate the general public, and the timeline for the complex’s launch is unclear, the Lions’ winter tour will almost certainly be without fans in the stadiums.

However, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander remains hopeful they will have some supporters in the stands, which will provide much-needed income to the cash-strapped organization.

“We value the Lions’ faith and share their desire to see a safe and successful tour,” said Alexander.

“We have been in regular contact with our government to make this happen against the backdrop of the pandemic and its forecast for the coming months.

“There are serious financial implications for SA Rugby, if the event takes place without any supporters present, and we cannot ignore that in our judgment.”

Alexander confirmed that the original tour schedule of eight matches, with three tests against world champions Springboks, was also under review.

Earlier, Rugby Football Union chairman Bill Sweeney, who sits on the Lions Board, said the tour should continue this year because 2022 is not an option.

“If they (SA Rugby) cannot host then the agreement is null and void. We may run out of time in England. So you look at playing in 2025, “he said. (Reporting by Mitch Phillips in London and Nick Said in Cape Town, editing by Ken Ferris)

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