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A Strategy for the Scottish Left 

The sectarianism in Scotland  is woeful. It is hard to even mention a conflicting group’s name without the swords coming out. It is hard to mention the progress the left has made in the Labour party without the sins of the right being brought centre stage.
We have to struggle to rid ourselves of divide and rule thinking and focus on  a clear presentation of a strategic thinking  that can emerge from our present troubles. The bottom line is anti-austerity .  This is tied to racism and immigration, in that blame for austerity is often focussed away from the banksters, who are trampling on the poorest and most disadvantaged of our population many of whom have to contend with racism as well.

The issue of Brexit also divides the left. Those on the left inside the bigger parties both the SNP and Labour party are largely likely to be remainers whereas the biggest of the small left groups are anti EU . The argument is that we should leave the EU as its very nature is that it is a bosses club  However, remainers like myself say that is not the most essential feature of the EU. The prime feature of the EU is that it is the largest trading partnership in the world, leaving it makes no economic sense.  To get by this impasse we have to differentiate between what is ideological and what is real. We have to recognize that the Tory Brexit plans are in conflict with the Good Friday or Belfast agreement.  We have to recognize that the Tory Brexit plans are anti immigration and racist. We have to recognize that that Tory Brexit plans will reduce trade and create unemployment.

Pointing to the neoliberalism of the EU does not ameliorate this situation.  It is the immediate neoliberalism of the Tories that is far more dangerous.  A danger to peace in Ireland, a danger to the security of immigrants in the UK and a danger to the NHS which is being targeted by US corporations for privatisation. A danger to jobs as the UK leaves its trading agreements in tatters.

We need to build a UK wide anti-austerity movement that points to the achievements of the SNP no matter how limited its powers are at present.  In our day to day lives we have to build solidarity networks that achieve gains, even small gains for those most affected by neoliberalism. Our attitude has to be to leave no-one behind,  bring forward everyone into these struggles. In this we have to show the vigilance we had during the miners strike against sectarian dominance.

I believe that an indyref 2 movement has to push the anti-austerity agenda as far as it can in order to achieve victory  Not everyone who supports  independence is a leftist but it would be a crime not to recognize the direction the SNP has taken though not fully enough . However that is balanced between internal factors and external budgeting.   Leftists in both the Labour party and the SNP have to come to grips with what will bring the Tories down rather than what separates them in degrees of radicalism.

Keep your eyes on the prize!

The best photos taken of planet Earth last year will transform the way you see the world | The Independent

The natural world is a stunning place. Every year, the best landscape photography shows off Earth’s beauty. The following photos are some of the winners from the 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year contest. They highlight powerful mountains, scenes of isolation, worlds of colour and light, and the abstract loveliness found in landscapes all over the world. Winning photos were shot in the wilds of Patagonia, the mountains of Iceland, and in the desert-surrounded lakes of Brazil.

Source: The best photos taken of planet Earth last year will transform the way you see the world | The Independent