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Effectively what you're saying is that the Uk govt should deny voters in Scotland the chance of hearing a definitive legal opinion on a crucial issue because doing so will increase their chances of winning the referendum. Personally I would rather give voters all the information available so they can make a fully informed decision one way or the other. As for us asking the question, the EU have made it clear it has to be asked by the Uk Govt.
The only definitive legal opinion which can be given on a matter of EU law is that which is given by the European Court of Justice. There is already a great body of expert legal opinion which has been pointed out to the Scottish Government/SNP confirming that its position is not legally sound. They've merrily ignored it. They would happily ignore this too.

Secondly, if this is legal advice to the Government, it would not be publicly released as standard. That could potentially happen under a small number of circumstances.
 

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Important stuff.


Hardest Hit Scotland
A coalition of Scottish disability charities is urging disabled people to contact their MPs and tell
them how the cuts have affected them. The charities are leading the Scottish arm of the Hardest
Hit Week of Action, which will see thousands of disabled people making their voices heard
across the UK.
For more information and to join the Hardest Hit campaign visit:
https://sites.google.com/site/disabilityagendascotland/
A lot of people "scared" about things, but very scant on evidence of actual cuts which have impacted on their standard of living. "If they take my DLA away..." or the like. Of course no-one's going to take their DLA/PIP away: they're clearly severely disabled!

And little wonder they're scared. It's entirely down to politically motivated scaremongering. Although some, like the bald fellow claiming that "the Tories" want to "go back hundreds of years" and starve him to death are more the peddlers of this nonsense than the victims of it. He then comes back to suggest we should make up the money by cutting politicians' salaries. Well, the Coalition Government did that. But understandably, it doesn't amount to very much in the grand scheme of things.

Some parts of the video are just false. To suggest that the WCA or PIP assessment doesn't take mental health or learning difficulties into account is just factually wrong.

Yes, some disabled people will get less. That is, however, not even a cut - spending on DLA will continue to rise - but a reprioritisation based on need. Some people will, quite rightly, be reassessed as being perfectly capable of working without support. If they can, they should.
 

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Labour For Independence, 1st Conference

Monday 12th November 2012

Glasgow Caledonian University

Lecture Theatre MOO1

7.30PM -10PM

Speakers followed by Q&A

Speakers include: Dennis Canavan, Tommy Brennan, Jeane Freeman, Dr John MacDonald, Blair Jenkins, Allan Grogan, Ricky Ross

Labour for Indy

Labour Voters for Independence / Facebook


The campaign group, Labour For Independence (LFI), has announced the line-up for their first conference scheduled for this coming Monday, Nov 12th.

The conference, which will be held in the UTC at Glasgow Caledonian University, begins at 7:30pm and is aimed at Labour party members past or present or those who may be thinking of joining, who are keen to find out more about Scottish independence.

Members of the general public can also attend the event which will hear from some of Scotland’s most influential and knowledgeable commentators.

Joining a host of respected political figures and artists will be former Trade Union leader Tommy Brennan.

Mr Brennan was Works Convener of the Ravenscraig Shop Stewards, and the man who led the fight to save the Scottish steel industry in the 1980s and 1990s. He worked at the Lanarkshire steel plant for 31 years until 1991.

Also speaking will be former Labour great Dennis Canavan who as an MP and then MSP made his mark on both UK and Scottish politics with his unflinching adherence to social democratic principles.

Mr Canavan is the kind of man the Labour party was once proud of. He stands for everything Labour once was and can be again. We need people like Dennis who can think for themselves.” said LFI West Coast Co-ordinator Alex Bell.

Elgin man, Blair Jenkins who rose to head news and current affairs at both STV and BBC Scotland, and now heads the Yes Scotland pro-independence campaign, will also be speaking.

Having the head of Yes Scotland willing to come and speak at our event and help promote what we are doing can only strengthen our ties with their campaign.” said LFI campaign organiser, Jude Letham.

The line-up also includes musician and broadcaster Ricky Ross who will be sharing his journey to independence as well as former special adviser to Jack McConnell - Jeane Freeman and Dr John MacDonald who is a lecturer in the Politics and International Development Programme at the University of Dundee.

Labour For Independence was set up by Scottish Labour party member Allan Grogan who became frustrated at the continual refusal of party bosses to acknowledge support amongst a sizeable number of Labour party supporters for independence. Mr Grogan will also speak at the event.

The event will run until 10pm.


Credit to Newsnet Scotland
 

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^^ Sounds like a rare night oot!!


In other news, the Scottish Government is to send their preferred question to the Electoral Commission. Whilst I don't think the current question is appropriate, it is good to see the process moving on. Any time I have listened to John McCormick he has been very impressive and professional. No matter their findings, I will gladly accept them. If the Electoral Commission find no flaws in the question, we should run with it. If the Electoral Commission do find flaws in the question, their recommendations MUST be implemented.
 

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^^ Sounds like a rare night oot!!


In other news, the Scottish Government is to send their preferred question to the Electoral Commission. Whilst I don't think the current question is appropriate, it is good to see the process moving on. Any time I have listened to John McCormick he has been very impressive and professional. No matter their findings, I will gladly accept them. If the Electoral Commission find no flaws in the question, we should run with it. If the Electoral Commission do find flaws in the question, their recommendations MUST be implemented.
I imagine they may well tweak the question, but I feel it needs rather more than that to make it even-handed.

That said, I don't really care that much. The SNP thought they were getting something spectacular by having control over the question - but in reality, virtually every voter will have made up their mind long before they see the ballot paper.
 

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I imagine they may well tweak the question, but I feel it needs rather more than that to make it even-handed.

That said, I don't really care that much. The SNP thought they were getting something spectacular by having control over the question - but in reality, virtually every voter will have made up their mind long before they see the ballot paper.
So all the squealing from your camp about the SNP getting to choose was bullshit then? Cool.
 

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So all the squealing from your camp about the SNP getting to choose was bullshit then? Cool.
I wouldn't say it was bullshit by any means, the question should be as neutral as possible and it's a symbolically important point. In an issue of this significance, things should certainly be seen to be above-board.

To appear to be skewing things in their favour, I think the SNP have only created doubts about their motives. I for one believe they quite sincerely support votes at 16 - I do not. However there are now a great many people who believe the only reason they are pushing for votes at 16 in the referendum is as a cynical ploy to gain more support.

What I'm saying is that it wasn't all that significant in the grand scheme of things. Equally I think the SNP were unnecessarily stubborn in some areas simply in order to create "bargaining chips" ahead of last month's agreement.
 

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I dare say you're right, but it comes across a wee bit as sour grapes. Arguing a case for something, and then saying "well, it doesn't matter anyway" if we don't get our way is, however, something I admit we all do.

But this notion that being "stubborn" to give one a better bargaining position is something you'd portray negatively...? It's the same old stuff we all spout when taking sides: If someone digs their heels in they're stubborn. If they don't they're weak.
Let's just assume that we've heard it all before for a hundred situations and move on.

By the way, these bargaining chips - the unionist commentators that suggested Salmond was giving tacit approval to the notion of a third question merely to "give it up" as a bargaining chip were plainly correct. Why then do you think Cameron simply didn't just call his bluff?
 

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But this notion that being "stubborn" to give one a better bargaining position is something you'd portray negatively...? It's the same old stuff we all spout when taking sides: If someone digs their heels in they're stubborn. If they don't they're weak.
Let's just assume that we've heard it all before for a hundred situations and move on.
To be honest, that it was seen in terms of bargaining in the first place is absurd. Both administrations should have had entirely the same objective here - to facilitate a fair referendum process that was within the law.

By the way, these bargaining chips - the unionist commentators that suggested Salmond was giving tacit approval to the notion of a third question merely to "give it up" as a bargaining chip were plainly correct. Why then do you think Cameron simply didn't just call his bluff?
Whether you believe Salmond cared a great deal about a third option/second question/whatever - and I think he certainly did want it - the UK Government could never really have accepted it. It would have involved being, theoretically, tied down to a constitutional system that they had no oversight over and would likely be designed in a half-arsed fashion to suit the Scottish nationalists.

Even if you believe in expansion of the powers of the Scottish Parliament, that's simply not a reasonable way to secure a working devolution settlement. Politically it's also pretty rubbish too - as has been mentioned before, a victory there gives the SNP a chance to look at least partially like they have achieved their objectives.
 

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Same old Labour

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/fury-as-new-labour-councillor-takes-1431272

Fury as new Labour councillor takes seven-week holiday just six months after being elected

GEORGE MAIR was chosen as the councillor for Galston, Newmilns and Darvel on East Ayrshire Council but his decision to head off on a cruise has infuriated his constituents.

A NEW councillor elected just six months ago is sailing away from his duties on a seven-week round-the-world cruise.

Labour man George Mair sets off on the luxury holiday later this month and won’t be back until after New Year.

He was chosen in May to represent Galston, Newmilns and Darvel on East Ayrshire Council, but his constituents won’t be able to talk to him until he and wife Nancy get back from their dream trip.

One fed-up local resident said: “People just don’t book seven-week cruises at the last minute so he’ll have known about it for some time. He’s thanking the people who voted for him by b****ring off and leaving them to get on with it.”

Mair, a 59-year-old father of three, is paid more than £16,000 a year to sit on the council. He worked for East Ayrshire for 39 years before retiring from his job as an environmental health officer in 2009.

Asked about his cruise, church elder Mair said: “It’s only seven weeks.” He refused to comment further.
 

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http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobil...ews/north-of-england-needs-a-salmond.19404421

North of England needs a Salmond


THE North of England needs a "Salmond figure" to win greater economic powers for the region, a think-tank chief has suggested.

Katie Schmuecker, associate director of IPPR North, said the region needed a powerful advocate, especially if Scotland gained independence or more powers.

She spoke out ahead of the publication of a new report today on the impact on the north of England of such changes.

The study, Borderland, said an independent or fiscally autonomous Scotland would struggle to make deep cuts in corporation tax, but could gain an advantage by using a combination of air passenger duty and economic development grants.

It said the north of England should be involved in talks taking place in pro-UK parties over extra powers for Holyrood if Scots reject independence. Ms Schmuecker said: "The north of England needs a Salmond figure to win 'devo-more' from London.

"Scotland's First Minister helps the Scottish economy speak with one voice and is able to win concessions from London.

"The North needs a powerful advocate to demand far more powers and resources from London in order to give us more control over our economic destiny, and to begin to level the playing field with Scotland.

"Otherwise, the north risks falling further behind Scotland, whether or not Scots vote for independence."

Mr Salmond is due to address the North East Economic Forum annual dinner in Newcastle tonight.

The report says the Scots economy would have to grow by 3.9% to offset the cost of a 20% cut in corporation tax, the reduction pledged by SNP ministers.

It says cutting the main business tax to 12.5% – the Irish model backed by some Scots business figures – would require a 7.8% rise in gross domestic product to maintain public spending.

The report says such growth would be a "tall order" and Scotland's ability to sharply cut taxes would be constrained.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We welcome this report and its finding that an independent Scotland with responsibility for its own taxes will be well-placed to 'outshine competition' from elsewhere."

However, Scottish Labour's Ken Macintosh MSP, said: "This report shows the SNP's economic policy is financially illiterat
 

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3:20 why are the SNP obsessed with saying they need 'levers'??

The SNP field a political dwarf as per usual...
 

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RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE, 24.11.2012



Saturday 24th November 2012
Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

OPENING PLENARY: Britain’s winter, Scotland’s spring 10.45-11.30

Patrick Harvie MSP
Patrick Harvie represents the Scottish Green Party as a list MSP in Glasgow. He is a leading environmental, LGBT, and social justice activist inside and outside parliament.

Isobel Lindsay
Isobel Lindsay is vice-chair of Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, convener of Scotland’s for Peace and on the editorial board of Scottish Left Review.

Nathan Sparling
Nathan is the former NUS Scotland LGBT officer and now specialises in both HIV and Welfare Reform Policy in Scotland . He played a leading role in the campaign for equal marriage in Scotland, and protecting sexual health services across the country.

Cat Boyd
Cat is a leading young trade union activist in Scotland. She is the chair of Coalition of Resistance in Scotland and is a PCS young members officer.

Dennis Canavan
Dennis is a member of the advisory board of Yes Scotland. He is a former Labour and independent MP and MSP and a well respected figure in the labour movement. He played a leading role campaigning for a Scottish parliament.

Susan Archibald
Susan Archibald is a disability rights activist and the founder of the Archibald Foundation. She is currently a Non Executive Director for NHS Fife; member of the DWP’s Equality Reference Group; steering group member of the Human Rights Consortium in Scotland and sits on four cross-party working groups in the Scottish Parliament.

Peter McColl
Peter is the rector of the University of Edinburgh. He is a writer and campaigner and is the co-editor of Bright Green Scotland.


WORKSHOPS #1: 11.45-13.15

1) An ethical foreign policy: scrap Trident, no to NATO, troops out

Isobel Lindsay
Isobel is the vice-chair of Scottish CND, convener of Scotland’s for Peace and is on the editorial board of Scottish Left Review.

Leonna O’Neill
Leona is a leading organiser of Faslane Peace Camp which has carried out direct action in an attempt to stop Trident nuclear weapons.

Joan Humphries
Joan lost her grandson in Afghanistan and has been an outspoken critic of Westminster’s foreign policies. She is active in Military Families Against War and the Stop the War Coalition.

Patrick Hogg
Patrick is an SNP councillor for Cumbernauld South ward, North Lanarkshire Council. He is a biographer of Robert Burns, The Patriot Bard (2008) and co-editor of complete works of Burns – The Canongate Burns, 2001.

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2) The Scottish republic: what is real democracy?

Allan Armstrong
Allan is a socialist republican activist and the author of a forthcoming book on James Connelly in Edinburgh.

Neil Davidson
Neil Davidson is a senior researcher at Strathclyde University and is the editor of ‘Neoliberal Scotland’ and the author of ‘The Origins of Scottish Nationhood’ and ‘Discovering the Scottish Revolution: 1692-1746′’ for which he won the Isaac Duetscher Memorial Prize.

Republic Scotland
‘Republic Scotland’ is a group that campaigns for an end to the monarchy and an elected head of state. They organised a recent demonstration in Edinburgh against the Queen’s visit to the Scottish capital.

Greame McIvor
Greame is an anti-cuts and trade union activist, he is the Secretary of Solidarity.

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3) Wealth of the Commons: a Green economy for a progressive, prosperous Scotland


Bright Green
Bright Green, is the UK’s top Green blog, and has been an influential source of news and analysis for progressive movements such as the 2010 student demonstrations and UK Uncut. It supports independence, and has raised concerns about the timidity of SNP plans on NATO, monarchy and monetary policy. Bright Green is proud to be part of the Radical Independence Conference, an exciting effort to expand and advance the possibilities offered by an independent Scotland.

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4) What is “Civic Scotland”? Complacency and “consensus” after Devolution


Andy Wightman
Andy is a writer and Scotland’s foremost land rights campaigner. His latest book, The Poor Had No Lawyers, is published by Birlinn.

Gerry Hassan
A writer and commentator on Scottish and UK politics, policy and ideas, and the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including The Modern SNP: From Protest to Power and After Blair: Politics after the New Labour Decade. He organises the Changin’ Scotland sessions in Ullapool.

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5) A Scottish utopia? The role of art and culture in changing society

National Collective
National Collective is a platform for artists and creatives to engage with the independence campaign and participate in wider debates about social and political change in Scotland.

Sinead Dunn
Sinead Dunn was president of Glasgow School of Art Students’ Association 2011-12. She has played a leading role in the campaigns against cuts and fees in Scotland. Currently studying a Masters in research and creative practices.

Sandra Webster
Sandra is an ambassador of the National Theatre of Scotland and a student of creative writing. She is a member of the Acting Strange theatre company, a collective of writers and performers with an interest in political theatre. Sandra is Co-convenor of the Scottish Socialist Party.

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GLOBAL FORUM: Breaking the neoliberal order – towards a global alternative to austerity 14.00-15.00

Syriza MP
Greek opposition party Syriza - the Coalition of the Radical Left – are at the forefront of opposition to austerity in Europe.

Bernadette McAliskey
Bernadette is an Irish socialist and republican political activist. She served as a Member of Parliament at Westminster from 1969 to 1974 for the Mid Ulster constituency, infamously slapping the Tory Home Secretary in the face for arguing that British soldiers only fired in self-defence at Bloody Sunday. In recent years, McAliskey has played a leading role in human rights campaigning. She is a founding member of the Free Marian Price campaign.

Danielle Obono
Danielle is a leading member of the Front de Gauche (Left Front) which is shaking up French politics. TheirPresidential candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon, received more than 10% in the last elections on a programme of attacking finance capital and calling a constituent assembly to take power back into the hands of the people. Danielle was a student leader at the Sorbonne during the great French student revolts last decade and a key organiser in the French anticapitalist and anti war movements.

Benoit Renaud
Benoit is the head of the National Coordinating Committee for Québec Solidaire. He is also their former Secretary General. He was a leading organizer of both the anti-globalisation mobilizations (such as the Summit of the Americas in Québec City in April 2001) and the movement against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaker from Euskal Herria Bildu
EH Bildu is the party of the Basque pro-independence radical left. After decades of repression and state bans, EH Bildu were finally allowed to contest regional elections in October 2012, taking nearly 25% of the vote and becoming the second largest party in the Basque parliament.

James Foley
James is the author of ‘Britain Must Break: The Internationalist Case for Independence’. He is currently conducting new research into Scottish finance capital and the Scottish banking system at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of a forthcoming book on independence, the crisis and the left.

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WORKSHOPS #2: 15.15 – 16.45

6) Making it happen: strategies for independence


Mike Small
Mike is a co-editor of Bella Caledonia. He is a freelance writer, micro-publisher, festival organiser and food activist. He was a founder of Product magazine (first launched as Red Herring in 1998) and helped found Indymedia Scotland. He writes for Scottish Left Review, Variant, Red Pepper, New Statesman, the Guardian, and Open Democracy.

Shona McAlpine
Shona Manages the Scottish Independence Convention website, and is a well known figure on the Scottish political scene.

Pete Ramand
Pete is the Black Minority Ethnic Convenor for Edinburgh University Students Association. He was a founding member of the Coalition of Resistance (Scotland) and is currently writing a book on independence, the crisis and the left.

Gail Lythgoe
Gail is an organiser for Yes Scotland.

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7) After fortress Britain: anti-racism, borders and asylum in Scotland

Unity in the Community
Unity in the Community is an organisation set up to offer practical solidarity and aid to all asylum seekers and refugees.

Aamer Anwer
Aamer is Scotland’s leading human rights lawyer. He was a prominent figure in the anti-war movement and a leading organiser of demonstrations in defence of Glasgow’s refugee community. He regularly appears on television to discuss a range of political issues.

Margaret Woods
Margaret is the co-chair of the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees which plays a key role in defending the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow.

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8) Organising the 99 percent: building in trade unions and communities

John Duffy
John is Scottish Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union and is convenor of the SNP Trade Union Group.

Save the Accord Campaign
Representatives from the Save the Accord Campaign which fought against the closure of a day care centre for people with learning disabilities in the East End of Glasgow. The campaign has been an inspiration to people across the anti-cuts movement in Scotland.

Lillian Macer
Lilian is the Scottish convenor of the public sector union Unison. She will be speaking specifically on the topic of Unison’s ‘fairer future’ vision of Scotland.

Gregor Gall
Gregor is a Professor of industrial relations. He is the author and editor of numerous books, and is a regular contributor to The Morning Star, The Guardian’s “Comment is free” website, the Frontline magazine and The Scotsman. He also provides research and consultancy to a number of unions, particularly the Fire Brigades Union, and is a frequent commentator in the media on matters of unions and industrial conflict.

Sarah Glynn
Sarah organises the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network and is heavily involved in anti-cuts and anti-war campaigning in Dundee.

Jack Ferguson
Jack is the Community Organiser for Unite the Union in Scotland. Unite have recently established a community membership initiative to give unemployed workers, students and community campaigners a voice and to connect trade-unions to the communities.

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9) The radical intellect: the right to education and the future of work

Ross Greer

Ross is a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for the Clydebank and Milngavie Constituency and a founding member of Youth and Students for Independence.

Colm Breathnach
Colm lectures in Geography at Strathclyde University and is active in the University and College Lecturers Union. He specialises in the Geographies of social class and is the author of ‘Places of resistance: Theory, practice and experience’.

Sarah Collins
Sarah Collins is a member of the STUC Youth Committee and is a trade union activist in Ayrshire UNISON.

Beti Scott
Beti is the Equal Opportunities Officer at Edinburgh University Students Association. She has been a leading member of the student movement in Scotland and has organised demonstrations against cuts and fees.

Penny Gower
Penny is the President of EIS-FELA, the colleges section of the Education Institute of Scotland. She organised the recent march against FE college cuts in Glasgow.

Youth Fight for Jobs
Youth Fight for Jobs and Education is a campaigning organisation fighting against mass unemployment.

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10) Women and Independence: a new paradigm

Ann Lynch

Ann, a long-term campaigner for independence, has been a key organiser of anti-fuel poverty campaigns. She is an active member of the Clydebank Trades council and in the movement against austerity.

Dr. Lorna J Waite
Writer and researcher, author of The Steel Garden and one of the editors of ‘the forthcoming Rethinking Highland Art: The Visual Significance of Gaelic. She is a Gaelic learner, a peace activist and is involved with the Women for Independence group. She has never belonged to a political party and has been a lifelong supporter of Scottish independence and nuclear disarmament, active in Scottish CND and Trident Ploughshares.

Niki Kandirikirira
Director of Engender. For more than 20 years Engender has worked to make Scotland a fairer, safer place where women can flourish and contribute to all areas of life with dignity, freedom and justice. We’ve worked at the highest levels of public life, aiming for the stars, on a shoestring budget, with hundreds of committed and hardworking women and men from all walks of life, to increase women’s power and influence, and to support people, organisations, and our government to make equality a reality.

Chloe Meehan
Chloe is president of the Glasgow University Feminist Society.

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FINAL PLENARY: Another Scotland is possible 17.00-18.00

This session be based around report backs from the workshops.

Robin McAlpine will also move a ‘Declaration’ that will be distributed at the start of the day. Robin works for the Jimmy Reid Foundation and is the editor of the ‘Scottish Left Review’. He blogged on the 2011 elections for the Scottish Independence Convention.

Jonathon Shafi, an initial signatory to the conference will make a short summation of the conference to bring the event to a close.

Chair: Pete Murray, former NUJ President

radicalindpendence.org for tickets and latest updates

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