The Point
Last updated: 08 October 2017.

...red sky thinking for an open and diverse left

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Graeme McIver

Graeme McIver lives and works in the Scottish Borders.  He was National Secretary of Solidarity, Scotland’s Socialist Movement from 2006 until 2014 and prior to that, from 2001, he was the South of Scotland Regional Organiser for the Scottish Socialist Party. Graeme has been active in national and community politics since the mid 1990’s. He has worked in call centres, the care industry and after serving an apprenticeship, worked for 17 years in the manufacturing industry. Graeme was senior shop-steward and media spokesperson for Viasystems Electronics workers who fought to defend their factory from closure in 1998. He was a founding member of the campaign group Borders Against the Cuts, the Borders Anti-War Coalition and was Chair of Yes Galashiels.  He works in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders where he lives with his wife and four children. He is interested in local history and was a partner in a not-for-profit Social/local history project called Border Voices. His other interests include writing for the Point, reading, volunteering for a local heart charity, helping run his local football team Gala Fairydean Rovers (where he is Secretary and programme editor), frustratingly watching Heart of Midlothian Football Club and dealing with his mid-life crisis by going to outdoor music events when he should know better.

 Articles by Graeme McIver in The Point

 

Catalunya no estás sola – Catalonia, you are not alone here        

(First published in September 2017)

The Point’s Graeme McIver reports on the momentous recent events in Catalonia; “There is now a much higher principle at stake than simply whether or not Catalonia should have its independence. The oppressive actions of the Spanish State mean this is no longer just a binary yes/no choice in a referendum but instead a fight to defend democracy itself and those filling the streets of Barcelona and other towns and cities in Catalonia along with their supporters across the world know it. “Catalunya no estás sola” – Catalonia, you are not alone!”

 

Grenfell – Courage, Grief and a Desire for Justice here   

(First published June 2017)

Regular Point contributor and Editorial Board member Graeme McIver visited the scene of the Grenfell tragedy today to show solidarity with the victims, their families, and the working class people of the borough and of London. This is what he found.

 

Now is the Time of Monsters here     

(First published November 2016)

Non-aligned socialist and regular contributor to The Point Graeme McIver takes a look at the result of the American election.

 

The Benefits of Doubt here    

(First published December 2015)

Whilst the media focuses on benefit scroungers, each year in the UK billions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed by those who need them most. Graeme McIver examines a system which is confusing, complex and daunting and arrives at the conclusion that it is deliberately so in order to save the Government money regardless of the personal and social consequences to those who desperately require funds to which they are entitled.

 

From Indignado to Mayoress here     

(First published September 2015)

Graeme McIver looks at the rise of Ada Colau the new radical Mayoress of Barcelona who has moved from the Spanish occupy movement to occupying the highest civic post in the Catalan Capital.

 

Seismic Shift of the Feeble 56 here           

(First published May 2015)

Graeme McIver looks at the result of the 2015 General Election and asks whether the election of a record number of SNP MP’s will prove to be a seismic shift or a repeat of the poor opposition offered by Labour during the 1980’s?

 

Passing on the Torch – RTP Downsized here               

(First published July 2014)

Graeme McIver talks to Martin Chomsky the singer-songwriter, author and playwright who has produced RTP Downsized - a graphic novel aimed at the younger generation based on Robert Tressell’s socialist classic, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

 

Thomas Muir of Huntershill here              

(First published July 2014) 

As plans get under way to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of often overlooked republican and democratic revolutionary Thomas Muir - who some have labelled 'the father of Scottish Democracy,  The Point republishes an updated version of Graeme McIver's look at the incredible life of Thomas Muir of Huntershill.

 

Too Nice To Talk To – An Interview with 2-Tone Legends Dave Wakeling of The English Beat and Roddy Byers of The Specials here                    

(First published in March 2014)

The Point’s Graeme McIver interviews 2-Tone legends Dave Wakeling from The English Beat and Roddy “Radiation” Byes from The Specials backstage at their recent gig in Galashiels to talk about politics, ska and Dave’s Auntie Nelly! He also talks to some of the fans of 2-Tone about what the music has meant to them over the years.

 

The Dawning of a New Era – A brief History of 2-Tone and The Specials here   

(First published in March 2014)

Graeme McIver looks at the enduring appeal of 2-Tone, a musical movement that provided the focus for young people to take a stand against Thatcher’s Government and the social conditions of the early 1980’s. They did it with an articulate vision, sharp suits and incredibly infectious dance rhythms. Rock and Roll preached rebellion against your parents, Punk spat anarchy and nihilism but simply by existing, 2-Tone demonstrated a togetherness and solidarity between black and white youth at a time where the far right was active on the streets.

 

 Tony Benn – An Obituary here           

(First published in March 2014)

Speaking late last year Tony Benn said that he did not fear death. This should come as no surprise. During his political life fought for the working class as if he feared nothing. He was an inspiration. His death marks the closing of a chapter in the history of the Labour Movement in Great Britain. Tony Benn was always inspired by the younger generation and the potential for socialist change they presented. He has laid down a challenge not just to look back, but to become inspired to even greater efforts to change society for the benefit of the majority.

 

Curious George and the Case for Naw here      

(First published February 2014)

In the midst of all the doubt and uncertainty over the outcome of the September 2014 Referendum on Scottish Independence one thing is for sure…there’s never a dull moment on the campaign trail with George Galloway. The Respect MP for Bradford and his anti-Independence road-show, “Just Say Naw” rolled into Edinburgh at the beginning of February. The Point sent along Graeme McIver to listen to the arguments and dodge the brick-bats.

 

And Now for Something Completely Different here         

(First published in December 2013)

The news that the Pythons are doing a Stones, Zep or Who and reforming for a series of gigs at London's O2 arena (stuck up London-centric bastards! - Ed) has divided the nation. Near civil war has broken out and there is abject, terrible slaughter in the streets - although Eamonn says that 'Der is some hope of a constitutional settlement.' Whether you think it's just a bunch of cynical old septuagenarians up for one last payday, a glorious chance to revisit those fuzzy, warm blue remembered school playground recitals of the seventies, or almost as good as the Annual All-England Summarise Proust Competition, Graeme MacIver, fondly, nay reverently, but with an acute critical eye, looks back to the halcyon days of 'The Beatles of Comedy' (as someone said, somewhere, apparently).

 

 Film Review - Sunshine on Leith here                             

 (First published in October 2013)

Graeme McIver hides his season ticket for Tynecastle and takes a look at Dexter Fletcher’s feel good movie of the year. It’s the film that should have been loved. The movie that ought to make his heart fly, so why is it he’s on his way from happiness to misery today…uh ha. (That’s enough corny Proclaimers song references…Ed)

 

The Scandal of Low Pay in the Home Care Sector here   

(First published in October 2013)

Former care worker Graeme McIver argues that the system of home care in this country is at crisis point. Preventing the whole rotten system from crashing down is a thin red line of care workers whose kindness and humanity stand in stark contrast to the ignorance, greed and avarice of those who design and implement policy.

 

Alex Salmond and The Great Flag Stooshie here               

(First published in July 2013)

Alex Salmond faced the wrath of the media and his political opponents for waving a saltire behind David Cameron at the conclusion of the Wimbledon final. The Point’s Graeme McIver argues that there are much worse examples of politicians wrapping themselves in the national flag that the media chooses to ignore. He believes that there is consensus and crass hypocrisy amongst some of the political class over the UK’s Armed Forces Day celebrations.

 

What the World is Waiting For - The Stone Roses Live at Glasgow Green here 

(First published in July 2013)

There ae few things in life more powerful or enjoyable than the shared experience of live music, watching your favourite band, play your favourite songs surrounded by your best mates punching the air in delight. Graeme McIver braves the showers, flying glass bottles and the out of tune singing to end a 23 year wait to see The Stone Roses on Glasgow Green.

 

So Long – The Musical Legacy of Margaret Thatcher here    

(First published in May 2013)

Now that the dings have been donged, we’ve said so long, and the dirt’s been tramped down, The Point’s Graeme McIver assess the cultural legacy left by Margaret Thatcher and takes a look at some of the music and songs she inspired. Get in touch pop pickers, and let us know what your own favourite anti-Thatcher songs Top Ten might look like. 

 

Don't Celebrate - Organise here                

(First published April 2013)

Graeme McIver looks at the death of Margaret Thatcher and argues that the left should not celebrate but organise to defeat Thatcher’s political legacy.

 

Life’s on the Line: How the Gambling Industry Targets the Poor here     

(First published March 2013)

 Graeme McIver looks at the gambling industry in the UK and how it has targeted the poorest and most deprived areas of our towns and cities 

 

Do You Hear the People Sing - A Review of Les Misérables here               

 (First published March 2013)

The Point sent a rather reluctant Graeme McIver beyond the barricades to review the phenomenon that is Les Misérables as it moves from the theatre onto our cinema screens. Read on and prepared to be dazzled by talk of revolution, deism and Russell Crowe’s dodgy singing. Les Mis, the film so good Graeme went to see it twice…  

 

John Cooper Clarke Interview here     

(First published in November 2012)

Graeme McIver interviews one of Britain’s most enigmatic and mythical cultural figures. Performance poet, wit and raconteur extraordinaire - John Cooper Clarke. 

 

Hillsborough – The Politics Behind the Smears here  

(First published in October 2012)

 Whilst the life was being squeezed from supporters in pens 3 and 4, a lie was being born in the control room. A vicious, scandalous, despicable lie that haunted the families, survivors and people of Liverpool for 23 years. 

 

Why the Fit Can Die Young here            

(First published June 2012)

Health campaigners urge the Scottish Government to have a heart and introduce a proper health screening programme for youngsters involved in sport. 

 

Get up off our Knees - An interview with Paul Heaton here   

(First published in June 2012)

Paul Heaton is one of the UK ’s most successful singer-songwriters. He is now pursuing a solo career after enjoying success with The Housemartins and the Beautiful South. “The Point’s” Graeme McIver caught up with Paul on his recent tour to discuss politics, football, cycling, death threats and crisps! 

External links:

Bella Caledonia

Bright Green

George Monbiot

Green Left

Greenpeace

The Jimmy Reid Foundation

Laurie Penny

New Left Project

Newsnet Scotland

Richard Dawkins

Scottish Left Review

Socialist Unity

UK Uncut

Viridis Lumen

Wings Over Scotland

Word Power Books