Each week in the new look Point we'll have a short rant or article espousing a specific idea. This week Steve Arnott calls for a Scottish Government Commission on
An idea whose time has come?
The SNP have undertaken a consultation with their thousands of new members on policies for the 2016 Holyrood election.
The Point is a left, pro-indy platform with no party allegiance, but undoubtedly we have many readers within the left of the SNP...so we'll throw our half a groat in and hope some lefts in the SNP pick it up and run with it.
We would like to see the next Scottish Government truly turn back the tide of Thatcherism and neo-liberalism by establishing a public commission tasked with three things
1) establishing what industries/services should, in principle, be in public ownership/de-privatised/protected from privatisation in an Independent or Devo Max Scotland (the banks? energy companies? public transport? oil and gas exploration? etc etc)
2) to spell out in detail the economic and social benefits and arguments for public ownership
3) and to establish how - as cheaply as possible, and in the shortest time scale - the Scottish Government can take the necessary assets into public ownership and shield others against any possible future privatisation.
The commission should include leading left pro-indy academics such as Jim and Margaret Cuthbert, Prof Alyson Pollock, Prof Mike Danson, as well as trade unionists and people with both public and private sector experience. It should begin with a mandate to work within the principles established by the Common Weal movement, and the substantive understanding that there are in life things we all depend upon and need that should be be publicly owned and directly accountable, and not subject to the profit motive.
It should report by the middle of the next Parliament, and its findings, if accepted by the democratic will of Parliament. should be written into a future Scottish Constitution at the first opportunity.
How about that for a policy that could change the social and economic map of Scotland, and expose Scottish Labour's new found 'left' credentials as the shallow thing that they are.