The Point
Last updated: 27 June 2022. sky thinking for an open and diverse left

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In Praise of Beethoven

Arthur C Clarke - A Very Modern Odyssey

Tackling Private Landlords

Investigating the Value Form

The Eternal Dark Heart of Empire

If You Build Them, They Will Come

Don't Celebrate - Organise

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.



For a long time now I’ve wondered what I would do the day that Margaret Thatcher died. It was she more than any other figure that inspired me to become active in politics. Whatever she represented, I wanted to be the opposite. I had planned to celebrate. Drinks with friends? Listen to some good music? Perhaps I’d sport one of those t-shirts on sale at TUC events that appal the Tory right so much. How do the songs go?…“Jelly and ice cream when Thatcher dies”, “We’re having a party when Thatcher dies!”

In the end I’ve done none of those things.

For the best part of the last 12 months I have worked in the care sector and in particular with the elderly and those suffering from dementia. I first heard of her demise whilst returning from a funeral of one of my former clients. I watched the breaking news on the BBC standing in my suit and black tie and did not feel much like a celebration. I would not wish dementia on anyone, even on my worst enemy, even on Margaret Thatcher. I cannot bring myself to rejoice in her death not just because of the circumstances of it, but because more importantly, much more importantly, her politics, her cruel, heartless, divisive politics lives on.


Is There Hope For The Left In Scotland?


There are plenty of campaigns and plenty of left groups fighting them. It seems that identifying a common enemy is one thing but unity of purpose is another. Shirley Gibb asks the question, “Is there hope for the left in Scotland?”





No to the Bedroom Tax


Tommy Sheridan calls for a massive campaign to put the Con-Dem bedroom tax in the scrap bin of history

Would you trust a motor mechanic to perform heart surgery on you? A bricklayer to apply a spray-tan? No, of course you wouldn’t. So why on earth would anyone trust the millionaire toffs in the ConDem government to devise social housing policy? These political space cadets wouldn’t know a council or housing association house if it fell on their swollen heads. Their cruel and economically illiterate bedroom tax proposal proves just out of touch with ordinary lives they really are. With 23 members of the 29 member cabinet being millionaires what else do you expect? It is one of the most unrepresentative governments in history.


The Jimmy Reid Foundation

Robin McAlpine reflects on the first year of The Jimmy Reid Foundation



Something happened towards the end of last year that might seem pretty insignificant to you but really made me smile. It was a simple thing; the launch of our report on why we need to defend universal public services was reported under a headline in The Herald which said “Reid Foundation...”. See, I can't even remember the rest of the headline. I'm just chuffed to get a straight name-check.

Let me explain why this matters. A number of us on the Board of the Scottish Left Review had been talking about the need for some sort of left-wing think tank of some sort in Scotland. In fact, we've been discussing this or something like it for much of the time since the SLR was launched in 2000. In its original conception the SLR would have been more than just a magazine; Jimmy himself saw it as the seed of a bigger, wider, non-party left movement in Scotland. The problem was a simple one – we had little or no money and coming by the kind of money needed to maintain a properly-operating think tank is not easy.


Scrap Trident



Ben Wray and Kezia Kinder of Radical Independence, Glasgow, on...


5 reasons why you have to be on the Scrap Trident mobilisations 13-15th April


The Scrap Trident mobilisations over three days in April are the most important anti-nuclear demonstrations in Britain in many years, especially if you believe Scottish independence can be a vehicle to take us towards radical social change. Below are the top five reasons why you have to be there in April.


Lives on the Line

- How the Gambling Industry Targets the Poor


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.




'In gambling the many must lose in order that the few may win'

George Bernard Shaw


The Changing Face of Our High Street

The news that the credit ratings agency Moody’s has decided to downgrade Britain’s triple A credit rating will not have come as a surprise to anyone who cares to take more than a cursory glance at economic performance of the UK. As the ConDems swing the axe even deeper into living standards, the knock on effect on retail sales and High Street performance further highlights that the crisis in 21st century capitalism continues apace.


Independence and the National Game

Here we go, here we go, here we go!

Sean Robertson examines the plethora of football fan groups for independence being set up, and the potential for building a Yes vote on the terraces




Scottish Football and its links to politics, have, in recent times, been presented as negative by the mainstream media and political parties, mainly due to the connections of the Old Firm to Irish culture and history.


Corporate Tax Avoidance - Will the real scroungers please stand up?

Ana Dreyfuss-Quillon looks at the companies that don't pay tax...and what could be done about them.


Indignity heaped on pain may be the last tax pound straw that breaks the corporate camel’s back.

Widespread revulsion over revelations of the huge levels of tax avoidance in the UK over the last six months have forced Coalition Chancellor Gideon ‘George’ Osborne to rush to the media ramparts, fulminating with manufactured outrage, over the fact that multiple billions of pounds per annum are being lost to the exchequer by companies exploiting legal loopholes to avoid paying tax on their profits.

Osborne has said – and we must presume that he was blissfully unaware of this state of affairs until the story broke in the media (lol) – that it’s terrible his City chums are behaving like such rogues when ‘we are all in it together’, and he’ll jolly well sort it out by seeking ‘international agreement’.

This is a typical Tory tactic of kicking the ball into the long grass.


Eco Socialism - a personal perspective


Why I am a member of the Green Left



Will Duckworth - Deputy Leader of the Green Party in England and Wales

Some Green Party members start from a belief that we need to save the planet from human activity but in truth the race will survive even with a 5 degree increase in global temperatures, melting of the ice caps and loss of huge areas of land mass under the rising seas.  It would mean the end of civilisation as we know it, the death of most of the human race, and a return to a pre-industrial society. 


Sexual Abuse Time Bomb...still Ticking


Since the eruption of the Jimmy Saville case last year the Con/Dem government have been thankful for some brief respite from the glare of publicity alluding to direct links between organised sexual abuse of children and leading British politicians.

Now the scandal is threatening to blow up around Operation Fernbridge,  a police investigation into activities at the Elm Guesthouse in London during the 1980’s, where children from nearby local authority care homes were serially sexually abused.

The developing scandal  is related to Labour MP Tom Watson’s original allegations about the existence of a Tory sex abuse ring with links straight to number 10.


External links:

Bella Caledonia

Bright Green

George Monbiot

Green Left


The Jimmy Reid Foundation

Richard Dawkins

Scottish Left Review

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