The Point
Last updated: 27 June 2015. sky thinking for an open and diverse left

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Recent Articles

Cameron's Free School Scam

Budget Round-up

A New Education System for a New Future

Argy Bargy - Scottish Public Ownership of Scottish Oil

Charlie Hebdo and the Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall

Syriza Solidarity: A united front against the status-quo

Should socialists vote tactically for the SNP in May?

Interesting Times - or how the left should learn to stop worrying and love 'the curse'

Micro-Point: Taking Back What's Ours

The Peoples Army - The 1915 Rent Strike


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Now in The Point...

Alexis Tsipras - Address to the Greek People

The historic speech from Tsipras to the Greek people yesterday along with a note of solidarity to Greece from The Point

"Fellow Greeks, For six months now the Greek government has been waging a battle in conditions of unprecedented economic suffocation to implement the mandate you gave us on January 25. The mandate we were negotiating with our partners was to end the austerity and to allow prosperity and social justice to return to our country. It was a mandate for a sustainable agreement that would respects both democracy and common European rules and lead to the final exit from the crisis."   Read More


The Media, Creators of Social Inequality

Regular contributor Conor Cheyne from the Scottish Left Project and RIC argues that the Media actively creates inequality within all sections of our society and that we must work together to overcome it


"Millions of us read the newspapers every single day; The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Mirror - All popular choices, just to name a few. It is well known that newspapers have long held sway over what many of us hold true. From the war in Iraq to the hounding of immigrants, the newspapers almost decide what we are going to believe and when. They hold a very high and lofty position in our society. But while we read and get suckered in by headlines and columns it is always important to keep in mind that these so called "beacons of democracy" have their own hidden (or maybe not so, as is often the case) agenda."    Read More


Rekindling the Roots of Radicalism

Trade Unionist Sarah Collins writes on why we need to bring back Radicalism back to Scotland

"Since the referendum all eyes have been on Scotland. Anti-austerity and anti-Trident rhetoric has won over Project Fear because pro-independence social movements and political parties managed to create a successful counter-narrative to the neo-liberal Westminster consensus. This was evidenced not only in the incredible voter registration and turnout of the referendum, but also in the results of the election."     Read More 


Iain Banks and The Culture: a review



The premature death of Iain Banks a year ago shocked and saddened the progressive and literary world. Cultural Scotland lost, all too soon, one of its finest intellects and talents - a genuinely decent man, a socialist, and a prominent supporter of Scottish Independence.

In a recent article in The National, long time indy supporter, commentator, and activist Pat Kane wrote

"with the work of the late Iain M. Banks, we also have a big-concept science-fictional universe to match anything, anywhere.

Banks’s The Culture is as conflict-strewn and crisis-torn as any film-maker would need. But the tensions occur in a galaxy where humans (and their AI companions) are way beyond the struggle for scarce resources; have to make decisions about what pleasures to pursue (rather than what pains to avoid); and commit themselves to exploring the wonders of the universe.

Given that it’s Iain M Banks, there are always pratfalls, perverse outcomes, and blackly humorous moments. But if the shiny, jump-suited optimism of Tomorrowland can’t deliver a hit for the studio system, would the louche, super-intelligent hedonists of The Player of Games or Consider Phlebas deliver any better result? I’ll leave that to the producers and moguls (while hoping dearly that someone could make it happen)."

By way of our own tribute to Iain, the Point is proud to republish an updated version of Steve Arnott’s analysis of Iain Banks' Culture novels, in which he argues that the Culture is ‘Banks’ greatest character, and surely his highest intellectual creation.’   READ MORE



No Easy Answers: Reflections on the Left and Scottish Politics in 2015

 Gary Fraser takes a look back at 2015 at how Scottish politics has been shaped and what impact the Left has had and what impact it can have in the future.

"The paradox in modern Scottish politics might well turn out to be the curious fact that Scotland is a more left wing country than at any time in its recent history, yet in the same period, Scotland's radical left has failed to make any significant electoral breakthrough either at local or national level. Next year's Holyrood elections present a chance for Scotland' radicals to change that story. Are they up to the challenge? The decision in the recent election to field overtly socialist candidates who consistently polled around 0.5% of the vote, once again raises serious credibility problems regarding the Scottish left, and whilst these embarrassing results can be explained away by the SNP 'squeeze', we should not forget the fact that the radical left's share of the vote has been in freefall in Scotland for more than a decade."   Read More  


The Peoples Railway - The Case for Nationalisation

Independent MSP and now member of the Green Party, John Finnie, looks at the private ownership of the Railways

"Many whose political ideology causes them to mock the former British Rail conveniently forget the level of public subsidy that the private companies who were given our rail network by the Thatcher government, receive."    Read More


 Seismic Shift or The Feeble 56?

The Point's Graeme McIver takes a look at the results from last week's General Election with an indepth article and asks will the SNP resist the Tories and where now for the parties of the Scottish left?

"It is perhaps fitting that in the week following the return of a majority Conservative Government Channel 4 screened a documentary entitled "The World's Most Expensive Food". Set in London, home to more billionaires than any other city on the planet, the programme presented viewers images of the super-rich consuming cups of coffee costing £300 ("It's worth it" says the supplier), alcohol from dusty bottles at £5,000 a shot and tales of a wedding where the guests consumed over 200 "gold" hot dogs. Perhaps its most surreal moment, even more so than the focus on salmon that is smoked whilst a man entertains the hanging dead fish by playing jazz music on a piano, is an unintentional modern take on the fable of The Emperor's New Clothes."      Read More


Editorial: General Election 2015 - A New Scotland Rising


 "Today, in Scotland we know we’ve just witnessed a huge, old politics smashing, milestone of an episode.  We know, however, that we are still journeying, that our adventure hasn’t ended. We in Scotland have had our victory at Helm’s Deep over Saruman – but the Dark Lord still sits in his Tower in Mordor, casting a shadow over all Middle-Earth..." Read More


Why I am voting SNP

Socialist and anti-cuts campaigner Gary Fraser explains why he is voting SNP on Thursday for just the second time in his life

"For more and more socialistic Scots voting SNP on May 7th is probably a no brainer yet for someone like me who is both a socialist and a public sector worker the decision to vote SNP is something I had to think long and hard about..."      Read More




Don't forget you can find many more articles using the dedicated sections at the top of the page!

External links:

Bella Caledonia

Bright Green

George Monbiot

Green Left


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