The Point
Last updated: 26 August 2015. sky thinking for an open and diverse left

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Cameron's Free School Scam

A New Education System for a New Future

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Syriza Solidarity: A united front against the status-quo

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Micro-Point: Taking Back What's Ours

The Peoples Army - The 1915 Rent Strike


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Now in The Point...

Max the YES: tactical voting, yes or no?

Steve Arnott of The Point takes up objections raised in

Wings Over Scotland.


"As regular readers of The Point facebook page will know, we’re rather fond of posting the occasional piece from the excellent ‘Wings Over Scotland’. The Rev. Stu’s demolitions of unionist media silliness are often a delight. Recently though, the Rev and some others have been trying to rubbish the idea of mass tactical voting for the 2016 Holyrood elections: an idea put forward by some YESSER’s which can basically be summed up as 1st vote (constituency) SNP, 2nd vote (list) Greens, Solidarity or RISE.

This position, which has been vigorously promoted by Steve Arnott of The Point, and is referred to by the Wingsmeister as the ‘Yes Alliance’ position, has inevitably led to a bit of a reaction…"   See More


A Call to the Scottish Left: Show Corbyn our Support

Regular contributor Conor Cheyne from the Scottish Left Project puts a call out for the left to get behind Jeremy Corbyn

"Oh how the tables have turned! 10 years ago Britain was as right wing as they come. Labour were in power not only in England but Scotland too, with the vast majority of Scottish MPs flying Labour's banner. They also controlled the Scottish Parliament too, albeit in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. There were moments of hope during this period. The Scottish Socialist Party won 6 MSPs and things looked on the up"   Read More


Independence and how do we get it:

A short essay with a few ideas by Steve Arnott

"There’s been some debate on social media recently as regards how to win over NO voters for the next independence referendum, how we should approach the currency question, should we be in Europe after the EU’s treatment of Greece and so on.

I think it’s important to remember that there will be many visions in people’s heads about what an independent Scotland can or should be but that the direction we take can be determined democratically by all of us once we secure independence collectively.

There are some issues and ideas I would like to throw out there for discussion, however.

There are three issues the YES movement needs to do better on in order to win a YES vote and some we should be able to park until after a YES vote...  READ MORE



 OXI  - Adrian Cruden on why we should all be cheering the news from Greece



"The Hellenic people have this week dealt a huge blow for all Europeans against the corporate interests that over the last 8 years have foisted the political choice of austerity economics across the Continent. The 60%-plus vote to reject the latest demands for massive cuts in public services and welfare to the poorest represents a major victory in the struggle to reverse the "mainstream" view that the monetarism first adopted by Thatcher and Reagan in the 1980s should be the default form of orthodox economics..."     Read More.


Red and Green 2016

RIC activist Donnie Fraser discusses the way ahead for the Scottish Elections from a socialist perspective and how to maximise the left wing vote

"It's almost clichéd to say that we're living in exciting times, a political landscape rapidly shifting beneath our feet and unpredictable in its destination. No sooner is one historic election out of the way but another beckons and next year's Holyrood election could certainly be that. But while we live in exciting times we also live in dark times for ordinary working people bearing the brunt of the Tories form of class war they call 'Austerity'. However next year's Holyrood election gives us the opportunity to wipe out Unionism, and by extension the pro-austerity parties, as a political force in Scotland at this time, and also build an effective opposition to the SNP from the radical Green Left."   Read More


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


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


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