In January the city of Glasgow took to the streets, in solidarity with millions across the world, to stand up to Donald Trump’s ban on immigration from seven countries. Demonstrations in George Square and Buchanan Street attracted crowds of hundreds. To all but the most ardent lefties, the separate demo’s seemed like nothing more than an organisational mix up. However, for those in the know, the issue ran deeper. The protest at the Donald Dewar statue was run by Stand up to Racism, an organisation whose activity on the ground is largely run by members of the Socialist Workers Party. Many activists refuse to work with the SWP. Although this is often dismissed as leftie infighting, the truth is far more sinister.
Originally published in the Glasgow Guardian
The Labour Party’s first Shadow cabinet reshuffle since Jeremy Corbyn took on the leaderships was always going to attract considerable media attention. However as speculation grew that Corbyn will target rebellious shadow ministers, the reshuffle has proven controversial for more than just ideology. Blairite MP Jess Phillips has accused Corbyn of “non-violent misogyny” due to his continued failures to promote female talent within the shadow cabinet. The issue of women in the party is one that began to plague Corbyn’s leadership before his campaign team’s first celebratory pint had even been pulled. The absence of female voices at the conference announcing his shock landslide win did not go unnoticed. The trend continued as Jeremy named his first Shadow cabinet, with top positions of Shadow Chancellor, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary reserved for John McDonnell, Andy Burnham and Hilary Benn. As Jeremy and many of his supporters continue to deny claims of sexism, does Jess Phillips have a point?
Originally published at https://qmunicatemagazine.com/2016/11/12/poppy-perspectives-a-left-wing-defence-of-the-poppy/
Since the first Poppy appeal in the 1920’s, the changing of the seasons in the UK has been marked as much by flashes of red on lapels as the leaves falling from the trees. In recent years’ debates surrounding the morality of the poppy have become as ubiquitous as the plastic flower itself. It’s easy to see why so many people feel uncomfortable with the often garish yearly show of support for “our boys”.
Originally published at https://qmunicatemagazine.com/2016/06/23/eu-referendum-fear-over-hope/#more-9280
It’s widely accepted that the independence referendum marked a sea change in Scottish politics. Despite the referendum ultimately ending with a no vote, a spark had been ignited which it would be difficult to put out. The yes campaign was far from perfect. The profile given to supporters such as Brian Souter and Wings over Scotland by the campaign undermined their claim of representing social progression. However the grassroots campaign did seem to offer a sense of hope that had been missing from British politics for far too long.
The EU referendum has failed to inspire the same engagement. Only in the last few weeks has public attention really been drawn to the issue at all. The remain side has failed to gain momentum. Jeremy Corbyn has struggled to make the public believe in a union which he doesn’t truly believe in himself, whilst David Cameron has been overshadowed by the personality and public likeability of Boris Johnson. Farage has been strangely quiet, as the leave campaign has turned into a glorified fight for the Conservative leadership. Continue reading
Originally published at https://qmunicatemagazine.com/2016/03/11/interview-jordan-daly-co-founder-of-time-for-inclusive-education/#more-7082
For the past nine months, qmunicate has been following the efforts of campaigners from ‘ Time for Inclusive Education’ (TIE), as they’ve lobbied the Scottish government to make LGBTQ+ inclusive education compulsory in schools in order to combat bullying. In January, the Scottish Parliament rejected the petition put forward by the campaigners. Far from being discouraged however, TIE have now launched a national crowdfunder appeal to raise money to send teachers on training courses that will allow them to tackle homophobia within their schools. Jessica Shenton met with Jordan Daly, co-founder of TIE, to discuss mental health in the LGBTQ+ community, why the government needs to do more, and what it’s like to be a young activist.
How did the crowd funder come about?
The whole ethos of the crowdfunder is that if the government aren’t going to give us this money, then we need to raise it ourselves so we can start making changes right now. Ethically and morally it wouldn’t be ok for us to keep campaigning without making change along the way. The crowdfunder is practical but it’s still political as well. We’re trying to embarrass the government. We shouldn’t have to crowdfund, but that’s the situation they’ve left us in. At the same time, we’re managing to get teachers trained and change the ethos of a school.