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United Left

People's 999 March for the NHS arrives at Clissold Park in Hackney

Thousands marched and rallied in London to join the final leg of the People's 999 March for the NHS on Saturday 6 September.

A solid core of Darlington mums and other health campaigners re-enacted the historic Jarrow hunger march - this time in opposition to the wholesale privatiation of the National Health Service.

Fifty campaigners took three weeks to walk from South Tyneside to London, joined at every stage by thousands from local communities who marched some of the way.

The marchers stopped off for lunch at Clissold Park, greeted and welcomed by hundreds of local Hackney people.


Scottish independence - a discussion

There are two major concerns for the Left and the trade unions in the independence debate.  The immediate concern is the fight against austerity, but just as important is how we maximise forces for political change at the level where the power of the bosses is most influential and concentrated.

Despite what some supporters of independence say, the independence that is on offer is that shaped by the SNP. The SNP is a party which had the highest share of the popular vote in the European and Scottish Parliament elections and it has the greatest number of councillors. It is not about to disappear any time soon – win or lose the referendum.

So what’s on offer? On the one hand there is the commitment to lower corporate taxation and a straightforward rejection of any strengthening of workers’ rights as advocated by the SNP leadership and on the other hand there is Commonweal strategy as outlined by the Jimmy Reid foundation, supported by some SNP MSPs that seeks to build on the limited welfarism of the Scottish Parliament posing at its core the need for partnership between Capital and Labour, bosses and unions. The SNP claim we will avoid austerity by growing the economy. This growth depends on increasing the working age population through higher levels of immigration (assuming of course we get immigrants who match the needs of the economy) leading to better productivity leading to 2.5% growth per annum.

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Scottish independence - why I am voting yes

I am voting yes because . . .

This is a question with many answers for me. I am a married mum of three, who works full time. In my spare time I am a Unite activist, I have the Union in my blood and I fight the fight to give others a better working environment. I am also a Labour Party member and activist and that is where my Yes journey began.

When the referendum was announced I started to research and study, and to be honest I was surprised at the positive, realistic and possible case for Yes. Unfortunately to my surprise the Labour Party joined with the Tory’s and the Better Campaign, without a full and frank debate with the party members, my decision was clear. I have never lost faith that the Labour Party is worth fighting, saving and campaigning for but for me this is too important and would be in the first General Election of an Independent Scotland.

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