Past Issues
Choose an Issue from the list below

Issue 63 (March - April 2011)

So Much Left and Nowhere to Go!

In this issue Kevin Williamson, Gordon Morgan and Robin McAlpine look at the current state of the left in Scotland, and its prospects if any.

First Minister Alex Salmond and Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray respond to Questions posed by Scottish Left Review and Dave Moxton gives a Trade Union view on these.

In other articles: Jim Monaghan examines questions arising from the Sheridans' trial;  Jim and Margaret Cuthbert look at the Scotland Bill; Mark Hirst looks at how CIA propoganda targets Scottish policies; Leanne Wood on the Welsh referendum.

Issue 62 (Jan - Feb 2011)

Resistance is Not Futile

Issue 62 of the Scottish Left Review explores what is being done to organise resistance to the impending cuts agenda and what more we can do. Our writers are:

  • Mark Serwotka on creating political opposition

  • Martin Sime on the voluntary sector

  • Vince Mills on local government

  • Stephen Smillie on the trade unions in Scotland

In addition:

  • Jim and Margaret Cuthbert deconstruct the Scotland Bill

  • David McVey reveals how M74 promises appear to be being broken

  • Bill Wilson asks why we have been so passive over the horror of Depleted Uranium weapons

  • Hamish Kirk looks at political developments in Bulgaria

Issue 61 (Nov Dec '10)

How do we make change happen? 

In issue 60 of Scottish Left Review we put forward a set of proposals for changing Scotland over the next three years which we called Agenda 15. In this issue we asked a number of people to give us their response to what was in it, including responses from the First Minister, MSPs and PPCs in the up-coming election. We also asked Iain McWhirter to look at whether the left is doing the right things to push an alternative agenda in Scotland. And we outline plans for how Agenda 15 can be pursued over the next four years and not end up as another well-meaning but ineffectual intervention in Scotland. The issue also contains a summary of the proposals in Agenda 15.

In addition:

  • Isobel Lindsay writes about how extremist English university policies are impinging on Scotland

  • We publish one of the last pieces of writing by the late Doug Bain on the future of the left in Scotland

  • Chris Holligan looks at the impact of reputation management

  • Ann Henderson looks at the state of childcare provision in Scotland

  • Gary Fraser looks at what legacy emerges from Blair's memoirs

  • Gianni Banias tells us about the state of radical politics in Greece

Issue 60 (Sep-Oct '10)

We are calling this issue AGENDA 15.

It is an agenda for the Scottish Parliament elections and the four years afterwards. Everything in here can be done within the powers of the Scottish Parliament and its agencies. Everything can be started now. And it will deliver substantial change over four years to 2015. It is a clear message that there ARE alternatives and that we do NOT have to accept what we are given. We want you to read this and to talk about it. We want to leave no arguments against acting now. We want to find creative solutions to our problems. We do it in the spirit of our founder Jimmy Reid.

Issue 59 (July - Aug '10)


The last nine months have not been ones during with the UK’s political parties –and others – have covered themselves in glory. In fact, it has been a period for which redemption should be sought. But what would that mean for each of the parties involved? We asked seven writers to consider this:


  • John McAllion and Gordon Morgan on the SSP/Solidarity

  • Vince Mills on Labour

  • Kevin Williamson on the SNP

  • Peter McColl on the Greens

  • Gordon McKay on the trade unions

  • Isobel Lindsay on civic Scotland


In addition the issue has articles from Carole Ewart on human rights and Henry McCubbin on Europe.

Click here for pdf

Issue 58 (May June 2010)

In the wake of the scandals at Glasgow City Council Issue 58 of the Scottish Left Review takes a look at the issues facing the governance of our four major cities. The conclusion is that the excessively close relationship between elected officials and leading business figures is harming local democracy in Scotland. Our contributors are: Neil Gray and Leigh French on Glasgow, Peter McColl on Edinburgh, John McAllion on Dundee, John Aberdein on Aberdeen. {mosimage}

Also in this issue: Jim and Margaret Cuthbert look at how PFI costs have been hidden ‘off the books’; Robert Beveridge examines the implications of outsourcing ITV news services; Daniel Gray examines the significance of the popular response to the publication of his well-received study of Scots volunteers in the Spanish Civil War; The legacy of the British willingness to use chemical weapons is examined by Mark Hirst; Our continuing look round the world for updates on the politics of countries like Scotland stops in Ireland where Donagh Brennan takes an extended look at the Irish crisis

 For pdf click here

Issue 57 (Mar /Apr 2010)

The Rain Falls Upwards

In Issue 57 of the Scottish Left Review we look at the implications for Scotland of a General Election which will be won and lost a long way south. The three takes on what different outcomes could mean are: Michael Keating shows that there are many possible outcomes after the General Election – and even more potential reactions; There may be assumptions about what a hung parliament would look like but Stephen Maxwell shows that in fact it might not be that striaghforward; Vince Mills argues that there is no real optimistic outcome for the left from the General Election so it is time to look to the next generation.

Also in this issue: Dave Moxham looks at the agenda for the STUC Congress and shows that in a space between an economic collapse and the election of a new government the influence of the trade unions has never been more important; Gary Fraser discusses how the Left can counter the attack on the Welfare State ; The People’s Charter is a real alternative to current politics. Pat Sikorski argues that we can create an effective coalition for resistance; Continuing our series bringing news to Scotland from other countries Antoni Abad i Ninet looks at how the referendums Catalonia has held into its future have been ignored and what that means for nations and democracy.

For pdf click here

Issue 56 (Jan - Feb 2010)

 In Issue 56 we launch a year-long look at other small countries and regions which have similarities to Scotland to explore if there are lessons Scotland can learn – and to try to do something to bridge the political isolation that Scotland suffers in international terms. In this issue we have an analysis of the state of politics in Iceland by party group chairman for the Movement, a member of the Icelandic Parliament, activist and poet Birgitta Jónsdóttir. We also have an overview of left politics in Holland by Tiny Kox, Senator for the Socialist Party in the First Chamber of the Dutch States-General.

In each issue of the Scottish Left Review in 2010 we will include at least one similar article from countries around the world.

Also Margaret and Jim Cuthbert on how PFI criticisms  have turned out to be correct and that mistakes are being repeated by the current Scottish Government; Tom Nairn on the Scottish nation as an expression of trends embracing the whole globe; Daniel Gray on the popular response to his study of Scots volunteers in the Spanish Civil War; Carole Ewart on UN Human Rights Treaties and public expenditure priorities; Jim Phillips examines the devolution campaign and asks What now?  It’s time to shake off forty years of establishment manipulation says Andy Anderson.


Issue 55 (Nov/Dec '09)
This Mess we're in 

We look at the underlying problems which have caused the crises we are now living through, with analysis from Neil Davidson, Isobel Lindsay, Alan McKinnon, John Barker and Robin McAlpine. Also Mark Hirst on Lockerbie, Bob Thomson on Bill Spiers, Peter Kelly on a living wage and Tom Nairn on English identity.

Issue 54 (Sept-Oct '09)

Heroes and Villains in the New Scotland

Robin McAlpine looks at the redemption of bankers and demonisation of the public sector; Joe Cox analyses the role of the super-rich in the economic crisis; Mike Danson on who failed to warn us of approaching financial meltdown; Andy Cumbers on private sector ‘wealth creators’; Dave Watson questioning Why the public sector should pick up the private sector’s mess; Henry McCubbin on the expenses scandal and whether Ministers are for sale; Gregor Gall examines tactics used to resist redundancy; Donald Adamson on the high cost to Scots of the Union; Lou Howson on pensioner's organisations; Stephen Bowman on organised religion.
Issue 53 (July-Aug '09)

Sustainable Scotland and the Big Tent Festival

Mike Small on the relationship between the collapse of our economy, political system and environment; Gordon Morgan on the Climate Change Act; Jan Bebbington explains how the Prosperity Without Growth? report shows just how damaging a growth-based economy is; Ginny Brink and Fiona Campbell argue for reviving broken communities with creativity; Davie Philip introduces The Village, a project that is a model for a sustainable future; Henry McCubbin analyses the Euro election results; Gregor Gall interviews the newly formed New Anti-Capitalist Party in France; Bill Ramsay on Afghanistan; Donny O’Rourke on art.

Issue 52 (May/June 2009)

Ten Years of Devolution

Isobel Lindsay suggests that the SNP in Government has faced mainly left but with a right track;  Bob Thomson explains why Labour is still losing;  John McAllion considers whether the Left can put together a significant challenge in time for the 2011 Scottish elections;  Michael Keating explores the variety of coalition options that could emerge in the Scottish Parliament;  John Mason MP describes his experience of the seriously flawed Westminster legislative process;  Vince Mills looks at the reasons behind the STUC’s decision to reject the Scottish People’s Charter;  Tommy Sheppard asks educated, interested twenty-somethings why they won’t vote in the Euro elections;  David Conway argues that what the NHS can do is limited without greater social and economic inequality; Christopher Boyd examines the protests against Israel that recently took place in Scottish universities.

Issue 51 (March / April '09)

Euro Elections

Henry McCubbin on developments in political parties across Europe, Ed Walsh on EU democracy and the Irish referendum experience, Drew Scott on joining the Euro, John Monks on the power of trade unions in Europe, Kim Bizzarri and Will Dinan on lobbying and the corporate takeover of Brussels, Robert Beveridge on the way Europe is covered in the UK media, Tony Bunyan on the rapid development of an EU ‘security state’.  And David Moxham looks at the issues facing Scottish trade unions in the coming year

Issue 50 (Jan Feb 09)

Billions for Bankers, P45s for workers - who says neo-liberalism is dead?

 Saving and creating sustainable jobs - Andy Cumbers and Isobel Lindsay look at the Scottish approach to jobs  policy and suggest a rethink whilst Eurig Scandrett outlines a strategy for a more sustainable and creative economy.

Stephen Boyd points out that the economic-strategy-with-no-manufacturing was always damaging for Scotland, but that it isn’t too late and John McAllion explains how the ‘Smart, Successful Scotland’ strategy did little to help a generation of out-of-work Dundonians.

Also Henry Maitles and Elle Matheuse on Gaza and protests in Scotland; Bob Thomson on the 50th Issue of SLR; Chris Holligan on social mobility and confronting the role of private education.

Issue 49 (Nov / Dec '08)

Dark XMAS. Douglas Bain on how we got into the Economic Crisis. Peter Kelly on those most affected this Xmas; David Purdy, Cameron Brown, Maggie Chapman, Carlo Morelli, Robin McAlpine, Gregor Gall and Stephen Boyd outline their personal ideas on how we get out of the crisis. John McAllion on the fall of Capitalism and how Labour must adjust.

Also Robert Beveridge on the Scottish Broadcasting Commission report; Mike Small on local food sourcing and Linda Sommerville on Bolivia.

Issue 48 (Sept/Oct '08)

Isobel Lindsay, Sarah Armstrong, Reg McKay, Hazel Croall, Bill Wilson, Eric Swanepoel and two serving offenders look at crime and punishment in Scotland.

Also Gary Fraser on the voluntary sector and public service privatisation, Michael Price on the Eigg experience,John Nicholson on the Convention of the Left and Tommy Kane and Kyle Mitchell on creeping water privatisation.

Issue 47 (July/Aug '08)
Grant Jarvie, Sean Hamil, Stephen Morrow, High McDonald and Robin McAlpine explore how sports policy in Scotland should be developed.  Also, Elaine C Smith on Independence, Leanne Wood on the state of Welsh politics, Eurig Scandrett on sustainable development, Elle Mathuse on being a dissident, Tim Gee on the legacy of Make Poverty History, Willie Sullivan on the moral state of the Labour movement and reviews and satire.
Issue 46 (May/June '08)
SLR have been consistently right -  on the Economy (John MAllion); on anti war (Isobel Lindsay); on Green issues (Peter McColl); on PFI (Henry McCubbin). Also Tom Nairn - globalisatioin; Tim Gee - socialists and greens; Matthey Crighton - global warming; Jim Cuthbert - Michael Collins. 
Issue 45 (Mar / Apr '08)
David Miller, Mark Hallowell, Gordon Archer, Richard Leonard and Christopher Harvie ask whether the change of government in Scotland has weakened the business lobby’s influence.  Also, Mike Martin on the Trump affair, Philip Scott and Jim Monaghan on the Tommy Sheridan investigation, Dave Rushton on identity and TV and Bill Wilson on measuring economic growth.  Plus, to coincide with the STUC Congress Grahame Smith looks at an agenda for Scotland.
Issue 44 (Jan/Feb '08)
This issue looks at the Left in Scotland, England and across Europe
Issue 43 (Nov/Dec 2007)

Scotland the What? This issue looks at politics and identity in 2007. Isobel Lindsay briefs us on what the Scots and English think of themselves and each other. Jimmy Reid tackles the issue of how national politics affects our national identity. Robin McAlpine asks if policies really do have personalities and we ask leading figures of the left to come up with a Slogan for Scotland.

Issue 42 Sept / Oct 2007
Can an alternative left strategy for Scotland really happen? Andy Cumbers and Geoff Whittam look at an alternative economic strategy for Scotland. Chik Collins at how regeneration doesn't really mean regeneration. Sarah Glynn on the housing crisis and Guy Puzey on foreign reporting of the SNP victory overseas.
Issue 41 July / Aug 2007

Rebecca Johnson, Gordon Morgan, Peter McColl, Susan Galloway, Drew McFarlane, Paul Holleran, Bob Thomson, Jane Denholm, Tam McTurk and David McDonald explore a new agenda for the left in the post-election world. Plus Bill Wilson on the new administrations agenda, Kathryn Mackenzie on the STUC archive and John Wight on imperialism.

Issue 40 May / June 2007

 Extended comment on the election outcome along with articles by Tom Nairn, Gordon Morgan and Chris Harvie on the outcomes. Plus Tommy Kane and Shona Russell on water privatisation, Mike Brider on Trident, Nathalie Holmerin Bartfay and Janet Muir on community health provision and Jim Cuthbert on British intelligence

Earlier Issues pdf format
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