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ScotlandsFest 2016: The Keir Hardie Factor
Tue 23 August 2016, 17:15 – 18:30 BST
ScotlandsFest 2016: The Keir Hardie Factor with Dave Watson, Alistair Findlay and the Roch Winds Collective
The Labour movement is wider than the Labour Party and its core values remain strong, even as the Labour Party finds itself in crisis. Party membership has grown swiftly under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and yet many Labour MPs and MSPs claim the party is unelectable with Corbyn at the helm. What's next for Labour?
DAVE WATSON is the Head of Bargaining and Campaigns at UNISON, Scotland’s largest trade union. He manages UNISON Scotland’s bargaining, campaigns, political, legal, equalities, and research functions. He also regularly blogs at Public Works, Red Paper, SHA Scotland, Revitalise Scottish Labour and Utilities Scotland.
ALISTAIR FINDLAY worked for over thirty years as a social worker in communities across the UK, and also has a Masters Degree in Modern Poetry in English from Stirling University. In August 2007 Alistair was awarded a Writer's Bursary by the Scottish Arts Council to produce this book, which is his third collection of poems on social workers, and also to edit an anthology of Scottish Marxist poetry - Lenin's Gramaphone. As well as his poetry, Alistair Findlay is the author of Shale Voices, a creative memoir of the shale oil communities of West Lothian.
RICHARD LEONARD MSP is a Scottish politician who is a Scottish Labour Party Member of Scottish Parliament for the Central Scotland region, elected in the Scottish Parliament election, 2016. In 2011 he stood for the Scottish Parliament as the Labour candidate in the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency where he finished second. In the 2016 Holyrood election he stood as the Labour party candidate in the Airdrie and Shotts constituency where he finished second. He was nevertheless elected as a list MSP, having been placed top of the Central Scotland Labour list.
THE ROCH WINDS COLLECTIVE
Cailean Gallagher, born in 1991 and raised in Glasgow, has struggled with embryonic nationalism since contracting it at Balliol ‘the Scottish’ College, Oxford. A life-long Labour member, he succumbed to political nationalism and joined the staff of Yes Scotland in 2013, working first as a researcher analysing the sewage produced by the No campaign, before taking on a strategic role to persuade Labour members to vote Yes. In an effort to repair any damage done and return to the Labour fold, he organised the General Election campaign for Labour MP Katy Clark, before decamping once again to England to plunge into the history of the poor political judgment of socialists and organise health workers for a small trade union.
Rory Scothorne, born in 1992, was raised in various bits of Edinburgh which he euphemistically describes as ‘leafy’. His fiery articles (and hair) have punctuated Scottish debate since he co-founded National Collective, the cultural Yes organisation, in 2012. Upon realising he had created a monster he fled to join the more cantankerous crowds of the Scottish Labour Left, but somehow still has Yes-voting friends and political allies. A graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh and Sussex, he has coordinated, disparaged, and radicalised various left-wing organisations, most lately Momentum Edinburgh.
Amy Westwell was born in 1993 and grew up in Leith. A sans-culotte at heart, she pretends to be a historian and has attended Glasgow and St Andrews University in this guise. She mainly studies the history of political thought, particularly the history of hating the rich and their way of life. She has sold her labour to around 14 employers, but has been most productive working against them with Unite the Union. Harbouring a misguided belief in the communist potential of workers’ education, she intends to continue to read history while persuading the people that it is not really there.
ScotlandsFest 2016: Big thinking in a small country- sparky talk, flyting, debate, discussion and soapbox slots. Discover how Scotland's national conversation today is forging the Scotland of tomorrow. Expect the unexpected.
What Would Keir Hardie Say? Exploring his vision and relevance to 21st century politics is available here
Never Mind the Captions by Alistair Findlay is available here.
Roch Winds: A Treacherous Guide to the State of Scotland by The Roch Wind Collective is available here.