Scotland will be free

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by Mark Irvine

Tom Nairn the historian once said: “Scotland will be free when the last minister is strangled by the last copy of the Sunday Post.”

Now I don’t know many ministers and I don’t often read the Sunday Post too often but I think I know what Tom Nairn was on about.

Scotland has been held back by the ‘Holy Willies’ in our midst for far too long, the two-faced hypocrites scorned so effectively by Robert Burns in his famous poem Holy Willie’s Prayer.  

But who are the Holy Willlies of today, who preach one thing then do another?

My nomination goes to the trade union bosses who slavishly support the Labour party in Scotland when it’s perfectly clear that the majority of union members don’t support the Labour party.

Ordinary union members are just like everyone else, they support the SNP, Lib Dems, Green Party and Conservatives as well as the smaller socialist parties and also independent figures like Margo MacDonald.

Yet the trade union movement, at senior level, is stuffed to the rafters with Labour hacks who see no irony in preaching to the rest of us about equal opportunities and equality at work.

The reality is that the trade unions run a Labour only ‘closed shop’ – because there’s not a senior figure in the Scottish trade union movement – who doesn’t ‘belong’ to the Labour party.

Now that can’t be democratic or fair because trade unions are supposed to ‘reflect’ as well as ‘represent’ the members they claim to serve.

So I say Scotland will be free when our trade unions actually practice what they preach by recruiting non-Labour figures to their senior ranks.

Published with thanks to Mark Irvine