Scotland’s future in uncertain times

A radical agenda

Join the Scottish Fabians in developing new policies for changed times

New powers are coming to the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP government is running out of steam and tied up in obsession with independence referendums.

There is a desperate need for a radical look at how to make the Parliament and its powers work to change a Scotland that has been hit by years of austerity and decades of growing inequality.

And now we have the prospect of Brexit.  We know that there are real threats to our economy and social relations involved. But Brexit may also bring not yet fully understood changes to the powers of the Scottish Parliament, to the rules and funds governing regeneration, agriculture, competition and many other policy areas, and to our human rights.

But it seems harder than ever to be sure what our options are and what will be possible. Changes in the USA and elsewhere make it even more urgent to find routes to social and economic progress that have real and convincing practical benefits for voters.

Many of us see all too clearly that there may be dangers in store, but it is essential for social democratic politics that we do not only identify and expose these, nor that we only debate the right constitutional and legal settlement for Scotland, the UK and the EU. Important as these tasks are, we also need to plot a course, to take a clear look at where we are heading and find ways in which we can continue to put forward a radical agenda of practical policies.

We will of course need to recognise that harm will be done by the EU referendum decision, but also look for new and continuing opportunities for progressive politics in Scotland. Above all, we must investigate how to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make this country a better place: for working people, to promote equality and human rights, to defend those who need it most, and to protect the environment and develop and secure sustainable economic futures.

Our agenda must be one for implementation in Holyrood but which will also raise issues for Westminster, Europe and beyond.

The Scottish Fabians invite you to participate in a programme of policy development and debate in response to these challenges. We are particularly keen to involve people with the knowledge and ideas to examine the opportunities and threats that the new situation creates for Scotland, and who are willing to prepare papers and essays on topics such as:

  • Fiscal policy, taxation and redistribution
  • Social Security and welfare
  • Agriculture, fisheries and rural policy
  • Industry and Regional policy
  • Immigration and integration
  • Environment and sustainable development
  • Role of the Financial Sector
  • Higher and Further Education
  • Empowerment and decentralisation
  • Company and employment law
  • Transport and railways
  • Urban development
  • Human rights and equality

We then hope to use these in open forums and debates to work towards detailed policy proposals. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Scottish Fabians national manager, Katherine Sangster.

 

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