Gregor Gall is a ‘man of the left‘ as we used to say. Industrial relations professor at Bradford University, editor of the Scottish Left Review and ‘Joe Strummer studier’, he was never going to be happy with the SNP attempts to create a fairer Scotland. Strangely, though, he seems more concerned about that, than about the view to his south, of London burning.
Gall is correct in that the idea of a social democratic ‘Nordic’ nation is being simplified and ignores more recent less-egalitarian developments in those nations. He’s correct in that the SNP have not been able to fully implement the essential characteristics of a social democracy in areas such as reducing wage inequalities but in so doing he conveniently ignores the constraints of the devolution settlement and the commendable steps they have made in areas such as income tax thresholds where the Scottish system is demonstrably, if not dramatically, more progressive. Also, the marked difference in levels of child poverty resulting from better housing policies and the child payment, unique in the UK, seems worthy of no recognition by him.
Most important, Gall does not share with us the utterly persuasive facts which still stand, regardless of the imperfections of the Nordic societies. My headline reference to ‘Anglo Saxon’ societies means, primarily, the UK and the USA.
From the ground-breaking Spirit Level, here are a few:
There’s more at: https://equalitytrust.org.uk/resources/the-spirit-level
10 thoughts on “We all know why being a ‘Nordic nation’ trumps being an ‘Anglo Saxon’ one”
Yes , it must be ”Galling ” for a Labour Leftie to acknowledge that the SNP is doing more to help the poor in Scotland than the millionaire ”Leaders” of Labour , Starmer and his Scottish clone !
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Having lived and brought up family in Sweden and working extensively in and with the other Nordic countries, I can vouch for the undoubted benefits that social democracy can bring. Sure, there are issues but I would rather have those to contend with versus the way the tories are driving the UK. Now is really the time to get out and chart our own course.
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The Great British Labour left always start with the indivisibility of the Great British state.
To that end,there is little between them and the Tory right when it comes to Scotland.
Brexit has completely undermined their claims of international worker solidarity and exposed them as no different from the Little Englanders in the Tory party.
Pretences of democratic accountability only apply in England and the other nations of the UK state are just ignored unless they happen to agree with them.
We don’t need that sort of democracy in our country.
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Gall is what he is, and he doesn’t pretend otherwise.
Why did the only paper that boasts it “supports an independent Scotland” give this man a regular column, enabling him to attack the Scottish Government.
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Ignorance is bliss.
The unionist Party of illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud. £Trns wasted. Costing Scotland dear. The unionist total ignorance and arrogance has cost Scotland dear.
Scottish revenues and resources taken illegally and secretly to fund London S/E. Unfair and unequal. Scotland would be much better off Independent.
Scotland could be just as prosperous as other countries without Westminster gross interference. Westminster total ignorance, arrogance and mismanagement.
The UK the most unequal place in the world. Labour without a principle or ability to manage the economy causing trouble worldwide.
All the unionist parties cause problems worldwide. Without a principle between them. Breaking International Law.
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‘… the idea of a social democratic ‘Nordic’ nation is being simplified’ Perhaps, but there are some very ‘simple’ characteristics of all the Nordic nations that seem to be blindingly obvious!
They are all multiparty democracies, with political parties representing a broad range of opinions and values. However, they are all nations in which the electorates always get the government they, by a majority, vote for.
And having voted in a particular way – expressing support for a particular set of national policy propositions – the majority of the electorate can expect their democratically-expressed wishes to be acted upon by the government put into power. Why expect? Because the government they elect has all the levers of a ‘normal’ nation-state required to deliver what it promises!
And if the government fails to deliver on its mandate, the same electorate can hold the politicians in government to account. It can opt to support a different party at the next election.
The SNP as a political party, the Scottish government and parliament as institutions, and the Scottish people as voters in a democracy enjoy NONE of these ‘simple’ Nordic characteristics whilst Scotland remains in this Union!
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I wonder if BBC Scotland will tell this and what a waste of money,oh sorry its not Ferries.
The Thames Water plant at Beckton, east London, opened in 2010 with plans to supply up to 1 million people during emergencies, but that ambition has been scaled back amid doubts as to when the facility can begin operating.
A£250m desalination plant launched 12 years ago to increase drinking supplies during long dry spells has been put on hold, as water companies in England and Wales face growing political pressure over their management of the supply crisis.
Perhaps if you explained Beckton is the oldest UK public SEWAGE treatment plant now solely in private hands, perhaps the “plans to supply up to 1 million people during emergencies” might take on a degree of perspective.
Why is it so many academics, experts of all hues and media pundits feel the need to tell us, even though they don’t ‘ agree ‘ with independence, what kind of country we need to become, what our values should be and what we need to do to get there even though they don’t agree with independence.
This particular expert needs to focus closer to home.