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