Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Dance of the Veils (29/11/15)

Gordon Brown is doing a political 'dance of the seven veils' in Glasgow later today, my home city, which has been completely dominated by the Labour Party for the past 50 years.

Now Gordon's friends 'let it be known' last week that he wouldn't be standing for office again at the May 2015 general election, thank God, presumably because he's effectively operated as a part-time Westminster MP for years and has now finally accepted it's time to move on.

But before taking his leave, Gordon is going to give it one more try to 're-set' Scottish politics by urging the country to accept that the Smith Commission has settled the argument about Devo Max and home rule and that everyone should now put aside their political differences to concentrate instead on tackling inequality.

Well in case Gordon didn't know there's been a battle raging over equal pay in Glasgow for the past 10 years and in neighbouring North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire too - and all three councils have been Labour controlled for the past 15 years.

Yet that didn't make these Labour councils 'champions' of equal pay, not a bit of it.

In fact, the truth about the huge differences in pay between male and female workers had to be dragged out of these Labour-run councils and in North Lanarkshire the freedom of information (Foi) battle continues to this day.

And none of this is improved or changed in any way by the proposals from the Smith Commission which have still to make their way through the Westminster Parliament, of course.

The Scottish Parliament will not have the power to vary employment legislation such as the Equal Pay Act which will remain reserved to Westminster.

And while I'm on the subject of the Equal Pay Act which first became the law of the land in 1970, isn't it amazing that almost 50 years later the fight for equal pay is still as fierce as ever and that the biggest councils involved are Labour controlled.