The Caseroom

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Saltire Society first Book of the Year for 2017 has nominated this book for it’s prize. The Caseroom opens in 1891 with 13 year-old Iza Ross starting work at Ballantyne’s Pauls print works in Edinburgh, quickly moving on to 1894 at which point Iza is fully trained as a typesetter or compositor. We learn quickly women doing this work have a different experience to men. “It’s women’s work too” Iza explains, adding, “But lads serve a seven-year apprenticeship; we spend just three years learning.”

Scotland feels the Corbyn effect

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The gears are shifting in Scottish Labour, in a direction that Kezia Dugdale didn’t like, as evidenced by her resignation as leader.

She stood down immediately after Jeremy Corbyn’s tour of Scotland in late August, which saw him speak to thousands of supporters — including in Glasgow at the Govanhill Against Racism Carnival and the Central Mosque.

Corbyn has set his focus on developing his support in Scotland through the Campaign for Socialism (CfS) group.

Why is Labour so weak?

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After five years of the Tories' austerity programme, and unrelenting assault on the welfare state, Labour should be roaring ahead in the polls. Mark L Thomas explains why this is not the case.

Why isn’t Labour a shoo-in for May’s general election? The Conservative-LibDem coalition has driven through the biggest onslaught on public services, the welfare state and workers’ wages in decades, yet Labour has been unable to develop anything close to a convincing lead over the Tories, and in some polls even falls behind them. As a result, the outcome of the general election remains very unpredictable.

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