The Socialist

The Socialist 29 August 2018

NHS: Mass fightback is needed

The Socialist issue 1007

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Battle growing against Loch Lomond area big business sell-off

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond   (Click to enlarge)

Lynda McEwan, Socialist Party Scotland

A major battle has broken out over the 30 million privatisation of land in Loch Lomond, West Dunbartonshire in Scotland, which has given rise to fresh resistance against the for-profit model of big business.

In early spring of 2017, plans began to emerge from Iconic Leisure, which owns Flamingo Land - a theme park in Yorkshire - for what could only be described as a massive land grab in a world-renowned beauty spot. Comprising 44 acres and including upscale hotels, lodges, a monorail and a brewery, most of the land around Drumkinnon Bay and the banks of the River Leven is being sold off.

Almost immediately after the news broke, an online petition against the development was created with over 30,000 signing. It seems that local opinion does not support the proposal.

Concern for the environment, about local infrastructure being overwhelmed, over the quality of the jobs, and that a national park is being sold to the highest bidder, are among the reasons for such strong opposition.

Iconic Leisure has unveiled its plans, hosting a public consultation attended by hundreds of angry residents wanting clarification on details. But locals were met with corporate suits using patronising language in order to deflect the residents' questions.

Socialist Party Scotland has joined the struggle, particularly as it became clear that any jobs would be seasonal and offer only low pay or zero-hour contracts. We also oppose the environmental destruction that this would cause.

Local activists have organised a 'Hands Round Drumkinnon Bay' event, which around 300 attended, and which brought much needed interest from local newspapers, spreading the word on the dangers of this privatisation going unchallenged. Scottish Enterprise - which owns the land and chose Iconic Leisure as the preferred buyer - has come under huge pressure to reconsider this sale.

Another key consultee, the Balloch and Haldane Community Council, received 25 petitions from local residents to hold a meeting where they could raise concerns. Held in a local church on a Tuesday evening, there was standing room only and an outpouring of anger that the council had given its approval.

Going forward, we say that working class people deserve more than seasonal, low-paid, non-unionised jobs and point out that there are no guarantees that any companies contracted to build will be local small businesses.

Furthermore, the scale of the project and the price of the current lodges at the sister site would mean what is currently free and accessible land, enjoyed by families for generations, faces being gentrified - locking local children out.

  • A demo will be held on the 8 September in Balloch. We will be attending and speaking, raising the need for a mass campaign of civil disobedience against the construction.

In this issue


What we think

Capitalism is a chaotic, irrational system - we need socialist change


International socialist news and analysis

Trump ally prosecutions

Venezuela: How can reaction and imperialism be defeated?

China: Solidarity with Jasic Technology workers


News

Working families 50 a week short of paying for kids

Nationalise the energy giants to combat global warming

Them & us


Workplace

Restaurant tips walkout: "Hold the burgers, hold the fries, TGI are telling lies"

Sunderland: Resolute Liebherr workers in pay strike

Merseyside fire authority forced to postpone night closures

Northern Rail guards continue fight against driver-only operation

East Dunbartonshire council workers back further strikes


Youth and students

Exam factories, cuts and violence - Fight for our future!


CWI School 2018

The ongoing capitalist crisis and the struggle for a socialist world


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

NHS: Mass fightback is needed

Battle growing against Loch Lomond area big business sell-off

Leicester lobby calls for consultation on NHS closure plans

Socialist sales success in Cardiff

EDL sent packing in Worcester

Huddersfield Socialist Party organise counter-protest against EDL

Fracking companies backed by government and courts

Leeds protest against NHS treatment cuts


1918 police strikes

100 years since police went on strike: "never nearer to Bolshevism"


Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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29 August 2018