The referendum is over, but Scotland’s underlying social and economic problems remain, as they have since its brutal deindustrialisation under Thatcher. Jim Sillars sets out the arguments for a second referendum and for an urgent resolution, as the Vow has failed to deliver promised powers, and in particular the powers to rescue Scotland’s poor from devastating cuts, which he argues can only come with independence.
As always, Jim Sillars is radical, knowledgeable and pragmatic: socialism with its feet on the ground. He dissects Better Together’s claims, examines the strengths and the weaknesses of the last Yes campaign, and urges that we prepare for the next one now.
Sillars is interested in sowing the seeds of new ideas and opening up the debate, but as you read this book, you become increasingly aware of the wide political experience and the meticulous research that underlie his views and policies.
In Place of Failure is the follow-up to In Place of Fear II, whose title was itself a reference to Aneurin Bevan’s historic defence of the welfare state. Last year’s book was one of the key texts written in the heat of the campaign, whereas this longer work is more of a rallying cry to keep us informed and ready for the next appointment with Scotland’s destiny.