Independence Debate, Independence Referendum
Published: 14/08/2014 09:50 - Updated: 14/08/2014 10:10

A new vision unveiled

Robin McAlpine is speaking in Inverness tonight
Robin McAlpine is speaking in Inverness tonight

Wealth shared in common and for the wellbeing of all will be the topic of a lecture hosted in Inverness tonight, Thursday, August 14th.

Central-belt author Robin McAlpine will be discussing his new book Common Weal at the city’s Beaufort Hotel at Culduthel Road.

The left-wing book, published by the Jimmy Reid Foundation, urges Scots to reject "extreme market economics" and borrow policies that have proven to work for Germany and Scandinavia.

Many of the ideas rely on Scotland voting for independence in September’s referendum but the author said some of the agenda could be delivered under devolution.

A high-skilled, high-wage economy and a 30-hour working week, an expanded welfare state with universal public services and an expansion in affordable housing, are on the wish list.

Raising the 40p income tax rate to 50p, and the 45p rate for those earning more than £150,000 to 60p while imposing higher taxes on land, industry, retailers and whisky production, also feature high up in the book.

"For 35 years we’ve been told there is no alternative to the free-market politics of Thatcher, Blair and Cameron," said Mr McAlpine. "But it’s all based on a simple question – where in the world can we find nations which have done things better than they’re currently done in Scotland and what can we learn from them?"

Donnie Fraser, convener of the Radical Inverness Campaign, said the Common Weal concept was gathering support from across the political spectrum.

He said: "It is gathering support not just from Greens, Socialists and ourselves in the Radical Independence Campaign, but also from the SNP Conference and even a group of Labour MSPs. We are very excited to be welcoming Robin to Inverness to put ‘flesh on the bones’ of the slogan ‘Another Scotland is Possible’."

The free event, chaired by Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie, has been organised by the Radical Inverness Campaign and will feature music by Inverness group Dorec-a-Belle.

It will begin at 7.30pm.

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