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The Dinwoodie Interview

MOST of us think of Alex Neil as an SNP warhorse, a veteran player around the party leadership for a generation or more. But Neil, who is enjoying his new life as a backbench MSP and Holyrood Committee interrogator was also a witness to history.

Say “Dalintober Street” to most normal folks and you will be met with a shrug. But to the political anoraks it is the time when Labour began to tear themselves apart in the devolution era, and Neil at the age of 23, just graduated from Dundee University with an honours degree in economics, had a ring-side seat in the ructions which marked Scottish Labour in the mid-1970s.

The Dalintober Street conference was a special gathering of the Labour Party which took place in the Co-Op Hall in that street in Glasgow in September 1974 to undo the wreckage caused by a small group of Labour anti-devolutionists who had seized on low attendance at June’s Scottish Executive meeting – it clashed with Scotland playing a match in the World Cup finals – to reject by six votes to five Harold Wilson’s proposals for a Scottish Assembly as “irrelevant to the real needs of the Scottish people.” Even Secretary of State for Scotland Willie Ross was absent, being in Frankfurt to see Scotland draw with Yugoslavia and become the first team ever to be eliminated in the group stages without being defeated. Brazil edged past Scotland on goal difference. Yes, this is a real history piece.

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About iScot Magazine

iScot Magazine August 2018 issue is a colourful 124 page glossy magazine, choc full of the best crack from Scotland. Voted July 2018 as the best of the best World Cup of Magazines by Pocketmags readers. #MonTheIScot