It's fitting that the launch event to promote a new Scottish edition of the Morning Star takes place in the week that the Leveson inquiry report is published.
The Morning Star after all stands out as a rare example of independent co-operative media ownership, a lighthouse in an otherwise raging sea of highly concentrated capitalist ownership and control in our press and broadcast media.
And of course much of that capitalist ownership is now based abroad - from Murdoch's News Corporation titles to the US Gannett Corporation's ownership of the Herald newspaper stable in Scotland. Even the once powerful Scottish Radio Holdings is a branch subsidiary of the Bauer Media Group.
Alongside this stands huge local and regional cross-media ownership too.
The Scotsman's owners the Johnston Press hold controlling interests in 16 daily and 230 weekly titles.
The Trinity Mirror Group not only own Scottish daily tabloid titles including the Daily Record but also Scottish & Universal Newspapers' huge stable of local weekly newspapers.
These rapacious corporations demand not just an editorial or two but control over entire broadcasting networks and the whole newspaper industry.
Evidence to Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry has shown that newspaper proprietors have wielded more power than elected politicians. Leveson's terms of reference to look in to "the culture, practice and ethics of the press" and consider measures to bring about "more effective policy and regulation of the press" have inevitably led many to conclude that regulation can no longer be run by the media moguls themselves, but needs statutory underpinning - albeit remaining separate from government.
But what is also clear is that we need tough new limits on media ownership and protection for journalists who refuse to connive with attempts to invade privacy or deliberately distort the facts of a story - in effect a conscience clause.
The Star has long stood out, providing a voice to the voiceless.
The mass media ignore alternatives to deep public spending cuts and the principal political parties only disagree on the speed of travel, not its direction.
The Star provides an important daily platform for the alternative. This is extremely valuable in setting out what the left is for as well as what we are against.
It is the only daily paper which reports on industrial disputes and emancipation movements at home and abroad in a way which informs the reader from the perspective of those in struggle.
It is thus a sharp contrast to many of its daily rivals and the broadcast media, which routinely depicts workers as demanding, disruptive and threatening and owners as moderate, reasonable and conciliatory. Anyone who has experienced industrial life knows this representation to be an inversion of the truth.
But because agitation alone is not enough the Morning Star also plays an important role in a two-way process of political and cultural education, and so promotes the debate of ideas on the left.
History will record this as a critical time in Scottish politics.
The 2014 referendum on independence has stirred considerable debate on the left in Scotland.
People will have to consider whether a nationalist solution will help or hinder the greater cause of democratic socialist advance.
It's been pointed out by trade unionists that the debate needs more light and less heat - neither Yes Scotland nor Better Together has addressed what independence or the union means for the working class.
That's an argument which the Morning Star is best placed to cover.
I have faith in our ability to build a new society which is democratic, decentralised, self-governing, libertarian and equal, founded on an economy which is run according to those same values - to provide for need, not private greed.
The Star is co-operatively owned and so represents practical socialism at work. That's my kind of socialism.
The United Nations chose 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives and it's time that co-operative models came out from the margins of our economy.
Scotland in particular - as the home of Robert Owen and the birthplace of the Fenwick weavers - should aim to be a beacon for co-operative ownership and development.
Trade unions should not view self-management and workers' control as a threat.
They should be positively promoting it.
Too many workers swipe away much of their dignity when they "swipe in" to work in the morning. Many of the rights they take for granted as citizens don't exist in the workplace.
For too many people work is authoritarian and they are treated as human resources, not human beings.
Democracy in the workplace and in the wider economy must be part of a broad campaign to humanise work and to radically shift power from the few to the many - so that labour is employing capital and not the reverse.
It is fitting then that this Morning Star launch takes place not just when it does but where it does.
The Scottish trade union movement is the key to the Scottish edition's success.
The paper should be essential daily reading for every union representative in every unionised workplace in Scotland and beyond. If we can get socialist advance we will see the Star flourish, and vice versa.
And if we get it right the new Scottish edition will provide the vision and vitality to help awaken hope and bring about the great change that we need.
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