Latest post on Left Futures

The change we need to win in Scotland

Labour needs to change in order to become a party which is fit to serve Scotland. May’s election result was a stark warning from the people of Scotland: lose touch with your values and vision, and you will lose our votes.

Scottish Labour needs to rebuild from the ground up – but navel gazing and feeling sorry for ourselves will do no good.

We need to recapture our pride in our politics, begin once again to rearticulate a positive vision for Scotland and improve the party’s structures.

These might seem like insurmountable challenges to some people. But I like to look at huge challenges as huge opportunities. That is why I am standing to be the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

My political beliefs are not abstractions. My politics are a function of my life’s journey. My parents came to Glasgow from Tiree, and I have a deep respect for the community spirit which is so integral to island life.

But at the same time, living in Glasgow has convinced me that only Labour values can help the most vulnerable in our society.

As a teacher in deprived areas of the city, I came to realise the power of education and its ability to transform lives.

I have been humbled and heartened by the breadth of support my campaign has already received.

The GMB, Unison, Unite and the CWU – the largest voices in Scotland’s trades union movement – the Co-operative Party, MSPs and MPs and councillors and Scottish Young Labour have endorsed my candidature.

I want to harness the talent and ideas of the entire Labour Movement in order to devise new policies which appeal to the people of Scotland.

I want to engage in serious dialogue with the unions so that never again do levy-paying union members feel they cannot vote Labour.

That is an intolerable state of affairs and one I am not prepared to countenance.

More than this, I want to begin a dialogue with the Scottish people. Labour stopped articulating its vision for a bold, prosperous and fair Scotland.

Making this case goes well beyond fifteen minutes of sabre rattling at FMQs.

I want the Labour Party to listen to the real concerns of everyday people. That is the only way we can begin to rebuild trust with the electorate.

I want Labour Party members to be proud and confident in their beliefs – and to be able to communicate on the doorstep the values for which Scottish Labour stands.

It would be naïve to think that the constitution will not dominate the political landscape for a number of years to come.

The SNP have won a mandate to hold an independence referendum.

They do not have a mandate to be self-indulgent about the timing, wording or oversight of that referendum.

The question should be put quickly and put simply: yes or no to independence.

As Leader of the Scottish Labour Party I would make the case for a self-confident and potent Scotland working within the broader framework of the Union.

A positive case for the Union has to be made and I am more than prepared to make it.

Scotland benefits from its relationship with the other parts of the UK – be it in terms of trade and employment, cultural and family ties or the added security when inevitable crises of capitalism arise.

In order to become an effective opposition – and then an effective government – the Labour Party needs to change the way it does things.

The decision at the recent Special Conference to devolve real power to the Scottish Labour Party is an important first step – but it is only the first step.

The Review process conducted by Sarah Boyack and Jim Murphy has identified numerous areas which need improved.

As leader, I would ensure those tops to bottom changes are implemented. Only by changing can we be fit to serve.

The tasks ahead are not going to be easy but I am up for the fight.

My upbringing and my life experience has made me comfortable in my political views. I relish the opportunity to articulate a vision of a fair and prosperous Scotland which remains part of the United Kingdom.

I feel the time to change our party has come and this task must not be shirked.

Huge challenges mean huge opportunities.

Johann Lamont’s leadership campaign website is here.

Comments are closed.

© 2024 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma