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Johann Lamont shows how to be a union-friendly leader

Johann Lamont, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, speaking to the annual conference of the train drivers’ union ASLEF in Edinburgh, delivered a clear message of support for trade union rights, trade union involvement in policy-making and policies that trade unions have been seeking.

She said she didn’t – and no one should – underestimate the challenge of wining back the trust of the people of Scotland for Labour – and that includes many trade unionists:

I want trade unions to form the policies, not accept them. I want you to shape policies, not hear them from me.”

Speaking about unions and industrial disputes, she declared herself in favour of ‘a level playing field’. Companies with lawyers to stop strikes by picking up legal details is not the answer.

Labour in Scotland will consult on a mutual model for rail.

We are developing firm ideas for a mutual alternative. We will have to pour over the books when we eventually win back the trust of Scotland, but then we want a railway that does not have funding taken away to line investors pockets, and is democratically accountable.”

She also said unions should inform the argument about what a fairer Scotland can be. “I want real politics,” she declared.

I am tired of fantasy world debates about an independent Scotland that is either the land of milk and honey or a place of doom and depression. I want real problems to be discussed – unemployment, education, too many life chances defined by the age of , better transport. (…)

Salmond wants to divide Scots and English. Cameron wants to divide between rich and poor. Farage wants to divide between people and immigrants.

I want to unite and progress.”


  1. Mary Lockhart says:

    Johann Lamont is the first Labour Party leader we have had in the UK for decades who is a genuine socialist.

  2. Uglyfatbloke says:

    You are kidding are n’t you? Johann? A socialist?

  3. kevin lindsay says:

    And she never changes her mind on policies, apart fro Council Tax Freeze, Winter Allowance, Free Bus Passes, & Free Prescriptions. Oh aye, and she forgot to state at Aslef Conference that Labour would take railways back into public ownership!

  4. Robert says:

    But now they and Johann Lamont’s Labour party in Scotland have
    betrayed their principles, their grassroots and their voters, by
    meekly accepting Ed Balls’ regional welfare cap plans.

    SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn, who sits on the Welfare Reform Committee, said:

    “Johann Lamont’s silence on Ed Balls’ Tory-styled plans for regional
    welfare caps show up an embarrassing policy U-turn in which they’re
    abandoning their principles for the sake of ‘what London says goes’.

    “The welfare plan Labour in Scotland describe in their Devolution
    Commission is the complete opposite of what Ed Balls is proposing –
    but Johann Lamont’s silence proves Ed Balls didn’t read or care for
    what Labour in Scotland were hoping to present. It is a gross insult
    to the membership of the Labour party in Scotland that their
    subordinate leadership refuses to stand up and be counted.

    “Scotland has paid more tax per head than the UK average in every one
    of the last 30 years – and the official figures show that Scotland
    subsidises the rest of the UK, not the other way round – yet Labour
    are now talking about having lower welfare payments in Scotland than
    the south of England. Johann Lamont should tell us whether she is for
    or against Ed Balls’ plans for lower benefits in Scotland than London.

    “Ed Balls has now made it clear that if Labour was ever re-elected at
    Westminster they would adopt the Tory mantra of cuts, cuts and more
    cuts. The silence of Johann Lamont has made clear that Scottish Labour
    are going to let Scotland be dragged along with this London-centric
    policy. The only way to safeguard the welfare state in Scotland is by
    voting Yes next September.”

    I think the SNP will walk it in 2016 simple because it has the most socialism while Labour has again proven to everyone it has become a Tory lite party.

    hammer down on welfare, while shaking the hands with bankers in the hope they will return to profits to enable Labour to again spend spend.

    sorry for me New labour is pretty much alive and well.

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