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Support Neil Findlay’s campaign to lead Scottish Labour in pursuit of social justice

Neil Findlay MSPNeil Findlay, shadow cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing in the Scottish parliament, today announced that he will stand for the Leadership of the Scottish party. Neil can expect the support of many on the centre-left of the party and within the trade unions in the expected contest with Westminster MP Jim Murphy from the Blairite wing of the party who has yet to announce his candidature and fellow MSP Sarah Boyack, shadow cabinet secretary for local government and planning who announced hers yesterday.

Neil had recently made clear his belief that, in order to win the elections Scottish Labour faces in 2015 and 2016, they must outflank the SNP from the left, and he proposed a range of policies necessary to do that. Announcing his intention to stand at Holyrood, Neil Findlay said:

I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support from people from within the Labour party and across the wider Labour movement all urging me to stand. It is no secret that I wanted Gordon Brown to run but since Gordon has ruled himself out I now believe we need to have a wide ranging debate about the way forward for the Labour party but more importantly the country.

I want to bring the Labour party together to work for progressive change and create a fairer, more equal and prosperous Scotland. If elected Labour leader I will put the issue of social justice at heart of everything we do – this is the historic mission of the Scottish Labour party but it also has to be about what we deliver for the Scottish people in this post referendum period.

Unite the Union also issued a statement on the Scottish Labour leadership this evening:

The next Scottish Labour leader must forge a clear Scottish identity, Scotland’s largest trade union, Unite said today ( Wednesday 29 October), as it pledged to play its part in offering candidates the platform to articulate their visions for the future of the labour movement in Scotland. With two candidates declared, Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said:

Neil Findlay’s declaration that he will stand for leader of the Scottish Labour Party should be welcomed – his democratic socialist credentials are without question and he has a proven track record of representing the interests of working people.

We have been very clear in the aftermath of the referendum and Johann Lamont’s resignation that Labour must understand that there has been a seismic change in the political landscape of Scotland.

Today the reality is that voters struggle to tell you what Labour stands for and, where there is a view, it is that the party’s timidity in policy is designed to appeal to the more advantaged in our country.

The Scottish people’s rejection of this politics is clear given that Labour has failed to win a Scottish Parliamentary election since 2003 and more of the same will only lead to further defeat.

So the next Scottish leader must forge a clear Scottish identity – tackling head-on the list of inequalities in our economy and society, and delivering the devolved nation our people seek, or it will not find support among the electorate – irrespective of what happens within the body of the Party.

With Sarah Boyack already confirming she will stand and the expectation that a further candidate will step forward in the next twenty-four hours, we can now begin to look forward to an engaging and robust debate about the future of Scottish Labour.

Unite will play its part by giving candidates the platform to articulate their visions for the future of the labour movement and politics in Scotland.”

Readers will not be surprised that Left Futures will actively support Neil’s campaign. Expect further details about how you can help Neil’s campaign soon.

3 Comments

  1. Pauline Sharp says:

    I have been watching one of his speeches on Blacklisting today as I find this Scottish debate extremely interesting. He is right in my view that the left must come in on this hard, especially with SNP gaining so much ground. Just makes sense. I wish him good luck.

  2. Robert says:

    “Neil Findlay’s declaration that he will stand for leader of the Scottish Labour Party should be welcomed – his democratic socialist credentials are without question and he has a proven track record of representing the interests of working people.”

    It’s only a word but that word makes the difference from being New labour to old labour or labour as we called it.

    I’m sick of hearing about labour and the hard working, and now we have this the interest of working people. So to be to the left and to vote for labour you have to be in work in a job which is dead bang New labour and you use this language your coming from the right not the left.

    Working class is the language and if you cannot use it then fine Scotland has a real left leaning party already in power.

    “Neil Findlay’s declaration that he will stand for leader of the Scottish Labour Party should be welcomed – his democratic socialist credentials are without question and he has a proven track record of representing the interests of working Class.

    But if you think hard working or working people are the ones for labour go for it and people like me who live in Scotland or Wales will vote for the other team as they seem to be talking to me.

    Notice it’s only one word but it makes a massive difference in case you cannot see it from working people to working class.

    Being disabled these day it’s no surprise that the SNP can talk about working class poverty, but even the left in Labour have become way to close to the Tories.

    Nothing here to make me think the left is much different then the right these days.

    What is coming in fromn

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Robert: I agree with you about the term “working people” – we should stop using it and be totally unafraid, indeed proud, to use “working class“. The insidious effect of New Labour on language like Orwell’s newspeak must be reversed. The be fair to Pat Rafferty, in whose quote the term was used, he is the Unite Scottish Secretary and most of his members are indeed working people and it is not surprising that he is focused on the needs of the working people in his union. However, Unite does have retired and Community members too and should try to change its habits.

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