Today the Scottish Executive Committee of Scottish Labour met to discuss and approve plans to open up our party, to make it more democratic and inclusive for our members.
The role of members needs to be more than voting for candidates and delivering leaflets. Members should be at the heart of how we create our plans to transform our country and communities for the better.
Our new leader Kezia Dugdale has asked Scottish voters to take “a fresh look at Scottish Labour”. When they do, I know they will see a party that is committed to equality, social justice, improving our NHS and ensuring that our education system ranks with the best in the world. However I also want them to see a party that is committed to developing and sustaining our rural communities.
I believe that job creation is key in sustaining our rural communities and should be a focus for Scottish Labour ahead of the next round of elections to the Scottish Parliament 2016 and local government in 2017.
A lot of signals have been sent in the first week of Kezia Dugdale’s leadership of Scottish Labour.
Some of them have naturally had to be about process, as there are internal party matters to be dealt with. We won’t be hearing any more about the self-defeating idea of splitting Scottish Labour from the UK party. We will be seeing a new broom sweep through the regional lists and there’s an indication that constituency selections might be reviewed as well.
And with regard to the front bench, we won’t be letting ourselves be defined by the SNP, but rather setting out our own priorities and pursuing our own path, with a clear intent to use the talents of the whole of the party.
Stephen Wigmore, a PhD student in Ethics at Warwick University with a keen interest in politics and polling data, examines the SNP’s success and asks whether Jeremy Corbyn can repeat it across the UK.
For a party to collapse so utterly and apparently suddenly in a party ‘heartland’, as Scottish Labour did in 2015, is almost unprecedented in British democratic history. It is of huge importance to the current Scottish and UK leadership that it is understood in as much detail as possible.
This is particularly true in light of the sudden insurgency of Jeremy Corbyn, as his supporters frequently pray-in-aid the SNP victory to justify the idea that a radical left-wing insurgency can sweep to power.
Nor is the worst over for Scottish Labour: polls suggest Labour could slump to an even worse defeat in 2016 with the SNP polling well over 50% and turning their majority into a landslide. (1)
So, we are finally on the home straight in what has to be the most tortured election process I can remember. And I remember when the Tories ditched Mrs Thatcher, so that has to be saying something. For months we have aired our dirty laundry for all to see, and all the while the Tories and the Nationalists have put their feet up and watched in disbelief that a party was so capable of self-harm.
I might not be popular in saying it, but all four of the UK Labour leadership campaigns bear the responsibility for this. As does the UK Labour Party for allowing the more unsavoury attacks to go seemingly unpunished.
I am a curious person, who has a desire to challenge unsubstantiated assertions. So, when I heard comments that Jeremy Corbyn’s progressive approach to the economy and society would not secure enough votes for Labour to win in 2020, I wanted to test this.
Moreover, claims that Labour must accept the Conservatives’ narrative and shape its policies accordingly to win also needed to be assessed, as well as the need to win more constituencies in the south east of England, which can only be done with a centre right agenda. Continue reading
Barrie Cunning, running for election to the National Policy Forum, says the future survival of the Scottish Labour Party is dependent on Labour becoming a members’ party, and members deserve a better deal.
Most members by now will have received their ballot papers for both the UK Labour leadership election and the National Policy Forum election.
I believe that the future survival of Scottish Labour depends on the party becoming a real members’ party, and ensuring that party members are actively involved. For too long party members have been taken for granted, overlooked and undervalued, and I believe party members deserve a better deal and I want to ensure that this happens.