Upon her election as the new Leader of Scottish Labour, JOHANN LAMONT MSP, delivered this speech outlining her vision for the party and Scotland.

 

I want to change Scotland. But the only way we can change Scotland is by changing the Scottish Labour Party.

It is a huge privilege for me to be elected the first leader of the Scottish Labour Party, but if there is anything which dwarfs the scale of that privilege it is the scale of the challenge which faces us if we are to get the chance to serve Scotland again.

What bolsters me is that you, the party have given the mandate to change.

While I am leader nothing will be off limits – there will not be one policy, one rule, one way of working which cannot be changed. Our one test will be what is in the interests of the people of Scotland – not what is in the interests of ourselves.

The process of change has started with my election. I am the first leader of the Scottish Labour Party and I will lead all sections of the Scottish Party remembering always that it is the people of Scotland we serve and not the institution in which they ask us to do service. Whether in your trade union, the Co-op party, your community every part of this movement has a part to play.

I would like to thank Ken and Tom for the way they conducted themselves in this contest. At the start of this campaign there was a suggestion that one of us would emerge as the ‘change’ candidate. The good news for Labour supporters everywhere is that we were all change candidates and Ken and Tom will play a major part in the change which has to come.

I am proud of this party. I am proud of what we can achieve together when we get it right. From the NHS to the Scottish Parliament to the Minimum Wage from re-building almost every school to giving working mums and dads child care, I am proud of the way we have changed people’s lives.

But it is not enough for me to feel pride, or those of us with party cards to be proud of this party. We need the people of Scotland to feel pride in this party and support us not because of our achievements in the past but for our vision of the future.

And we won’t get the chance to change Scotland unless we change ourselves.
That means we have to change the way we do things.I will reach out to people across Scotland who may never have thought themselves to be Labour – maybe not even thought themselves to be political – but who share our values and ask them to join our task.

And we need to reach back into those communities who used to support us and win back the trust and reassure them their faith in us will be repaid.

People who want to build a prosperous Scotland that can pay its own way.
A wealth creating Scotland that uses that wealth to build a fairer Scotland.
A Scotland determined that not one Scots’ talent is wasted.
A Scotland that challenges all Scots in every part of society to be all that they can be and which creates the conditions in which we can all reach our aspirations.

An ambitious, successful and more equal Scotland.

Last May, Scotland didn’t let us down, we let Scotland down.

Scotland couldn’t hear us. We didn’t have a story which people could hear.

Let me tell you our story.

A story of a Scotland of opportunity.

One where hard work is rewarded. One where education is the bridge from poverty to prosperity. One where no one need fear sickness or frailty or isolation or idleness.

A decent, civilized Scotland where our enemies are fear and doubt and our allies ambition and hope.

Scotland couldn’t hear us but what the people saw looked to them like a tired old political machine which was more about itself than it was about them.

And to be fair they’d been trying to tell us that for some time.

If any one of us ever deluded ourselves into the thought that Scotland was a Labour country last May must finally have shaken us out of that delusion.

The task now is to make Labour Scotland’s party again. Let me be clear.

The people trusted us with their support when we offered them the chance to improve their lives and we delivered on it.

When we gave the people the chance to own the land their homes are built on, brought justice to the workplace, healthcare to their homes. When we built schools which weren’t just buildings but bridges to a better life.

We need to show our ambition again.

I want to build a party which is open to all. One which doesn’t wait for people to join, but opens up and stands with the people.

I want to start the process now so that in twelve months time we are putting in place the candidates who will win back Scotland’s trust.

Some of them won’t be in the party right now. Some might be but don’t think they have a chance of being a candidate. Some we know well. We will reach out of the party and reach in to find the people who share our values, our ambition and our commitment to Scotland.

I will open up the Shadow cabinet and include in it people whose right to be there is their expertise and their ambition for Scotland.

I will call on the best talent we have, wherever it comes from, to help us re-shape our policies so that we can re-shape Scotland.

There has been a lot of talk about sectarianism this week. But I was struck by one commentator who said that the real sectarianism which scars Scotland was not religious but was the sectarianism between the Scottish Labour Party and the SNP. The visceral hatred he said we had for eachother.

Let me be clear. I do not hate the SNP. I just love Scotland too much to believe in separation. And to disagree with the SNP is not to talk Scotland down it is to seek a better future for Scotland.

The SNP have won the right to hold a referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom. They should get on with it. Waiting is holding Scotland back.

They should get on with it – with one question – and let the people’s voice be heard.

Separation and devolution are two completely different concepts which cannot be mixed together. One is not a stop on the way to the other.

I want to have the referendum now to confirm once again, that devolution is the settled will of the Scottish people and nothing else.

Once that is done we can focus on how we refresh and renew the current settlement so that it can better reform and renew Scotland.

Donald Dewar was right when he said devolution is a process not an event. But devolution is not a process which ends with the event of separation.

So if we need new powers to renew Scotland then we will campaign for them and deliver them. But not because more powers in themselves are a good thing. Not because we have a rigid dogma and blind faith like the nationalists.

Our starting pointing is always that sovereignty lies with the people of Scotland and our end point is always what is in the interests of the people of Scotland.

And let me say that devolution should not stop at Holyrood. You don’t de-centralize power from one place just to centralize it somewhere else.

So I want to look at how we reform and renew local government so that power is closer and more responsive to communities.

Our task is a great one not just because of how far we have fallen. Our task is a great one because of the challenges facing the people we seek to serve.

The economic policies from the Tory-led government at Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood are making a desperate economic situation worse.

We will stand up to both administrations to defend Scotland but we won’t just be defensive. We will be imaginative and we will be candid.

We are no longer living in an age of plenty and won’t be for some time to come. We need to challenge ourselves to find new ways of delivering social justice in an age when resources are scarce. We need to remember equality isn’t just for when the sun shines – its even more important when the roof leaks.
The challenges which we as a party, as a country, as families and individuals face are huge. But we must address them with hope not fear, ambition not dread.

And as a party we should not be suspicious of change because we are the party of change. We cannot say we want to change the world but we won’t change ourselves.

The task has always been hard but the rewards are great. The chance to serve the people of Scotland. There is no greater privilege.

And to get there we must push ahead with change.

People have labeled me many things in this campaign. Some flattering. Some less so.

But if you want a label which accurately reflects my beliefs there is only one. I am Labour – Scottish Labour. And that is what we all must be.

We have to remember the unity of purpose which brought us to Labour in the first place. The belief, the knowledge that, it is by common endeavour we will build the just society we seek.

No divisions of geography or institution. No cliques or factions because we simply cannot afford them.

Scotland is our country and our cause. We must unite. We must embrace change. We must stand with the people of Scotland. We must represent all their hopes and aspirations and be the means of fulfilling them.

Together we will change the Scottish Labour Party, win the chance to serve the people again and make Scotland the country we all know it can be.

Let’s get started now.

I want to change Scotland. But the only way we can change Scotland is by changing the Scottish Labour Party.

It is a huge privilege for me to be elected the first leader of the Scottish Labour Party, but if there is anything which dwarfs the scale of that privilege it is the scale of the challenge which faces us if we are to get the chance to serve Scotland again.

What bolsters me is that you, the party have given the mandate to change.

While I am leader nothing will be off limits – there will not be one policy, one rule, one way of working which cannot be changed. Our one test will be what is in the interests of the people of Scotland – not what is in the interests of ourselves.

The process of change has started with my election. I am the first leader of the Scottish Labour Party and I will lead all sections of the Scottish Party remembering always that it is the people of Scotland we serve and not the institution in which they ask us to do service. Whether in your trade union, the Co-op party, your community every part of this movement has a part to play.

I would like to thank Ken and Tom for the way they conducted themselves in this contest. At the start of this campaign there was a suggestion that one of us would emerge as the ‘change’ candidate. The good news for Labour supporters everywhere is that we were all change candidates and Ken and Tom will play a major part in the change which has to come.

I am proud of this party. I am proud of what we can achieve together when we get it right. From the NHS to the Scottish Parliament to the Minimum Wage from re-building almost every school to giving working mums and dads child care, I am proud of the way we have changed people’s lives.

But it is not enough for me to feel pride, or those of us with party cards to be proud of this party. We need the people of Scotland to feel pride in this party and support us not because of our achievements in the past but for our vision of the future.

And we won’t get the chance to change Scotland unless we change ourselves.
That means we have to change the way we do things.I will reach out to people across Scotland who may never have thought themselves to be Labour – maybe not even thought themselves to be political – but who share our values and ask them to join our task.

And we need to reach back into those communities who used to support us and win back the trust and reassure them their faith in us will be repaid.

People who want to build a prosperous Scotland that can pay its own way.
A wealth creating Scotland that uses that wealth to build a fairer Scotland.
A Scotland determined that not one Scots’ talent is wasted.
A Scotland that challenges all Scots in every part of society to be all that they can be and which creates the conditions in which we can all reach our aspirations.

An ambitious, successful and more equal Scotland.

Last May, Scotland didn’t let us down, we let Scotland down.

Scotland couldn’t hear us. We didn’t have a story which people could hear.

Let me tell you our story.

A story of a Scotland of opportunity.

One where hard work is rewarded. One where education is the bridge from poverty to prosperity. One where no one need fear sickness or frailty or isolation or idleness.

A decent, civilized Scotland where our enemies are fear and doubt and our allies ambition and hope.

Scotland couldn’t hear us but what the people saw looked to them like a tired old political machine which was more about itself than it was about them.

And to be fair they’d been trying to tell us that for some time.

If any one of us ever deluded ourselves into the thought that Scotland was a Labour country last May must finally have shaken us out of that delusion.

The task now is to make Labour Scotland’s party again. Let me be clear.

The people trusted us with their support when we offered them the chance to improve their lives and we delivered on it.

When we gave the people the chance to own the land their homes are built on, brought justice to the workplace, healthcare to their homes. When we built schools which weren’t just buildings but bridges to a better life.

We need to show our ambition again.

I want to build a party which is open to all. One which doesn’t wait for people to join, but opens up and stands with the people.

I want to start the process now so that in twelve months time we are putting in place the candidates who will win back Scotland’s trust.

Some of them won’t be in the party right now. Some might be but don’t think they have a chance of being a candidate. Some we know well. We will reach out of the party and reach in to find the people who share our values, our ambition and our commitment to Scotland.

I will open up the Shadow cabinet and include in it people whose right to be there is their expertise and their ambition for Scotland.

I will call on the best talent we have, wherever it comes from, to help us re-shape our policies so that we can re-shape Scotland.

There has been a lot of talk about sectarianism this week. But I was struck by one commentator who said that the real sectarianism which scars Scotland was not religious but was the sectarianism between the Scottish Labour Party and the SNP. The visceral hatred he said we had for eachother.

Let me be clear. I do not hate the SNP. I just love Scotland too much to believe in separation. And to disagree with the SNP is not to talk Scotland down it is to seek a better future for Scotland.

The SNP have won the right to hold a referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom. They should get on with it. Waiting is holding Scotland back.

They should get on with it – with one question – and let the people’s voice be heard.

Separation and devolution are two completely different concepts which cannot be mixed together. One is not a stop on the way to the other.

I want to have the referendum now to confirm once again, that devolution is the settled will of the Scottish people and nothing else.

Once that is done we can focus on how we refresh and renew the current settlement so that it can better reform and renew Scotland.

Donald Dewar was right when he said devolution is a process not an event. But devolution is not a process which ends with the event of separation.

So if we need new powers to renew Scotland then we will campaign for them and deliver them. But not because more powers in themselves are a good thing. Not because we have a rigid dogma and blind faith like the nationalists.

Our starting pointing is always that sovereignty lies with the people of Scotland and our end point is always what is in the interests of the people of Scotland.

And let me say that devolution should not stop at Holyrood. You don’t de-centralize power from one place just to centralize it somewhere else.

So I want to look at how we reform and renew local government so that power is closer and more responsive to communities.

Our task is a great one not just because of how far we have fallen. Our task is a great one because of the challenges facing the people we seek to serve.

The economic policies from the Tory-led government at Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood are making a desperate economic situation worse.

We will stand up to both administrations to defend Scotland but we won’t just be defensive. We will be imaginative and we will be candid.

We are no longer living in an age of plenty and won’t be for some time to come. We need to challenge ourselves to find new ways of delivering social justice in an age when resources are scarce. We need to remember equality isn’t just for when the sun shines – its even more important when the roof leaks.
The challenges which we as a party, as a country, as families and individuals face are huge. But we must address them with hope not fear, ambition not dread.

And as a party we should not be suspicious of change because we are the party of change. We cannot say we want to change the world but we won’t change ourselves.

The task has always been hard but the rewards are great. The chance to serve the people of Scotland. There is no greater privilege.

And to get there we must push ahead with change.

People have labeled me many things in this campaign. Some flattering. Some less so.

But if you want a label which accurately reflects my beliefs there is only one. I am Labour – Scottish Labour. And that is what we all must be.

We have to remember the unity of purpose which brought us to Labour in the first place. The belief, the knowledge that, it is by common endeavour we will build the just society we seek.

No divisions of geography or institution. No cliques or factions because we simply cannot afford them.

Scotland is our country and our cause. We must unite. We must embrace change. We must stand with the people of Scotland. We must represent all their hopes and aspirations and be the means of fulfilling them.

Together we will change the Scottish Labour Party, win the chance to serve the people again and make Scotland the country we all know it can be.

Let’s get started now.

I want to change Scotland. But the only way we can change Scotland is by changing the Scottish Labour Party.

It is a huge privilege for me to be elected the first leader of the Scottish Labour Party, but if there is anything which dwarfs the scale of that privilege it is the scale of the challenge which faces us if we are to get the chance to serve Scotland again.

What bolsters me is that you, the party have given the mandate to change.

While I am leader nothing will be off limits – there will not be one policy, one rule, one way of working which cannot be changed. Our one test will be what is in the interests of the people of Scotland – not what is in the interests of ourselves.

The process of change has started with my election. I am the first leader of the Scottish Labour Party and I will lead all sections of the Scottish Party remembering always that it is the people of Scotland we serve and not the institution in which they ask us to do service. Whether in your trade union, the Co-op party, your community every part of this movement has a part to play.

I would like to thank Ken and Tom for the way they conducted themselves in this contest. At the start of this campaign there was a suggestion that one of us would emerge as the ‘change’ candidate. The good news for Labour supporters everywhere is that we were all change candidates and Ken and Tom will play a major part in the change which has to come.

I am proud of this party. I am proud of what we can achieve together when we get it right. From the NHS to the Scottish Parliament to the Minimum Wage from re-building almost every school to giving working mums and dads child care, I am proud of the way we have changed people’s lives.

But it is not enough for me to feel pride, or those of us with party cards to be proud of this party. We need the people of Scotland to feel pride in this party and support us not because of our achievements in the past but for our vision of the future.

And we won’t get the chance to change Scotland unless we change ourselves.
That means we have to change the way we do things.I will reach out to people across Scotland who may never have thought themselves to be Labour – maybe not even thought themselves to be political – but who share our values and ask them to join our task.

And we need to reach back into those communities who used to support us and win back the trust and reassure them their faith in us will be repaid.

People who want to build a prosperous Scotland that can pay its own way.
A wealth creating Scotland that uses that wealth to build a fairer Scotland.
A Scotland determined that not one Scots’ talent is wasted.
A Scotland that challenges all Scots in every part of society to be all that they can be and which creates the conditions in which we can all reach our aspirations.

An ambitious, successful and more equal Scotland.

Last May, Scotland didn’t let us down, we let Scotland down.

Scotland couldn’t hear us. We didn’t have a story which people could hear.

Let me tell you our story.

A story of a Scotland of opportunity.

One where hard work is rewarded. One where education is the bridge from poverty to prosperity. One where no one need fear sickness or frailty or isolation or idleness.

A decent, civilized Scotland where our enemies are fear and doubt and our allies ambition and hope.

Scotland couldn’t hear us but what the people saw looked to them like a tired old political machine which was more about itself than it was about them.

And to be fair they’d been trying to tell us that for some time.

If any one of us ever deluded ourselves into the thought that Scotland was a Labour country last May must finally have shaken us out of that delusion.

The task now is to make Labour Scotland’s party again. Let me be clear.

The people trusted us with their support when we offered them the chance to improve their lives and we delivered on it.

When we gave the people the chance to own the land their homes are built on, brought justice to the workplace, healthcare to their homes. When we built schools which weren’t just buildings but bridges to a better life.

We need to show our ambition again.

I want to build a party which is open to all. One which doesn’t wait for people to join, but opens up and stands with the people.

I want to start the process now so that in twelve months time we are putting in place the candidates who will win back Scotland’s trust.

Some of them won’t be in the party right now. Some might be but don’t think they have a chance of being a candidate. Some we know well. We will reach out of the party and reach in to find the people who share our values, our ambition and our commitment to Scotland.

I will open up the Shadow cabinet and include in it people whose right to be there is their expertise and their ambition for Scotland.

I will call on the best talent we have, wherever it comes from, to help us re-shape our policies so that we can re-shape Scotland.

There has been a lot of talk about sectarianism this week. But I was struck by one commentator who said that the real sectarianism which scars Scotland was not religious but was the sectarianism between the Scottish Labour Party and the SNP. The visceral hatred he said we had for eachother.

Let me be clear. I do not hate the SNP. I just love Scotland too much to believe in separation. And to disagree with the SNP is not to talk Scotland down it is to seek a better future for Scotland.

The SNP have won the right to hold a referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom. They should get on with it. Waiting is holding Scotland back.

They should get on with it – with one question – and let the people’s voice be heard.

Separation and devolution are two completely different concepts which cannot be mixed together. One is not a stop on the way to the other.

I want to have the referendum now to confirm once again, that devolution is the settled will of the Scottish people and nothing else.

Once that is done we can focus on how we refresh and renew the current settlement so that it can better reform and renew Scotland.

Donald Dewar was right when he said devolution is a process not an event. But devolution is not a process which ends with the event of separation.

So if we need new powers to renew Scotland then we will campaign for them and deliver them. But not because more powers in themselves are a good thing. Not because we have a rigid dogma and blind faith like the nationalists.

Our starting pointing is always that sovereignty lies with the people of Scotland and our end point is always what is in the interests of the people of Scotland.

And let me say that devolution should not stop at Holyrood. You don’t de-centralize power from one place just to centralize it somewhere else.

So I want to look at how we reform and renew local government so that power is closer and more responsive to communities.

Our task is a great one not just because of how far we have fallen. Our task is a great one because of the challenges facing the people we seek to serve.

The economic policies from the Tory-led government at Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood are making a desperate economic situation worse.

We will stand up to both administrations to defend Scotland but we won’t just be defensive. We will be imaginative and we will be candid.

We are no longer living in an age of plenty and won’t be for some time to come. We need to challenge ourselves to find new ways of delivering social justice in an age when resources are scarce. We need to remember equality isn’t just for when the sun shines – its even more important when the roof leaks.
The challenges which we as a party, as a country, as families and individuals face are huge. But we must address them with hope not fear, ambition not dread.

And as a party we should not be suspicious of change because we are the party of change. We cannot say we want to change the world but we won’t change ourselves.

The task has always been hard but the rewards are great. The chance to serve the people of Scotland. There is no greater privilege.

And to get there we must push ahead with change.

People have labeled me many things in this campaign. Some flattering. Some less so.

But if you want a label which accurately reflects my beliefs there is only one. I am Labour – Scottish Labour. And that is what we all must be.

We have to remember the unity of purpose which brought us to Labour in the first place. The belief, the knowledge that, it is by common endeavour we will build the just society we seek.

No divisions of geography or institution. No cliques or factions because we simply cannot afford them.

Scotland is our country and our cause. We must unite. We must embrace change. We must stand with the people of Scotland. We must represent all their hopes and aspirations and be the means of fulfilling them.

Together we will change the Scottish Labour Party, win the chance to serve the people again and make Scotland the country we all know it can be.

Let’s get started now.

Johann Lamont MSP is the new Leader of Scottish Labour. Follow her on Twitter @JohannLamont. More information on the leadership election can be found at http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk and a video of the speech can also be found here.