We didn’t listen to the voters and we should apologise
Jim Murphy will formally launch his campaign to be Scottish Labour Leader and First Minister in Edinburgh on Saturday. Here’s what he is expected to say.
Perhaps more than anyone I have heard what the Scottish people are saying.
Over the summer I was in every corner of our beautiful country. I spent 100 days in some of the most beautiful, inspiring and exciting places.
I met farmers and fishermen, nurses and carers, engineers and financiers.
I met young people struggling to find a job and small business owners determined to create them.
I spoke to proud parents who week after week were forced to set aside their pride to visit food banks so their kids could get a decent meal.
I met so many people who weren’t in poverty but who were only just coping. One pay packet away from losing everything.
The referendum changed Scotland and my 100 days tour changed me.
The places I visited reinforced my love for Scotland. But the people I met were clear what they wanted and that has left me unsatisfied and hungry for change.
Scotland is my country. The country I want to lead. But if Labour wants to win we must first change ourselves.
The Scottish people want change – they couldn’t be clearer. They also want better and many want Labour to be part of that improvement. But when they look at us they think we’ve not listened.
It sure looks like that from where they sit so who can blame them?
I want to apologise because twice Scots have said they didn’t think we were good enough to govern in Scotland – in 2007 and 2011. We didn’t listen to them. That has to change.
I want a Labour Party that is as proud and confident as the country we seek to govern. I want people to feel a sense of passion and pride in voting Labour again.
But for that to happen I know that I have to apologise because too many Scots thought we weren’t up to the job in the past.
I know that Scottish Labour has to change if we are to govern in Scotland again.
It’s not our ideals that are out of kilter with Scotland. Scots have backed us to run the UK. All of our previous Scottish Labour Party Leaders are proud and passionate servants of our party and our country. Scots back us to run many of Scotland’s great cities.
Let’s be honest, it’s our vision for Scotland.
Or more truthfully our lack of vision. We have been rejected and now we need to change.