Monday, 15 December 2014

Boom

Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale make a phenomenal leadership team for Scottish Labour.

It's what most folk in Scottish Labour had been hoping for throughout the leadership campaign, and what most folk in Scottish Labour voted for in the end. A fresh start, with a clear focus on a future Labour government delivering social and economic justice for all Scots.

Today's announcement of a "Clause Four moment", as the leadership asks the membership to endorse a constitutional renewal, is the clearest demonstration yet that business as usual is over. Scottish Labour will be revitalised, re-energised, and relentlessly focused on fair pay, fair tax and fair work.

It is time we moved on from the arguments of the referendum. That issue has been settled, and the Smith Commission process is delivering powers that mean the Scottish Parliament can reshape spending and policy to suit Scotland's needs. The question now is how we use those powers, and as I re-read Jim's speech from Saturday I find it hard to see how anyone could disagree:
"If we are honest, Scotland is one country but two nations. Divided not by how we voted in the referendum, but by circumstances. One, the majority: fulfilled, doing well, getting by or getting on. The other, a minority: falling behind, denied opportunity, struggling to escape the hardship of their upbringing. This inequality is wrong. And Scottish Labour’s mission is to end it."
I was on Good Morning Scotland this morning, debating with a member of Radical Independence about what Jim's election means for Labour's relationship with the trade unions. I fear it was largely a dialogue of the deaf. No heed was paid to the fact that Jim won 40% of the union vote despite 90% of union leaders backing other candidates. No acknowledgement was made of the fact that, for all the spin and bluster, all three candidates were actually backing the same core Labour principles - fair pay, equality and fair taxation. The arguments against Jim were arguments against a caricature, a straw man. What Jim is actually standing for was being ignored.

For too many people, the politics of division has taken such deep root that we are struggling to set it aside even when we find common cause. But there is great common cause here: between those who voted No and those who voted Yes; between the trade union movement and the Labour movement; between all parts of Scotland.

It's about building a fairer Scotland. Jim and Kez have got it. For the first time in a while, the cause of social justice is on the front foot. I'm excited, and ready. Let's go.

12 comments:

  1. Fairer Scotland sounds a bit vague

    fairer for landlords?
    fairer for bankers?
    fairer politicians pensions?

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    1. Fairer pay - a Living Wage in the public sector, in public procurement and in the private sector.

      Fairer taxes - an increase in the top rate of tax to help those least well off.

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  2. Yes Jim Murphy backs the same core principles as the other two candidates. Jim always supports what's popular and serves his intrests even if it involves him making 180° changes from his previous beliefs. Apparently its a Labour prerogative

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    1. When did you get so bitter, Mike?

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    2. I think it was back when Labour brought in student tuition fees. Its just gotten worse with each lurch to the right.

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    3. Which part of the quote I pasted above would you call right wing?

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    4. You asked when I got bitter, which is unrelated to this post. I'd also recommend a wee trip to specsavers if you haven't noticed the shift to the right in the Labour party

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    5. Gillian, Edinburgh10 January 2015 at 22:37

      i'd say the ethnic cleansing of Diego Garcia by the 1960's Labour administration (to make way for a US naval air base, which was used for rendition in the special relationship) ,still fudged through 2004 (Murphy of course was whip and up to his neck in it) and latterly by David Milliband in 2010 is about as right as it gets. Then you get the queen to do your dirty work for you via royal prerogative, to circumvent high court rulings that declare its criminality. Watch Stealing a Nation by John Pilger and ask yourself why as people become more enlightened and inquiring about Scottish politics, Labour's reputation is commensurately nose-diving.

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  3. Duncan, you're willfully misplaced cheer-leading is truly impressive to behold.

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    1. Brave of you, anonymous. By the by, your wilfully misplaced apostrophe is far less impressive.

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    2. That's pathetic Duncan. Your avatar image of you grinning like you do is truly off putting. F*ck Labour, f*ck Scottish Labour. Have you read 1984? You're presumably 'in league' with the Fabians, many of you lot claim that. Do you know what G Orwell was writing about? Can you see the similarities in today's political climate? When you hear of 'Unity Governments' between the Tory's and Labour, nursery nurses legally bound to report children as being subjected to extremist views, no encryption allowed, MI5, MI6 able to access everything and anything.

      Like I say, you lots are fruit loops.

      People like you though, cheering them on is truly something to behold.

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  4. "For too many people, the politics of division has taken such deep root that we are struggling to set it aside even when we find common cause."

    Agreed, but GE2015 will be run on that basis... and the SNP have an interest in that being the case. The real test will be in SP2016 when all the parties will have to present real politicies to Scots. I can't wait. ;-)

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