11th May, 2015
Last week, the Labour Party was humbled across the country. There’s no getting away from it.
It was a brutal night in which a number of senior Labour figures lost their seats, including my friend Iain McKenzie who was a conscientious, hardworking Member of Parliament who in a short period of time, made a significant impact locally and in Westminster.
And while I’m very sad to see Iain go, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Ronnie Cowan the new MP for Inverclyde. I certainly won’t be extending my congratulations to David Cameron and the dire prospect of another five years of Tory Government.
When I first joined the Labour Party and subsequently stood for the Scottish Parliament, I did so, because of the party’s commitment to social justice, its belief in common endeavour, and its drive to re-distribute the wealth so that all people, whatever their background, had a fair chance.
While last week’s result is very difficult for Labour, I believe that these values are still relevant today.
They have led to the to the creation of so many things which are woven throughout the fabric of our society such as our National Health Service and the Welfare State, and that ultimately established our status as the people’s party.
However, Labour has not always met the high expectations of the communities we serve. We must get back to basics, re-engage and reconnect with the people of Scotland.
We must campaign and act on the issues that matter to them including the huge inequality which exists, whereby your postcode can determine, your life expectancy, prosperity and education.
The party has a big task ahead of it. But I believe that by re-building trust, bit by bit, day by day, month by month and year by year we can become the people’s party again.