Before we kick off, let’s get one thing clear.
You might be a big fan of Tony Benn. You may well be a big fan of Tony Blair. You could even be a big fan of Tony Bennett or Tony Blackburn for all that I care. Whether you’re left, right or centre, it doesn’t matter a jot; all that really matters is that we’re all Labour through and through.
Furthermore, let’s get something else absolutely crystal clear: there are no more loyal Labour Party supporters anywhere than Scottish Labour Party supporters. Over the past few years we have kept going through thin and thinner. Yes, we are down, but we’re certainly not out.
The past is in the past and the future is yet to come. Today in Scotland we’re running a poor third to the SNP and the Tories. We have lost the confidence of the people. But the future the SNP offer to the people of Scotland is a bleak and depressing one, built on grievance, bitterness, division, small minded nationalism, constantly playing the victim, glass always half empty and wallowing self pity. And the SNP want to be friends and partners with every nation, everyone and anyone will do, just as long as it’s not our nearest neighbours.
Scotland is travelling down a very dark road. The SNP’s republicanism and the Tories brand of unionism have the potential to become a deeply entrenched and insoluble toxic position. It is a fertile breeding ground for hatred, ignorance and sectarianism.
If the SNP were to succeed in their quest to destroy the Scottish Labour Party, Scotland would be trapped in a deeply damaging political stalemate with no alternative route of exit. The SNP’s weasel words of friendship and partnership towards the Scottish Labour Party should be resisted and dismissed at every turn.
However, if we unite together as Labour, work hard and offer a positive vision for the future of Scotland, I have no doubt that we will win again.
The SNP have built a wall between Scottish Labour and the people of Scotland. It’s a wall built with no foundations and made out of shoddy lies and deceptions. Nevertheless, we cannot afford to wait for the wall to fall down, or allow the SNP the slightest opportunity to shore it up. Together, we will demolish the nationalists’ wall, brick by rotten brick. Together, we will fight to take our country back, door by door and street by street.
“I am proud – immensely proud – to have fought to keep the UK together in 2014. I was proud because it was a Labour argument I was making. The UK provides the redistribution of wealth that defines our entire Labour movement, and it provides the protection for public finance in Scotland that comes from being part of something larger. Something good. Something worth fighting for.”
Kezia Dugdale is absolutely correct with this statement. Our party’s goal of redistributing wealth throughout the United Kingdom is the one policy that really sets us apart from the SNP and the Tories. The SNP are unable to redistribute wealth throughout the UK. They are only interested in independence. The Tories are unwilling to redistribute wealth throughout the UK. They want to keep the wealth amongst their rich friends. Only the Labour Party is willing and able to redistribute wealth amongst all UK citizens.
However, there are people in the UK Labour Party that have a very different agenda from Kezia Dugdale. The Labour Party leadership in London is convinced that a general election will be called sooner rather than later, and they’re very concerned about the “Scottish problem”. They believe that, at best, Scottish Labour will win no more than a few seats at the next general election, and they are seeking a quick fix.
A number of close associates of the UK Labour leadership have publicly supported a “progressive alliance” with the SNP at the next general election:
- Diane Abbott – Labour Shadow Home Secretary
- Dave Anderson – Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
- Clive Lewis – Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Business
- Len McCluskey – General Secretary of Unite the Union
Whatever your political leanings, be they left right or centre, it is imperative that everyone involved in the Scottish Labour Party fully backs and supports the new Act of Union.
When it is endorsed by our party conference next February, Scottish Labour will then have every right to expect unconditional support, commitment and backing from the UK Labour Party for this new Act of Union. This will then become the undisputed policy position from which we fight the next general election.
The only realistic avenue left for the SNP to gain independence was by the deployment of a Trojan horse through the Labour Party. If the Scottish Labour Party backs the new Act of Union policy to the hilt, then the UK Labour Party will surely be obliged to follow suit.
“Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, we’ll keep the red flag flying here.”
We are Scottish Labour. Unity is strength. There will be no sweetheart deals with the SNP.