Sunday, 26 October 2014

Three things

Johann Lamont deserves the gratitude of the whole of the Labour Party for her work as leader in Scotland since 2011. She will be missed.

Her attempt in 2012 to ignite a debate around how limited funds can best be spent to focus on those who need the most help was the right thing to do. Our subsequent collective failure to follow through on that lead with concrete action turned it from an opportunity for us into an opportunity for our opponents. It is clear that we have significant work to do to overhaul our policy and communications functions.

I'd like to see three things happen now.

  • First, the Scottish Executive Committee of the Labour Party, meeting this afternoon, should define and run the process which will select a new leadership team for Scottish Labour. Such a process should be open to all parts of the party, with MPs and MSPs equally able to make their case to be part of the party's leadership. Should she decide to run, I would strongly support Kezia Dugdale MSP as Deputy Leader.
  • Second, we need to radically overhaul our party's central campaigning and communication function. It needs to start afresh, be based where our Parliament sits in Edinburgh, and be under the complete control of the Scottish leadership.
  • Third, we need to rapidly move to a relentless focus on policy. There is no party better placed to deliver what we know the Scottish people want - social and economic justice within the strength of the United Kingdom. Let the SNP get mired in attempts to re-run the referendum. We have the right policy platform, from fair pay, to fair energy prices, to fair taxation. Let's deliver it.

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