In an exclusive column for The Red Robin, Richard Leonard sets out his vision what the 2018 conference in Liverpool should mean for Labour.
This Labour conference is a chance for the party to set out its vision for real change.
As a movement, it is an opportunity to show people how would transform the economy. It is an opportunity to explain how our industrial strategy would create the high wage, high skill jobs of the future. It is an opportunity to demand the richest start paying their fair share so we can end austerity and invest in our public services.
It is, in short, the moment people can see just how a Labour government will make the country work for the many, not the few.
And one need only glance at the front page of a newspaper, or overhear an evening news bulletin, to know just how badly we as a country need such a vision.
Across the UK – as in Scotland – the NHS is on life support. Courageous firefighters and police officers, transformational teachers, hardworking nurses – all are struggling to save their jobs and get a fair days pay for a fair days work.
In Scotland, the SNP has shown its true colours for all to see – independence before investment, nationalism before the NHS.
When Nicola Sturgeon launched her latest blueprint for Scottish Independence she billed it as a ‘Growth Commission’, but in reality it is a cuts commission.
It offers a vision of Scotland that people do not want and cannot afford.
A vision of another decade ruined by needless austerity, with people living, surviving, struggling under the dogma of another deficit reduction plan.
That is not the sort of future the people of Scotland want.
We need now to stop dividing people on the basis of nationality and start uniting them on the basis of class, as only the Labour Party is able to do.
It is now clear that the choice in Scottish politics is between investment and growth with Labour, or division and cuts with the SNP and the Tories.
Theresa May’s government is on the brink of collapse and, as this conference will show, with governments at both Holyrood and Westminster, Labour will deliver for people not just in Scotland, but across the country.
With a bold vision, clear ideas and great passion, Labour will bring about the real change our economy and society so desperately needs.
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