The SNP are no friends of the Labour Party - Ian Lavery MP
Writing exclusively for the Red Robin, Labour elections supremo Ian Lavery MP talks about the need for a Labour revival in Scotland.
Following the election of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party has gone through an often challenging, period of change. The election last year saw Theresa May seek to capitalise on a seemingly insurmountable poll lead and wipe out the Labour Party in what proved to be the possibly the worst political move of all time.
Under difficult circumstances Labour not only made up a huge gap in the polls but came incredibly close to forming a government. Labour’s manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn’s campaigning zeal and the mobilisation of a huge and enthusiastic membership saw the governments majority wiped out.
Theresa May now governs only with the support of the reactionary DUP and is being held hostage by her backbenchers on Brexit. The Tory government are presiding over a sluggish economy and public services lurching from crisis to crisis. An election could come at any time.
In Scotland the green shoots of revival are there to be seen with the politics of hope espoused by Jeremy Corbyn finding a new conduit in the country. Scotland not only needs a Scottish Labour government with the agenda that Richard Leonard has started to set out as Scottish Labour leader - it also needs a Labour government in Westminster.
The SNP have been in control in Scotland for over a decade and they need to be held account for the decisions they have made during that period. The 2017 election saw a revival of the Scottish Tories with their performance taking the edge off a disastrous performance from their counterparts across the rest of the UK. Labour will put forward a government that rejects austerity and build a country that works for the many.
The party now has almost 600,000 members across all of the nations of the UK. When the next election comes we will be ready to deliver the transformational government the country needs. As part of this and despite the popularity of the 2017 Manifesto, we will have to be more ambitious with our offer to the British people and more ambitious with our campaigning.
Whilst Scotland will itself reap the benefits, electorally it holds the key to delivering the radical Labour government the whole of the UK needs. The election of 2017 saw Labour regain six seats that had been lost in the SNP landslide two years previously. A 1% swing will see another seven seats elect Labour MP’s and a further ten have majorities under 3,000 many more are realistically within reach.
Scottish National Party politicians have roundly criticised Labour for campaigning against them rather than the Conservatives. Tory austerity and the SNP obsession with constitutional issues are barriers to a fairer society and we will campaign for a Labour government in every part of Scotland.
The SNP are no friends of the Labour Party and the seats they hold are key to putting Jeremy Corbyn and a radical Labour government in Downing Street. We will continue to campaign across Scotland and the rest of the UK to ensure we can deliver this aim.