By Zoe Streatfield in Scotland:
‘People want change. Labour can offer that’
Thursday 1st June 2017
ZS: What inspired you to get involved with the Labour Party?
CR: I want to see change. When I was at school I saw classmates coming from different communities, many students whose only square meal a day was a free school meal, many pupils whose mums and dads were on zero-hours contracts struggling to get by and this inequality really angered me.
I got involved because I could see that the Labour Party is the only party that would deal with issues of social justice and inequality.
ZS: What made you decide to stand in this election?
CR: I think you should be the change you wish to see, age shouldn’t define what you do. Corbyn has a vision for this country and will deliver a real difference to those who are struggling under this Tory government.
ZS: What are the biggest issues in your area?
CR: Personally, public services because they’re being deprived of money: the local NHS has been cut by £50 million by the Scottish government, bus services have been cut and the privatised railway services are always late and cancelling services. Schools are also being deprived of money.
Everyone needs to use public services, and austerity is ripping them apart. It’s a vile policy that’s not a necessity but a choice and Labour wants to do something about it.
People want change and they’re coming round to this idea that Labour provides opportunity for that change.
From The Scotsman:
1 May 2017
A young Labour activist whose impassioned conference speech against nuclear weapons became a viral internet hit will stand for the party at the General Election. Christopher Rimicans will contest the North Ayrshire and Arran constituency on June 8, aiming to unseat Patricia Gibson of the SNP who defends a majority of 13,573. The 18-year-old from Kilwinning is thought to be the youngest candidate standing for a major party in Scotland. “People badly need a Labour Government that will end austerity, pay a £10 an hour minimum wage and create an economy for the many, not the few,” he said in a statement.
He shot to political fame in November 2015 when a video of his speech at the Scottish Labour conference was shared thousands of times on social media. Rimicans, then aged 16, impressed party delegates in Perth by arguing Trident would cost over £100 billion to renew and the cash should be used instead to fund 150,000 more nurses or 180 state of the art schools. “The one thing I struggle to understand about Trident is why you would use it in the first place,” he told the conference. “It’s not socialism if you’re going to kill millions. It’s just morally wrong.”
He told reporters after his speech he did not feel nervous addressing the conference hall, pointing out he had been a Labour activist from the age of 14.
Rimicans faces a tough task if he is to win North Ayrshire. The constituency, once viewed as a Labour heartland, was won by Gibson two years ago with a swing of 23.3 per cent to the Nationalists. At last year’s Scottish Parliamentary elections, the equivalent Cunninghame North constituency was retained by the SNP’s Kenneth Gibson with a majority of 8,724. The Labour candidate is a keen musician away from politics. He was named North Ayrshire’s Traditional Musician of the Year in March for his bagpiping prowess.
From The Scotsman, 31 May 2017:
Theresa May could be on course to lose the General Election and the UK faces a hung parliament, according to a seat projection poll. The constituency-by-constituency estimate for [Conservative, Rupert Murdoch-owned] The Times by YouGov indicates the Conservative Party could lose 20 seats and see its majority wiped out, while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour may gain 28 seats.
Theresa May’s cowardly refusal to appear on a BBC election debate last night, Wednesday, added to the scorn being heaped in the Tories’ campaign. It saw her stand-in, home secretary Amber Rudd, attacked from all sides over the Tories’ disgraceful record and their programme of further misery forordinary people: here.
Had the [Scottish Labour] party focused less on blocking a second independence referendum and more on class politics, then it would have gained more seats, argues VINCE MILLS.