Leftist defeats Blairite in Scottish Labour leader election

This video from Scotland sadys adbout itself:

Richard Leonard | Real Change | 06/09/17

Richard Leonard lays out his vision.

By Conrad Landin in Scotland:

Socialist values the way back to power

Monday 20th November 2017

Resurgent Labour can retake Holyrood, says new leader Leonard

LABOUR can win control of the Scottish Parliament if it makes the case for a socialism rooted in “values forged in the fire of daily struggle”, Scottish Labour’s new leader Richard Leonard said on Saturday.

At an event in Glasgow, the party announced that left-winger Mr Leonard, a former trade union official who has served in Holyrood for less than two years, had won the backing of 56.7 per cent of the party’s electorate.

He beat Anas Sarwar, a former vice-chairman of the Blairite faction Progress. Mr Leonard will succeed Kezia Dugdale — and will become the Scottish party’s sixth leader since it was ousted from government in Holyrood elections 10 years ago.

In a victory speech, Mr Leonard — who was backed by most of Labour’s affiliated unions — said being elected to lead “a movement of socialism” was “a source of immense pride but also very humbling.”

“Our shared purpose is clear: to build again, to win again,” he said.

“Our purpose today is not just electing a leader. My aim is to be the next Labour first minister of Scotland.”

He said “our socialism” would be rooted in “values forged in the fire of daily struggle.” And hailing the courage of workers staging a “work-in” at the infrastructure firm BiFab, he said: “The Scottish Labour Party is nothing if it is not on the side of working people [in dispute].”

He said Scottish Labour would also seek to tackle a toxic culture of sexism and harassment across politics and introduce an independent system for reporting allegations.

Scottish Labour continued to lose ground after the SNP won enough seats to form a minority administration at Holyrood in 2007.

In the 2015 general election the party faced a wipeout, winning just a single Westminster seat. But it made a small recovery in the snap poll this year.

Some party activists have said Labour’s decline north of the border can be attributed to the party positioning itself to the right of the SNP. Former leader Johann Lamont blasted Scotland’s “something for nothing” culture, questioning the country’s free prescriptions and lack of tuition fees.

Mr Leonard signalled a break from this approach, saying Labour would argue to “invest in universalism, not means-testing.”

Labour’s British leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Leonard’s victory could be “a turning point in Scottish politics,” making Labour “a real force for change” north of the border.

“Richard’s campaign offered a challenge to the rigged system that has benefited a wealthy elite and showed how he will lead Scottish Labour to transform society,” Mr Corbyn added.

Neil Findlay: MSP for Lothian

“I THINK we’ll see Scottish Labour providing a much more radical alternative to the SNP and the Tories, and I’m delighted. Richard’s been absolutely clear that under his leadership Labour will stand on the side of workers.

“Richard has a long track record of supporting workers in struggle, and representing them over 20 years. So I think it will be very clear what side Labour’s on when we see legitimate industrial disputes.”

Kate Shaw Nelson: Chair of Scottish Labour Students

“HOPEFULLY this can lead to a complete renewal of the Scottish Labour Party. On one of the phonebanks, we had pushing 40 people coming along on a wet Tuesday night in Scotland, and the overwhelming majority of them were under 25.

“And they’re the people you need. The Tories’ voters are only getting older, but if we can get round the youth vote, if we can capture the spirit the SNP managed to capture in 2014, that’s us.”

Dr Ewan Gibbs: Labour historian, University of the West of Scotland

“THIS week we’ve seen the Scottish labour movement renewing itself politically and industrially. To see the occupation of the BiFab yards combined with Richard Leonard’s election is a strong sign of the direction we can take things in.

“Richard’s vision for full employment, for industrial democracy, accords perfectly with what we’re seeing [in the work-ins] in Fife and Lewis. That’s the environmental and economic changes that we need to take forward.”

WORKERS at threatened Scottish engineering firm BiFab are celebrating victory after securing the firm’s future following a united week-long campaign.

Sunday, April 7, 2019: Scottish [anti-Corbyn] Labour parliamentary candidate called to explain links to military propaganda unit: here.

5 thoughts on “Leftist defeats Blairite in Scottish Labour leader election

  1. Monday 20th November 2017

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    ANAS SARWAR has criticised his opponents for shining the spotlight on a family business that employs workers on poverty pay.

    The defeated centrist candidate for the Scottish Labour leadership said it was “unfortunate” that some Scottish Labour activists had attempted to make the contest “about my family.”

    After it was confirmed that his family’s wholesale firm did not recognise unions and paid workers below the £8.45-an-hour living wage, Mr Sarwar passed his minority shareholding in the company on to his children.

    He had previously suggested the firm’s practices were justifiable because the living wage was “voluntary.” Companies should instead be forced to pay a living wage, he said.

    Asked by the Star if he thought the row had played a role in his defeat, Mr Sarwar said: “The unfortunate thing is this — it’s clear there were some who wanted to make this either a referendum on Jeremy Corbyn or to try and make it about my family.

    “The reality is that I didn’t expect there to be a leadership election.”

    He said he was not bothered about putting the shares into a trust fund for his kids because he was “dedicating my life to the Labour Party and to Scotland.

    “When it became clear that my shareholding in my family’s business was an issue, I was more than happy to absolve myself of those shares because I chose a different life for myself from the outset.”

    Mr Sarwar’s children will gain access to the shares, believed to be worth £4.8 million, on reaching adulthood.



  2. Kezia Dugdale came under fire this weekend after it was announced that she would appear on reality show I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here.

    Both Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar criticised her decision to take part, which will take her to the Australian bush for several weeks.

    The new leader said the group of Labour MSPs would discuss what action to take in the coming days, and would give “due consideration” to the possibility of suspending his predecessor.

    MSP Neil Findlay told BBC One’s Sunday Politics: “I think it’s utterly ludicrous, a ludicrous position.

    “We have a situation where we’re in the run up to the budget in Scotland, where local government is on its knees, where the NHS is showing pressures like never before, when people’s living standards are falling and they expect their MPs MSPs, councillors, elected representatives to be in fighting on their behalf and I don’t think people would expect them to jet off around the world and sit around the camp fire eating a kangaroo’s appendage.

    “It demeans politics when people get involved in that.”



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