Scotland holds the keys to delivering a Labour government

22 August 2017

Writing in the Daily Record ahead of the Jeremy Corbyn's summer campaign tour, Kezia Dugdale says only Labour can deliver the radical change Scots want


Since the General Election the Labour party has been on a campaign footing, ready to fight another election whenever it is called.

This week, Jeremy Corbyn is coming to Scotland to campaign. Unlike Theresa May, this won’t be stage managed flying visit – Jeremy will be here for five days making the case for a Labour government across Scotland – from the Western Isles to Fife, via Glasgow and Lanarkshire.

It’s now clear that Scotland holds the keys to delivering a UK Labour government and getting the Tories out.

In June our pro-UK, anti-austerity message slashed majorities in seats that the SNP thought were safe for decades.

That’s because Labour is offering the real radical change that Scots want.

A UK Labour government would transform Britain for the better, ending the failed experiment of austerity and stimulating our economy with billions of pounds of investment that would protect public services and create jobs.

Scotland alone would see £3 billion more for our schools and hospitals, and a £20 billion Scottish Investment Bank to create jobs across the country.

As I campaigned in the General Election, one policy that really cut through was a £10 an hour minimum wage by 2020.

In Scotland alone that would benefit almost half a million working people – including 130,000 young people under the age of 24.

That’s the kind of bold a radical change you will get with a Labour government.

In Scotland, we have been running a summer campaign based on the positive changes we would make through the Scottish Parliament.

Labour MSPs have produced a raft of Member’s Bills ready to change the law on a range of issues from ending period poverty, to banning fracking, to repealing the SNP’s controversial Football Act legislation.

We are tackling the big changes we are seeing in our economy and our public services with an industrial strategy to create decent work and a health and social care commission to consider what support our health service needs in the 21st century.

There is a sense of energy to the Labour family that people can feel across the country right now. They know that radical change, which felt so far away for so long, is now within touching distance.

After seven years in office the Tories are an absolute shambles, more interested in fighting each other than fighting for working people. Our country faces huge challenges as a result of Brexit but the Tories are more concerned with a plotting who will replace Theresa May than charting a better course for the UK.

In Edinburgh the SNP government looks like a party that has been in power for a decade – out of fresh ideas and squabbling amongst themselves. Ten years of talking left and walking right has finally caught up with them.

These are two parties blinded by their own nationalism to make to deliver the change Scotland needs.

Only a Labour government –at Westminster and Holyrood – can deliver a country for the many, not the few.

This article first appeared in the Daily Record on Tuesday 22 August 2017