The Scottish Labour Party gathered this weekend for their annual Scottish Conference, among conference goers included local councillors and local MSP, Cathy Peattie. The conference set out Labour’s strategic objectives for the coming year, set out in a pamphlet, “Change is what we do”.
Her paper warns that Scottish Labour will have to work as hard, if not harder, than it did in the General Election landslide victory of 1997 to win the 2011 Scottish Parliament election. She writes: “We have no divine right to be elected, no automatic call on the people’s support, no guarantees of the people’s allegiance.”
Ms Alexander draws on the lessons of Scottish Labour’s historic achievements from the provision of decent and affordable housing for all in the 1920s to the creation of the Scottish Parliament in the 1990s to argue that when Scottish Labour is the party of change in tune with Scottish aspirations, it is a winning party.
She says that Scottish Labour stands today for the same values it has always stood for – “the progressive values of justice, equality, and community”. She continues: “I do not believe that people have lost faith in
Scottish Labour’s values. But they have questioned our ability to deliver the practical policies that match those values, and to make the changes that turn those values into reality. If we are humble enough to listen, wise enough to engage in debate, and brave enough to renew, we can win back belief in our ability to deliver.”
Popular priorities, she contends, are that there should be a better health service, better education, a growing economy with better jobs, and safer communities with less crime. There is no support for independence and majority support for the continuance of the Union, but, she says, also a desire to discuss whether the present powers of the Scottish Parliament are right for our times.
Ms. Alexander also layed into the SNP for their prominent and savagely right wing agenda, accusing them of breaking promises, made to people across society. Recently Alex Salmond has looked to fellow Conservative Annabel Goldie for support with his budget, which she duly obliged. Of course she would! As it is typical of the Conservative manifestos which destroyed Scotland in the eighties and nineties.
Wendy Alexander said:
“Annabel Goldie might no more support independence than I do… but she can recognise a right wing financial package when she sees one. Who could really be surprised that when the chips were down the real Tories were prepared to support the TARTAN TORIES.
But of course this wasn’t what we were promised last May.The SNP promised to be more Labour than Labour itself. They promised that student debt would be abolished. They promised every first-time buyer would get a £2000 grant. They promised primary class sizes would be cut to 18. They promised a freeze in the council tax without cutting services.
EVERY ONE A BROKEN PROMISE”
The Scottish Labour leader finished by promising to everyone that Labour will continue to be the voice for Scotland’s people, and promised to mend the divisions created by our current SNP government.