Richard Leonard, the newly-elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party laid out plans for the first months of his leadership in Glasgow (27.11.17)
Real change, for the many not the few, is the beating heart of our party. It has been our mission and our inspiration ever since Keir Hardie stood as the first Labour candidate in Mid Lanarkshire in 1888.
But a powerful mission can and must always be reshaped and recharged. That’s what Jeremy Corbyn has done so successfully as Leader of the Party in Westminster.
His principles, policies and integrity – along with the energy and passion of hundreds of thousands of new members – has breathed new life into our party.
I pledge to do the same here in Scotland.
That’s why I am announcing today plans to take my policy programme for real change, that I stood on to be leader into the Party, to our membership at our Party Conference in Dundee next March.
Over the coming months, we will set up up twelve policy reviews and a commission on tax to further develop our policies on the vital issues facing Scotland including: funding and powers for local government, meeting the housing crisis, improving the health of our children, tackling climate change and developing green energy as well as extending public ownership.
This moment can be a turning point for our Party in Scotland but also for the UK as a whole. We can and must change our society. We will challenge austerity from the SNP in Holyrood and the Tories in Westminster.
Inequality, injustice and poverty are not inevitable. Together, we can seize the day and, as John Smith said when he became Labour leader, “persuade millions of the strength of our vision, the relevance of our policies and the urgency of our demand for change”.
Labour has changed, and now we are determined to change Scotland. That is our task today; it is one I am confident that we can achieve together.
Steve Walker commented: “Having witnessed the impact of the ‘Corbyn surge’ during the General Election, Labour’s political opponents in Scotland will not be thrilled at the prospect of facing a Scottish Labour leader whose political views complement those of the leader of the UK party but who has his own vision and plan for the direction of the party in Scotland”.