Scottish Labour is at a crossroads, and the choice before us is a stark one: do we embrace a modern, boldly socialist vision that can and will lead us back to power and change Scotland for the better, or drift onto the vague road to electoral irrelevance, clinging to the past instead of moving with the times? It may sound dramatic, but these are the issues which face us today, and the time for a decision is now. There is no doubt in my mind which path we must follow.
Throughout history, it has always been the young who are at the forefront of change and progress. It has always been the young who push boundaries, challenge established wisdom, and ultimately make change happen. The Scottish Labour Party today is in a rut, and only by ensuring the voice of young Labour members across Scotland are heard can we hope to escape this. The importance of the youth positions on the SEC are therefore of vital importance.
Today, young Labour members are overwhelmingly of the Left. Across Scotland, and indeed the UK, young people are being mobilised by the politics of Jeremy Corbyn, the politics of equality, fairness and socialism. The youth of today have grown up in the crisis of capitalism that has shaken the very foundation of the economic system that for so long was seen as unassailable and so today’s youth does not see politics anywhere near the same as those who grew up twenty or thirty years ago see it. As has been proven time and time again in recent years, there has been a fundamental shift in the way politics works. Scottish Labour must catch up, and young Labour members must be at the heart of that.
The significance of these youth SEC elections is therefore clear. It is essential that the elected youth representatives be able to clearly and passionately articulate the views of the majority of young members on the direction that Scottish Labour must take. It is vital that they are committed to the boldly socialist ideals that must be at the heart of Labour’s future success. And it is crucial that they have the determination and grit required to fight for the bold, socialist Labour government we need to change Scotland for the better.
I believe I fulfil those values.
I joined Scottish Labour on my 14th birthday. Since then I’ve been fighting to advance the socialist Labour values we all believe in. From speaking at Conference in defence of refugee rights, to standing up for the interests of young members in my constituency, to campaigning for Labour candidates both in my constituency and across Scotland, I have proven time and again my commitment to our socialist values.
I have experienced first-hand the fundamental economic inequalities which are at the heart of the growing gig economy. I worked on a zero-hour contract, with irregular, short-notice hours making planning a proper work-life balance all but impossible, and the painfully low wages that go along with such work. I know the vital importance of trade unions in fighting for the rights of young people against the bosses who seek to take advantage of our perceived inability to challenge them and I completely believe in the necessity of the whole Labour movement, party and trade unions both, working in tandem in order to transform the status quo to make work pay for everyone.
Ultimately, I want to take my commitment to and involvement in the Labour Party to the next level. It’s time for a boldly socialist Scottish Labour Party to stand up and make our voices heard. I want to represent all young members across Scotland on the SEC, to put our shared values into action so we can build Scottish Labour into a radical force for change once again. That’s why I’m asking you to vote for me to be your young SEC representative. I hope I can count on your vote.