Barrie Cunning says the next Scottish Labour leader must complete Kezia Dugdale’s task of turning us into a party of government by 2021.


The 2017 general election result illustrated that the populism of the SNP is in decline as the nationalist rhetoric of a better Scotland separating from the United Kingdom has taken it’s toll on the Scottish electorate and once again the people of Scotland are more interested in progressive policy as opposed to perpetual nationalist propaganda.

Kezia Dugdale took on one of the toughest jobs in UK politics, the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party. The country had just been through an intense and divisive referendum and in turn a devastating Westminster election and local election result which was overshadowed by the constitutional question.

In my opinion Kezia led the party with dignity, respect and conviction and I for one believe that has to be respected as it wasn’t for the faint hearted.

The question of independence will always be a factor in Scottish politics, but the political narrative in Scotland is starting to move away from the constitutional question to one based on policy, in other words bread and butter issues that affect the lives of the people of Scotland. This is where our future strength lies, as I believe the next Westminster and Scottish Parliament elections will be fought on policy and not the constitution. That said, if the Brexit negotiations result in a hard Brexit the SNP will use that as justification for a second referendum.

The next leader of the Scottish Labour Party will face the same intense scrutiny as did Kezia Dugdale and there will be a high level of expectation that the new leader will be able to turn the Scottish Labour Party into a party ready for government by 2021.

Any candidate that puts themselves forward will have to demonstrate to the membership of the party that they are capable of achieving this and how they will do it. It can’t be based on soundbites or a prolonged reference to what the Labour Party has achieved in the past. We have done a lot, and I’m proud of what our movement has achieved, but that was in the past and it’s about going forward.

For me the candidate that I would be supporting is the candidate that talks about having a solid message that resonates well with the Scottish people, a message that people understand and know what Scottish Labour stands for and in turn reconnecting with the people of Scotland.

Related Posts

16 thoughts on “A party of government by 2021

  1. So we are confronted by the empty nationalistic bluster of Labour and Tory claims of a better U.K by separating from the EU. Aye, right.
    There obviously is a need for Labour to come up with costed policies: as opposed to the endless “use the powers” bullshit: which I estimate would have raised Scottish income tax levels by at least 10%. Even here we are confronted by Labour claims hat only people earning over £80,000 will be taxed extra, and Scottish Labour with an entirely different policy.
    And the same across the board. Trident, immigration, Nationalise industry, Holyrood powers and sovereignty.
    There is a total lack of either coherance or principle in Labour. People carp about the SNP as a government. But they are faced with daily choices on spending and priorities.
    There is little to suggest in the conduct of the Welsh government, or Corbyns honesty, or Scottish Labours endless waffle, that Labour are a party of government “in waiting”.

      1. You bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “Distance lends enchantment.”

  2. I have decided to do what our FM keeps banging on about .
    I watched the STV story last night it was their 60th birthday. Allan Stewart Andy Stewart Larry Marshall Carol Smilie . The one o clock gang the white heather club Mrs Mack take the high road . Taggart THERES BEEN A MURDER . Francie and Josie . So seeing as Scottish Water had the water of I took to the streets of Irvine and Kilmarnock to ask a few questions .Nobody had heard of Francie and Josie. except I checkout assistant who could faintly remember Ricci Fulton only because I mentioned the Rev I AM Jolly ..
    Nothing daunted I crossed the road and tried the NAC Building . I spoke to our 2 young 20 something receptionists Billy Connolly yes heard of him. So with growing confidence I asked Francie and Josie. Eh who .I met my pals wife and her friend at the door. Yes at last people who had heard of Francie and Josie. Sadly they were Sydney Devine fans yes Sydney and his 10 guitars were on the show last night wasn’t going to mention it though.
    Sadly our conversation was interrupted by a lady wanting them to fill in a form telling NAC how well they are doing.
    So on I went on my mission to educate Irvine . Next stop RSB. I checked my bank account skint as usual. So I asked our again 20 something bank teller CH10 answer what. Francie and Josie answer have a good day.
    Of I went to the bus stop oh joy met a guy who remembered Francie and Josie Arthur Montford and jacket Ally Bain Thingummy jig And Glen Michael with Paladin the lamp Glen told the programme last night that Cartoon Cavalcade once got a bigger audience than the European Cup Final .
    Then the no 11 came and I set of full of joy for Kilmarnock .I was happy that It did not bother me our bus was 20 mins late I knew this because there is an electronic sign at the stop which shows the time the bus is supposed to arrive best joke in town.
    Full of hope and last of the bus I asked our driver have you heard of Francie and Josie naw but she did know about the road works and the major gas leak we knew about it because we past it. Then watched the excitement because the bus was stuck at road works you know.
    So I decided to educate Kilmarnock Francie and Josie nope had heard of John Toye I thinks how you spell it. Went into the Killie paper shop at the top of the mall. Asked the very young lady serving have you heard of Francie and Josie. Total laughter I took that as a know. I did not bother buying a paper because she is new and charged me 6 thousand pounds for a paper last week hit the wrong button.
    So back into the bus station to get the bus home.
    As usual a large crowd of waiting passengers . No number 11 busses it is a bus station no busses still cant have everything .
    I spotted a group of bus drivers waiting on a bus to drive. Road works you know there are road works but what was the excuse before that.
    Determined to carry on my mission to educate I went over to our bus drivers oh bliss they had heard of Francie and Josie . I did have to explain who Francie and Josie were to the bus cleaner who had no busses to clean Road works you know.
    Our FM would have proud of me carrying out her mission to educate . She keeps banging on about it. Then my mission was interrupted when 5 no 11s arrived together ok 3 then left without picking up. Still mustn’t grumble we got on the other 2.
    But never fear when I got home I decided to educate you all with this comment .Because our FM keeps banging on about it .Our next Labour leader will I am sure want to know this.
    The programme last night had Jack Buchanon in his last public appearance in 1957 at the Theatre Royal Glasgow Singing I belong to Glasgow with a live audience singing along. Me and my oxygen joined in.
    I looked the song up
    Will Fyfe wrote it
    I belong to Glasgow
    Dear old Glasgow town
    Well whats the matter with Glasgow
    For its goin roon and roon
    I’m only a common old working chap
    As anyone here can see
    But when get a couple of drinks on a Saturday Glasgow belongs to me
    That’s the well known chorus . Then it goes on
    Me and a few o my cronies
    One or 2 pals o my ain
    We went into a hotel and we did very well
    Then we came out once again
    Then we went intae another
    And that’s the reason I’m fu
    We had six Deoch and Dorus
    And then sang a chorus listen Ill sing it to you
    chorus then.
    Theres nothing in being teetotal
    And saving a shilling or two
    If your money you spend you got nothing to lend
    Well that’s all the better for you
    Theres nae harm in taking a dropple
    It ends all your trouble and strife
    IT gives you a feeling
    That when you get home
    You don’t give a hang about your wife

    Will Fyfe wrote that in 1920 .He met a drunk in Glasgow Central Station . The drunk was genial and demonstrative .
    He was laying of about Karl Marx and John Barley Corn.
    Fyfe asked him do you belong to Glasgow
    Reply at the moment at the moment Glasgow belongs to me.

    The song speaks of drink when temperance campaigns were very common
    The song was used in the film the Colditz story modified to I belong to Colditz
    Singers who have performed the song include Jack Buchannon Danny Kaye Eartha Kit Gracie Fields Kirk Douglas and me singing along last night. If its good enough for that lot its good enough for me it brought back a lot of great memories of relatives no longer here singing it when I was a boy.
    I have been on this comment so long the water is back on . TV news reports a n elderly couple have been fined 4thousand 100 pounds at Perth sheriff Court for running naked through a hotel chasing the guests and threatening to shoot a staff member .
    The Lady concerned said they had reacted badly to alcohol consumed earlier
    Well know it is a long comment .I hope Duncan prints it.
    I hope you get a laugh out of it .
    Our FM will be pleased if it educates you .As she keeps banging on about it.
    I am sure our next Labour Leader will be fascinated by it,
    Me oxygen equipment coffee bed Night Night

    1. No idea what your on about here. I get the impression the FM mentioned an STV anniversary and you’ve decided to lampoon her on the back of it. I can’t think why.

      And I have heard of the celebs of yesteryear you appear to mock. They were of their time and, unsurprisingly, a retrospective on a TV channel is likely to mention them. I’m struggling to see why you have a problem with this.

      1. Thanks for your comment Bungo . I was not mocking it was very much tongue in cheek. I was having a laugh . The day after the programme I phoned STV to congratulate them. I suggested they put on variety shows like the ones they featured in the documentary .
        I told them maybe STV 2 I would watch it.
        It started when I asked if anyone had seen it some had . It was when I asked about Francie and Josie and got met with blank looks and one person only vaguely remembering Rikki Fulton I decided to do it .It was only a matter of whose blog I ruined and if Duncan would print it .
        The blog I picked just happened to be first on the page. That was it . I remember my Gran singing I belong to Glasgow. So I looked it up was surprized to find out about the Temperence movement. Was only having a laugh not mocking

  3. “For me the candidate that I would be supporting is the candidate that talks about having a solid message that resonates well with the Scottish people, a message that people understand and know what Scottish Labour stands for and in turn reconnecting with the people of Scotland.”

    Well, unless we’re going to build the next leader out of Lego it’s going to have to be one of the existing pool of MSPs or MPs. So which one best fits your criteria?

  4. While the SNP openly support the idea of helping Corbyn beat the Tories into number 10 Labour in Scotland prefer to help Ruth Davidson gain seats from the SNP.
    So if Labour want power in Westminster then Labour in England and Wales should support the SNP in Scotland by working against Labour in Scotland and the Tories.
    That’s the sad sick reality of Scottish politics today.

  5. I decided today I last attempt to educate folks about Francie and Josey. As our FM keeps banging on about it.
    Jack Milroy was Francie and Rikki Fulton was Josie . Even got the spelling correct this time.
    This morning I set of full of hope to educate the locals as our FM keeps banging on about it.
    Irvine Library staff members had heard of Francie and Josie . Then I asked my good friend George who was just leaving .Yes he had heard of Francie and Josie. Even knew there real names .
    Well now I was on a roll to educate because our FM keeps banging on about it. The next Labour Leader would have been proud of my passion for my mission to educate . Because our FM keeps banging on about it .
    So I left the library and just to prove this piece is not an SNP bad job.
    I asked our FMS daddy Robin yes he had heard of Francie and Josie. Oh his daughter our FM would have been ecstatic if she had known.
    So dear friends on that happy note I ended my mission to educate the local population.
    Not to sure what the next Labour Leader will think of one of his or her party members speaking to Nicolas dad . Who cares job done.
    I did these two comments for a laugh hope you have enjoyed them.
    Never fear next comments back to SNP bashing. The poor souls their party is skint like me.
    Can I ask you all to read Susan McNamara who has blogged about Down Syndrom

  6. Has it ocurred to you yet, Barrie ask why, labour is looking for its fifth leader in six years?

  7. Labour in Scotland is hoping for a resurgence in prominence by trying to make Ruth Davidson the First Minister.
    You kind of get why Labour in Scotland have all the appeal of a Donald Trump tour to a Home for abused women.

  8. I think you can do better than that last comment . Being abused physically or emotionally is no joke .
    I know about emotional abuse

Comments are closed.