Abi Wood is Women’s Officer of Scottish Young Labour, and is standing in the upcoming SEC election alongside Adam Wilson, Scotland’s youngest Labour Councillor, to be one of Scottish Labour’s next Youth Representatives.
A Labour government is needed now more than ever.
We are plagued with a Tory government in Westminster and a Tory-lite government in Holyrood. The economic recovery from Covid-19 is just beginning, and already we are seeing pre-existing inequalities worsen due to cruel austerity measures. From increased precarious work to soaring rents to an inherited climate crisis the world is not taking seriously, Scotland’s young people are unsure what our future holds. The SNP and Tories have made it clear they don’t care about us. Arguments about the constitution plague our political discourse and overshadow what is important. Scotland needs to move past this binary politics and deliver for its people.
Scottish Labour under Anas Sarwar is creating an alternative vision for Scotland, making the case for a progressive, equal and greener society. We need to go beyond opposition, beyond this black and white mindset so that Labour can once again be seen as a credible replacement for the current establishment, rather than a protest movement. Labour can only continue to rebuild and create this alternative with a united, empowered membership, underpinned by a functioning Scottish Executive Committee.
It is important that Scottish Labour Party members are engaged within our party so that it represents them and their views. Young members often feel unable to get involved in our movement due to various barriers perpetuated by the type of society created by the SNP and Tories. Young members are the bedrock of our movement; we need their energy and engagement in order to secure the wider youth vote and return to power. SEC Youth Representatives that unite and invest in young members are needed to get us ready for government.
We are standing to be your Youth Representatives because we believe we have the necessary skills and experience required to do this. We understand the issues young people are facing, including under-represented groups whose views are often passed over by those in power. Young members need to feel safe and inspired to get involved in Labour activism in their communities so we can further reach the diverse number of communities we represent. As representatives, we will strive to bring the party to its young members by representing the views of young members on the SEC and using our position to create inclusive and safe opportunities, enabling, and encouraging members to get involved at all levels, regardless of experience, from local campaigning to candidacy in elections.
Many young people first become active in politics as students. That’s why we will make the case for radical policy changes to increase accessibility and membership amongst students at SEC level. We will fight for the re-affiliation of Scottish Labour Students and for a “Student Membership” to be established where students can have their membership across two addresses, in order for them to remain active in the party in both term time and during holiday periods. We will work with Scottish Young Labour and other groups to make Young Labour groups and CLPs around Scotland more represented, accessible and visible to young members. By doing this, we will attract more young members, activists and voters.
As young trade unionists we will be a strong voice for workers’ rights on the SEC and will liaise with the wider trade union movement to reach young workers who are consistently let down and undermined, not only by their bosses but by those in power who refuse to do right by them. Workers across Scotland need Labour to ensure workers’ rights reflect the modern working environment, and that will create a more equal society.
To turn Britain red, we need the youth vote. By empowering our members and affiliates, we will better reach the communities that will propel us into power. You can help us achieve this by voting in the upcoming SEC elections for Adam Wilson and Abi Wood.