Dugdale sets out plan for more party autonomy

Kezia Dugdale has set out her plan for more party autonomy for the Scottish Labour Party.

She told Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News that Scottish Labour was the party of devolution, but we forgot to devolve our party properly. She intends to fix this. She called on Labour members across the UK to learn from the mistakes of Scottish Labour, not repeat them.

Under her plan, Scottish Labour should be responsible for decisions about:

  • Policy making
  • Party membership
  • The selection of candidates for all elections, including UK and European elections
  • Election of the Scottish Labour Leader and Deputy
  • Management of local Constituency Labour Parties

There would be co-operation on staffing and finance. A process should be established involving the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the UK Labour Party and the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) of the Scottish Labour Party to resolve the technical details.

Kezia Dugdale said:

“The key goal for my leadership is to renew the Scottish Labour Party, to show that we are changing. More autonomy for Scottish Labour is central to achieving that goal.

With these reforms there will be be no doubt that the main focus of Scottish Labour will be on Holyrood, where the key decisions affecting the daily lives of Scots are made. It won’t be the Commons, the Lords or the European Parliament. They are important, of course, but the most important focus of Scottish Labour will be on using the powers at Holyrood to transform the lives of people in Scotland.

The package of reforms that Scottish Labour agreed in the summer was important, but we must be bolder in seeking to transform our party to regain the trust of the people of Scotland. This will be a radical change in the way Scottish Labour operates.

I am proud to be part of a UK-wide movement and believe that we can achieve more together than we ever could alone. As a socialist, standing together with friends, neighbours and colleagues across the UK to make our country better is a good thing.

We have to recognise, though, that the UK is changing and so must the Labour Party. We should never shy away from being part of a UK-wide movement, but as the country becomes more devolved so too the Labour Party has to change with the times. I want the Scottish Labour Party to lead the way, and would encourage other parts of the UK Labour Party to set out the case for more autonomy.

Too many people tell us they don’t know what we stand for or who we stand with. I knock on doors and hear people say the Scottish Labour Party doesn’t have a distinctive voice. Under my leadership that is changing. The Scottish Labour Party stands for closing the gap between the richest and the rest. We want to live in a country where the ability of a young person to get on in life is determined by their potential, work rate and ambition – not by how much money their parents have.”

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6 thoughts on “Dugdale sets out plan for more party autonomy

  1. The Scottish accounting unit of Labour is not the Scottish Labour party and cannot make separate policy from the Actual Labour party
    This nonsense will not fool the electorate,

    Once again Labour learn nothing and continue to repeat the same stupidity that got them into this mess in the first place
    Make a decision to become a separate party or not, voters will hammer you in May if you don’t get your act together and stop playing School Politics it can’t, it wont, and never will work and Scotland deserves better than this infantile display of foot stamping at the SNP

    1. The Scottish Labour Party doesn’t have to be an accounting unit.It can vote to be a fully autonomous party with clear policies on Devolution,austerity and Trident.A Scottish party with a clearly defined vision.The alternative is to slug it out with the other anti home rule,anti independence,pro trident parties for a diminishing pro union vote.Thats a road to nowhere.

      1. It can only be autonomous from Labour UK if it becomes a totally and completely separate party. That’s the legal position. The electoral commission will accept nothing less which means the new “Scottish” Labour party will have to be funded purely on its own donations and cannot share funding with its UK comrades.

        Of course Labour down South is furious about the idea so it will never get off the ground.

        Corbyn has already been reined in over tuition fees and Trident it wont take any effort to rein him in on this either. He is becoming a bigger disappointment than Blair was in 1987.

        1. There is no reason why an autonomous,self funding Scottish Labour Party can’t exist and flourish and operate as a sister party of the Labour Party in England.They could cooperate on policy where appropriate.The SNP do this with Plaid Cymru and the Tories do it with unionist parties in NI.Indeed,the Labour Party and the SDLP are already sister parties.

          1. None indeed. But having a fully Independent political party is all about being fully Independent.
            You wont be able to have a fully Independent political party which is “secretly” being controlled by another political party in everything but name which I honestly expect Labour sophistry will try and accomplish.
            You wont be able to fool anybody trying to pass of one for the other.
            It will be really interesting to see this unique and one off model Kezia and Jeremy will try and pass off as Scottish labour.

          2. Actually all that will happen is that Labour will continue telling different lies in different parts of the UK but will this time hope they will be more convincing if there isn’t an obvious single party contradiction to make them look ludicrous and contradictory.

            Labour will continue to be judged and condemned on their past record not their future claims.

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