I’m backing Anas to help put our united Labour family back into government

Staunch Jeremy Corbyn supporter Pauline McNeill MSP sets out why she’s backing Anas Sarwar as Scottish Labour leader.


I supported Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader; I believe in him and I saw what millions saw in him at the general election – a different kind of politician, one needed for today’s politics. My own political outlook changed after the financial crash of 2008 and the long-lasting devastation that has created in ordinary people lives.

It is therefore vitally important to me that the new Scottish leader embraces the direction the UK Labour Party is headed. We are all now fighting for the chance to take the Labour programme to the people in a general election because this time we know – in all likelihood – it will lead us to government.

The stakes could not be higher. The person we choose to lead us in Scotland is essential to our prospects of recovery across the UK. Our fight to win back power at Holyrood needs equally radical polices (and to be fair we already have some good ones), redistributive taxation, a national house building programme, a ban on fracking, and a plan to lift children out of poverty.

The election brought our Labour family together and the winning candidate will be expected to support the UK leader. This cuts two ways and the UK leader must support the new Scottish leader. There needs to be a recognition that the Scottish party is an autonomous party fighting a very different election.

There has been wide recognition that Jeremy Corbyn has successfully taken on a full-frontal assault of the media establishment against all the odds and confounded all his critics.

This contest cannot be a referendum on Jeremy. It is, however, a contest to decide who is best able to strengthen Scottish Labour and take forward distinct ideas and policy to transform Scotland – using complimentary powers from Westminster and Holyrood. Anas Sarwar is my choice for leader. I certainly would not back him unless I knew he supports the UK leadership team and will work positively with them. I’m also confident that he would be firm that the position of Scottish Labour Leader must be respected.

Anas has skewered Health Secretary Shona Robison on her government’s management of our NHS. He has been forensic in the way he has applied himself to the job.  I share an office with Anas and I have seen the endless Freedom of Information papers flood in to be analysed and used for good effect. In case you didn’t know, that’s partly how Nicola Sturgeon made her name.

I have never been in favour of an overtly negative tone towards the SNP in government when Labour has been so unpopular, but the SNP failures on health are real and shocking. I have seen up close what Anas can do in one brief.  His utter resilience to take anything thrown at him and come out fighting is remarkable. He has announced some serious policy suggestions for debate in this selection, such as a job guarantee for every young person.

I have faith in his ability to win over the hearts and minds of new voters. He single-handedly ran the United with Labour campaign and gave a Labour identity to the referendum campaign in 2014.

Coming from an Asian culture means he spends many of his waking hours looking after a marginalised section of society. It’s no small matter that our former deputy leader is from the BME community.

It’s time for Scottish Labour to set out a credible alternative for Scotland with serious ambitions to eradicate child poverty and create a warm decent home for every person.  Anas Sarwar has the policies and the personal determination to take these Labour values into government. I will back him to do that.

Related Posts

21 thoughts on “I’m backing Anas to help put our united Labour family back into government

    1. I never offered any falsehoods or personal attacks.
      If you have to censor the truth about Sarwar,then clearly he’s not fit to lead.

  1. So am I. I think Anas Sarwar is the ideal Labour leader for Labour in Scotland. He epitomises everything they are and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. I look forward to him crossing swords with the First Minister.

    Mind you my first real choice will always be a Red Rosette.

  2. We should all put our trust and faith in the Labour membership making the right choice for Branch Leader. Labour in Scotland have a record second to none for making the right choices and picking a winner.
    I have absolute faith you will do it again because the available choices make it inevitable.

    Go Labour.

  3. Mind you Labour in Scotland have had so much practice in electing branch managers the process will be a breeze. A well oiled machine when it comes to choosing leaders. Have faith Comrades what could possibly go wrong?

  4. Eetern, feetern, peeny, pump—-does it matter which of these two Public Schoolboy candidates is “elected”. The process so far has been utterly negative with smears ; accusations of various low tricks; racism; elitism; voter registration cheating and so on and so forth. That is just the BBC Scotland version, the truth must be a LOT worse.
    Who ever gets the nod, will not unite the party to follow him.
    Scottish Labour is split ideologically and its difficult to see a middle road candidate.
    Indeed Scottish Labour seems united only in its British nationalism, in which case they should fall in behind Col Ruthie, and march off over the horizon to Brexit separatism.

  5. You’ve referred to credibility in your support for Anas Sarwar, I would concur that credibility should be a central characteristic of any potential leader of the party in Scotland, I would go further and add consistency and commitment as two further essential characteristics.
    Leadership characteristics should be a measuring device applied by any leader when advocating party policy so for instance I would expect the party leader to not just support state education (for the many not the few!!) but to led by example and use our excellent state education system, to do otherwise is to undermine the credibility of the leader, the party and the policy.
    Commitment to party policy can be realised in a number of different ways applying the policy to your own circumstances, if you employ workers being proactive on Trade Union recognition is a positive signal of your commitment to this basis work place right. If you don’t already pay the living wage and your company/business can easily afford to do so, implement that as good practice!
    People are no longer prepared to have leaders saying one thing while doing another! Anas Sarwar could easily led by example, he has chosen not to and in doing so has failed in my view to come anywhere near to displaying the characteristics needed to be a good leader for the Scottish Labour party.

    1. I would have thought the most important factor for a Labour leader in Scotland is autonomy from London authority otherwise there actually is no leader. If Labour in Scotland cant choose policy different from Labour in London then it kind of doesn’t matter who the members of Labour in Scotland are and what their personal principles are.
      You might as well officially elect Jeremy corbyn as the branch manager as well as Party leader.

  6. There was only the one ’empty soundbite’ that you missed out Pauline, the one that goes: ‘The reason that @whoever@ came into politics was to help people.

    The problem with the Attack on the NHS in Scotland, that there’s an overwhelming positive approval rating for our NHS up here, and I’d imagine the only people who would express approval would be those that use it, and those that use it, will tend to fall into the age demographic, that is Labours only Loyal voting demographic.(the over 70s)

    As someone who worked for the NHS in England for ten years I can assure any Labour voter looking in, that you are being repeatedly fed a lie by people who peddle the myth about the ‘shocking and real state of our NHS’ are treating you like voting fodder.

    Any activists looking in: surely you can’t feel comfortable regurgitating these lies about the NHS to the elderly, infirm, or disabled in Scotland, in order to scare them into voting Labour?

    Do the right thing and tell people like Pauline, that if they need to lie about the SNP to win votes, maybe they need to rethink what they really think of the people of Scotland.

  7. Re S.N.P governance of the Health service, the increasingly privatised N.H.S. Is so much better in rU.K, especially labour run Wales. Eh?

    1. Eh? When working for the NHS in England, I was offered support fro within the NHS to start my own private practice offering mental health services to people.
      This was NHS staff being paid by the then LABOUR GOVERNMENT, to help staff to set up private businesses, offering services to NHS patients.

      Are you saying that this is happening in Scotland? Do you have written evidence from actual NHS staff in Scotland, confirming that they are being encouraged from within the NHS to offer private services to NHS patients?

      If you can’t provide the names of people who would be prepared to sign statements saying that the NHS is being privatised by the back door, (As I would happily do about the NHS in England) then at least provide your name on your next comment, and tell me which part of the NHS you work in or have worked in at some time in the past, so that I can confirm you are not just someone who has fallen for the repeated lies told by Labour MSP/MPs.

      Just to make sure you fully understand: I worked for an NHS Mental Health Trust in England for ten years, and I am willing to give a signed statement saying that I along with every other health service member was contacted over our shared web services, and offered very generous help with setting up our own businesses, offering the same services that we were offered to service users.
      I will confirm that I was given help to build business plans, to get licences, to gain accreditation etc etc. all paid for from WITHIN the NHS in England, and all under the clinical/business control of senior management working in the NHS (a personal friend of mine.

      I am not applying some spin or political point scoring, I’m talking facts that can be proven.

      Over to you…and I’m sure Pauline will also have evidence she can pass to you?

        1. I’d like to suggest a re read of my post, but this time with the irony meter switched on. Other than that, I agree with the gist of your post re N.H.S. In r U.K. Incidentally, so does prof Alyson Pollock, eminent health economist.

  8. From the first half of this article you would have thought Jeremy Corbyn was standing for election as Scottish labour branch office leader.

    Didn’t Ana’s sign the petition against Jeremy in the UK leadership contest. But then again it would be hard to find any Scottish labourite who did not sign that petition.

  9. Well I am voting for Richard Leonard do you agree with Jim Sillars who said yesterday that the SNP Leadership has done no research into why and how the 14 campaign was lost . He said they have done nothing to prepare for a Corbyn Leonard Labour party which he says will do the SNP real damage in Scotland .
    To say nothing of his opinion of Nicolas leadership and nobody of any standing to replace her and that was just some of it.

      1. I would have agreed until I read yesterdays National Elaine C Smith George Kerevan
        And tv comments by Kenny MacAskill and I thought is this the start of a mutiny and George Kerevans comments are on what do we do about the pound .
        A subject not debated at conference .Despite Colin Makay saying live on STV News it was due to be discussed in the next few weeks . I thought ok it was live tv but his report was repeated on Scotland tonight.
        Apart from UK plans to cut our MPS and punters on the street that Reporting Scotland spoke to think its great .How about this apparently the colonel wants to remove some of her MSPS because they were unexpectedly elected and are not up to the job .The Colonel has neglected to publish her hit list . So the voters will just have to do it for her.
        SNP MSP Sandra White has said Tory MSPS are not happy with the Colonels performance she said it might be Ruth not and not her MSPS who ends up as the lame duck.
        Sandra also mentioned the Tories are panicking because opinion polls are showing them in third place
        To be fare the SNP are well in front .But if Labour are in second Davy you know the song
        Then how about this
        The good people of Canvey Island in Essex 7 square miles population 40thousand
        Is governed by Conservative controlled Castle Point Council Now 14 of the islands 17 councillors are members of the Canvey Island Independent Party .
        The Independents are saying Canvey Islanders are fed up with being told what to do by the mainland and don’t want to be part of Castle Point.
        So Davy Mike Gavin Duncan Jim any idea where this is going
        Apparently our happy islanders are unhappy that decisions are being taken by people who don’t live there
        They are upset at Tory controlled Councils and Councillors they did not elect ignoring them
        Canvey has Oil and Gas refineries and it appears they considered UDI in the 70S and 80S
        Some councillors want to start a proper push for Independence from the mainland
        Well guys do you think if they do it they will be away before us

        1. “David”, in reply !

          1. You can’t see a media set-up when its right in front of your face.

          2. Scotland was the only place that voted against “Jeremy Corbyn” in the UK in labours leadership election.
          Note: you will find most of their names on the petition they signed against him last year.

          3. The rest is total gibberish with no relevance to Scotland at all. Its like the same gibberish the yoons go on about with Orkney and Shetland claiming independence and taking the oil and gas fields with them, total nonsense..

  10. Thanks for your reply Canvey Island was tongue in cheek I just was wondering ok Jim Sillars on the tv. Attacking the FM
    Then the next day a host of SNP ex MPS and columnists went into the National developing the same theme .
    I don’t think the National would take part in a setup. Most papers are losing circulation I started buying the National because I don’t want to see the reporters losing their jobs
    But I have to say they need to get rid of all those collumnists

Comments are closed.