Springburn and Robroyston councillor Aileen McKenzie sets out why the Anas Sarwar she knows, not the caricature you might read about in tabloids, gets her backing to be the next Scottish Labour leader.


I’m a member of the RMT union, which is so left-wing it disaffiliated from the Labour Party years ago.

I’m a member of the Campaign for Socialism and Momentum in Scotland.

I am pro unilateral disarmament and supported Jeremy Corbyn before it was fashionable.

In the contest to elect the next Scottish Labour leader, I’m supporting Anas Sarwar.

I’ve known Anas for nearly seven years now. I’ve worked on numerous campaigns with him, attended events with him, I’ve cried on his shoulder and he’s helped me with my problems. I know him personally – not by reading stories in a tabloid. I know the real person, and I know that Anas is the right person to lead Scottish Labour back to power in Holyrood.

Anas is one of the most passionate and driven people I have ever met. He shows this every day by scrutinising and holding the Scottish Government to account on health. My friend who doesn’t even live in the Glasgow region says she has seen more of Anas locally regarding the closure of a children’s hospital ward than either the local MP or MSP.

I do get frustrated when I read comments that Anas isn’t the right person for the job because of his background. Doesn’t anyone remember Tony Benn?

Discriminating against someone on account of the wealthy family they were born into is as bad as discriminating against someone born into a poor family.

If you know the real Anas you will know just how deeply he cares for others, especially for those less fortunate than himself.

As a self-confessed Corbynista I was disappointed when so many prominent Labour Party members and parliamentarians, Anas included, signed a letter asking Jeremy Corbyn to resign. However, time has moved on, and so should other supporters of Jeremy.

The For The Many, Not The Few manifesto brought our party together, and Anas has embraced the direction we are moving in. To me this shows that Anas has the courage and responsibly required to lead the party in Scotland.

Anas is already setting out new, radical policies that will benefit the many not the few, and if he is elected I will be working tirelessly alongside Anas to deliver these for the people of Scotland. I hope you will do the same.

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11 thoughts on “I’m backing the real Anas Sarwar

  1. Anas’s family wealth isn’t the problem, it’s the way those who have worked to generate that wealth are treated & how that treatment compares to the values he claims to espouse.
    Also, Anas putting his shares in trust is a total cop-out, if he genuinely believed in Trade Unions & the living wage he would have used his shareholding & his influence to push for TU recognition & living wage for those workers, long before he stood for the leadership.

    1. You’ve absolutely skewered Sarwar and any defence of his actions there brilliantly and articulately,bravo!

    2. What a lot of meaningless junk … He has shares in a business his dad owns .. Wow .. He does not manage the business or set its polices .. So you are emplying that this means he believes that these practices are right .. Such a pathetic charact assassination. … Frightened by a really good candidate

      1. He is a shareholder in the family business, that gives him some influence that he could have used to try to better the lives of the workforce but we know he didn’t do that because he came out & said that he would only bring in TU recognition & the living wage for the employees is if he was compelled to do so by law.

        Not exactly living Labour values there.

  2. Does anybody else get the feeling that these “Socialists” are in the wrong party endorsing the wrong people?

    “I am pro unilateral disarmament and supported Jeremy Corbyn before it was fashionable.”

    Something the Labour party has never been and isn’t planning to be under Corbyn and Anas Sarwar certainly isn’t.

    What is wrong with you people? Do you honestly think the people of Scotland zip up the back?

    “Discriminating against someone on account of the wealthy family”

    He was justifiably pillared for hypocrisy not for being wealthy. A man who ran his own business refusing to implement the living wage attacking others for not doing so.

    You can claim to be a Socialist as much as you like but your transparent lack of credibility coupled with your obvious priority of career over principles is a shining beacon of your own level of hypocrisy. No wonder you’re endorsing Anas Sarwar.

  3. No offence to the writer as she is defending her friend,but to say it’s his background which is the issue is a nonsense.
    It’s his actions and lack of them in other cases which is the issue most socialists have with Sarwar.
    It’s because of the way his wealth has been generated,profiting from exploiting low paid workers and them not having union protection.
    Then the transparent move of putting the shares in trust for his children after he was caught out,that’s the issue people have.
    How can you put that across on the doorsteps come campaigning time??
    To try argue for workers rights,to try defend the low paid,to fight for the things which gave being to the Labour Party with a leader who eschews those values to make himself rich on the backs of workers,that’s the problem.
    I’ve posed this question to many Sarwar supporters and I pose it again here on an open forum,give me any credible justification for what’s stated above regards Sarwar?
    So far,nobody has or can but I’ll wait to see if anyone makes an attempt too.

  4. We have a Glasgow councillor who along with all other members of that council is responsible for providing state education for young Glaswegians, yet endorses a person who clearly does not regard that education system as good enough for himself and his family. Sending his children to the same private school that his Labour MP rather sent him!

  5. Hate to say it Aileen the other commenters are correct .Its not his background or his wealth . Its how the workforce was treated .
    I am voting for Richard Leonard during my illness in 2014 . Which resulted in me receiving an ill health retirement .Richard and my union the GMB were with me all the way . They helped my employer to get me my ill health retirement pension.
    I will support whoever wins

  6. I agree with most of the comments here, unfortunately there is no justifiable response from Sarwar that validates his actions being aligned to socialist or indeed Labour Party values. Yes, he might be a good politician and put the work in and that’s to be commended but to be leader means to live and breath and communicate those values backed up by actions. For that reason anas, I’m out! My money and time and support is invested in richard Leonard
    Craig Wilson

    1. Why? There is no perceivable difference between Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard. Both are soulless politicians with no convictions other than to serve themselves by being party loyalists completely ignoring the fact that they are supposed to be in Service to the electorate and not to a political party.
      Face it there isn’t a single MSP in Labour worth the title. If I were going to pretend to have personal values and convictions I wouldn’t be able to convince a living soul I had any by pretending they motivate me to support Labour.

      Every time we have these Branch office leadership contests we always get the I support so and so because (List of non existing values convictions and decent record in politics) When the reality is always a case of giving support to the likeliest candidate who will advance your career.

      Its this level of blatant personal dishonesty which has become a major hallmark of Labour in Scotland that turns off the electorate.

      That seems to be a lesson Labour in Scotland stubbornly refuses to take on board.

      Fuck knows why. In the age of the Internet you still believe people cant see who you truly are which frankly takes the piss out of the concept of delusional.

  7. I also am a member of the RMT union, and I would say we dis-affiliated from Labour due to their swing to the right wing of politics.

    As for the rest of this article ? halos’ get your halo’s here.

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