Neil Findlay MSP says he’ll be ready to hit the ground running if elected on 13th December.
Gordon Brown made a typically effective speech this week when he announced his intention to stop being an MP (the part where he talked about it being time for a ‘new face with new ideas’ particularly caught my attention…).
It’s hardly the first time of course. It was a speech of his when he was chancellor that summed up for me what our party’s approach should be. The Labour Party, Gordon once told conference, is “Best when we are bold” and “Best when we are Labour”.
These are enduring truths that we should remember and act upon particularly when times are hard, as they undeniably are today, not just politically for Labour, but materially for hundreds of thousands of our people.
We need to be showing that Labour’s agenda is ambitious enough to match Scotland’s needs. And we need to start doing that now.
Very shortly I’ll be bringing forward a Bill in Holyrood to buy out existing PFI contracts and refinance them – long term that could put £12bn into public services. In arguing for it we’ll be contrasting our values with those of the SNP. Showing up their inadequacy in Government and making a case for our values.
If elected on Sat 13th December I’ll be holding Nicola Sturgeon to account in the chamber at Holyrood the next week, about their failure on the NHS.
This is the sort of leadership we need to be showing – in the parliament and the country , and we need to be showing it now.
Labour has a chance to offer hope to the many people who lost faith in Labour as being the vehicle to represent their interests and to be the party of progressive change for the many not the few.
We must show that we have a vision of redistributing wealth and power determination to build social housing to meet need and create employment, to tackle health and wealth inequality, to deal with the social care crisis, to make work more secure and to end youth unemployment.
In making these issues the political priorities I will help Labour make Scotland a better place for all of us. My focus will be on using the powers we have and from day one holding the SNP to account for not making better use of them.
In this campaign I’ve led from the front – with new thinking, original policy ideas, and targets ambitious enough to meet Scotland’s needs. It is by doing this that we can get labour noticed and put us in a situation where we can win again.
We need to win again, because Scotland needs Labour. Most people want an end to the constant talk of constitutional change. They want social change and not the increasingly fevered and triumphant nationalism that has no intention, and less capacity, to redistribute wealth and power and make life better for ordinary Scots.
That is why we need someone who can take the fight to them as soon as this contest is over. I will be ready for the first First Minister’s Questions to take the battle straight to the nationalists. I will hit the ground running and I will be there each week until May 2015 and then on to May 2016 taking that fight straight to them. No need for by-elections or sending in substitutes – I’ll be there , making the case, exposing the nationalist failures , winning the arguments. That is a promise that I am making to every current and prospective Labour Party member and voter.
In taking the fight straight to the nationalists and leading with a progressive agenda that meets the aspirations of the vast majority of Scots, promising a fairer and more just Scotland, I believe that we can win.
Their triumphalism and fixation with the constitution will prove a weakness. Through showing leadership in areas where they are continually failing, the NHS, social care and colleges, we can gain support
Under my leadership we will take the fight to them. I will bring the fresh thinking needed to develop a policy programme that exposes the hollow rhetoric of the SNP and in so doing I will help us win again.
By being bold. By being Labour.