JohannqwigM3dW Lamont sets out why she is backing Kezia Dugdale to be the next Scottish Labour leader.


We would wish we were not here.

Scottish Labour is still in shock and we have many questions to ask of ourselves, arguments to reflect on and changes to make. That will not be done quickly and cannot be for elected politicians alone.

If Labour’s commitment to the values of justice and equality are to heard again, the process of recovery must be shaped by those who have stopped listening to us.

Electing a new leader will not be enough but the right leader, supported and encouraged, can guide and drive that change. This job cannot be a zero hours contract but a long term, long haul appointment.

It is hardly the easiest of jobs. Indeed, I have reflected that too often our party comes together to elect a leader and then steps back, arms folded, waiting to be disappointed. We cannot allow that luxury now. Choosing a leader must be for the long term. There is no quick fix, no gimmick, no short term ploy that will match the respect we need to show those who have turned away.

So why do I support Kez?

She is bright, talented, compassionate.  She is brave. She is wise enough to have taken time to decide whether she wants the job. As our education spokesperson she revealed a creativity, harnessed to a focus on what worked, not just what sounded good. She is a campaigner,  recognising  the abilities of those who understand the problems facing too many in our communities and have already developed answers. Her campaign on taking on the scandal of pay day loan companies has, even in opposition, offered protection to those in debt.

She is all of these things but critically she is part of the post referendum generation, shaped by that debate but not scarred  by the arguments of the pre Scottish Parliament generation – hers is the generation charged with healing divisions and responding to a changed Scotland.

Her instinct is to co-operate and that is good. Her politics are grounded in making a difference and tackling inequality and that means she can be a powerful voice for action over rhetoric.

She can give Labour a strong voice, a modern voice  in our new Scotland. And if she wins, it will not be for us to fold our arms and watch; it will be for all of us to roll our sleeves up and together take responsibility for past failings and for the challenge the future so clearly presents. And in my view Kez is the woman to lead that change.

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6 thoughts on “Why I am supporting Kez

  1. As a member of the voting public in Scotland, i’d rather hear about the “branch office” remark from Johann.

  2. So you think Kezia is grounded in making a difference and tackling inequality and yet she voted against free school meals for primary 1 to 3 children. You say she knows and understands the problems we face in our communities I have to disagree with you on that one. Anyone who knows and understands the problems of what is happening in our communities would do her utmost to end those problems in our communities. For too long labour have been in a position of take, take, take and are not willing to give, give, give.
    People have put their trust in labour for many years and have watched as people become poorer, homes become uninhabitable and areas that were once nice places to live have become ghettos where no one wants to live.
    You yourself said the immortal words that London labour treat Scottish labour like a branch office and this is very true and I agree with that statement. You were told by Margaret Curran not to oppose the bedroom tax till it had run for 12 months so that Ed Miliband could see how it was panning out.
    There is no such party as Scottish labour and we all know this to be true it is an accounting department of The Labour Party.
    As for Kezia becoming leader of The Labour Party branch office in Scotland she has shown how incompetent she can be by raising issues in Holyrood that are either false or have no foundation and she has been put in her place on more than one occasion.
    The Labour Party in Scotland have failed to take up the mantle for the Scottish
    people and fight for what is right and just, they follow London Labours orders as you know and are only allowed to say what London wants them to say.
    While the Labour Party have promised to get tough on scroungers and don’t want to be seen as the party of the welfare claimant they promise to represent those high achievers and those who aspire to do better with their lives. How can the Scottish people aspire to do better in their lives when all through the referendum campaign the Scottish people were told your not good enough, you will amount to nothing and can’t offer anything of worth, you can’t afford to do it without London and without London you will fail and let Scotland down.
    Jim Murphy was a great campaigner during the referendum with his 100 days tour, he did more to knock the aspirations and confidence of the Scottish people that westminster could have done.
    People in Scotland were weary and tired of being put down and being told they were worthless. We are not worthless, we are not scroungers, and we will not listen anymore to labour in Scotland telling us the same old story.
    Kezia is young and admitted she sort of fell into the Labour Party in fact she went to one meeting and came away with not only a membership but had been offered a job. She stated that she didn’t want politics to be all she had in her life and that she wanted to move away from Scotland to sunnier climate so if it a long term leader you are looking for it is not Kezia and as for the Labour Party in Scotland it’s had it’s day in the limelight, things have changed, the people have changed but the Labour Party remained the same.

  3. The most embarrassing moment during the general election for Scottish Labour, was when Jim Murphy was asked how he would grow the Scottish economy. He had no clue; waffled on about the living wage, but basically could give no answer.
    Scottish Labour has to sit down and come up with basic answers to the problems we all face, if they are to get votes back.
    So how would Kezia grow Scotland’s economy? It might be the Tories will be in power in Westminster for many years, so does she want Holyrood to have serious economic teeth? A Scottish Labour Party?
    In polling for some years now, Scots have been in favour of all powers bar foreign affairs and defence to come to Scotland–does Kezia?
    It has become convenient that there is now a “black hole” in Scotland’s economy( compare the wealth of Norway to that of Scotland, from a similar start ). But Scotland is run, economically, from London. So if we have had poor growth and a stunted economy, after four decades of oil revenues flowing south, couldn’t we do better running the economy ourselves?
    Or does Labour still want to leave big decisions to those people in London, who cannot see much further than Manchester.
    Scottish Labour should campaign on Federalism. Abolish the Lords. A fair voting system. Nuclear disarmament.
    Start today.
    All Labour Peers should walk out of the Lords. Convince the LibDems to do likewise.
    End of the Lords. Today.

  4. The people of Scotland will never trust The Labour Party (RED TORYS ) ever again, you and your lot betrayed everything that you supposedly stood for. You are finished in Scotland.

  5. Johann , of all my fellow Scots, you are the biggest disappointment.
    You saw how The Labour Party used Scotland, but you waited until after the referendum to saw so.

  6. I’m for kez as leader as well.

    I’m delighted that a legacy of your own leadership Johann is that you have opened up the space within the party to meaningfully discuss the universalism which has (even if well intentioned) not necessarily delivered the best possible outcomes for the poorest in our society.

    Yourself and Neil Findlay have been (from my distant perspective) the clearest voices in Scotland suggesting a recalibration of the tax system is necessary to ensure that when we spend $ on universal entitlements, we don’t fall short on the responsibility to deliver to the best of our potential for those most in need.

    Hopefully with the early moves on the 50p rate, and with increased visibility among the electorate of the SNP’s ability (and demonstrable reluctance) to recalibrate our tax system, voters might treat more credibly Labour’s redistributive credentials next year than they were this.

    Personally, that’s the Labour leadership I want; it’s the Labour campaign I want to be part of next year, and it’s the campaign I hope Kez is leading.

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