Labour must understand the seismic shift in Scots politics

Labour must understand the seismic shift in Scots politics

25 October 2014

Commenting on the resignation of Johann Lamont as leader of the Scottish Labour party, Pat Rafferty, Scottish secretary of Unite the union, said: "Johann Lamont's departure must now spark the desperately needed process of renewal in Scottish Labour's relationship with the people of this nation.

"Unite urges the party to take full and honest consideration of the recognisable concerns raised by Ms Lamont.

"Labour in Scotland must understand that there has been a seismic change in the political landscape in our country.  People want a party that grasps this and has the vision to work with them to build the fairer nation they desire.

“The problems facing Labour in Scotland did not start and end with the referendum; the party has not won an election in Scotland since 2003, and it was routed in the Scottish parliamentary elections of 2011. It has this that has been the settled will of the people; a repeated rejection of Labour's offer as inadequate.

“The reality is that voters struggle to tell you what Labour stands for and, where there is a view, it is that the party's timidity in policy is designed to appeal to the more advantaged in our nation.

“The next Scottish leader must forge a clear, social democratic and Scottish identity - tackling head-on the list of inequalities in our economy and society, and delivering the devolved nation our people seek, or it will not find support among the people.

“There can be no more business as usual because politics across these islands are in flux. Labour nationally must understand this, allowing the party in Scotland to divine its destiny, not have one foist upon it from SW1. This moment for genuine change must not be extinguished.

"Unite, as the biggest affiliate to the Labour party, will be ensuring our members' participate fully in this election and that their views are given full voice as we chose Labour's new Scottish leader."


For further information contact Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861 or Peter Welsh on 07810 157931

Notes to editors:

  • Unite has 165,000 members in Scotland.