Our party’s commitment to improving our society is as strong as ever. Having knocked on many doors and spoken to lots of members, I’ve found that commitment, above all else, is what unites us. Having had so many interesting and lively discussions, I wanted to share some of what people have been saying.
Ideas are alive and well in our party. Here are just a few that I have been hearing about.
The referendum changes everything and yet it changes nothing. Whatever the result, the political balance will change, and it is impossible to predict what will happen. However it doesn’t change the truth of our enduring message of social justice and our fight against economic inequality.
The vision we have for a better, fairer, more equal society does not depend on a particular constitutional set-up. We just need to speak up, speak out and speak loud about it.
Our politics must always be rooted in people’s lives. The Labour movement grew from the inequalities that working people faced. Today’s challenges are different, but our approach must be the same. We must be the party that builds opportunity at work, fighting against things like zero-hours contracts and phoney apprenticeships that are only there to allow employers to evade the minimum wage.
We must also be the party that fights for pensioners and delivers better child care, because these are the everyday issues that challenge us all.
It is striking how many members feel that this issue needs to be more adequately addressed by Labour. Ultimately the only way we can secure social justice is if we can create a sustainable economy and society. Its clear to me that we need a strategy that focuses on both big and small. We need infrastructure to eliminate car journeys and generate electricity sustainably. Similarly we need to make sure our homes and workplaces are efficient and use energy wisely.
I think its really important that parliament draws on people from lots of different walks of life. As someone whose experience comes from small business rather than politics, I feel I can provide insight and skills that could make a contribution to the Labour benches in parliament.
Education is the engine of opportunity. You may have seen in the news that the latest Pisa results show that Scotland’s education system has stalled under the SNP. And their cannibalisation of Further Education funding to support their Higher Education policy undermines critical vocational and technical education
We should have a bold and ambitious education policy that sets out to be the best in Europe, that provides rigorous vocational training and high academic standards in equal measure.
Selecting a candidate is about trust. We need to trust that our representatives in parliament have the right values and experience so we can be confident they will make the right judgements on our behalf. The best way to build that trust is by meeting people face to face. That’s why I am trying to call on as many members as I can before the vote.
I would also like to add that every “sorry you were out” card that has been delivered was posted by me! So if you were out when I called, I hope to get in touch soon, and I’d be delighted to hear from you.