Today sees a new chapter for Scottish Labour. When I launched my bid to be Leader of Scottish Labour I said that we had unfinished business from the review of the party conducted following the 2011 Scottish elections.
I therefore welcome today’s announcement by the newly elected Leader, Jim Murphy, of 5 key principles for the re-founding and rebirth of the party.
The principles set out by Jim are that:
- We will make it clear that the Scottish Labour Party is both a democratic socialist party and a patriotic party.
- We will declare ourselves a party that represents Scotland first.
- We will set in stone the total devolution of policy making in devolved areas. Policy will be made in Scotland, for Scotland, by our Scottish Party, putting the needs of Scotland first.
- We will make a commitment in our party constitution to a permanent and powerful Scottish Parliament.
- We will renew our historic mission for a more equal and fairer society where power, wealth and opportunity are more fairly shared by our fellow Scots and our fellow human beings around the world.
I fully support those principles which underline our commitment to promote social justice, fairness, equality and solidarity. The statement from the new leader is his ‘Clause 4’ moment – a statement of ambition to redefine our party and move forward following the referendum.
The next few weeks will see the chance for members across our movement to debate these proposals to change the Scottish Labour Party. Our spring Conference in March will then approve our new Scottish constitution.
To quote from Jim’s speech, “After today it will no longer be a matter of opinion but a statement of an unbreakable fact, reflected in the constitution and DNA of our party, that decisions about Scotland will be made here in Scotland.”