Friday, 29 May 2015

5 things Scottish Labour should do (but might not)

Scottish Labour is on its knees after a shattering defeat. What’s the way back? 
The party's problems are profound, but here’s five things Scottish Labour could do right now as a start  (but probably won't):

1) Adopt one member one vote - an easy reform, giving equal value to every selection. No one has anything to fear from it.    

2) Re-open the list - bloodletting is due over candidate selection that gave no-hopers a Holyrood seat. Labour needs top talent in #Scotparl5.

3) Hold open primaries - bring a friend to the selection party. Hugely successful in the SNP referendum campaign, adopted by Harman for the UK leadership. Open primaries throw up new talent.

4) Talk to trade unionists - ignore barons by all means, but the trade union movement remains the heart of Labour. Most progressive polices in the UK started as union campaigns.  

5) Embrace new Scotland - Scotland is a modern nation, bolted by terabytes not rivets. Stop talking about the past and offer the future.    

Five things it shouldn’t do (but might):

1) Don’t look back in anger - history is in the rear view mirror, the party could be too. Don't blame Donald or Jim or anyone but yourself. Your opponents are in front, not behind. Get on with winning.

2) Don’t forget the who won the referendum - high turn-out was driven by middle-class voters saving the UK. Make an offer on aspiration, not just welfare.  

3) Don’t separate from UK Labour - that buys the nationalist narrative of Scotland being ”different”. Labour achieves by common endeavour, not by division. 

4) Don’t deny reality - reconnecting on voters’ trust is hard work and takes time.

5) Don’t give up - against failing school and health standards, Scotland needs a social democratic alternative to nationalism more than ever.  

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