The Campaign for Socialism is devastated by the loss of voices for socialism like that of Katy Clark who lost her seat in North Ayrshire and Arran and that of Kenny Selbie who was standing for the first time in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy. However their energy and vision will be important in reasserting the importance of socialist ideas in Scottish politics.
It has to be conceded that Labour is no longer the trusted agency of social change in Scotland because many of the initiatives undertaken by Labour since 1997 have been detrimental to working class interests – a continued decline in manufacturing hence well paid jobs, an increase in financialising the economy with de-regulation leading to the crash and austerity; continued suppression of trade union rights and the consequent collapse in wages and the increase in ‘flexible’ low paid employment and the privatisation and outsourcing of services. The Tories may have intensified these, but Labour initiated them.
Jim Murphy and his team personify this history. Therefore he and his team must accept that and stand aside to allow Keiza Dugdale, the Depute Leader of Scottish Labour, to oversee this fundamental re-appraisal.As a contribution to this discussion the CfS will be holding a conference soon in Glasgow to shape a socialist manifesto for the 2016 election.
Chair of the Campaign for Socialism Vince Mills said:
“The trust that the working people of Scotland have invested in Scottish Labour, which was built up over a hundred years, has been squandered in two decades by New Labour and its acolytes. It will take years to restore it, but we must begin the task immediately. We hope Jim Murphy realises that he is closely identified with the politics that brought Labour’s demise and that his continued presence will prevent the restoration of Labour’s place as the champion of radical change.”