Thursday, 28 March 2013

Margaret Curran Shadow Scotland Secretary Speech on A Better Future for Scotland’s People


What was, at the outset, a constitutional relationship built on pragmatism has become much more.

With every step – ever institution we built together, every shared experience, every movement of goods and people across our borders – the relationship between our nations deepened.

Atlee’s welfare state was a Labour invention that took root in London, but spread across the UK.

It was built to recognise the worth of everyone and to treat them equally with dignity and respect.

Some of the finest leaders of British Trade Unions didn’t come from England.

They Came from Scotland.

But their aspiration to improve the live and livelihood of working people extended beyond the borders of Scotland and were best served by shaping, influencing and leading British institutions.

They knew that was how they would bring about the greatest change.

And when, in my lifetime, we stood against Tory Governments, we didn’t use it as a reason to leave behind people how who were also suffering in Liverpool or Newcastle or Cardiff.

When I argued against the Poll Tax in Glasgow, I did it knowing that my voice joined others across the UK that were making the same case.

I would have taken little pleasure in thinking that my family in Glasgow were spared, but my family in Leeds still suffered.

And that case for working together is stronger now than it ever has been.

“The challenges we face now aren’t challenges that are going to be solved by building walls around ourselves”

In 2015 we will present people a clear choice.

It will be a set of ideas that will have building a better Scotland at its heart.

And we’re taking a new approach to how we develop our policy.

In the past few months we have started to develop the ideas will from Scottish Labour’s platform in the 2015 election

Ideas that haven’t been trough up in seminar room, but ideas that come from the communities across Scotland.

It will be a platform that will distinguish us both from the cruelty and incompetence of the Tories.

And the false promises and contradictions of the SNP.

And that’s were I think you see some of the biggest differences between the SNP and Labour

On the one hand, Ed Miliband who calls for a One Nation approach

An approach that says we should bind together to tackle one of the biggest political challenges we’ve face since the war.

Using the talents of everyone across the UK, no matter where are, to make our country great again.

It’s an approach that says we all have a contribution to make and none of us have a monopoly on wisdom.

Versus the SNP’s view of the world which is based on going alone

Breaking away from successful partnerships and trying to say there’s no benefit to be created from working together.

You can also choose a different approach to how we run our economy.

Earlier this year, Ed Miliband called time on trickledown economics – the idea that the best way to make us all better off is to make sure it’s easier for those at the top to fill Their pockets.

A generation of experience how has shown us that this just isn’t true.

But against this , we have a Scottish National party that as recently as last Thursday said they’d be willing to cut taxes for big companies because that’s the best way to create growth.

A Scottish National Party that still refuses to say they’re for or against the UK Government’s decision to scrap the 50p tax rate for the richest people a time when ordinary working people are suffering

And finally, you have the choice between a Labour Party led by a man who staked his reputation on getting the best deal for victims of press intrusion.

Versus Alex Salmond who wouldn’t admit on Sky News on Sunday morning when he last talked to Rupert Murdoch.
And in his approach to building One Nation, Ed Miliband knows that Scotland matters