Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
27 May 2019updated 08 Sep 2021 2:53pm

Scottish Labour risks irrelevance if it doesn’t listen to voters

This election felt like watching a slow motion car crash. The leadership got this wrong, and they need to fix it - by being straight with people and staying true to our values.  

By Ged Killen

People in Scotland have used this election to send a clear message that they remain opposed to Brexit. Across the UK, Labour has lost out to unambiguously pro-Remain parties. 

Our result in Scotland was a disaster, made all the more painful by the loss of David Martin, the UK’s longest serving MEP. I pay tribute to David’s excellent work on behalf of the people of Scotland over three decades. The result is certainly no fault of his and no reflection on his extraordinary record. 

This election felt like watching a slow motion car crash. The outcome was entirely avoidable and incredibly frustrating for people like me who have consistently argued for a final say referendum with Labour campaigning to remain. Instead, we have tried and failed to be all things to all people and it has left voters confused about what we stand for.  It is crucial that we heal divisions in the country, but we can only do that by being straight with people and staying true to our values.

Scottish Labour now has a choice to make: we can start listening and respond with the courage of our convictions, or we can continue to stick our heads in the sand and become an irrelevance in Scotland. 

Like thousands of our activists and supporters, I joined the Labour Party to make a real difference. If we seriously believe in becoming a party of government, we need to give the country something to believe in. We need a message that our dedicated activists will be proud to deliver when they are out pounding the streets in election after election. 

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

The leadership got this wrong, and they need to fix it. It’s time to drop the empty sound bites and start an honest conversation. Brexit is not only socially and economically damaging for the country, it is fundamentally incompatible with Labour’s values and the brighter future we all desperately want to build.

Content from our partners
Cybercrime is becoming more like a standard business
What are the green skills of the future?
A global hub for content producers, gaming and entertainment companies in Abu Dhabi

Ged Killen is the Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West