This piece was originally published in the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser
Andrew Bustard is an SLYS activist from Coatbridge
Following the recent by-election in Coatbridge North and Glenboig I feel compelled to congratulate Labour on their two victories in one week, and state my support for the changes that are happening in the party.
Victories like this hopefully signal the beginning of a fightback in North Lanarkshire for Labour, after the success of Alex McVey and of course the unsurprising landslide victory of Jeremy Corbyn the following Saturday.
It was a pleasure for myself and my friends to meet Mr Corbyn right here in Lanarkshire just days before the by-election, reiterating the compassionate and people-driven ideas we were promoting to local residents on the doorstep for Alex McVey.
Jeremy Corbyn is clearly offering something totally different from many other politicians. I know a number of young people who admire Corbyn. I believe this is because people have had enough of political leaders settling for the status quo – and it is only Corbyn who offers hope for a fairer society that works for us all. I hope your readers will give an audience to the new ideas he is trying to put forward.
Myself and my fellow members of the Labour Party, locally and nationally, want to see a politics that puts the working class firmly in the saddle; a politics that acknowledges and celebrates the proud industrial heritage of areas across the country; and an internationalist politics concerned with helping the many, not the few – at home and overseas.
It would be senseless not to comprehend why so many working class people deserted Labour in North Lanarkshire, but locally focused candidates like Alex McVey definitely go a long way in reconnecting with those who felt Labour had simply lost its meaning and left them behind.
I hope that the many different parties in Coatbridge and Airdrie can put the people first and the party whip second for once, and fight in unison against the horrendous cuts to the Monklands Hospital administered by Edinburgh; and promote Coatbridge as the kind of town young people like myself want to stay and prosper in.