Aiden O’Rourke is the Secretary of Scottish Labour Young Socialists.
I read a recent article by Rory Steel on why Corbyn supporters in Scotland should back the SNP with interest, so I think that as a Yes voter and campaigner, as a former SNP member after the referendum, and a former member of the SSP, it might be appropriate if I give the response of the very person Rory seems to think should vote SNP.
First off, if most of the Corbynites are in the SNP, why is the SNP manifesto so bland compared to the radical policies Corbyn has put forth? It might have been true before that the route to socialism wasn’t open with Scottish Labour – that itself is debatable – but any self respecting socialist would know that conditions are constantly changing, that today’s situation is very different to where we were in 2014. With polls of those certain to vote putting Labour on 39% – 3 behind the Tories – and with us now reaching highs of 40% and no doubt beyond in the final days of the campaign, to claim our path to socialism is only through Indy is nonsensical; this claim is especially ridiculous when in the poll cited, of all those polled, Labour have an astonishing 5 point lead, with polls among the 18-24 category putting Labour on a staggering 68% vote share.
In terms of the policies Rory cites, the difference between Labour and the SNP in terms of the General Election is that only one of our two parties can actually put these policies into effect; the other, even if given a generous 56 MPs as before, can do little other than fall on deaf ears on the sidelines, Labour can and will put its progressive, anti-austerity manifesto into action – if socialist comrades supporting the SNP want to see a better Scotland, then it’s clear they must vote for Corbyn’s Labour. That polls are on a knife edge shows just how crucial the Scottish vote will be, to wake up on June 9 to a Tory government is a horror to any decent thinking person, so let’s keep them out.
As to the next couple of points raised, of course Corbyn won’t be around for ever, unlike Mrs May he is actually human – as much as it’s a shame he isn’t immortal, I speak from experience when I say that the work of the resurgent left in our party in training up the next generation of socialist leaders is going strong; and as Scottish Labour Young Socialists Secretary, I’m proud to be a part of this exciting process – a sentence I never thought I would say in the run up to the 2014 referendum.
That’s why I urge all socialists and progressives, all people who dream of a better world to make that a reality on June 8 by voting for the most progressive Labour government in a generation. On June 8 vote Labour, on June 9 put into effect one of the most exciting socialist platforms we’ve seen within our lifetimes.