This year’s general election was utterly disastrous for Labour in Scotland. The pan-Unionist voting bloc promised by the Party’s right-wing simply did not materialise. This resulted in an utter rout of the Scottish Labour Party, which retained a single MP, and lost a great many socialist voices in the process. The simple arithmetic of our electoral system means that Labour will have to recover in Scotland if there is going to be any possibility of casting the Conservatives from Government.
At the same time as the rudderless Parliamentary Labour Party in Westminster seems content with surrendering all initiative to the Conservatives, Scottish Labour has proven either unable or unwilling to counter the nationalist positions with genuine Left-wing politics. A reflection of this is the fact that the rump independence movement still managing to rally large numbers of supporters, far exceeding anything any comparable Left-wing movement is able to raise.
Recently however, opportunities to alter this intolerable status have arisen. Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has proven a catalyst for the mobilisation of the grassroots in favour of broad Social Democratic policies and ideas. There is a possibility now to work towards rebuilding Labour’s founding ideals, and to reject discredited economic dogma that currently holds such sway over our politics.
Scottish Labour Young Socialists is a new youth organisation for members, trade unionists and activists who ascribe to Democratic Socialist principles. Our political position is that being a Labour Party member should be about so much more than knocking doors at election time, and that more democratic and responsive structures are required for Scottish Labour to rejuvenate itself. We will be running grassroots campaigns, political education and will spent time organising young people in their workplaces and trade unions.