Co-Convenor and National Spokesperson of Labour for Independence.
I would like to begin this statement by offering a huge thanks to all of our activists, members and supporters over the last 30 months. With your support we were able to grow from a Facebook page to a political organisation whose logo, name and political view made it’s way into the very heart of the referendum campaign.
The people of Scotland have spoken, with the highest turnout in a generation, while we are disappointed, devastated and grief stricken at the result we must accept it as the will of the people of Scotland, who at this particular moment in our nations history have decided to vote no. We must follow the words of Margo MacDonald and come together as a people to ensure that we enforce Westminster’s pledge of more powers for Scotland. We cannot let the outer fringes of our national debate work to destroy our national pride.
If I can be permitted to speak personally in this official statement. The most difficult part for me in the fallout of this vote was to have to face my three sons yesterday morning knowing that we have let them and their generation down. I picked up my 5 month old son and whispered an apology to him with tears rolling down my face. Instinctively he leaned in to comfort his dad, for about 3 seconds, then he leaned back and slapped me across the face as babies do. I took it in the spirit I hope he meant. Your 3 seconds of grief are over, it’s time to continue the fight.
I consider my family to be fortunate, we do not have riches, but we are not one of the 800,000 living in poverty in Scotland. My children do not have everything they want but they are not one of the 1 in 4 living in poverty in this country. While often we have endured tough times we are not one of the thousands who have had to use food banks in Scotland this year.
These issues are why we campaigned for a yes vote and they are still the issues we will fight for. We have not been alone in this campaign. I am proud that we have shared a platform with Jeane Freeman, Jim Sillars, Colin Fox, Jonathon Shafi, Carolyn Leckie, Cat Boyd, John Finnie and Jeane Urquhart. We consider them and the great many of their parties, groups and individuals who follow them as brothers and sisters in our cause. This also includes a great many of our comrades throughout Yes Scotland’s local areas. It comes as no surprise that the regions who voted yes have real Labour values and traditions running through their core.
This is why the sights and sounds from the Labour leadership during this campaign have been particularly difficult to swallow. From Johann Lamont’s ‘something for nothing society’ to her smiling outside Asda at the claims that their prices would rise after a yes vote, inflicting more hardship and despair among the working class and poor. From the high fives with Tories at many counts to Jim Murphy’s embrace with Annabel Goldie in Clydebank of all places. I am fully aware of the dejection and despondency many Labour members and supporters feel at this time. I fully accept the personal decisions of all our supporters to re-examine their affiliations with not only the party but also Labour for Independence.
It is for this reason that I, my fellow Co-Convenor Deborah Waters, invite our executive, prominent Labour supporters of LFI and delegates of each of the 32 regions which voted in Scotland to a meeting in Glasgow on October 4th. This meeting will decide what, if any future Labour for Independence will have and how we move forward. I also invite those names I mentioned above to a separate meeting that same day to discuss how we can maintain the solidarity shared throughout the left in this campaign moving forward.
Our wounds are very raw at this moment, now is the time for reflection and renewal. It is through our endeavours that Dundee, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and Glasgow voted for the opportunity for change. It is why many in our nation, the 45% yearn for a better way. We owe it to them to come together and consider our future choices, for the betterment of our nation.