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leader. must unite party.. and country.

Byline: JACK McCONNELL FORMER FIRST MINISTER

SCOTLAND is crying out for hope and change. The new leader of Scottish Labour must offer that if the party are to inspire more support from Scottish voters and our country is to move on from the divisive politics of the past decade.

The pandemic. has exposed the deep problems in the Scottish economy and in education and after the lockdowns are over, our country will have to build back better if our young people are to have a future.

As we emerge from this crisis, Scotland needs leader.ship and policies that create jobs, improve outcomes in education and create a healthier, cleaner and safer country.

These have to be the priorities for the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party, the people's priorities.

Scottish Labour needs a leader who wants to be First

Minister and who has a vision for our country that he or she is determined to deliver.

For years, Scottish politics has been polarised, divided between extreme nationalism and the extreme unionism of the Conservatives.

Neither of these two options will deliver the future that young Scots need.

A third road is essential, and there is an alternative. Scotland wants and needs a strong force for social justice, a social democratic party who believe in a strong, vibrant, fair economy, quality public services and strong communities. The new leader will be faced with many challenges. They must unite the party and inspire the country. They need to be a voice for those who have been left behind by the nationalists and the Conservatives.

They will need to speak for all of Scotland, rebuilding Labour outside of the old traditional heartlands, and they will need to have ideas and policies that can put their vision for the country into practice.

leader.ship that can unite the party and then unite the country will receive SUPPORT.

The Scottish Labour Party and its new leader have to rebuild their relationship with those who generate wealth and create jobs, support groups campaigning against injustice and for improvements in their local community, and speak for Scotland inside the UK and beyond.

The next few years will be no time for divisive politics.

With radical policies and ambition, we can make Scotland's schools among the world's best again, counter climate change and support the changes in work and our lives that will result, attract investment and build more successful companies, protect the public and reduce the disgraceful level of drug deaths.

This is our mission. Many Scots are crying out for Labour to step up and show they are fit for government again in Scotland. These are the challenges and I hope that our new leader is ready to face them.

. McConnell was a Labour First Minister from 2001 to 2007.

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Author:JACK McCONNELL FORMER FIRST MINISTER
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 16, 2021
Words:466
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