Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the general election campaign launch. Photo: Neda Radulović-Viswanatha Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the general election campaign launch. Photo: Neda Radulović-Viswanatha

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is offering hope in Scotland, reports Mark Porciani from the campaign trail in Glasgow North East

The first weeks in Glasgow North East, and Scotland in general, have started well for the new Scottish Labour Party that has emerged under Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard’s leadership. 

Campaign For Socialism in Scotland has a vibrant online presence that is confident enough to declare ”turn the Clyde Red this Christmas”. The mood on the doors and streets in the part of Glasgow I live in is showing the potential for this to be increasingly the case.

The launch for Scottish Labour was opened by Sean Baillie organiser of Living Rent. Sean, like many activists in Scotland, became active as a consequence of the Independence Movement in 2014. He was clear that he saw the demands for change, expressed in that movement, in Labour now.

As Sean spoke, Living Rent was going around Glasgow delivering letters to Housing Association’s demanding not to evict tenants in arrears as a consequence of Universal Credit. The next speaker at Scottish Labour’s launch was Pam Duncan Glancy. She is a disability activist standing to be the MP for Glasgow North. Voices like hers are critical in a future Labour Government to end the injustices of the last decade under Tory-Lib Dem Austerity. 

Since this is a winter election, thinking on our feet is critical. While out canvassing, I noticed a lot of areas not registered to vote. We are knocking on these doors and encouraging people to register and vote Labour. When they’re not in we are leaving a leaflet and a form to register to vote. 

In Glasgow North East we are campaigning for Paul Sweeney to be reelected. He is certainly seen now as a good constituency MP, who represented his community well. This feeds well into the energy that Jeremy Corbyn brings to campaigning this cold November. 

At one of her establishment media-supported Press Conferences, Nicola Sturgeon declared her “SNP MPs would go to Westminster to make demands” on issues like Universal Credit or the National Minimum Wage. What good are demands when a Labour majority Government can deliver?

The difference between Boris Johnson in Downing Street or Jeremy Corbyn could come down to what happens in Scotland. In 2017, Labour was close to winning the popular vote. If Corbyn had won this he would have had a stronger position and mandate against the Tories over the last two and half years. 

This election has to be about class unity, not nationalist division currently expressed in the visions of the SNP or the Farage-BoJo alliance at this election. If we want a Labour Government we need to vote Labour. Or as one family told us on the doors: “we can have a socialist red flag over Downing Street for Christmas.”