Following Richard Leonard’s resignation as Scottish Labour leader, Scottish Socialist Party National Co-spokespersons Colin Fox and Róisín McLaren have reiterated the need of Scotland’s socialists for an avowedly socialist party.
As the 18th consecutive poll shows consistent public support for Scottish independence, and another Left-wing Labour leader is driven out, it is clear that Labour’s dogmatic anti-self-determination stance is harming, not helping, the Left-wing, socialist, working-class movement in Scotland.
“The resignation of Richard Leonard as Scottish Labour leader comes as no surprise. Anyone familiar with the position Labour found itself in long expected it. Elected three years ago, when Labour was in the grip of ‘Corbynmania’, he was ‘a dead man walking’ after last year’s General Election.
“The hard truth is that the most Left-wing leader Scottish Labour has ever had was, unfortunately, also its least effective. Both Corbyn and Leonard have now gone, to be replaced by figures from the Right-wing of their Party. There is no doubt Sir Keir Starmer was behind Leonard’s departure.”
“The fundamental problem for Labour in Scotland remains, however, their stance on ‘the national question’.
“The view Labour and Richard Leonard took cut them off from the very people they must appeal to most. Labour’s working-class heartlands abandoned the party long ago, over its attitude to independence and its political alliance with the hated Tories. The candidates to succeed Leonard, such as Anas Sarwar MSP, are the continuity candidates as far as that stance is concerned.
“The departure of Scottish Labour’s ninth leader since devolution will soon be followed by its tenth. Richard Leonard’s departure is not only embarrassing, just months before the Holyrood election, but it will change very little.
“Those who joined the Labour Party under Corbyn have been racing out the door in droves over the past year. Richard Leonard was increasingly friendless in his own party and that is why he has resigned.
“Those who want to see a socialist Scotland are welcome to join Scotland’s socialist party. The lesson here is that socialists should be in a socialist party, and neither Labour nor the SNP fit that description.”