Ian Murray MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, is absolutely correct to say today that now is the time for the next tranche of Scots to step forward to lead the Labour movement in Scotland. Brown, Smith, Dewar, McConnell and others all changed Scotland immeasurably for the better, but now is the time for a fresh start.
This does not mean that we forget what the giants of the Labour movement have achieved, from creating the NHS to establishing a national minimum wage, but we must now entrust fresh faces to take forward Labour values and the social justice agenda Scotland.
Anyone who as ever attended a Labour party meeting will confirm that there is no shortage of ideas or commitment in the movement. These are not people who blame others for society’s problems, but seek to convince everyone that social justice is in their interest.
The challenge is for the Labour to use these activists, and their number is growing by the day, to fully engage with their communities and rebuild trust in the movement. This grassroots is where the next Labour’s generation of Community Councillors, Councillors, MSPs and MPs will come from.
This is why it is important that Ian Murray gave this speech. He is proof that when kids in deprived areas are given a chance they will succeed. However, as his Edinburgh South constituency is arguably a microcosm of Scotland, he also evidences that the electorate will trust a politician who listens and tirelessly supports the community they represent.
The next Scottish Labour leader must listen to Mr Murray’s argument, learn from his work ethic and challenge the grassroots to exceed his expectations.