The STUC’s St Andrew’s Day March is an opportunity for the labour movement to look back at what we have achieved in the fight for racial equality here in Scotland.
Through big struggles we’ve come together and recast our society.
Working together with BME communities throughout the UK and in solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the movement, we have made considerable advancements:
- The Race Relations Act
- Equal Pay Legislation
- The Equality Act
- Better representation of BME communities in Parliament – both at Westminster and Holyrood.
But as we remember the significance of battles won, we need to be united together in the fights we still face:
- The rapid growth of UKIP and the politics of intolerance and bigotry.
- Rising Islamophobia spreading fear and hatred in the hearts of our communities.
- The persistence of racially aggravated violence on our streets.
- Almost half of BME young people are out of work, more than double the level of white youth unemployment.
So as Scotland moves past two years of constitutional debate it’s time for the labour family to reimagine Scotland.
The referendum changed Scottish politics forever, but it doesn’t matter how you voted on September 18th. What matters is what we do now.
If you believe in combatting racism, creating sustainable and inclusive growth, a living wage and putting an end to the politics of fear – then we are in this fight together.
Next May the people of Scotland will go to the polls again where the choice will be between a Labour Party committed to creating jobs for young people through our Compulsory Jobs Guarantee, paid for by a tax on bankers’ bonuses, raising tax on the richest in society, increasing the Living Wage and delivering more powers to the Scottish Parliament or a Tory Party who will give more tax cuts to millionaires while delivering a cost of living crisis for everyday families.
When we meet again next year I want all of us to have worked together to consign the coalition government to the dustbin of history, and begin a new chapter in the struggle for equality.
Anas Sarwar, MP
Acting Leader of the Scottish Labour Party