STUC on General Election Result

May 8th 2015

Commenting on the General Election result, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

“We have witnessed a truly historic outcome in Scotland to the General Election, the ramifications of which are likely to fundamentally transform not just Scottish politics but our country.

“It is clear that there is in Scotland a monumental movement for change, a movement that has, at this time, invested its hopes and trust in the SNP.

“Their demand was not for Independence. It was for a progressive policy agenda. It was for an end to austerity, an end to exploitative work practices, an end to poverty, and a positive future for our young people. This is the agenda that the people of Scotland expect to be fought for at Westminster on their behalf.

“The democratic deficit that now exists in the governance of the UK demands early and considered attention to the extension of Scottish devolution.

“The Smith Commission proposals were in truth a half-baked and in incoherent political compromise, the consequence of an absence of proper engagement with the people of Scotland.

“Clearly they will have to be revisited and the same mistake avoided. It is crucial that, in their understandable enthusiasm to make progress, SNP MP do not ignore their obligation to engage Scottish civil society in determining the nature of a new devolution settlement.

“We must avoid at all costs a settlement that seeks to serve Tory party self-interest, a self-interest that we witnessed during the campaign in the party’s callous collusion with the right wing media to provoke anti-Scottish sentiment in its ruthless pursuit of power.

“The SNP must be willing to carefully consider and respond to the genuine and deeply worrying concerns that we and many others have over its demand for full fiscal autonomy. If its objective in securing more powers for the Scottish Parliament is to improve economic competitiveness and reduce inequality it would be far better focusing on the devolution of workplace protection.

“I will be making this point to the First Minster when we meet next week.

“The election of a Tory Government at Westminster is a disaster for working people across the UK. With Labour in Government we would have had some hope of a more progressive agenda on workplace protection. We now face the prospect of further Tory attacks on union organisation and activity which will destabilise UK industrial relations.

“We will seek to build a political and civic coalition both in Scotland and across the UK to resist these attacks with union membership and activity at its heart.

“The result was obviously a total disaster for the Scottish Labour Party. The loss of a number of Labour MPs with whom we worked closely over many years is disappointing. It is clear that the Party has lost the confidence of many working people and not just because of its approach to the Referendum. It needs to fundamentally reconsider not just its message but the authenticity of how that message is delivered.

“I congratulate Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP on a stunning election success. They now have the responsibility to fight for the real and progressive change for Scotland that the people have backed them to deliver. “


For further information contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100

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