Neil Findlay: Corbyn win reinvigorates Labour Party

"Labour is back." Picture: PA

"Labour is back." Picture: PA

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JEREMY Corbyn’s resounding victory represents a political change earthquake, the consequences of which will reverberate across Britain and beyond in the weeks, months and years to come.

Amongst other things, Jeremy’s victory shatters the illusion that socialist and social democratic parties must simply accept the neo-liberal ­consensus and the creed 
of ­individualism and self-
interest.

And what a difference a few months make. In May, Labour seemed to be down and out: the membership was depressed, even more so in Scotland, where we faced five more years of Tory rule coupled with nationalist triumphalism.

Yet, in the space of just a few short months and a tumultuous and historic summer the Corbyn campaign has electrified the party. The collective effort of 16,000 people has raised our heads and given us back hope with a promise to re-define the purpose of the Labour Party and change the county. A purpose that should always be about working for the betterment of all and challenging the political and economic status quo to create ensure a fairer, more equitable, caring and just life for everyone.

This message has enthused and reinvigorated the membership of the Labour Party, as it has for people outside the party. Literally hundreds of thousands of people have either joined the party or become registered supporters on the back of Jeremy’s campaign; 50,000 came along to pack out halls up and down the country to hear his message.

His policy programme, his straight-talking honesty, dignity and candour have captured the imagination of the public who are desperate for an alternative that rejects austerity and conflict in favour of investment in our people and peace.

Jeremy Corbyn will also bring a different style of leadership. It will be a leadership that is intent on listening to the wider public and Labour Party membership whilst remaining true to his ideals and the historic mission of the party.

This means greater democratisation of the party and an end to the top-down approach that unfortunately characterised recent years. The promise of this change has also brought Labour members, who have too often felt excluded from the party’s decision-making processes, flocking to this campaign.

The truth is that it is these messages that have won Jeremy this election with an absolutely thundering mandate.

And now that the party has spoken we must get on and build a powerful opposition to this callous Tory government.

Finally, Jeremy Corbyn’s victory is especially important in Scotland. Labour can only get back on the pitch here with a radical and different approach, with a policy programme that is in tune with the wants and needs of the Scottish people. Working with our new Scottish leader, Kezia Dugdale, Jeremy will help us get back into the game here in Scotland. One thing is indeed certain: Labour is back, and I suspect that no matter how much they play this down, SNP strategists will be sleeping a little less easily in their beds following this weekend’s result.

Neil Findlay is a Labour MSP and the Scottish chair of the Corbyn4Labour campaign

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