Labour leadership candidate Jess Phillips can see the party, in the words of Robert Burns, “as ithers see us” and shares an outlook on life with Scotland’s national bard, writes Susan Dalgety.
I can think of no-one better to do the Immortal Memory at a Burns Supper than Labour leadership hopeful Jess Phillips.
Her straightforward political style, often laced with wit and a little self-deprecation, would have found favour with Scotland’s Bard.
And her ability to connect with ordinary people echoes Burns’ approach to his art. Scotland’s national poet wrote, not of kings and queens, but of farmhands and lowly civil servants.
Jess and Rabbie are a marriage made in heaven, which is why I am looking forward to hearing her give the Immortal Memory at a Labour Party Burns Supper on Friday, here in Edinburgh.
I hope I will be watching Labour’s next leader in action. The people’s party has a long way to go before securing enough support to win back power, and the choice of their next leader will be key to whether we ever enjoy a Labour government again.
The party needs someone who speaks their mind, and stands up for what they believe in, whether that is Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom or a better deal for working families. The country needs a leader of the opposition who can take on Boris Johnson, exposing him for the careless charlatan he is, rather than the Churchillian hero he thinks he is.
And we all need politicians we can trust again. Leaders who can own up to their personal failings, while at the same time convince us that they have our interests at heart, not their party’s.
Jess Phillips has taken a long hard look at the Labour Party, and she can see “oursels as ithers see us”.
Unlike the recent leadership, she doesn’t see a heroic battalion of socialists, on the march to victory and liberty.
Instead, she sees a once-proud party, out of touch with the people’s daily lives. If only others could see as clearly as she can.