Kezia Dugdale says the left need to "put their money where their mouth is"

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 20 August 2015 in News

Kezia Dugdale vows to take on "the new Scottish establishment" with socialist policies 

The transfer of more powers from Westminster to Holyrood will force left-leaning Scottish politicians to “put their money where their mouth is”, according to Kezia Dugdale

In her first key speech since taking over as leader, Dugdale vowed to take on “the new Scottish establishment, with radical policies on redistribution and reform”.

Speaking at Edinburgh College, Dugdale said: “The new tax and welfare powers mean that those who position themselves on the left will have to put their money where their mouth is.


RELATED CONTENT

Sketch: When is a reshuffle not a reshufle?

Kezia Dugdale unveils Scottish Labour front bench team


“Power means that left wing posturing will have to be replaced by socialist policy. If you believe in the redistribution of power and wealth, as I do, you’d better get ready to say how you’ll achieve it.”

She added: “There is a powerful new establishment in Scotland. It dominates government, public life, both parliaments. Its premise is that shared identity means shared interest.

“But the interests of the rich and the poor, those sat in the boardroom and those stood on shop floor, are not always aligned.

“I would keep universal services and the gains of devolution. But let’s be clear we cannot have a more equal society without redistribution. We cannot fund public services unless the wealthy, as well as the rest of us, pay a fair share.”

In the speech Dugdale touched on her experience of growing up with both her parents working as teachers, saying she first felt the “unfairness of inequality” after moving from Elgin to Dundee.

She said “I moved from a primary school with expansive sports fields to an inner city urban school, with a concrete playground.

“I couldn’t believe some schools didn’t have grass.”

The new Labour leader was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011 after being put second on the party’s list for the Lothian region.

Describing herself as “an accidental politician”, Dugdale said: “My socialism wasn’t learned from a book, it comes from lived experience.”

She said: “No-one was more surprised than me when I was elected to parliament.

“In 2011, I took a secondment from my job to work as a party organiser in an election we were widely expected to win.

“I was fully expecting to wake up the day after the election unemployed, with a redundancy package and three months to work out what I was going to do next. But the candidates I was working for lost and I was elected in their place.”

Dugdale announced her front bench team yesterday, changing the titles of those in the shadow cabinet so they no longer mirror those of the Scottish Government.  

Categories

Related Articles

Chequers agreement is ‘final offer’ to the EU, Andrea Leadsom says
20 July 2018

The House of Commons leader warned Brussels they will force a no deal Brexit if they reject the proposals

The Tory approach to renewables is bad for business
19 July 2018

With a new poll showing high public support for onshore wind, the UK Government's hostility to renewables looks ever more confusing

Exclusive: Home Office arrested and deported dozens of Europeans for sleeping rough in Scotland last year
19 July 2018

Home Office arrested and removed 26 European nationals from Scotland for sleeping rough on the streets in a move now deemed unlawful

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page