Standing together to protect communities
I FOUGHT against Thatcher’s decimation of industry in the 80s, when we saw the mining and steel industries north and south of the Border butchered on the altar of Tory dogma.
I saw what the Tories did to my home city of Liverpool during that decade.
As deputy leader of the Labour-run Greater London Council in the early 80s, I was at the forefront of the struggle against Thatcherism.
The labour and trade union movement battled courageously against the deliberate running down of Scotland’s mining industry and steelworks like Ravenscraig.
The defeat of the NUM and the mining communities after their heroic year-long struggle against Thatcher and the British state saw the virtual destruction of Scotland’s industrial base.
More than 30 years on, we are still living with the consequences, with communities scarred by grinding poverty and whole generations denied job opportunities.
Communities in Scotland have shouldered a large share of this suffering inflicted on the British working class by successive Tory Governments.
To this day, Theresa May and her Tory ministerial colleagues continue to ignore the needs of Scottish communities devastated by the decimation of heavy industry.
As the Chancellor in a Labour government at Westminster led by Jeremy Corbyn, I will halt this criminal neglect.
At Scottish Labour’s conference in Dundee this year, I set out how as Chancellor my plans could mean an additional £70billion for Scotland over two terms. Part of this will be used to begin the process of reversing the damage the Tories have done to Scotland’s industry.
I was proud to stand with the miners during the 1984-85 strike as they and their families fought to defend their jobs and communities. In Government, as a Labour Chancellor, I will stand with these communities again.