Stand­ing to­gether to pro­tect com­mu­ni­ties

Daily Record - - NEWS - BY JOHN McDON­NELL

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.

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