Jim Murphy pictured a fairer future for every child in Scotland
Monday, May 18th, 2015 @ 8:47AM
This article is written by Kezia for today’s Daily Record.
Just seven months ago, the Scottish Labour Party had a leadership contest. Three people stood for Leader, two for deputy. I was one of them.
Jim Murphy and I didn’t stand on a ticket or any joint slate but we became a team. More than that, we became good friends.
There’s always high drama in campaigns, moments of stress, competing views on big decisions, but not once did we have a cross word.
Bursting with energy, Jim reinvigorated a sleepy Labour Party.
One of my highlights of his leadership has been his drive for young people. He wanted, like all politicians, to change lives and give our kids the best possible start.
But in Scotland, we are going backwards and Jim helped focus attention on the SNP’s record on education as opposed to their slogans.
New analysis from leading academic Dr Jim Scott shows that standards in our schools are falling, and falling dramatically in the last 12 months.
Our education system used to be the envy of the world and we must acknowledge the simple truth that we’re falling behind.
Labour were going to reintroduce a 50p top rate of tax on people who earned more than £150,000 a year and use it to tackle educational inequality in Scotland. It was such a good idea, the SNP copied it. That wasn’t a unique occurrence.
There’s nothing wrong with taking someone else’s good ideas as long as you do them justice.
The SNP have spent the last eight years tapping their pencil and staring into space on educational inequality. Parents are anxious, teachers are over-worked and stressed and the students are losing out.
Jim had his own ideas and one of the real highlights of his leadership was seeing him talk about all those young Scots who don’t go to college or university.
His vision of a future fund of £1600 for the 50 per cent of young Scots who chose to work straight out of school was a truly fresh idea in an election too often obsessed with who was dealing with who, rather than who stood up for what.
We will also remember his determination to stand up to the worst side of nationalism who attempted to shout him down in the streets.
And we saw him beat Nicola Sturgeon in all three TV debates. If only the election had been a battle of ideas.
I’ve heard people say he thinks in pictures, if it’s true, it’s a painting of a fairer Scotland where every child has an equal chance, where the creation of wealth is a good and noble thing as long as it’s shared. The sun will be shining and someone, somewhere will be opening a can of Irn-Bru.