GMB Scotland Defending Your Interests
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GMB Scotland Statement

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland Statement - UK General Election Thursday 8 June 2017

Scottish politics is dominated by the constitutional question. Even in this UK general election, it’s remained the front and centre issue.  But whether you are pro-independence or pro-union, outside of the political bubble the real world is a struggle for an increasing number of Scots.

It’s easy to play the blame game but when grievance and self-interest commands the political agenda, there can only be bad outcomes. Public service cuts, chronic manufacturing decline, low wage growth and rising inflation. This is what political failure looks like and it’s the livelihoods of GMB members that get caught in the crossfire.

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of our members’ interests - always. In my time as GMB Scotland Secretary, our trade union has taken a no nonsense approach to politics, calling out politicians of all party political persuasions when they act to the detriment of our members interests.

But the recent rise of the Tories in Scotland deeply concerns me. Ruth Davidson may be a media savvy performer and her straightforward position on the constitution has resonated among many who believe the future of Scotland is best served as part of the UK.

Yet there are some things Ruth Davidson can’t hide, like the Tories callous cuts to support our disabled and most vulnerable. She can’t hide the fact that of the 13.5 million people living in poverty across the UK, over half are from working families. And Ruth Davidson can’t hide the abject performance of her candidate for Prime Minister.

Over the last seven weeks, Theresa May has completely shredded her own credibility as a leader of any competence or standing. It is clear that another Tory government will be neither strong nor stable. The prospect of Theresa May leading us into a fraught Brexit process with the future of the economy and employment on the line doesn’t bear thinking about. 

For someone who grew up in Edinburgh in the 1980's and witnessed the decimation of Scottish jobs and industries under Thatcher, I know in my gut that this is a political party that will never prioritise the interests of GMB Scotland members.  Then and now, the Tories are completely incompatible with what GMB stands for.

Tomorrow I will vote and I will vote Labour. I’ll do so because I believe a Labour government represents the best chance for positive change. But I hope whether you are a Labour supporter or not you will join me in voting and I hope you will vote against the Tories.

Gary Smith

GMB Scotland Secretary