In her latest Clydebank Post column, Councillor Lauren Oxley shares her thoughts on the UK arm of the Labour Party...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

For months, the UK Government has ignored warnings about the harmful impact that their policies and inaction are having on households across the UK and as a result, we are living through a Cost of Living Crisis.

On the other hand, the SNP Scottish Government has worked to lift people out of poverty using its limited powers.

Policies such as the Scottish Child Payment, which has benefited over 4,820 children in West Dunbartonshire since its introduction, and the Fuel Insecurity Fund, have supported thousands of families in Scotland.

However, while key powers remain with Westminster, there is only so far we can go.

With the chaos of Tory cuts, the damage of Brexit, and the UK Government’s economic mismanagement, you would think that the Labour Party would be proposing a convincing alternative.

However, they have appeared to do the exact opposite and instead, Keir Starmer has been trying to pander to the right, so much so that there is now little difference between the Conservatives and Labour.

Whilst reports have been highlighting the devastating impact of Brexit, with almost half of the UK saying that leaving the EU has made their daily life worse, Starmer has joined the Tories in supporting a hard Brexit.

Additionally, he is against the re-joining of the single market, even though experts have stated that the UK will struggle to progress towards a sustained and high economic growth rate with this stance.

With both Westminster parties ruling out any return to the EU, independence is Scotland's only route back to EU membership and economic prosperity.

Labour repeatedly claims to be the Party of the people.

However, they stated that they would not repeal the Tories’ Public Order Bill which restricts the right to protest, and they have also abandoned their promise to scrap tuition fees - a key pledge of Starmer’s bid when he ran for the party leadership.

These are basic principles that you would expect a left-wing party to have, but this is just further proof that Labour cannot be trusted to deliver change from the Tories.

Lastly, Labour’s stance on immigration has become so right-wing that it has gotten praise from Nigel Farage as Starmer wants to keep the Conservative government’s hostile points-based immigration system.