I was pleased to attend Scottish Labour Conference in Dundee again this year as Edinburgh Eastern Labour Party’s youth delegate. At this time of political instability and constant struggle over in Westminster, it was invigorating to hear Jeremy Corbyn’s speech and his clear plan for the future of the UK. Tory austerity has continued to harm people across the whole of our society: children arrive at school hungry, workers face poverty wages and insecure work, and cuts to our public services affect the most vulnerable. Conservatives try to distract the public from these issues by going on about Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Labour, under Corbyn, wants to face these issues head-on, transforming our society, whilst also offering a credible alternative to the mess Theresa May has made of the Europe question.
I addressed conference on a subject close to my own heart by joining in the debate on education. The motion I discussed in the debate condemned state subsidies and tax relief for private schools. I approached the subject matter from the perspective of higher education: according to the latest Scottish Funding Council Report on Widening Access, the SNP are failing to reach their targets when it comes to increasing the number of students from the most deprived backgrounds in Scotland entering universities. These targets will not be met without robust investment to improve the state secondary and further education provisions that helps students reach their educational goals. Providing subsidies and tax relief for private schools instead is, I argued, morally repugnant. The only thing that will tackle the fundamental inequality in our society is an education system that works for the many, not the few.
The full Edinburgh Eastern Delegates’ Report is available here.