Only Labour can get rid of the UK's cruel and incompetent government – Ian Murray MP
Last year was another challenging and difficult one for so many in Edinburgh.
But while 2021 will go down in the history books for the global fight against Covid, it will also be remembered for individual sacrifices and acts of kindness.
That ranges from the extraordinary efforts of frontline workers and the ingenuity of scientists inventing vaccines to local volunteers in Edinburgh who looked out for a neighbour or friend.
I have had the privilege of presenting my Covid Community Hero Awards to many local people who have inspired us all to remember what we can achieve when we pull together and support one another.
We’ve seen the best of our people, but we deserve better for our country. So as we enter 2022, there is reason to be hopeful for the future.
Because we can’t go back – back to the old politics of have and have not, us versus them, or yes versus no.
Collectively, we can resolve this year to build a different country based on unity, empathy, and hope.
That will be Labour’s focus this year and beyond – to bring our country together, to make it fairer and our communities stronger.
It starts with local elections this May, when you have a chance to choose Labour candidates in Edinburgh who are dedicated to working for local people.
We must invest in a real education recovery for children who’ve lost out and invest in our NHS and care system to get it back on its feet – and reward our frontline heroes properly.
May is an opportunity to elect local champions who will put your community first. But while the local elections are vital, the voting system we use in Scotland means that every single ward in Edinburgh will have representatives from multiple parties.
That isn’t the case when it comes to the next Westminster election, which could hopefully come sooner than we think.
The Tory government is in disarray, led by a Prime Minister who has lost all credibility and authority.
An opportunity is on the horizon to build a fairer Britain with a government worthy of our country.
That’s what Keir Starmer spelled out in his New Year speech, offering a contract with people based on security, prosperity and respect.
Every major progressive change in British society has been introduced by a Labour government, and that’s what we will do again with Keir as PM.
For example, Labour will create 100,000 new start-up businesses and hubs of excellence building on existing strengths such as video gaming in Edinburgh and Dundee.
And we will focus on our common bonds across the UK, speaking with a collective progressive voice so that our politics is a force for good, not a force for division.
Keir was right to say politics shouldn’t be a branch of the entertainment industry but about getting things done. I couldn’t agree more.
A choice is coming: a simple two-way choice between Boris Johnson and Labour. No other party can replace the Tories.
So in 2022 we can work towards removing this cruel and incompetent government from Downing Street and building a new Britain that is fairer and united.
That’s why this is a moment to look forward with hope and optimism.
Happy New Year.
Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South