I HAVE purposefully not written about Starmer’s Labour for a hot minute, because there really cannot be much more for me to add.

I am not a fan, a truth I will gladly and proudly take ownership of. Spineless, useless and evidently – when it comes down to it – a bit pointless at this stage.

It’s unforgivable actually just how much Starmer has personally eroded traditional Labour values and pulled the rug from under generations of genuine Labour supporters. But my weekly whinging about it won’t change it, so I have been more focused on topics that won’t send me to sleep. However, as a Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath native, my interest has once again been peaked by the latest debacle facing their General Election campaign. 

When the prospect of the General Election first came around, I had absolutely planned to run for my home constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. It’s where I had some of my best moments, made and learned from some of my biggest mistakes, went to school, met my very best friends and where I was born and raised.

By every definition it is my home and always will be. I understand the local issues and even spent time working for the local MSP, if I was going to run as a candidate anywhere, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath would without a doubt be my choice.

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I ultimately decided against it because, frankly, I wanted what is left of my 20s to myself, free from the shackles of being a woman in frontline politics. 

It was a hard decision, though. Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has suffered politically over the years, and local communities have been strangled. Town centres have been decimated and it’s one of the most lacking areas in terms of prosperity for young people. I spent my entire adolescence discussing how we were going to escape it with my friends. We couldn’t wait.

I did eventually move away because ultimately my dreams weren’t achievable from where I was – and I wish that wasn’t the case. Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath needs and deserves good, honest political representation. It needs someone attuned to the niche challenges its people face and an ability to harness its local talent, someone with a vision for its progress and a passion for its values. 

At a crucial election where almost 14 years of Tory rule and the systematic decimation of our quality of life are hanging in the balance, what it doesn’t need is more political scandal and upheaval. 

The National: Wilma Brown with Keir Starmer

Wilma Brown (above) should never have been selected as a candidate. I was vetted more rigorously for a reality TV show than this woman was to be an elected parliamentarian. They will make excuses, but there is no way that, given the severity of what she was endorsing online, there were no red flags to be found during her vetting process.

She was paraded around by Starmer himself and hallmarked as a stand-out candidate. And in a marginal seat with a long and deeply ingrained history of Labour support, she was the star of the Labour show in Scotland.

It speaks so much to their incompetence that in a seat with all eyes on it, they allowed a candidate like this to take centre stage. It has been so frustrating to watch them re-grow their support in our constituency. Simply put, the Labour that once enjoyed impenetrable support there no longer exists.

Fife community was built on traditional working class, socialist values – the values that Labour, once upon a time, did represent well – and they are building their campaign on the pretence that they still stand for them.

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But those values have since thoroughly been abandoned, and it feels so dishonest to me that they campaign in areas like Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath with a straight face, cosplaying as the party they once were. When in reality, they have no plans to reverse the damage inflicted on that community by the Tories.

In fact in most cases, they want to pick up wherever the Tories kindly decide to leave off. A bunch of wolves in sheep’s clothing, making promises to struggling communities that they cannot and have no intention to keep. 

The kicker is that this really is the most important election in over a decade. We are faced with the prospect of real change – of finally – a Tory-free number 10. In the worst place economically and socially since Thatcher, with poverty and inequality skyrocketing, it is not dramatic to say that lives are depending on it.

Labour had the opportunity to select candidates – and a leader mind you – who were capable of delivering the change that this country desperately needs.

The National: Wilma Brown with Keir Starmer during his visit to Kirkcaldy

They could have reached backwards to the very roots and foundations of their movement, and brought about a level of change that would reverberate positively for generations to come. 

Instead, they elected a man whose greatest passion is his own power and position and they selected candidates like Brown.

I find myself feeling sorry for the pockets of the party that are genuinely reflective of Labour times gone by, but my sympathy begins to run out when I sit with the fact that these people didn’t reach positions of power within that movement without the support of the grassroots behind them The making of this new and unimproved Labour era is the sole responsibility of its membership and support.

As much as we might yearn for old Labour values to come bounding back into our lives to save us from further Tory cruelty, the cold hard truth is that Labour as it once was no longer exists, and much like Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, it’s been proven once again that Scotland deserves better.