General Election vote is about kicking vile and corrupt Tories out - That is why the Record is backing Labour

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer (L) and Leader of the Scottish Labour party Anas Sarwar
-Credit: (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The Daily Record has not explicitly backed any party at a general election in 14 years.

The 2014 referendum changed Scotland and split the country down the middle on the constitution.

Scotland’s relationship with the UK has dominated our politics for more than a decade and many people support independence in good faith.

But this General Election is not about independence. Next week’s vote is about kicking out a lying and corrupt Tory Government that has been in power for far too long.

It is about setting Scotland and the rest of the UK on a different path, one based on prosperity and fairness. It is about turning the corner on years of decline and getting the economy working for ordinary people.

Only one political party can stop the Tories and only one candidate for prime minister can turf Rishi Sunak out of office.

Theresa May reading a resignation statement outside 10 Downing Street
Theresa May reading a resignation statement outside 10 Downing Street -Credit:PA

That is why the Record is backing Labour and Keir Starmer in the most important general election since 1945. History will record the period between 2010 and 2024 as one of the darkest spells in British history since Margaret Thatcher.

The Tories were elected 14 years ago based on an outrageous lie.

They told voters the financial crash was caused by Labour and blamed overspending for the hole in public finances.

This grotesque untruth ushered in an era of austerity, during which George Osborne tried to balance the books on the backs of benefit claimants.

He cut taxes for the rich while pushing through heartless policies like the bedroom tax and the two-child benefit cap.

David Cameron then foisted an unwanted EU referendum on the country and unleashed a disaster on the UK.

Brexit campaigners used racism and prejudice as the fuel for their obsession with the EU, and it worked.

What followed was years of wrangling with the EU and savage economic harm for every part of the UK. One of the clowns behind Brexit, Boris Johnson, then became prime minister and the country nosedived further.

Johnson will always be known for his government’s handling of the deadly Covid pandemic.

Ordinary people made huge sacrifices by complying with lockdown laws that caused turmoil in their lives.

Folk missed funerals of loved ones because they believed it was important to play by the rules.

Liz Truss outside Number 10
Liz Truss outside Number 10 -Credit:PA

They stayed away from elderly relatives in care homes for fear of passing on the deadly disease.

Businesses closed, mental health problems soared and huge pressure was placed on the NHS.

At the same time, Johnson and his cronies deliberately flouted the rules they had set for other people. They popped champagne corks in Downing Street while voters tasted their own tears.

Partygate fatally ruptured the relationship between the Tories and the voters who had given them a chance. Johnson’s disgrace led to the brief, but calamitous, 45-day premiership of Liz Truss.

Her government’s shocking mini-budget, based on unfunded tax cuts for the rich, sent the country into an economic tailspin.

She sent mortgage rates soaring, inflation through the roof and cost the UK tens of billions of pounds.

Ordinary Scots on modest incomes are still counting the cost of the UK’s worst ever prime minister.

The Tories putting her into Downing Street was one of the biggest disgraces in the history of the United Kingdom. Her successor, Rishi Sunak, likes to pretend he is different from Truss, but voters should not be fooled.

He instinctively wants to cut taxes for the wealthy and panders to the right on immigration. Sunak is a rich nonentity who has never had to do without life’s ­essentials even for one day.

He does not understand struggle and has little empathy for those on modest means. The fact he left a Normandy D-Day event early to conduct a television interview tells you everything you need to know about him.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson -Credit:POOL/AFP via Getty Images

But our endorsement of Labour and Starmer is not solely based on our loathing of what the Tories have done to the UK.

Labour in the past failed to live up to its age-old values of decency and fairness.

It put forward candidates for PM who were not good enough and advanced policies that did not meet the credibility test.

But Starmer is in a different league to some of his second-rate predecessors. He has fundamentally changed Labour and put his party back on the same page as voters.

He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth and knows what it is like to grow up in a family that struggles financially. We are confident he will be a champion for ordinary people and we urge Scots to give him a chance to turn the UK around. The exceptions are the seats in the north-east and south of Scotland where the Tories and the SNP are in a two-horse race.

Labour is not strong in these regions and a vote for the SNP is the best way to topple the Tories.

This is particularly true in the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East seat where we hope the SNP candidate defeats Douglas Ross.

But ultimately this General Election is not about the SNP.

David Cameron resigning as Prime Minister
David Cameron resigning as Prime Minister -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

Many Scots continue to support independence but the election on July 4 will not deliver this political outcome. The needs of Scots must be central to the next government and this can be done by sending an army of Scottish Labour MPs to Westminster.

It has been a long time since Labour looked like it could win a general election and it is to Starmer’s credit that it is on the cusp of power.

Change is coming and Scots should be part of that change by voting Labour on July 4.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.