THE pubs have reopened. Cafes and restaurants are welcoming customers once more.

Supermarket home delivery doesn’t need a month-long wait anymore. It feels like we have returned to some sort of normal.

And, sure as night follows day, sections of the Scottish commentariat have turned their focus to the issue of Scotland’s constitutional question. It didn’t take long for Alex Salmond’s acolytes to take advantage of the temporary lull to announce the formation of a whole series of new political movements advocating for independence, just in time for the elections to the Scottish Parliament in May.

But the breadth of support for the very notion of an independence movement deliberately divorced from the SNP underlines an uncomfortable truth in Scottish politics.

The First Minister has, and I mention this without comment, has drawn considerable praise for her handling of coronavirus and indeed, to many, her position seems unassailable. Yet, it has become abundantly clear that despite all that, Nicola Sturgeon is still fighting a battle for control of her own party.

For what it’s worth, I don’t believe that a second referendum is realistically on the cards for the next five years. Boris’ Tories will not drop their opposition to holding a further referendum. Further, the core problem for the Yes campaign in 2014 was the economic argument. In the midst of economic catastrophe wrought by Brexit and Covid19, the economic argument appears weaker than it did in 2014. While some recent polls put Independence narrowly ahead, the distant prospect is a very different judgement call for canny Scots than the immediate choice.

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But, as Labour in Glasgow, we contend with some harsh realities. Our city voted Yes in 2014. Our party has lost trust and credibility in the face of perceived dithering over the two issues of the day. And we represent a city that is perhaps home to some of the starkest contrasts in the UK: one of the highest proportions of the population with qualifications, and one of the highest proportions with no qualifications whatsoever.

Our mission is to rebuild that trust and credibility in the eyes of all Glaswegians, because we represent an agenda to repair our shattered politics and economy. An agenda that, despite the SNP’s soundbites, is needed across the UK to tackle the deep-seated inequalities our communities face.

To repurpose a phrase: we seek power for a purpose. A purpose that is rooted in our values and principles – not in the latest polls. Making our communities fairer places for everyone to live is more readily attainable by redistributing wealth across the whole of the UK.

Across the country, under Keir Starmer’s leadership, people are now willing to give Labour a fair hearing. In Glasgow, my group should make the most of that opportunity over the coming months: reflecting on the transformative change we delivered, and the mistakes we made.

We do this not for its own sake: but because we know that Glasgow can be better.