Scottish Labour’s decision to abandon the 6,700 workers whose livelihoods depend on the future of Faslane and Coulport is a gross act of irresponsibility.
Never mind that the world looks more dangerous now than it has done for decades.
Never mind that there are thousands of Scottish jobs at risk.
Labour has decided that weakening our country’s defence is a price worth paying to try and woo SNP voters back into the fold.
This is a decision opposed by many decent Labour-affiliated Union members and by thousands of loyal Labour supporters.
The GMB union has warned that it “makes no sense” to abandon our defence strategy “solely for political reasons.”
Shop stewards at both Faslane and Coulport, who represent more than 800 Unite and GMB members, have attacked the Unite leadership for treating members “like mugs” by taking union subscriptions while “failing to support their future livelihoods.”
Labour has suggested that so-called “diversification” could help replace the jobs sustained by Trident. But the shop-stewards say Labour “would be as well telling us to apply for jobs in Brigadoon.”
Such a policy would, instead, lead to “yard closures, job losses, the rise of unemployment or low skilled, low paid jobs with zero hours contracts,” they have warned.
We in the Conservative party agree. The GMB and the shop stewards at Faslane and Coulport are right. Our promise to you is that we will always stick by your workers and your members.
The Conservative UK Government has already promised to invest a further £500m in the Clyde bases to ready them for the next generation of successor class submarines.
With Scottish Labour abandoning this commitment, and with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm in Westminster, it is only under a Conservative government that this investment will continue, allowing the West of Scotland economy to thrive.
The truth is that the Scottish Labour establishment and the Unite leadership have let down the very workers whose subscriptions pay their wages.
As Scottish Labour cuts them loose, we in the Conservative Trade Unionists (CTU) movement pledge to stand in solidarity with them to protect their livelihoods.
Let’s ensure Scottish Labour’s out-of-touch establishment hears our voice loud and clear – no to Labour’s threats to jobs, no to poverty wages on the Clyde, and yes to a future for Faslane and Coulport.
Ruth Davidson MSP is Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and a member of the Conservative Trade Unionists Advisory Panel. She is on twitter at @RuthDavidsonMSP