From the very first day 32 years ago that I became a Member of Parliament for Fife, I was engaged in fire fighting against unemployment.
Within months we had redundancies in the pits and at the Cowdenbeath engineering works.
Companies such as Fishers left, textiles firms across the whole of the east of Scotland were running down and even the industries brought in to replace the old heavy ones such as electronics began to shed jobs.
So through the last third of the 20th Century, the demand for jobs has been the key economic issue and this is as true of Dundee, the north-east and the central belt as it is of Fife.
The first woman constituent who came to ask me to take up her case was protesting about the appalling wages she earned.
And whether it is anger at the poll tax or more recently at the bedroom tax, Scots have also repeatedly demanded action on a second front not just to create jobs but to deliver a fairer Scotland and an end to the extreme poverty that today has, sadly, given rise to food- banks and payday lenders.
It is the demand for jobs and the desire for social justice that still inspires east of Scotland men and women.
So, in the wake of the referendum, I have spent some months looking at how we could build on and flesh out the vow we made for a stronger Scottish Parliament.
This could do more to deliver employment and social justice.
I have consulted experts on economic and social policy around the world, examined the experience of federal and devolved regimes and met, for example, the Prime Minister of Qubec, who has himself been putting the case for a new federalism.
I have examined carefully where powers can be devolved in a more radical way while upholding our principle that we pool and share resources to help support and come to the aid of each other across the United Kingdom.
So now we are announcing more detail than ever before of what the new Scottish Parliament will look like under Labour’s election manifesto commitment for home rule within the UK that builds on the vow.
This is the vow plus.
* First The Scottish Parliament will have a clear power to vary social security benefits.
We are nailing down for good Section 54 of the Smith report as a Labour commitment.
So while we continue pooling and sharing resources, we will have the power to have the final say on benefit levels in Scotland by varying them or topping them up.
* Second The Scottish Parliament will have wider responsibilities for tackling unemployment.
Not just the power over a new Scottish employment fund worth £500 million but also the power to vary incentives and levels of financial support to end youth unemployment and help the adult unemployed.
* Third We will extend the full devolution of benefits to the £1.8 billion spent on housing benefit.
The coalition has created a housing crisis where there is little new public house building for rent which, combined with too high levels of private rents, hurts families as well as single people.
Under our proposals we will have the power to impose an integrated policy to deal with a housing crisis that the Scottish Government is ignoring.
* Fourth Devolution of power is not complete when power is devolved from Westminster to Holyrood.
Power needs to be handed down to local communities from both Westminster and Holyrood.
It is not Scottish Parliament power that interests us only it is people power and local community power.
And we will examine how employment and welfare decisions can be devolved to where they can best be made nearest to the people at a local level.
So with these four new powers we create a fail-safe mechanism for Scotland to avoid bedroom tax fiascos in the future.
We create an insurance policy against adverse decisions by a Westminster government.
We retain the system of sharing risks and resources which serve our pensioners better than separation and help fund the NHS and our schools and it is worth billions to us. And we have, of course, retained the common UK currency.
But perhaps, most importantly, we have made sure it is the Scottish Parliament that has the final say on benefits.
With these new powers and with the power to tax, no one can say ever again that the Scottish Parliament is powerless to act on social justice.
With these powers we can now talk about what the parliament can do for jobs and justice instead of wrangling about what the parliament cannot do. We have the powers: the issue now is what we do with them.