The Scottish Labour leadership contest

The contenders

Gray

Jamieson – soliciting advice on how to get donations for her campaign

Kerr (and yes, that’s Andy Kerr – see here if you don’t believe me (*))

Gray is the Favourite of Gordon Brown apparently, so is clearly shafted before he begins. Jamieson is out of her depth, as I suggested at J Arthur MacNumpty last night where I wrote in a comment

“I followed Jamieson’s ministerial career closely, as her job involved various topics relevant to my areas of work. A number of matters seemed by-passed from Justice to other portfolios to avoid having her run them (it appeared) – even though judging by the names present at the Parliament committee meetings for Stage 1 and Stage 2 it was Justice Department officials that were in attendance and consequently running them, or they were topics that had been dealt with by Justice until Jamieson took over and then the same civil servant appeared to be working in new teams in new departments. Now, was this a First minister, wishing to share work out – to ensure that the Justice Minister was not swamped with topics as Jim Wallace was in the first session; a civil service deciding that politically matters would best be handled by other departments and committees to ease the path through Parliament; or was it an acknowledgement (from the first minister or civil service) that she was out of her depth, and unable to get to grips with the legislation she was due to promote?

“I know where my money is.”

And Kerr?  Well, I’ve met him.  He was very nice in person (as have been politicians of all parties that I’ve met through work or otherwise – with the exceptions of Wendy Alexander, Douglas “MIss Hoolie” Alexander, and Bill Walker).  I think Kerr is the most competent of the three (Gray’s stature must be damaged by the shambles of the Labour abstention on the SNP budget – which it appears he orchestrated).  I think that Kerr is the most likely to get under Alex Salmond’s skin – although one could question if that is enough for a prospective party of government.  However, I am not sure whether any of them has a real vision for the Labour party in Scotland, or for politics generally in Scotland, but then again no-one at Westminster seems to have a vision for the Labour party either (apart from Purnell and his eat the poor and sick, and that’s only really a vote-winner among certain tabloids).  

But then politics doesn’t seem to be a big vision thing at the moment, only various assertions about managerial ability – with the exception of the SNP (where there’s at least one clear big vision – independence – although I’m not clear what the general policy vision is from them on the economy and social issues given the mixed messages from the broad church (and I use the term advisedly) within the party – but I note that on social issues where people have spoken out from the SNP on matters such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill there is a strong social conservatism that I personally am very uncomfortable with).  

After all, when it comes to policy vision the only one Aardman’s own, plasticine Dave Cameron, has is to be elected – which appears to be best achieved by not being Gordon Brown.

(*) OK – it’s a different Andy Kerr, but never mind

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About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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4 Responses to The Scottish Labour leadership contest

  1. hoiho says:

    basically populist with
    the focus being power rather than an over arching theory about what to
    do with it

    Seems like the perfect strategy for an party whose main plank, and, indeed, raison d’etre, is independence. I don’t thibk that the SNP would surviv long as a nunfied party within an independent Scotland.

    • hfnuala says:

      Ah, but FF came from a nationalist movement and then kept going like a relentless populist zombie. I’d prefer my adoptive country didn’t suffer the same fate 🙂
      (More seriously, I don’t mean to sound like I think they are exactly the same, just that the populist and often hugely cynical tendancies seem very similar and that makes me nervous.)

  2. hoiho says:

    I am not sure whether any of them has a real vision for the Labour party in Scotland
    Is that really of any matter? They will not not be the leader of the Labour party in Scotland – that’s still big Gordon’s job. They’re just, and solely, the leader of the Labour Party group in Holyrood. Beyond that small point that have no power or authority beyond that: a point that Scottish Labour MPs will not let them forget. Indndeed, given that, it’s odd that MPs get a voe in the selection; of course, it’s one way to keep the Holyrood rabble in line with Milbank’s wishes. As you say, their main job will be to get under Salmon’d skin.

    • However, he or she will be the figurehead in the next Scottish Parliamentary election campaign (who knows, this time they might even get to run it!) and need to have developed policies on the various issues that are devolved – criminal justice, education, health &c. I can’t understand why MPs or MEPs get a vote either.
      Scott

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