Monday, May 9, 2011

Annabel Goldie pulls out her rubber sword and falls on it, the third Scottish leader to resign after SNP historic victory, a pity and lost to politics

Dear All

Annabel Goldie has finally pulled out her rubber sword and fallen on it.

She is the third Scottish political leader after Iain Gray and Tavish Scott to resign.

Her statement:

“The Scottish election result was seismic. Nobody, not even Alex Salmond, thought that the SNP would win an overall majority at Holyrood.

“I am of course disappointed that the Conservatives are returning to the Parliament with 2 fewer MSPs than last time, but I am heartened by the observations of many independent commentators that our result was, by comparison to the other opposition parties, credible.

“As a party I believe that we ran the right campaign. We focussed on trying to maximise our votes on the regional list. Unlike others, we had a narrative of common sense, telling it like it is, and a record of delivering for Scotland. But being the least worst was, in the end, not good enough.

“The next five years will bring big challenges for Scotland: the Independence Bill, reform of our public services, the top priority of the economy and jobs.

“For the SNP there are no longer any excuses. No longer can Alex Salmond say “I don’t have a majority” or “we didn’t know the financial situation”. There is no hiding place this time around when he breaks his election promises.

“For the opposition parties, we will all have to adjust to the new realities. It will be a test of our mettle and resolve to be an effective opposition. We must remember that although the SNP has a majority of seats, it did not win a majority of votes, and has a minority of support for independence.

“For me, and for my party, we will play our part. Now the election is over, the implementation of the 2011 Review into our structures can be completed. In particular I understand that the new leadership structures will be in place by the autumn.

“I am an enthusiastic backer of the new plans – including the call for the Party to have one overall leader in Scotland. It is likely that the first election under these new rules will take place later this year.

“I believe that the time has come for the torch to pass and I can confirm that I will not be a candidate. There are four years until the next UK General Election, and five years until the next Holyrood contest. I want my successor to have the maximum time for him or her to shape the Party and its policies and to lead the opposition at Holyrood.

“For the sake of clarity, I will remain as leader of the MSP group until my successor takes over, and I will of course remain as an MSP for the duration of the Parliament.

“It has been an enormous privilege to lead my party. Over the coming weeks, months and years I will fight with every ounce of my energy to support my party, my successor and my country.”

And so Annabel Goldie toddles off to the back benches.

She did well during the years of 2007 to 2011 holding the fort for the Scottish Tories but she wasn’t a leader of men.

In the end her greatest threat was all sitting behind her.

In 2008 in the East End of Glasgow, I saw her and gave her a wave, she waved back.

However one wave which was unstoppable was Tory dissent in her leadership, in the end it grew weaker and weaker.

And then cometh the election!

Like a little boat she was caught in the perfect storm and smashed against the rocks.

It’s a pity, likeable as a person but a political enemy to be crushed without mercy.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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