Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jack McConnell says that Scottish Labour MPs should stay out of selection of Labour MSP Group leader vote, is there anyone worth voting for?

Dear All

Former First Minister Jack McConnell has a point!

It was bound to happen sometime, he says that Labour MPs should play a smaller part in choosing the party's new Scottish leader.

This is something which the Labour MSP Group should be left to do on their own however the pool of talent is woeful in the Labour ranks.

The election saw many contenders such as Andy Kerr and Tom McCabe lose their seats as the SNP stormed to a historic victory of epic proportions.

Whoever becomes Labour leader of the MSPs at Holyrood will have a mountain to climb as sitting behind them according to the press is the C list.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale is suggesting that MPs should "voluntarily and collectively" withdraw from the process.

And he cites that unless this happens the new leader would have "real credibility problems".

At present this position is a poison chalice, the Labour Party has been wiped out across the whole of Scotland.

There are still isolated pockets where they hold first past the post seats but the chances are the new leader maybe a list MSP.

Scottish Labour leader of the MSP Iain Gray has announced he will step down from the role in the autumn.

And out of 37, the newbies will also rule themselves out due to lack of experience.

You could probably use one hand to pick those who have a reasonable chance.

But it might come down to just two names, Jackie Baillie and Ken Macintosh.

Lord McConnell said:

"I think it was wrong, in the past, that the MPs had equal votes with the MSPs on the election of the leader in Scotland”.


"And I think, where the constitution cannot be changed in advance of a leadership election this summer, I think for both the leadership election and the deputy leadership election, MPs should voluntarily and collectively - all of them - withdraw from that process and not nominate and not vote as MPs. Vote as party members but not as MPs. I think unless that happens I think there will be real credibility problems for the new leader of the party in Scotland."

Although the press and other media outlets try to present the Labour MSP Group leader as the Scottish Labour leader, this isn’t true, the Labour leader in Scotland is the same as England.

It is Ed Miliband.

Whoever gets elected does control the Labour Party in Scotland, the bottom line is Labour is still London controlled.

And no amount of smoke and mirrors can change that unless Scottish Labour becomes a separate party.

Which I can’t see being allowed in the near future or even in the mid term, it is too many unknowns attached to it.

Also I can see the MPs wanting to give up voting rights because this makes their position in the party weaker.

Whoever wins, they then face Alex Salmond.

His record is pretty impressive in destroying the opposition.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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