Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Labour MP Tom Harris moots the idea that he could be the Labour leadership contender in Scotland, the fight is in Holyrood, it needs to be an MSP

Dear All

It seems that the ‘Scottish’ Labour Party doesn’t quite grasp the problem of their situation in Scotland.

After a humiliating defeat, the worst in Holyrood history, they still wrongly believe that an MP can be the leader of ‘Scottish’ Labour.

Labour in Scotland need a ‘Scottish’ leader who is an MSP.

That is their only sensible option but there are problems, the talent pool is incredibly small.

Very very small!

Labour MP Tom Harris has emerged as a potential candidate for the role of party leader at Holyrood.

He is a former Minister of the Crown but doesn’t have a big following, the Glasgow South MP said he would be interested in competing for the job "if the party would be interested in having me".

An acknowledgement of no support both ways up the tree!

Harris told BBC Radio Scotland that he had put his name forward because of the lack of candidates to emerge from Labour's ranks at the Scottish Parliament.

A clear case of saying there is no contest of the available MSPs.

He said:

"The reason I have allowed my name to be mentioned in the speculation about this is purely and simply because we lost in May, Iain Gray announced he was standing down in September, which is next week, and I don't even know if that's going ahead."
Labour MSP Ken MacIntosh, named as a possibility for the role isn’t keen, Harris said:

"One of the candidates that has been touted has apparently said privately that he is no longer interested. None of the other candidates that have been mooted have put their heads above the parapet. I think this amount of time after the election when we did so badly, it is truly bizarre and very damaging to the party not having a leadership campaign."

Truly there are no heavy Labour hitters in Holyrood left, McAveety, Gordon, Kerr, Alexander and McCabe all gone now.

Mr Harris added:

"I am raising the possibility - the very slim possibility of my candidacy - because there are ideas that I have that I think the party should at least be debating, because by the time the next Scottish Parliament elections come up in 2016, we need to know what type of party Scottish Labour will be."

I can see Harris getting support so the torch might be passed to Labour's deputy leader Johann Lamont.

She has been widely touted as the favourite to succeed Iain Gray when he steps down.

Lamont is a Glasgow University product, recently on Newsnight Scotland she tried to do a hatchet job on the SNP which backfired badly when the presenter Gordon Brewer highlight that Labour had more meetings with the Murdoch Press in one year than the SNP had in four.

She showed she wasn’t quick witted enough to do the job, and in the end looked like someone had burst her balloon.

An uncomfortable experience which served her badly!

A review of Scottish Labour is already under way following the party's election defeat in May.

Whether this will amount to anything is debateable, Labour in Scotland is dying, people are asking for elected officials who are willing to serve the people.

And the Labour Party hasn’t done that in along time.

Tom Harris as ‘Scottish’ Labour leader isn’t a good choice, the fight is in the Holyrood chamber and Harris can’t run on the field as a sub, he is benched in the gallery.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

I think they will need to have some idea of what kind of party they are well before the next election. After all we are paying them to be the official opposition, aren't we? We should be getting something for our money.

You're right, there is no talent at all. Jackie Baillie is the only contender that isn't half witted.

Having a Scottish leader in London is useless. There's already a Scotland Secretary in the cabinet. One of the things that was wrong with Labour in the lead-up to the last election was that they were too Anglo-centric. They were perfectly happy to let London pull their strings.

For quite a while the de facto leader was Spud.

So even if Harris (who is a Tory by any other name, as right wing as Tony Blair) is the leader, Lamont will have to cope with FM questions. She is hardly intellectually qualified to cope with Alex, if she can't manage Glen Campbell.

The best they can hope for is some sort of sympathy vote.

Munguin said...

If they think Iain Gray was a disaster for Labour just wait and see what Tom Harris will be. He is tantamount to a Tory and has revelled in the appellation of the most right wing Labour MP in the UK (not even Scotland). As for Lamont she is simply lamentable, she always looks like she has swallowed a wasp for a start and has a voice that would make rubbing nails on a blackboard sound like Chopin’s minute waltz.

George I think Boyack is still an MSP, she was one of the two (I think) that managed to get their names on the regional list as well as a constituency (Edinburgh Central which she lost to the SNP).

George Laird said...

thx I have tidied that up