Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Labour MP Tom Harris lays bare some home truth and is criticised by own party over remarks, Holyrood list MSPs are 'second class' representatives!

Dear All

How to win friends and influence people is a good book on pressing the flesh to make a good impression.

Labour MP Tom Harris takes a different view, he has suggested some Labour MSPs are ore important than others.

What does he mean by important?

Well, he puts more value on the 15 who won first past the post at the recent Holyrood election.

The other 22 were list MSP who no one expected to be sitting in Holyrood, but when the Tsunami hit, there was a bit of a clear out.

Researchers became MSPs and MSPs became researchers, a bit like the Stella Artois commercial.

As he has let rip, this has brought criticised by members of his own party who must unhappy about being tagged as ‘second class’ MSPs.

The regional list system is a joke; it allows people to become MSPs who the public would never elect in a month of Sundays.

The list can be gerrymandered by vote rigging, the practice is simple and well known, sign up members to secure a party vote and then let their membership lapse, repeating the process before the deadline of eligibility runs out.

I believe that the regional list should be scrapped completely; it is undemocratic, unfair and doesn’t give ordinary voters the right to reject.

Some people are voted into the Scottish Parliament and others are appointed based on a discredited party list system.

You can legally rig a party list by signing up members.

In a radio interview, Tom Harris said that describing the party as having won 37 seats in May was “putting too rosy a glow on to the result”.

He is right, they won 15 seats.

And not to sugar coat things he said the attitude the party took “rather masked just how bad the result was”.

The Holyrood result was a disaster.

Popping up on the influential BBC Today programme, he reflected that the party took 53 constituency seats in the first Scottish Parliament elections in 1999.

One senior Scottish Labour figure said last night:

“This is Tom getting a bit carried away now that he is in the leadership race. The SNP have never made much of this distinction, and neither should we. After all, in Holyrood, every vote counts the same.”

A simplistic analogy!

And continuing the truth by spilling his guts, Harris also said the party had paid the “appropriate price“ for the lack of vision it had offered to voters earlier this year. They did not think we were saying anything relevant to them.”

Four years of no policies of any real meaning coupled with gimmicks to hoodwink the voters such as the phoney knife crime campaign took its toll.

4 years and no private members bill produced despite claiming this was a serious issue.

In the wake of the disastrous result, Labour ordered a root and branch review of the party in Scotland.

Of the 3 leadership candidates who have formally declared, Harris is in the wrong place, Johann Lamont, the party’s current deputy leader is ineffectual which leaves Ken Macintosh MSP for East Renfrewshire.

He like Murdo Fraser is the real alternative, Scottish politics is a small pond and the pool of real talent who have vision can be fitted into an egg cup.

And you need a microscope as well.

Tom Harris is doing a lot of talking so he dominates the stage and sets the agenda, is he the saviour of Scottish Labour?

Or is he just a Labour MP tired of being in Westminster and wants a 9 to 5 job.

Well they better do something; the Council elections are less than a year away.

Tick Tock!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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