Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's Not Good News For Scotland

So Wee Wendy’s gone. Surprising in some ways because the whole row about her accepting donations was more about technicalities than it was about serious wrong doing. The rules are confusing and there’s no doubt that her political opponents, mostly the SNP, have made capital out of her mistakes, and who can blame them? More to the point her leadership of Scottish Labour and therefore the opposition in Holyrood has been far from glorious, in part because of the wounding effects of the donations scandal, but it lies deeper than that and involves both the Lib Dems and the Tories. The fact is when compared to the SNP the other three parties have all lacked effective leadership, none of them have a voice that resonates, or a leader who can challenge Alex Salmond.

With the litany of broken SNP promises the opposition parties should be far more effective in challenging Shrek, but don’t seem to be able to find the voice to do it. In fact the resignation of WW is going to damage the whole opposition unless someone can emerge in the Labour party with a voice and a style that says, ‘I’m your leader’. The fact is it’s not about policies it’s about prizes and at every level and in every contest the SNP walk away with the prizes because AS has the leadership skills.

Of course a new Labour leader in Scotland may emerge that does not have all the negative trappings of the Gordon Brown era, but I’m not holding my breath. From amongst the die hard old West of Scotland Labourites I’m sure there’s a danger that they’ll regress and that is bad for the Scottish parliament; because you can’t see Nicol Stephens or Ms Goldie stepping up to the plate. We continue to be dogged in Scotland by a political elite (I use the term loosely) that seems in the main to be second rate. Most people I talk to mention the fact that we have the also rans, the reserves and a team of substitutes. Whichever way you dress it up that’s not good for Scotland, but it’s awfully good for Alex Salmond.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're right of course in that for the sake of democracy, any country needs a good opposition. However the Labour party in Scotland has consistently failed in local government and were dumped by the electorate at the last Scottish elections and rightly so in my view. The words of Lord NATO (aka George Robertson) have come back to haunt Labour "Devolution will leave the SNP dead in the water".
Sure the SNP like every government before them have not fulfilled manifesto commitments but they are a minority government. It looks like Scotland is on the road to full independence (We could soon have an SNP govt. in Scotland and a Tory one in the UK) and whilst I didn't think I'd ever say this, I reckon that'd be no bad thing