Friday, 5 September 2008

The three amigos

I watched Newsnight Scotland last night. In some respects, I agree with ASwaS – if I’d turned over to Family Guy, I’d probably have had a more fun evening. However, unlike ASwaS, I stuck with it, throughout the whole half hour.

Gordon Brewer pretty much categorised the three candidates to succeed Wendy Alexander as leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament as: the Scottish one (Andy Kerr) the lefty one (Cathy Jamieson) and the Gordon Brown one (Iain Gray).

The debate was pretty stunted by the fact that, on the whole, the three candidates don’t really disagree on much. Cathy wants to renationalise stuff. Andy wants to devolve stuff. And Iain… well, he’s just a bit stuffy. But general agreement on: nuclear power, the need to renew Trident, not giving Scotland more oil revenues, (we already get our share don’t you know) reaching out to the members of the Labour party and reforming the electoral college.

Not really much in the way of answering why Labour got dumped out of power in 2007. Nor what the voters want – a real positive agenda with tangible benefits for them. No, this was about continuing to kick out at the SNP. Which is unfortunate, because, with the SNP running a minority administration in Scotland, there is potential there for Labour to contribute to governance in Scotland – in a constructive way.

It was a fairly unimpressive display on the whole. Particularly highlight was when Gordon Brewer asked Iain Gray if he would like to be endorsed by Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling. His reply? “I’d certainly like them to vote for me, and having known Alastair Darling in Edinburgh politics I’d certainly hope that he would cast his vote for me.” Brewer: “But not an endorsement?” Gray: “Umm… er… I’d like their votes…”



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