Iain Gray and Jim Murphy spoke at the Labour Party Conference yesterday. What's that? No one noticed?
I think the Scottish press did.
The Herald headline reads:
"Scottish Labour leaders (sic) attack political enemies whose 'sole creed is self interest'"
Now, I'm not one for being pedantic (okay Yousuf, I am!) but one must point out the glaring error in their title.
As James will tell you, Iain Gray is the "Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament (LOLITSP). He is not the leader of Scottish Labour. Especially if you ask some Scottish Labour MPs.
Jim Murphy is Secretary of State for Scotland (SoSoS). Which means, at government level, he is Gordon Brown's "holding midfielder" - the link between his defence at Westminster and his attack at Holyrood (see what I did there?). He too, is not the leader of Scottish Labour. Gordon Brown himself is.
But that's just a minor point.
The Scotsman has an interesting take on Iain Gray's speech to Labour conference yesterday. He is obviously their Scottish Labour leader of fancy:
"Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray has signalled he could hold a referendum on Scottish independence if he becomes First Minister, in a dramatic shift from official party policy."
reads their first paragraph. And that's kind of what he said. Except not really. And certainly not in so many words. I checked the speech - not once did he use the phrase "if I was First Minister." Which is a shame, because I always find it funny when he does. Kind of like Fiddler on the Roof's "If I were a rich man," it makes Iain Gray look like a dreamer.
No, his speech was designed to attack. The problem was, he was trying to attack two distinct "enemies" - nationalism and conservatism. Ironic then, that Labour have fallen to third, behind the the Liberal Democrats, in the latest Ipsos-Mori poll. Looks like he was turning his fire in the wrong direction.
Ach well, with the 2010 election looking like a write-off, there's always the 2011 Scottish Parliament election. Just think
Gordon Jim Iain, if only you were First Minister...