A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm back

Once again apologies for the lack of posting - last week we were on holiday in Oxford staying with my partner Linda's parents.

Once I've ploughed through 300-ish work and 150-ish council emails normal service will resume.

In the mean time I've missed the chance to celebrate Labour's poll lead hitting 10% according to YouGov - the highest lead they have recorded since November 2002.

I also missed Jack McConnell standing down as Scottish Labour Leader - I've got a lot of respect for Jack who was an excellent General Secretary of the Scottish Party before becoming First Minister - and whose solid record in government did not deserve the electoral defeat suffered in the Scottish Parliament elections this year.

As of tonight, his successor looks like it is certain to be Wendy Alexander after the entertaining news that not only can the Hard Left not scrape together 44 MPs to get John McDonnell on the Labour leadership ballot paper, they can't even find 6 MSPs to nominate a candidate for Scottish Leader.

10 Comments:

Blogger el Tom said...

"and whose solid record in government did not deserve the electoral defeat suffered in the Scottish Parliament elections this year."

That's what they said about Michael Foot; an excellent excuse not to change, no doubt.

Electorates deserve to be listened to.

12:31 pm, August 20, 2007

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Jack was indeed a basically competant political manager. But I don't he ever succeeded in wholly throwing off the 'up-the-municipal-greasy-pole' background and rising to the stature of a Parliament. The continued deference of Scottish Labour to the out-of-touch Westminster Party was a consequence.

He came into office through the accident that was Henry McLeish, and one of his first acts was to ensure that Wendy Alexander (a real quality heavweight act) would feel compelled to leave. Indeed there was at the time a virtual emptying out of several of the quality players in the Scottish Executive at the time, due to Jack's inclination to play the old tribal loyalty games.

Wendy has the promise of offering a radical refreshing of the Scotish Party - something more in line with how the Scottish electorate seems to have moved on ahead of the existing Scotish Party elite.

The fact that a credible contender or contenders to compete with her has not readily arisen from the Scottish Party ranks is an indictment (not Luke, a matter for some entertainment; the problem is on the right of the Party as well as the left).

2:01 pm, August 20, 2007

 
Anonymous Andrea said...

"Indeed there was at the time a virtual emptying out of several of the quality players in the Scottish Executive at the time, due to Jack's inclination to play the old tribal loyalty games"

Susan Deacon was another one easily sidelined.

Another thing about Scottish Labour is the quality (or lack of it) of Labour backbenchers at Holyrood...maybe this problem has its roots in 1999.

2:13 pm, August 20, 2007

 
Blogger grimupnorth said...

Do you find it "entertaining" also that the SNP is about 16 points ahead of lABOUR - presumably as it is perceived as "left" of new Scottish Labour. This will only help the SNP.

5:13 pm, August 20, 2007

 
Anonymous Andrea said...

"Do you find it "entertaining" also that the SNP is about 16 points ahead of lABOUR "

you probably missed this week-end's poll by yougov about Scotland (for both Holyrood and Westminster elections). Yougov, unlike Scottish Opinion (the pollster with trhe 16% SNP lead, is member of the British Polling Council)

5:38 pm, August 20, 2007

 
Anonymous Ravi said...

Scotland has tradionally supported labour for over 50 years and has formed the bedrock of the Labour party's hold on Britain.
I am disgusted with the way the scottish party has squandered our majority leading to a left wing (social democratic) SNP government.
I am sure Wendy has tallent and intellect, however I don't think she should be the leader of the scottish party. The majority of us scots have a natural inclination to vote labour. If you go into our heartlands you probably find out of the labour vote there most are probably "old" (though I prefer "classic" myself) labour. This is why a left wing alternative to Wendy must be found.
There is no real equalivent to middle england in Scotland, so there is no need for new labour in Scotland. The labour votes are there for the taking. If the SNP continue to wear our clothes whilst we abandon our core beliefs the SNP governemnt could be here to stay resulting in the break up of the union.

7:51 am, August 21, 2007

 
Anonymous pregethwr said...

In the 20th century there were two parties that got over 50% of the vote in Scotland:

The Liberals and the Conservatives.

Labour has never ever been a majority party in Scotland (unlike London, Wales, The North East, the North West, Yorkshire and Humber, the West Midlands, the East Midlands - you get the picture).

Labour in Scotland always prospered because the anti-Labour vote is split. The death of the Conservative party in Scotland ends that era.

10:20 am, August 21, 2007

 
Anonymous Ravi said...

Interesting points about scottish politics there Pregethwr, however my own political experience in scotland has been somewhat different. I was born in Aberdeen in 1979. To my knowledge Aberdeen only had one conservative seat which they held till 1997. There were a smattering of con seats across scotland but support in most of the central belt of scotland (which happens to be the most populus) have been held firmly by us. These areas correspond to the industral areas of scotland. What I was trying to point out in these heavly populated areas in Scotland the majority have backed Labour.
Scottish politcs has a strong left wing bias, supported in part by the scottish church (well that is according to Mrs T, if you read her autobiography) and continues to be so. The election of the centre left (social democratic) SNP to office surely cements the point. If we want to go on the offensive against the nationalists we have to keep true with traditional Labour policies.

11:35 am, August 21, 2007

 
Blogger Dave Brinson said...

Probably a foregone conlcusion anyway, but I still think it's a real shame that we have another "coronation" in the Labour Party. Doubtless, Labour members would have voted for Wendy (and, indeed, Gordon) but have been denied the right to express that support in a ballot. Pity.

PS: Any idea who the CfS were trying to get nominated ?

4:38 pm, August 22, 2007

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

I'm no fan of the hard left either, but neither are coronations a very good idea when they become too frequent!

2:03 am, August 24, 2007

 

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