Sunday, 14 March 2010


Iain Gray has been accused of trying to get rid of Anne Moffat so that he can become the area’s next MP. Moffat, who represents the same area as Gray but in London, has claimed he has been plotting against her. She is facing deselection and Gray has failed to give her his support, which might be expected to carry some weight on the strength of his “chargehand” status with the Party at Holyrood.

Moffat has been a controversial figure since she was forced on the local party by Labour’s National Executive on an all woman shortlist in 2001. There have been questions over her expenses (including charging around £40 per trip between Heathrow and central London, when the highest fare is £18), and the way that she treats staff and local activists. She has been accused of being an “absent” MP, and many say she has done almost nothing for the constituents.

Additionally she was denounced on all sides for inappropriate behaviour when, in 2007 she compared Alex Salmond to Adolf Hitler, in her criticism of proportional representation, which she neglected to mention had also produced Labour First Ministers Dewar, McLeish and McConnel. This suggests a stupidity and shallowness of thought which is breathtaking, even for a Labour backbencher.

There have counter-claims, however, that Moffat has been bullied and harassed and that this is a dreadful way to treat the woman.

In 2007, locals voted to remove her as candidate but her supporters in the trades unions managed to overturn that. The local party was then suspended for four months after they passed a motion of no confidence in Ms Moffat presumably for the reasons suggested above.

In January this year, local party voted five-to-one to choose another candidate and the National Executive Committee agreed to allow local members a vote on the issue.

Apparently in the secret world of the local Labour Party (I suppose like that of every other party) there are factions. So Moffat has, as you would imagine, friends and enemies. A friend said Mr Gray wanted her job because he would lose his seat in 2011 because of boundary changes involving Labour voting areas of the constituency.

If you look at Gray’s 2007 majority over the SNP of 2,448, he would lose the seat on a 3.5% swing to the SNP. Given that he faces losing the votes of the Labour-supporting areas through boundary changes the “friend” might well be right. Gray’s supervisory role in Holyrood might well be gone, and he could be on the dole.

Labour has dismissed the claim about Gray as “complete paranoia”. And who can tell with the Labour party?

According to The Sunday Herald Moffat is challenging the vote before it is even held. There will be no postal votes. Moffat thinks that this will put her at a disadvantage as people who cannot manage on the night will be excluded from the vote.

I’m inclined to believe, given the Labour Party’s history in postal voting, that the locals would be better to rely on personal votes only if they wish to secure an accurate result. Those who feel strongly about who their candidate should be, would do well to forego their normal Friday night activities in favour of attending the meeting and voting in person.


  1. He ticks all the boxes for corrupt power grabbing west coast Labour so I'd be amazed if he didn't want to be an MP in London.

    Be an interesting day in your neck of the woods if you do achieve independence and all those Labour MP's head home :-D

  2. QM: Well, he's more East Coast than West Coast, but the rest fits nicely. :-)

    I think we will have to have our own version of an iron curtain when independence comes so that they can't get back.

    Scotland's parliament is relatively free of fraud given that in the early days we were really harsh on people like McLetchie and McLeish...when they tried the smallest thing on.

    We don't want house flippers and travel expense junkies back. They wouldn't fit in here... and we can't afford them. I'm sure your MI5 or 6 or 7 or whatever can deal with them... or hand them over to the Americans....

  3. If it is true it will be incredible what they expect people to vote for.

  4. She wants to be voted back in so that she can stay on the gray train, doing, from what I hear, very little....

    I can't imagine why, if the activists don't want her, she would want to stay. She won't get many people out on the streets for her. But I don’t think she visits the constituency that often, so maybe it won’t bother her that no one likes her.

    It will be good for the SNP if she stays with little support from the local activists.

    I don't know how Labour can do that to people... force people from outwith the area, all women shortlists, lazy people who don't do much, and expect the activists to work for them and locals to vote for them....

    This woman's expenses are out of this world and include the £400 a month for food..... every month, something that, in desperation, Labour managed to nail Alex Salmond for doing.

    She had her kitchen floor done at more than £2000.... Clearly a bit of lino is not for the likes of her, the more for a wash basin and wall times. She wanted us to pay £100 for a bloody air bed, the greedy bitch, and then she wanted us to pay to insure it....

  5. Sorry... wall "tiles".

    Looking at the photo I bet we paid for a lot of hair dye too....

  6. I saw her on the Politics Show Tris. Jings, what an inspiring performance. Her voice alone who make me want to vote for the opposition. Monotone.

    But I could well believe Gray is hankering after her job couldn't you?

  7. Could well be SR... after all, what the hell else could he do?

    I heard her on youtube... something about a robbery, but I fell asleep.... LOL