The Labour leadership in Scotland’s branch office appears to be in a bit of disarray after it was suggested that Deputy Leader Anas Sarwar refused to back Johann Lamont to lead the party into the 2016 election.
Apparently when asked by the Sunday Post if Johann Lamont would be Labour’s candidate for First Minister in 2016, Mr Sarwar refused to answer and would only say that Ms Lamont is currently leader of the party. Well, yes, I think at least 25% of the population of Scotland already knows that, Anas.
His refusal to back his leader comes amidst claims that he is being pushed out of the No campaign with one Labour MP saying “…it’s probably true to say he’s been sidelined” and mocking Mr Sarwar’s new role as amounting to little more than “looking after a big red bus.”
What does it all mean? Does Sarwar want to be leader himself? Could he be leader from London? Or does he believe there will be no London and he will be standing in an independent Scotland? Is he backing someone else for the job? Have they resigned themselves to the fact that Johann is simply not leader material and is an electoral liability? Does Johann realise herself that she isn't cutting the mustard? Who else is in the running? Jackie? Margrit? Spud? Wee Doogie?
Labour was already split this week after Gordon Brown’s intervention demanding a Prime Minister to First Minister debate between David Cameron and Alex Salmond only days after Alistair Darling claimed he should be the person to debate with the First Minister. Brown, of course, is probably not best pleased at the idea that his sworn enemy from the Downing Street years is bigging himself up as the man to take David Cameron’s place in the Scotland debate, speaking for the United Kingdom.
Maybe Gordon feels that as an ex-Prime Minister and a North Briton himself, HE should be the one to take David Cameron’s place. But the truth is that unless Mr Cameron made a public declaration stating that he would stand by whatever answer any of them gave in any live debate with the First Minister, either of these people might as well stay at home.
It might make for an entertaining evening, but we couldn't trust anything they said... not, of course, that I'd say that you could trust Cameron. It's just much more difficult to go welch on deals when they have you on camera promising them.