Saturday, 15 August 2015


So at long last, what we have been pretty sure of for ages, is official. 

Kezia Dugdale is the new Glasgow branch supervisor of Labour. 

Oh yeah, and lest I forget, Alex Rowley (no, me neither) is her new deputy.

So first and foremost, I wish them well in their new posts. Scotland, like any other country, needs good opposition in parliament. 

The reality is of course that this contest, which should have been so important to Scottish Labour, and to Scotland, has all been an anti-climax. Nothing much will change, unless there is a big change at the top. And the top is in London. 

Both Ken Macintoch and Kezia Dugdale made it clear that they had no wish to run a separate Scottish Labour Party, where decisions, suitable for Scotland's issues and Scotland's views could be made about policy. So there was no opportunity for the membership to vote for that option.

They were happy with the status quo, where policy decisions are made in London. 

I seem to recall that every Scottish "leader" has wanted to have more power over the day to day running of the Glasgow branch, and every Scottish "leader" has been slapped down by Blair, or Brown or Miliband. 

Ironically, the one most sure of his own power, Jim "I don't need anyone's permission" Murphy, was slapped down by more lowly bosses in Ed Balls and Chuka Umunna (and on tv to boot!).

Many policies decided at the Scottish conference (Neil Findlay once said that Scottish conference had voted to get rid of Trident, for example), are simply ignored at the grown up conference in Blackpool or Brighton or wherever...

Kezia threw away the opportunity to stand on a ticket of a separate party, so her election is of little import, because all she will do is front up the party in the Scottish parliament as, in fact, she has been doing since she and Jim were elected just after the referendum.

So anti climax now until the real leader is elected next month in London.

Now that WILL be exciting.


  1. Think I'll just leave this here Tris. LOL

    "We need to become the party of Scottish Home Rule and our opening salvo to Westminster and the UK Labour Party must be that the current relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK is untenable and will require radical change."

    You can read the full article here from some one called Alex Rowley. Like you Tris I have never heard of him before either. LOL

    I do wonder though if he ran that "We need to become the party of Scottish Home Rule" idea past his new leader BEFORE writing his article for the National. I think I may be a wee bit cynical here but I suspect not! LOL

    1. Maybe Gordon okayed the article with him, he was his assistant, his general manager and all round lick spittle for a good while, he was apparently the First Leader of the Newly reinstated Fife Council, that must have been around 1995/6 and got in again in 2012 where he was Finance Officer. He replaced Helen Eadie on her death in 2014 I am sure the byelection was held shortly after Cara Hilton, another shining light in Fife (spit) got in.

    2. That's interesting, Arbroath... It's utterly at odds with what London says, even what Corbyn says.

      I wonder what Kez will say to him...

    3. Incidentally Arbroath, I see that Stuart's fund raiser for the lady who was fined for stealing a Mars bar, is now at £13,000+.

      Further I see that he intends giving any surplus over £500 to food bank type charities including Mark's.

      Hopefully, with the book sales and other publicity, mark will get enough to keep going past January. But it will always be a case of him trying to raise money.

      I'm gonna send a wee bit anyway. He has to survive a sight longer than January. Maybe another 5 years they way these bastards are doing.

      Just as an extra, I was chuffed to see Munguin's Republic and its readers got a mention and a thanks on Mark's blog =>

      If anyone wants to send a small amoput to Frist Base (or a bit one!!!) as someone suggested earlier, without buying the book, here is the address.

      The First Base Agency, 6 Buccleuch St, Dumfries, DG28PX. Cheques made out to 'The First Base Agency'. Bank details. - TSB. Account name - The First Base Agency. Sort Code - 30-25-88. Account No. - 00533183.

    4. OOPS!

      I believe, when you refer to a link it is always a good idea to actually include the link! LOL

  2. Hopefully she will stick two fingers up at the Westminster branch of Labour from time to time. To be honest, I think she is in for a smoother ride than any of her colleagues down south.

    Slightly off topic, why the hell are the SNP deselecting sitting MSPs for next year's elections? I can't recall any scandal or criticism of the leadership. So what is going on? I caught a bit of this somewhere, can't even remember who they are and if it is list seats or not.

    1. I have no idea, Anon.

      I believe (I don;t know) in the SNP this is done by members, not the party. Everyone who is a member in that area gets a vote. and people go to the top of the list according to the number of votes they receive.

      It means that people can't get themselves a nice wee job for life as a list MSP.

      I don;t know what other parties do, but I think that Labour were thinking of introducing a system where List MSPs weren't automatically returned because they have some real dead weights from 2010, when they never expected to get list seats.

    2. The SNP is democratic. All the MSP's stand for re-election. If they are unopposed they become the candidate. The list is very much more difficult. It is important that the candidates are chosen by the members. Its our money which pays for their campaigns, and its our shoeleather which is worn knocking doors for the candidates. We don't want a party of deadbeats. That party is called SLAB.

      The difficulty of the list is that even if a candidate is placed very far down the list, the death or resignation of an incumbent does not lead to an election. Its the next person on the list who becomes MSP. So over the lifetime of a parliament it is perfectly possible for a "sub" to get to get a game at Holyrood even if they are quite far down the list.

      We have a lot of good people in our party. But it is a very demanding job being a front line politician. You only read the newspaper headlines. You don't see the exceptionally long hours worked. The destruction of family life. The dedication required to represent the constituents and our country. Its not for the faint hearted or the slacker. None of the SNP members is guaranteed a "safe" seat.

      So do not fear head office plots. No-one is foisted on us. I love that I was able to select my prospective MP from a number of people, then help her to be elected. I look forward to helping the hopeful re-election of my brilliant ( unopposed ) MSP in May.

    3. I know all about the long hours. A friend of mine was a ministerial driver and the hours worked are unreal. To be fair to the other parties, their senior figures also have to work excessively. The PM & FM must have the most horrendous workloads, since they also have to deal with the all the crap, yet must seem fresh as a daisy every day. But then, they chose that path.

      On the selection process, I agree it's fairer. However, while it doesn't allow the "job for life" you can end up with a revolving door of MSPs who are both inexperienced, and more importantly, become unknowns in their constituencies. What of voters feel that they have no connect with their local MSP? At some point, the SNP will see their support drop, and that is where your incumbents become assets.

      Think of the way the Tories and Labour parachute MPs into "safe" seats. While your party is popular, you could - to paraphrase others - stick a rosette on a monkey and it would be elected. But lose support, and you find that the electorate aren't interested in people who have dropped in.

      I don't believe in head office plots. But I do believe in local conspiracies. Very few to be sure, but definitely out there.

  3. "Kezia Dugdale is the new Glasgow branch supervisor of Labour."

    Glasgow? She's a Lothians list MSP born in Aberdeen! Actually all the leaders at Holyrood bar one are list MSPs - long live PR.

    Ruthie - Glasgow (but moving to Edinburgh for next list)
    Patrick - Glasgow
    Kezia - Lothians
    Willie - God only knows. Fife?

    Whereas Nicola - constituency Glasgow South. Though tbf she was a list MSP before that.

    1. I just meant, PP, that the head office was in Glasgow.

      Apparently she wants to move it to Edinburgh, so that will please all the Glasgow people...

      The three main parties are now led by women. That's quite something!

  4. Mr Rowley, it seems, is a Fifer and protege of some guy called Brown. I would have thought that was the last thing Scotland needs. Wiki updated pretty quickly. Somebody must be handy with the IT (in London perhaps? ).

    1. Yes, I looked him up as soon as it was announced.

      And there it was... he was deputy leader.


  5. Yes Alex Rowley a some what leading light in the cooncil I believe, got the sympathy vote on the death of the incumbent. when he replaced Helen Eadie, he stood for Cowdenbeath in 2014. Former campaign manager and protégé working for Gordon (LA)Brown, so he wouldn't have needed to do much. Was First Leader of the New Fife Council, which may I add works well but I put that down to the officers and the willingness of the Staff rather than the political incumbents.

    1. He probably had to learn to dodge flying Nokias!!!

  6. SNP Baad so no change at the top of a rotting corpse

    1. Well until they have a policy, it's about all they can say....

      And they can't have a policy till there is someone to approve it in London... and they can't even guess it, because if it's Corbyn it's Labour policy, and if its any of the rest, it's Tory policy.

      Hard job. Best ask Ms Lamont if she can borrow the bunker till someone emerges to lead.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Brilliant CH...

      I've put it up on Sloppy Sunday!