Friday, October 8, 2010

McKechin's appointment leaves 'the Snarl' in the spotlight

Just about the only Shadow Cabinet appointment that was utterly predictable was Ann McKechin's as Shadow Scottish Secretary - as a very low-profile Scottish MP who somehow managed to get elected to the top team, it was a no-brainer that she would draw the short straw. The most important practical upshot is that, for the first time, Iain "the Snarl" Gray has effectively become the 'real' leader of Scottish Labour, no longer in the shadow of Jim Murphy. In principle, it's of course entirely right (and long-overdue) that the Holyrood leader should have primacy - in practice, it leaves them with a rather obvious weakness.

As for the other appointments, my instinctive reaction is disappointment that Miliband has ducked out of the choice between husband and wife for the key role of Shadow Chancellor, and appointed Alan Johnson instead - that looks very much like a sop to the Blairities, and thus a step backwards.


  1. I can't imagine how McKechin got into the top team at all.

    I expect it must have been as a result of positive discrimination.

    I guess she'll be one of Straw's now infamous incompetents.

    As you say, with Brown gone and Spud moved on to better things (he didn’t want Scotland) that just leaves....Gray and McKechin, as she’s even more unremarkable than he is.

  2. To put a positive spin on it, at least she's considerably less irritating than he is! I think I've even seen her smile once or twice...

  3. Ezio Auditore da FirenzeOctober 9, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    James, my auld chum, can I just draw your attention to this hilariously bad attack on the SNP from the strange young man calling himself "Fraser Nelson".

    Fantastic, no? I wonder what his username on is...

  4. "Iain "the Snarl" Gray has effectively become the 'real' leader of Scottish Labour..."

    What? Gordon Broon, Jim Murphy and the rest of Labour in Scotland are going to listen to him? You need to have followers to have a leader.

  5. Thanks for the tip, Ezio - I've written a new post!

    Doug - point taken. Although I'm not sure to what extent Jim Murphy is really going to be part of "Labour in Scotland" from now on...