Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Admin" for First Minister?

It seems we've solved the mystery of what these cryptic words on Twitter at the weekend were all about -

Bella Caledonia : Sorry to butt in but how's that leadership debate coming along? Found anyone who wants the job yet?

Tom Harris : Apparently.

Bella Caledonia : A big hitter?

Tom Harris : Wait and see.

Yes, it's hard to escape the conclusion that Tom sees the prospect of him leading Scottish Labour from Westminster as the equivalent of Alex Salmond doing the same for the SNP for three years, but I'm not sure "Admin for First Minister" is going to have quite the same punch as the slogan the Nationalists were able to use.

Not so much a King Over The Water as a Toad Over The Puddle.


  1. I think calling Tom a toad is a step too far James, unless you want to be considered just another nasty cybernat.

  2. A step just far enough, Duncan, if it coaxed a man of your standing to post here once again.

    Incidentally, as the person who helpfully outed Admin as Tom, can you assist us with the mystery of why he's still being so bashful? I really can't imagine what he thought he had to lose by putting his own name to that side-splitting "interview with Kenny MacAskill" the other day.

  3. Well, it is still the 'silly season'.

  4. Yes, calling Tom a toad really is a step too far - quite appalling.
    Perhaps you should be guided by Tom's own very high standards. You know, Tom Harris who called the SNP conference a 'hate fest'.
    So you see, he's not a toad - not even a bit of a toad.
    He's a complete ass.

  5. The position of leader of Scottish Labour doesn’t exist. Indeed Scottish Labour doesn’t exist, except as a regional branch of UK Labour: no more and no less than South East, or North West Labour. The boss in Scotland... Iain Gray, Wendy Alexander, Jack McConnell... and so on, is or was leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament. It occurs to me that you cannot lead the group in one parliament from a seat in another parliament. (When Alex led the SNP from his seat in Westminster, he was leader of the whole party, not leader of the SNP group in the Scottish parliament.)

    Now it is said that there is no talent in the ranks of what we incorrectly call Scottish Labour, and that that is why they have to look to England for a leader. Although doing this might provide them with an ideas person; someone who could take the party forward, it would also mean that the deputy leader would still be the de facto leader in parliament, facing Alex Salmond at FMQs.

    If they have no talent in their ranks, I wonder who is up to that job.

    And wouldn’t it, for very little advantage (given that the REAL direction will come from Ed Miliband), give Labour’s opponents ammunition to fire at “Scottish Labour” for being unable to find a single person from their MSPs who could act as leader?

    Given that one of the criticisms of the party at the last election was that they were too Londoncentric, a Scottish “leader” sitting in a parliament in London, whilst there was a perfectly good parliament in Scotland, would do nothing to dissuade the public of that view.

    Furthermore, how would the London leader of Labour in Scotland react with the Shadow Scottish Secretary, Anne Something or Other? Who would make decisions about Scotland’s future? And if Labour won a UK election and Scotland were still a part of that UK, who would be the Scottish Secretary? And if a year later Labour were to win the Scottish General Election, who would be First Minister? Can you be First Minister when you don’t sit in the parliament of the country of which you would be First Minister?

    Given the daunting prospect of a labour government in both Scotland and England, we might well have Ed Miliband as Prime Minister and Labour Leader, Anne Thingummybob as Scottish Secretary, Tom Harris as Scottish Leader and Johann Lamont as First Minister... Who would be in charge of what?

    And, one last thought... Tom Harris is pretty far right; a follower of Tony Blair’s Islington brand of Labour: a Labour that was invented to get the southern parts of England on board. What on earth makes him think that Scotland would be interested in the kind of Labour that won’t mention the word “socialist”?

  6. Perhaps you can use Tris's questions (nice comment on Broken of Britain btw Tris) to form a series of questions for which you will admit to to answer, not matter how logically constructed or complete

    On second thoughts that is a ridiculous idea, unsuited to an actual adult