Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bracing wind of open democracy is no humiliation

Scottish Labour's obligatory knee-jerk rant about the SNP's regional lists for next year's election -

"The release of this list is not only deeply embarrassing for the SNP, but it is a humiliation for Alex Salmond that his own party members have effectively deselected so many of his sitting team."

While I may have expressed dismay in the previous post about Anne McLaughlin's fate (and I take the same view about two or three others) I'm quite sure that's arrant nonsense on the part of John Park. Does he really think that the public would prefer the cosy 'closed shop' culture that brought us the expenses scandal to one where merit takes precedence over the privileges of incumbency? It's a brutal process in many respects, but one that ought to leave the SNP - on balance - in stronger rather than weaker shape going into the election.


  1. Ah... The Scotsman (printed in England). Well you can always trust them to give a fair and balanced picture of what’s going on in Scottish politics. Indeed I depend on them to do my thinking for me!!

    And now reality:

    Open lists, open democracy, a chance for new people, an honest rejection by members of people, whom they feel may not have done so well. Such is life, and so should it be reflected in the structure of our political parties. New people come in with new things to offer, new enthusiasm and new ideas. It’s good for the party and it’s good for the country.

    We may not entirely like it, especially if we feel we have lost someone who seemed to be doing a good job, but that’s the way that it is, and it’s the way it should be.

    Of course the Scotsman would clearly think it less embarrassing to have a dinner in the back room of a restaurant, somewhere in a nice part of Edinburgh, with figures like the Scottish equivalent of say Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Gordon Brown and Alistair Campbell carving up the future of the party for the next 15 years.

    That’s Labour’s way.... it’s not the SNP’s way.

  2. PS.... I wonder if the Scotsman, or indeed Iain Gray (for there must be some connection there) will ever write a political article or give a tv interview which does not include the words...

    "deeply embarrassing for the SNP" and "personal humiliation for Alex Salmond".

    Somehow I think it unlikely. Their journalists lack any real talent (most decent ones would go to a paper that had a readership), and presumably any decent speechwriter would want to write for someone who at least gives the impression of being alive.

  3. You're being far too hard on The Scotsman, Tris - they showed admirable restraint on this occasion in resisting the temptation to include a quote from "senior Labour MSP George Foulkes"!

  4. Ahhh yes James. I overlooked that in error and I offer a fulsome apology

    They must be saving that for the next article. Their output is so varied.

    PS: Dear George. How we shall miss him.